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Thread: Pet Peeve: "In the wrong place at the wrong time."

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad hominem View Post
    maybe there is some subtle distinction in meaning i do not understand this is certainly possible
    Yes; extremely subtle, and it's more a sense that I get from the wording of the definition rather than something that I can explain clearly.

    But; in my feeble attempt, I do see that "bad" is usually used with "a" while wrong is usually used with "the".

  2. #32
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    Why get mad at Bush for saying it? It's not likely he actually wrote the speech, right?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjumperdon View Post
    To keep it hot. Otherwise it would get cold.
    Either way - you're just heating water. Once it is hot - I suppose you are still applying heat to hot water, but just calling it a water heater works under all circumstances. With the new "on demand" systems - there is no tank of water that you are keeping hot. They heat the water as you use it and people still call them hot water heaters.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Robot View Post
    Why get mad at Bush for saying it? It's not likely he actually wrote the speech, right?
    True enough. I save my irritation for things obviously not written in.

    A lot of idioms don't make any sense. If we start picking on 'em all the time, we're going to run out of things to say really soon.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  5. #35
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    A lot of idioms don't make any sense. If we start picking on 'em all the time, we're going to run out of things to say really soon.

    My wife is an immigrant. Several times, she's asked me to explain an idiomatic expression. Quite a few are difficult to explain, (e.g. "I'm just pulling your leg."). If an expression doesn't mean anything, then why say it? Why not say what you really mean?

  6. #36
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    My personal pet hated idiom is thus...

    A man is walking across a road at a pedestrian crossing - meanwhile 5 miles away someone is on a shooting range. They miss their target, the bullet ricochets off, flies 5 miles, hits the back of the traffic lights and shorts the connection to 'green' . An unattentive motorist doesn't see him, but does see the green light. Just seconds before hitting him - the motorist sees him, slams on the brakes but they don't work well as a freak flood 1/4 mile back down the road made a ford which made the brakes wet and ineffective. The guy is flattened by the motorist, the car then impales the traffic light spilling fuel across the road. The shorted traffic light sparks, lights the fuel and the poor pedestrian suffers 80% burns before he can be pulled from the flaming scene.

    He spends 18 weeks in hospital - another 6 months learning to walk again in therapy. He's lost his job, and thus his house because of it and decends into a life of drink and self loathing

    BUT

    Because he didn't ACTUALLY get killed, people would say "Boy, you were lucky!"

    To put it a little more appropriately - say the bombings in London a few years ago. They described people who were injured but not killed as a 'lucky escape'. WHAT...What's lucky about getting on a train that gets blown up! ARHGHGHGHG

    And relax.

    Doug

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Jacks View Post
    If an expression doesn't mean anything, then why say it? Why not say what you really mean?
    Perhaps because it makes our language more interesting and "colorful?"

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioSci View Post
    Perhaps because it makes our language more interesting and "colorful?"
    Many times idioms are more efficient, too. A large percentage of the population understands "pulling one's leg" and understands what it means. The meaning contains shades of irony and humor that saying you are "spoofing or making fun of him, with tones of deception or trickery" might not convey as efficiently. It certainly is more interesting anyway.

    CJSF
    "I like the stories
    About angels, unicorns and elves
    Now I like those stories
    As much as anybody else
    But when I'm seeking knowledge
    Either simple or abstract
    The facts are with science"

    -They Might Be Giants, "Science Is Real"


    lonelybirder.org

  9. #39
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    Yup. Colourful. I mean, why use metaphor, simile, etc., at all? Because it makes a better (or at least different!) point.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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