2

After Miss Tyson, Mr. Brundage, and Mr. Bartlett had been fired and Mr. Munson had taken his hat and stalked out, mailing in his resignation later, old Roberts had been emboldened to speak to Mr. Fitweiler. He mentioned that Mr. Munson's department had been "a little disrupted" and hadn't they perhaps better resume the old system there? Mr. Fitweiler had said certainly not. He had the greatest faith in Mrs. Barrows' ideas. "They require a little seasoning, a little seasoning, is all," he had added.

What does seasoning mean here? I am sure it is not referring to spices used in cooking!

What does they need a little seasoning mean?

For context

  • 1
    Perhaps Mrs. Barrows' ideas needed to wait a little while before they will be in place, just like wood that needs "seasoning" to reduce its moisture before it can be used as timber. – Damkerng T. Feb 20 '14 at 23:11
4

Seasoning in this sense comes from the verb season. It is the gerund form (a verb form that can be used as a noun). The meaning of season in this case is

(transitive; usually passive) to make or become mature or experienced: seasoned troops

In the example given, there is a comparison between the new ideas and the old. The response was that the new approach will work, it just needs a little time, a little experience.

  • Can "they" in "They require a little seasoning, a little seasoning, is all," refer to the colleague's of Mr.Munson's department? – Juya Feb 21 '14 at 15:39
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    No. It refers to Mrs. Barrow's ideas. – bib Feb 22 '14 at 16:27
4

Actually, Mr. Fitweiler is indeed thinking of "seasoning" in the cooking sense, but he is using the word figuratively, not literally. Mr. Fitweiler believes that Mrs. Barrows' ideas can be improved by making a few small changes to them, in the same way that spices can improve a dish without changing its essential nature (e.g., a chicken seasoned with rosemary still tastes like chicken).

  • I agree with you, but I would only use "seasoning" to refer to salt and/or pepper, not other spices. – starsplusplus Feb 21 '14 at 9:06
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    @starplusplus and phery - Imho, though reading it as "spicing her ideas up" is not very far off, I think bib's answer is correct. I felt that way before I read the story, and still think so after skimming through it a little. If "a little seasoning" is what was missing, then Mr. F. could act immediately; however, it sounds to me more like he was telling Martin to wait just a little longer so her ideas would work out. The 2 upvotes make me feel a little uneasy. I might simply be wrong, but I'd beg you to review the story once again, in hope that you might change your opinion. – Damkerng T. Feb 21 '14 at 12:39

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