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"to have sth. in spades"   vs.   "to have sth. in abundance"  
von gatv (UN), Last modified: 2019-01-28, 07:48  like dislike  Spam?  
Source: the series „the good fight“

What’s the difference between "to have sth. in spades" and "to have sth. in abundance"? I thought they were synonyms. Or what joke / faux pas do I not get here?

Situation: A (former all black) law firm (since two years they have some white lawyers and employees too) hires a (white) consultant to do a rebranding.

WHITE CONSULTANT:   What makes you different? … You’re African-American! That’s your brand!
BLACK PARTNER 1:   No, we don’t want to be sold as an African-American law firm.
WHITE CONSULTANT:   But diversity is In right now. “Black Panther”, “Black-ish”… And diversity is something, you have in sp… in abundance.
BLACK PARTNER 2: He was this close to saying “spades”

So, is there some nuance, that makes “in spades” negative and “in abundance” more positive? Or does ”spades” have sth to do with some movie? (As "Black Panther" is a movie (the consultant also makes the victory sign from the movie, the crossed armes in front of his chest, while saying "Black Panther") and Black-ish a series)?

Thanks for help
von hausamsee (DE), 2019-01-28, 10:21  like dislike  Spam?  
as a non-native speaker the only idea that comes to my mind is that "in spades" carries implications of quality while "in abundance" is a "very large quantity of something".

So, to have diversity 'in spades' could raise the (racist) question to what extent, how far the employees differ in their "quality" being black or white.
von Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2019-01-28, 10:47  like dislike  Spam?  
They mean the same thing. The problem with the word "spade" is that it can also be used as an racial slur about black people. No one would usually think of that when using the phrase "in spades", but I guess there was a lot more racial tension in that room than usual, so it became relevant here.
von gatv (UN), 2019-01-28, 10:54  like dislike  Spam?  
oh my god... didn't know that, but now i see the entry in dict.
thanks windfall...
(and hausamsee, even if this difference is not ment in this case)

that'll be difficult to "make" that german...
von Windfall (GB), 2019-01-28, 10:54  like dislike  Spam?  
Yeah, I was thinking that's going to be a nightmare to put into German!

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