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Slippery scope

  • Planted:

While writing about thinking small, I came up with a new expression (new to me, at least): slippery scope

Slippery scope is wordplay on “slippery slope”, meaning something that snowballs into something bigger, and “scope”, meaning the defined boundaries of a project. The turn of phrase conveys that scope is itself a slippery slope. That is, it’s super easy to add features willy nilly as you’re planning or working on a project.


I really like metaphors. While coming up with a definition for slippery slope in the prior paragraph, it occured to me that I used another metaphor—snowballing—to describe the first metaphor—slippery slope. It’s amazing how ingrained metaphors are in our language.