Aaagh, fuck. We have to go around —there’s a wreck up ahead.

Two people are driving down a road when they notice a car wreck up ahead.

So does "go around" refer to "driving around the wreck" or is it an altered version of "turning around", or maybe taking a different route? (Though I'm not quite sure if they can turn off that road onto some other road.) I feel it means the former. (Driving around it)

Thank you:)

  • Source please..
    – James K
    Nov 4 '20 at 21:14

It could mean either.

Since the person is clearly very annoyed by this, and "going around the wreck", if possible, would be simple and cause no great difficulty, it is probable that they mean "We'll have to turn around and take another route". It suggests that this is a big problem (we'll have to go around and so I'll be late for my appointment.)

The usual meanings of "go around" are the literal one (travel in an arc next to something), and the aviation meaing "abort a landing". It seems to be this second sense that is being used in a figurative way, to mean "turn away from the planned route".

  • I’m a pilot, and the aviation meaning doesn’t make sense here.
    – StephenS
    Nov 4 '20 at 22:53
  • Yes, but I suspect the person making the comment isn't a pilot. They are (mis)using aviation terminology to mean "Abort" this route.
    – James K
    Nov 4 '20 at 22:59

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