Benson, who identifies himself as a salesman, writes:
"I read an article on www.yahoo.com but don't know what the meaning of the phrase 'taking no chances' in the following paragraph is. Please help.
'NEW YORK (AFP) - US contact lens maker Bausch and Lomb defended a cleaning solution that is suspected of causing a spate of serious eye infections, but nervous retailers were taking no chances.'"
"Taking no chances" means taking no risks, choosing to be on the safe side, not doing anything that one may regret later - better to be safe than sorry.
I can leave it here, assuming that everything's crystal clear, as the Bausch and Lomb lens-cleaning solution seemingly is, but I'm not taking any chances, either. I'm going to give a few more examples to hammer the message home.
In an AFP article (I did not discover the piece you mentioned but found a few others) on the subject, I find that by "taking no chances", retailers are effectively saying "no, thanks" to Bausch and Lomb for the time being.
Bausch and Lomb may be right that ReNu with MoistureLoc solution, the product in question, is safe to use after all, but retailers are not going to place new orders for the time being, until it's proven to be so beyond a shadow of a doubt. It's the eyes we're talking about here, and no-one is going to throw caution to the wind, making rash decisions.
Even though "every additional test indicates the formulation is as safe and effective as anything else on the market," according to Bausch and Lomb chief executive Ronald Zarrella, speaking on Monday, retailers in America were "yanking it from their shelves."
Zerrella also said no infections have been found in China. Here's more from the AFP report:
"The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had received reports of 109 cases of the suspected infection, fungal keratitis, in 17 different states.
"Fungal keratitis is a painful inflammation of the cornea that can, in some cases, lead to blindness.
"Of 30 US cases for which complete data are available, 26 of the patients reported using the ReNu with MoistureLoc solution in the month prior to infection."
Now, let's look elsewhere.
When George Bush decided to go to war in Iraq, one supporting view in the United States was this: The President's first duty is to protect the US, and he couldn't take any chances with a country like Iraq. Even if Iraq is no threat now, it could be in future. So why take chances?
Or Iran, for that matter. Don't you be surprised if the United States starts bombing Iranian nuclear facilities some day in the not too distant future. Nuclear threat may again be a pretext. Differences in religion (fundamental Christianity vs. Islam) and ideology (capitalism with any other ism) are the real disputes. Don't be surprised because many wars have been waged in the name of the Christian God and rampaging capitalism in the past. It has been the way of the world for many centuries.
Let's move on to a lighter subject - sports. Yao Ming's broken foot, sustained in a game three days ago, can be treated in two ways. It can heal by itself, but that may take for ever. Or it can be treated by surgery. The Houston Rockets are going for surgery, which is scheduled for later today. With surgery, Yao's expected to fully recover in a few months.
With Yao, too much of the Rockets' future is at stake for the Rockets to take any chances. You might argue more is at stake with Iraq and Iran, but you have to convince the powers that be of this point, which is a good point, to prevent war.
Chances are, if more people speak about it in a manner that show the powers that be that the people know what they're up to, another war can be prevented, even though I doubt it in the case of Iran. There's too much oil involved.
Reports have claimed the US Defense Department, the Pentagon, is making plans for a military attack on Iran. One of them is Seymour Hersh's investigative piece for the New Yorker magazine published online on April 8, 2006 (read it if you will).
George Bush has dismissed such claims as "wild speculation" (The Guardian, April 13, 2006) but the people should not take any chances. More Americans are speaking out, beating the drum for one war fewer.