The world has gone mad with the outbreak of Coronavirus. And we have had some interesting reactions. One of the church ministers said in response to gatherings of no more than 100 and social distancing, “We cannot rely on faith alone, we must think out of the bottle.”
The spirit of the church
I found this funny on so many levels. It seems humanity’s problems in the past were solved by the bottle which says a lot about the church. It also suggest many of the bottled ‘solutions’ around Covid-19, i.e. all the hand sanitizers etc. implying that they alone will not be the solution.
If ever there was a mixed metaphor …. The minister put together ‘think outside the box’ and ‘the genie is out of the bottle’.( other idioms)
Mixing does not always match
‘Think outside the box’ means to find new ideas and ‘the genie is out of the bottle means that the secret is out. Both apply to the Coronavirus pandemic. The genie – Covid 19 is a global traveller covering vast distances – no secret existence there. The only secret now is how to counteract the spread of the disease and finding a vaccine to prevent it.
New ideas needed
For this to happen sooner, rather than later we need to think outside the box. (more idioms)
In my search for the phrase ‘think outside the bottle’ there were nearly 8 million responses from Google. In my search for ‘think outside the bottle idiom’ there were only 3 million responses and they all came back with the auto-correction ‘think outside the box’.
All 8 million responses to ‘think outside the bottle’ related to the bottled water industry.
Nonetheless, when the minister used this phrase, it was the first time I ever heard it and I found it delightful.
Students of the English language know that the correct idiom is to ‘think outside the box’ and whatever your circumstances or your response to Covid-19 that is something we all need to do right now.