I saw it used in this context:

I am also fully capable of typing in complete sentences; descriptive gauntlets just seem more efficient.

Please explain the idiomatic use in the above sentence.

  • 1
    Give me a couple prior sentences for context and I could probably tell you. – T.E.D. Jun 10 '11 at 15:15
  • I think the most likely possibility is that guantlet was not the word the writer meant to use. I can't figure out a similar-sounding word that would make more sense there, though. – Peter Shor Jun 11 '11 at 11:35

A secondary definition of gauntlet from Merriam-Webster:

"a double file of men facing each other and armed with clubs or other weapons with which to strike at an individual who is made to run between them"

My guess is the author was trying to employ this meaning of gauntlet as ordeal but used it so loosely it became difficult to follow. The phrase in question, beginning with "I am also fully capable of typing in complete sentences," follows a list of fragmented descriptors. The author probably meant to be clever when he referred to the list as a "descriptive gauntlet," intending to paint the picture of it as a kind of "ordeal" for the reader as if they were being clubbed with each of the descriptors in rapid succession.

  • This was my impression as well. – Kit Z. Fox Jun 10 '11 at 15:11
  • Hmm, still doesn't make sense to me. I tend to agree with Psmears malapropism theory, though I can't suggest what the intended word might be. – Jay Mar 21 '12 at 18:49

The phrase means little to me out of context. I suspect that either there is some sort of joke that we're not privy to, or that the word has been used in error (i.e. a malapropism) - perhaps for epithet?

Google returns only three hits for this phrase (apart from on this site!):

I am also fully capable of typing in complete sentences; descriptive gauntlets just seem more efficient.

... which is the source of your quote and doesn't provide a lot more detail (though it's consistent with being a mistake for something like epithet).

Oh shit wait did someone throw a big fucking gauntlet at me? Please throw smaller, more descriptive gauntlets. I wouldn't mind a rock-off.

from a gaming site, which is clearly using the term in the sense of throwing down the gauntlet i.e. issuing a challenge (usually for a competition or fight). This sense of gauntlet doesn't really make sense in the quote.

And the third

Descriptive gauntlets rivalling addictive offshoot crosstown adds docility softness Peters Neptune risked acknowledgement money overrules blunderbuss.

..appears to be a page of complete nonsense.

So it seems fairly safe to conclude that this is not a common idiom :)


A gauntlet is also a gauntlet track, a kind of railing track. Used in a metaphorical sense, it it just means a long line or a long word. In modern Greek, for example, this idiom is used for very long and usually unattested words or proper names.

I am also fully capable of typing in complete sentences;descriptive gauntlets just seem more efficient.

It is an ironic statement, saying that, even though the person speaking can indeed type complete sentences, they prefer typing much longer ones because it seems -sarcastically- more efficient.

protected by RegDwigнt Mar 21 '12 at 18:53

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