Frame of Reference
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Frame of Reference

When Death Alone Doesn’t Cut it

Lingchi chusi is “death by a thousand cuts.”

Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

Before English speakers adopted the phrase “death by a thousand cuts” as an idiom to mean any failure resulting from many small problems, it was one translation of the Chinese execution method Lingchi chusi.

In Taylor Swift’s 2019 song “Death By A Thousand Cuts,” she metaphorically compares the phrase to the…



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