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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please explain the meaning of the words that I have put in capitals in the following passage?

When Season 13 premieres, a couple months have passed and Stabler will still be on administrative leave as a result of his actions during the precinct shooting in the finale. BUT THE OTHER SHOE WILL DROP FOR STABLER over the course of several episodes that will find Olivia untethered without him. Meanwhile, look for the Stabler-less interrogations to be a little more sly and a lot less shout-y.

As always, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Would you please explain the meaning of the words that I have put in capitals in
the following passage?

When Season 13 premieres, a couple months have passed and Stabler will still be
on administrative leave as a result of his actions during the precinct shooting
in the finale. BUT THE OTHER SHOE WILL DROP FOR STABLER over the course of
several episodes that will find Olivia untethered without him. Meanwhile, look
for the Stabler-less interrogations to be a little more sly and a lot less
shout-y.

**** "Waiting for the other shoe to drop" refers to the "punch line" [the last line] of
a joke or story that probably had its origins in boarding houses from many years ago.
It has taken on some different meanings over time.

In your example from "Law and Order: SVU," Det. Stabler has been in a crisis involving his suspension.  THAT is the first shoe.  It simply refers to ONE bad thing that has happened and indicates that ANOTHER bad thing will follow -- that would be the SECOND shoe.

During season 13, viewers will discover that Stabler gets into more problems, and those problems amount to the "falling of the second shoe."

Here are two very reliable and very interesting comments on the meaning and origin of the expression:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/11/messages/522.html

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-wai1.htm

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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