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I'm not a native English speaker, so I need some help. Could you please explain in other words what the following phrase means?

I salt my salad beyond the point of tasting my own tears.

In particular the "beyond the point of" part.

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  • Did you find this phrase somewhere? (If so, it's usually a good idea to say where it came from.) – J.R. Jun 19 '14 at 10:54
  • @J.R. See my answer for context – mplungjan Jun 20 '14 at 4:10
  • @mplungjan - Thanks for providing that. (I still think new users should be exhorted to provide context – for their next question, at least.) – J.R. Jun 20 '14 at 10:04
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Beyond - more than; in excess of; over and above.

I add so much salt so I no longer can taste the salt of my own tears

Here is a point -------->   .   
This is beyond that point ----^

Update with context:

From Trevor Dunn

As I sit in catering staring at a dish of over-cooked breaded tilapia and a bbq-ed chicken leg I notice a soreness in my back and forearms. It’s day-3 of our Canadian tour and already I am considering a massage or a sauna. I’m sure my stamina and tolerance will improve over the next few days but at this point I am feeling the affects of my shattered technique. I am bowing the shit out of the bass every night; horse hair breaking in clouds of rosin while I lay into the string eighty times harder than I would under normal circumstances, i.e. any other situation other than the Melvins. It’s fun but probably not very healthy. Oh well, sounds like everything else in my life.

We just got off stage and loaded the van, nearly ready to make our exit from the Ottawa Blues Festival and drive a couple hours towards Toronto. We are anxious to get back on the pavement so I’m wolfing down this bland but free meal. The beet salad leaks sadly into the rice pilaf. The mango salsa slides off the fish and mixes horribly with the bbq sauce. For some reason at these catering tents they never let you help yourself. All the food is sitting there at arm’s length but each dish has a waiter who happily decides on the portion and placement of it on one’s paper plate. It’s as if they don’t trust you with a serving spoon. I’m forced to point at what I want and say, “a little more please”. A gnat lands on my elbow.

Just across the road Fishbone is aggressively kicking out the last jam of their set. It’s an old tune that I recognize from back in the day when I used to go see them in the ’80s. I’m tempted to walk over to check them out but I’m also somewhat indifferent and lethargic at the moment. They sound good. They sound like a real band. A few minutes later from the main stage, across the other side of the road, a dj starts his set. Fishbone, veterans of true art-rock performance, just sweated out another set thirty years in the making. Meanwhile this dj bonehead mosies up to his “turntables” and a crowd of thousands goes nuts to his incessant bass drum and transparent, bubble gum crescendos. I bet he’s making at least twice as much as the members Fishbone combined. I don’t get it. He bobs his head as he mindlessly spoon-feeds a bunch of ecstasy-heads a pile of pre-recorded jive. The parallel hits way too close to home and I salt my tilapia beyond the point of tasting my own tears.

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This is not an idiom. It means just what it states.

There is a point: a specified degree, condition, or limit, as in a scale or course. e.g. the melting point of a substance.

Something can go beyond it: to a degree or amount greater than.

For example, given an substance which is solid at room temperature (let's take hydrogenated coconut oil). It melts at 96°. That is it's melting point. If I heat it to 110°, I have heated it beyond it's melting point.

Water to which salt has been added is called a saline solution. The salinity of tears is approximately 9 parts per thousand. They are mildly salty. (The average ocean and sea water salinity is 35PPT. That's pretty salty. The Dead Sea varies from 260 to 350 PPT. That's pretty damned salty.)

The man puts enough salt on his food that it is significantly beyond the saltiness (point) of his tears. So much so that, in comparison, his tears are not salty at all.

  • I would expect the meaning to be to salt the salad so when eaten, the tears in it cannot be tasted – mplungjan Jun 19 '14 at 8:11
  • Hmm. Interesting interpretation. Is he (as they say) crying into his soup (only here it's his salad)? – anongoodnurse Jun 19 '14 at 8:14
  • Yes he is. See my update – mplungjan Jun 19 '14 at 8:15
  • @mplungjan But a new one on me! – WS2 Jun 19 '14 at 8:15
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    I would give you another +1 if I could. – anongoodnurse Jun 19 '14 at 8:15

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