Grammar and Smut

When I encounter a sentence that is worded in an obscure way, my first response is usually to infer some sort of smutty meaning.

For example, this article on the BBC news website reported the case of a woman who had been declared legally dead after being missing for over a decade, but then turned up again alive and well, some further two years later. Apparent she had just decided one day to walk away from her family and join a bunch of homeless hitchhikers.

As you do.

It was all very interesting, reading about the legal ramifications of her legal death and subsequent reappearance, but then halfway down the site I read this line:

“While she was living in Florida, Heist worked some small jobs under the table.”

I’m sure the intended meaning was that she was PAID ‘under the table’, a euphemism for a cash-in-hand, or unregistered employment on which taxes would normally be paid, but in this case, and in the context of this story… well.

I wondered who the customers were being referred to as ‘small jobs’.

 

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