In this Quora article, someone said the following.

...but I have no memory of it because of an abundance of ale. I think we also solved world poverty, and it somehow involved making a parking lot of most of the Middle-East and London.

I asked what it meant and this is the explanation I've got (a good one, I love the wording).

...everyone considers every rock most holy to their particular group. So if you just flatten out everything and make it as non-holy as possible – i.e. a parking lot – it’s not holy to anyone anymore, nobody has any reason to fight...

I'd like to start using that expression but I can't judge how widely spread it is or, at least, how easy to figure out the message would be. I had to ask, so it's not obvious. On the other hand, I might be too slow to get it, making me not representative for a general case.

  • 1
    Seeing as the speaker is Swedish, I suggest that this metaphor derives from their native country. I am not familiar with "making something into a parking lot" ( BrEng: car park) or "make a parking lot of something"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 16 '20 at 8:31
  • 1
    I've heard the expression. It means to level a place, to raze it, to destroy everything there. Why do you want to say that? Nov 16 '20 at 8:56
  • @Mari-LouA Being an almost native speaker of Swedish, I assure you that expression doesn't come from the Viking tongue. :) Nov 17 '20 at 23:38
  • @JackO'Flaherty I don't want to say that. I would be using it while referring to eliminating the infectious connotations often raised while discussing politics and/or religion. The sense you've suggested, I have rather limited use for. :) Nov 17 '20 at 23:41
  • @KonradViltersten I believe the expression will carry those connotations, whether you intend them or not. Nov 18 '20 at 1:59

That expression means to level a place, to raze it, to destroy everything there. You could conceivably use it in another sense, but it will have that connotation.

There's a Joni Mitchell song, "Big Yellow Taxi" with the line "they paved paradise...and put up a parking lot."


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.