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You are watching: They say jump you say how high

Non-native speaker here. I have come throughout this metaphor quite often: human X complains / admires the if A said B to jump, B would simply ask "how high?". What is the mental picture behind that?

As much as I have actually figured out, this is supposed to typical that B is exceptionally loyal come A and trusts / complies with their command (blindly?) in stressful scenarios.

I am trying to number out just how asking "how high?" once being told come jump, is a signal that trust instead of stupidity. If ns am in a combat scenario and also someone said me to run (because miscellaneous is make the efforts to take my feet the end from in ~ me / the soil is breaking apart beneath me), then it would certainly be the height of stupidity come stand about dumbly and also ask "how high?" instead of simply reacting.

So I"m guessing the either my mental photo or my interpretation of the "jump - exactly how high" definition are wrong.

Which one is it?

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request Jun 18 at 9:08

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If i am in a combat scenario and also someone said me to jump (because something is do the efforts to take it my feet the end from beneath me / the ground is breaking apart beneath me), then it would be the height of stupidity to stand about dumbly and ask "how high?" instead of simply reacting

The whole allude is the the command "Jump!" comes the end of nowhere.

They space not in a instance where jumping is required, expected, or normal. Imagine them just walking under some supermarket"s aisle shopping for stuff, among other shoppers. Because that no factor at every the boss commands "jump." That"s such a weird thing to command at the moment, it"s absurd... Therefore obviously the low grade asks "how high?"

Do friend see exactly how it"s a treason of expectation the he asks "how high?" and not "why?"

That"s component of why this adage is successful, due to the fact that it to adjust up the the low grade is questioning a question, and also the concern that the reader/listener would suppose to hear asked the a preposterous, stupid, unwarranted command is "why on planet would you desire me to execute that?" or also "why should I carry out that?"

But the reader/listener is surprised through the ACTUAL question that the low grade asks, which ends up leave in their minds a stronger emotional impression than the boring "Jump!" // *jumps* would.

It"s a powerful, memorable, instance of pure loyalty.

I am trying to figure out exactly how asking "how high?" when being told come jump, is a signal of trust instead of stupidity

Okay, almost this story: "We to be walking down the aisle, the boss said "Jump!" and also I instantly jumped" might technically be a far better demonstration that obedience, yet it doesn"t subvert any kind of kinds the expectations favor the original does, doesn"t pat on usual patterns (call-and-response), it doesn"t enjoy any type of of the advantages of the yes, really adage the make the so memorable.

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I would also say that possibly the metaphor is not simply used to develop the subordinate as a mindless robotic servant, yet as one unwaveringly loyal human striving come acquiesce to every need of his liege. So asking for specification "how high?" could imply that the subordinate is conscious of your subservient status, happy around it, and is also proactive come reinforce it. It"s a stronger type of loyalty than the "logical" instant-acquiescence is ("Jump!" // I need to be in danger! *jumps*).