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I'm listening to this podcast (there's also the transcript below the page) and during it the host says:

Both me and Pat work for software, so that’s why I attended one of his trainings, just to keep the lock clear.

I look around a bit but I can't understand the meaning of "keep the lock clear". What does this phrase mean here?

  • You will to ask the person who said the sentence. His English is not good. For instance, he asks Pat, is there anything more you would like to say to yourself? when he should have asked Pat, is there anything more you would like to say about yourself? – AmE speaker Jun 1 '17 at 18:44
  • "Keep the lock clear" doesn't look like an idiomatic phrase. My first guess was that it was a metaphor relating to "locks" in the water navigation sense: A device for raising or lowering water levels to allow ships through a canal. – RaceYouAnytime Jun 1 '17 at 18:47
  • In my experience of American and, I think, British English, we also don't use training as a count noun, so we wouldn't say his "Pat has also been involved in giving trainings on technical leadership..." but something like training seminars. We also don't work for software. – AmE speaker Jun 1 '17 at 19:07
  • @Clare you're right. He's not a native English speaker. I'm starting to think this may be a phrase from another language that's been translated to English in a bad way. – AtoMerZ Jun 1 '17 at 19:20
  • "Clearing a lock" is manipulating it so that it's in a "neutral" position, generally unlocked. Exactly what this means in the above context is unclear, however. – Hot Licks Jun 1 '17 at 20:07
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Perfect. Both me and Pat work for software, so that’s why I attended one of his trainings, just to keep the lock clear. The very first question that comes into mind when talking about becoming a tech lead is what is the role of a technical lead?...

The speaker is not (correctly) speaking British or American English and has several inconsistencies with those major Englishes. For example, native speakers don't use trainings as a count noun, and we wouldn't ask someone, in this context "Pat, is there anything more you would like to say to yourself?" but ...about yourself. We also don't work for software, but something like in software.

Anyway, the transcription is not perfect and the speaker is actually saying

... work for ThoughtWorks

Based on the context, he probably means

to clear the air

which in this context would mean

remove any doubts

See definition 2 in the free dictionary A "lock" (in addition to the lock on your door) is

4 [COUNTABLE] a place on a river or canal with a set of gates which open and close to allow boats in. The water can then be moved to a lower or higher level.

(MacMillan)

Locks will only work properly if they are kept clear of branches and other possible obstructions.

But if he is using "Keep the lock clear" in this way, it's the first and only time I've heard it. It's not an everyday metaphor, like "clear the air," which is.

Perhaps it's a saying borrowed from his native language, which seems to be German. See his blog.

In addition, a native speaker of English would rarely use such a noticeable gap between the word lock and clear. We would not normally bother to distinctly separate the ending -ck of lock and the beginning k- sound of clear.

Or it's possible the speaker means link instead of lock. (Keep the link clear.)

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