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get up to speed on something

[ 2010-10-11 09:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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get up to speed on something
Nelly Min

Reader's question:

Another Mac barrier to entry is an unprepared IT staff. When Pickering decided to support Macs in the enterprise, he first needed to find someone on his 20-person IT staff willing to get up to speed on the Mac. A network admin in Connecticut took up the challenge.

Could you explain “get up to speed on something”?

My comments:

"Up to speed" means be fully informed of or up to date on something. Examples: I'm not up to speed on these issues yet.

Following the private meeting, the board is now up to speed on the investigation.

It's used when you are talking about someone being not caught up on something and getting them "up to speed," meaning to help them catch up.

The source could be machinery-related. Many examples refer to a machine being brought up to operating speed: a boat, a car or a film camera.

But the origin may not be mechanical but a person or animal that was performing at its best rate. From 1879: "The mare was shown and her qualities and record were expatiated on. She looked decent and up to speed."

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About the author:

Nelly Min is a journalist at the China Daily website.