Native English speakers, could you please help me with these issues?

1.Consider the following sentence:

"This treaty would eliminate intermediate and short-range missiles STAGED in the USSR and Europe."

In this context, does 'staged' mean 'tested'?

2. And consider this other sentence:

"Baker was primarily concerned with the president being UPSTAGED at a pivotal NATO meeting in Brussels three weeks later."

In this contexto, what does 'uostaged' mean?

1 Answer

  • 2 months ago
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    1.  In this case, "staged" means "based" - (that is, "located in, with the intention of being launched from").   This word came to be associated with the basing of short and intermediate-range missiles because those are typically built on mobile launchers that can be moved from a central storage and maintenance location to dispersed launch points that are more conveniently-located with respect to their targets.  The association of "staging" with movement is explained below.

    When used in conjunction with missiles and rockets, the word "staged" can also mean to have more than one set of fuel/oxidizer tanks and engines, with the first set (or "stage") being jettisoned after fuel exhaustion, to permit firing of the second set, and so on.  The act of jettisoning is also called "staging".  That use of "staged" is distinguished from the "basing" sense by the context of the sentence.  Both senses share the root idea that a long journey is completed in "stages" - which is also where the word "stagecoach" comes from.

    2.  In the second case, "upstaged" means "overshadowed" - (that is, "to have the attention of others diverted away from")

    Here, the word "stage" comes from its use in theater.  This is from Latin "stare" meaning "to stand", so the stage is where actors stand in a theater (and this is also the reason the place where you stop - or "stand" - overnight on a long journey is said to complete that "stage" of the trip...WHICH, IN TURN, is the reason mobile missiles are said to be "staged" rather than "based").  When one actor draws the attention of the audience away from another actor, which he might do deliberately to compete against the other in terms of popularity with the audience, he is said to be "upstaging" the other actor.  This is a reference to actors' position on the stage relative to each other.  The actor closest to the audience is "up-stage" of the other.  The actor farther away is "down-stage" of the other.  An actor who moves closer to the audience without being told to do so by the director (and who perhaps blocks the audience's view of the down-stage actor) is "upstaging" the other actor.  Upstaging can also be done by volume, gesture, or other attention-getting technique.  One can upstage, or BE upstaged.

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