It is not all-too-rare to hear of someone being "half-dead," but is that logical, or possible?
If so, how do you determine just how dead, percentage-wise, a person is?
If it's possible to be 50% dead, then it must also be possible to be 7% dead, 42% dead, etc. Or even beyond integers, what about being 3.14% dead?
If that were so, surely medical science would be able to tell you that the patient is "14.3% dead, but stable" (so, if said patient continues in such a condition, he will live forever, but not feel all that chipper), or "37.7% dead, and declining rapidly" or "29.4% dead, but gradually improving" and so on.
Are the old less alive than the young? Is old age a matter of the percentage of aliveness gradually diminishing?
IOW, a person is either alive or dead, right? They are either 100% alive, or 0% alive. Being "half dead" makes no sense. From whence did this oddly even expression originate?
And why is the expression "half dead" instead of "half alive", anyway? Is this an optimist ("glass half full") vs. pessimist ("glass half empty") thing? Would you rather be told you were 14.3% dead ("Dang, I'm 1/7th dead!!! I wonder which 7th?!?") or that you were 85.7% alive ("Hey, I'm 6/7th alive! I pretty much rock!!!")