CEO Kevin Meuret told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the hacking was probably committed by an ex-employee. “I’m a father of three daughters, and that young lady getting that [response] is horrible,” Meuret told the paper. “That young lady opened something that must have felt like a freight train, and that’s unacceptable.”

According to the previous context, the [response] is:

“Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health. Unfortunately, we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names. We wish you the best in your career search.”

I don't get the analogy: this letter --> something felt like a freight train. Maybe, it leverages the big and heavy nature of a freight train? I'm really not sure about it.

The full source.


1 Answer 1


Yes! It's meant to convey that the big, heavy train harms her. I see it as missing some words along the lines of

That young lady opened something that must have felt like a freight train [running her over], and that’s unacceptable.

It must have really hurt, like a freight train running you over, to discover that you were rejected because they thought your name was "ghetto".

  • 3
    When news hits "like a (figurative) freight train," the result is emotional devastation. A similar, oft-used phrase is "like a ton of bricks."
    – J.R.
    Aug 16, 2018 at 9:23
  • 1
    Sounds like "a freight train" is a common device to express this kind of emotional devastation?
    – dan
    Aug 16, 2018 at 9:26
  • Thanks, @J.R. Is it really that common? It didn't register with me that way. Maybe you should write an answer.
    – Em.
    Aug 16, 2018 at 10:22
  • 1
    Both phrases are in use, and they can be used figuratively in many ways: the storm hit the coast like a ton of bricks; the market dropped like a freight train; the defenseman skated into the puck carrier like a ton of bricks; the firetruck screamed down the street like freight train.
    – J.R.
    Aug 16, 2018 at 11:14
  • 1
    @dan: Comparing the impact of something to that of a train striking or a train crash is a (hackneyed, overused) form of exaggeration. The news hit me like a freight train.
    – TimR
    Aug 16, 2018 at 11:17

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