The following is a verse from Daniel Powter's song Bad Day:

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces every time
And I don't need no carryin' on

What does off line mean in the third line of the verse?


It suggests there is a path that he wants / should follow, and he isn't. It is like not following the best way - he has lost the way.

It is different to meaning they aren't connected to the internet (although not being connected may make some people's lives off line).

  • 2
    off line has become a metaphor. Interestingly, it's one of the few cases where a computer term has been adapted into mainstream language, rather than an old word being adopted as a computer metaphor (like desktop).
    – Barmar
    Sep 16 '14 at 21:23
  • @Barmar yes, it is a strange case - I can't think of many!
    – Tim
    Sep 16 '14 at 21:24
  • And referring to "life" being offline is an extended metaphor. A more common use is something like Let's discuss that offline when in a meeting, meaning outside the meeting.
    – Barmar
    Sep 16 '14 at 21:26
  • In some offices, "Let's take that offline." in a meeting just means, "Let's stop talking about that." Sep 17 '14 at 10:52

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