"If we don't complete this task or continue with this quality, we will be in the line of fire soon". Is this sentence correct? Because "line of fire" is generally used in the military.
Here the intention is to convey to someone in an office, that the Manager may start thinking about firing him of he continues with the current level of performance..

Not sure if there is a better way to communicate that.

1 Answer 1


You can take a metaphor from the military. Here the metaphor means that they will be exposed to attack.

It doesn't automatically mean that that attack will mean "firing" them. That is a different sense of fire, and while you may play with the double meaning, the speaker here isn't obviously doing that.

So the application of the metaphor is correct. It may be applied to a business context, but the metaphor could suggest that they will get a verbal attack from their manager.

  • Ok. So my usage of metaphor is correct. And as you said they will get a verbal attack from their manager. I understand that part. But what if I want to communicate that this work is gonna leave a very bad impression and the manager may think about firing/expelling such a person from the organization? Will the same metaphor imply that?
    – nicku
    Mar 16 at 6:23
  • No, the metaphor takes it sense from the military sense of "fire" meaning gunshot, extended figuratively. It doesn't mean "fire" in the sense of be dismissed from a job. You would need to explicitly make the connection "we'll be in the line of fire soon, and it'll be us that is getting fired!" This is what I mean by "play with the double meaning".
    – James K
    Mar 16 at 7:14
  • @nicku - best to reserve 'gonna' for very informal situations, such as relaxed conversations with friends. Mar 16 at 8:00

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