“pushing the envelope”の意味は?

“pushing the envelope”の意味は?

ETCマンツーマン英会話  人気テレビドラマ『Law and Order』を観ながらETCマンツーマン英会話のロレット先生(西大井/熊谷)のレッスンを受けています。Law and Orderはロレット先生お薦めのテレビ番組。ドラマの前半は刑事が容疑者を追跡し逮捕するまで、後半は弁護士や判事がその事件の被告にどのような判決を求めるのか裁判の様子を描いた、2段仕立てのストーリーになっています。刑事と容疑者、弁護士と裁判官、そして刑事同士、弁護士同士と様々な人々が交わす、様々なタイプの英語に触れることができます。

さて、今日はこんな場面から。“pushing the envelope”とは、どのような意味なのでしょうか?


Judge Amanda Anderlee:
 Mr.Fallon’s argument is a convincing one, Mr.McCoy.
 This is how the law evolves.
 The defendant’s belief may well have been objectively reasonable under the circumstances.
 It’s pushing the envelope, but I’m going to let the issue go to the jury.


OK. “Pushing the envelope” is a recently a common expression.
Recently means maybe the last 10 years.
Getting very close to the limit.
Almost exceeding some limit.
Her case is the law’s limit.
Limit of maybe morality, common sense.
Pushing the border.
“Pushing the envelope” in this case, doesn’t mean necessarily a paper envelope, it means some kind of like a bubble or boundaries of something.
Pushing to go beyond the normally acceptable limits.
And it is a pretty common expression recently.
I hear it a lot maybe in the last 10 or 15 years.
You hear it a lot in science for example.
And what she is talking about is, she is talking about pushing the limit of rules, getting close to the limits of what is reasonable under the law.
She is a judge.
But it is used in other ways too.
It is used in business a lot, technology it is used at lot.
You hear the expression quite a bit.


pushing the envelope


  “(It’s) getting close to the limits”

   “(It may be) going further than usual”.

  “Some new underwater equipment is pushing the envelope of deep diving exploration.”

  “iPS cell research is pushing the envelope of medical science.”



『LAW & ORDER』 シーズン15第3話「正当防衛」THE BROTHERHOOD



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