Thursday, February 3, 2011

don't expect to raise your cauliflower up and receive rubies!

My husband kindly shot me over an article on a reverse ruling on usage-based Internet billing in Canada, after telling him of the original bull-shit imposition by the CRTC.
Thank you for that Mayu!  He knows that I'm fuelled by small feats against The Man, and that a win, for what is right and just, totally makes my day!  "Those who are right are the rebels, not the snitches and those who bow down".  I have one small complaint, however, from the above article that spoiled by's the part where Industry Minister, Tony Clement, is quoted saying "This is a bread-and-butter issue".  I detest this kind of talk (just about as much I detest the word detest)...
...barking up the wrong tree, smooth sailing, man up, through the barrel of a gun, this ain't my first rodeo son, no dog ever peed on a moving car, that dog don't hunt, don't expect to raise your cauliflower up and receive rubies, a baby crying is a duck whingeing in space, when your mamma gives you some spinach be sure to turn to the cactus...
Ok, so the last three are mine...but you know what I'm talking about:  nonsensical idioms or sayings and the likes of, what I call, Doctor-Phil-talk.  uggggghhhhh!
I'm, currently, illustrating a grammar book written by my mom.  She mentioned to me, recently, that she might include a section on idioms...I told her that I didn't think it was a good idea.  Idioms and Doctor-Phil-talk are difficult to decipher, are a bit old fashioned (or dare I even say, 'hick') and, truthfully, dumn down the English language (people who speak other languages, other than English, already think that English is dumned down, let's not give them more cause!).  Why teach idioms to foreigners, already struggling, with learning a new language??  What people are, often, looking for when they use them, is a little something called 'vocabulary'...or perhaps, we may even say that, one is searching for the correct 'synonym'.  I had read, some years back, that the average newspaper is written for the reading level of an 8 year old...and with expressions like "bread-and-butter issue", I can understand why...there is no need to expand your vocabulary beyond grade 3, simply babble away in strange, difficult to decipher riddles and you'll be fine, you may even become the Industry Minister in Canada!  But this is it, I don't want to decipher advice (especially clinical, thanks for that Doctor Phil), or news articles (World or Local), or, quite frankly, any piece of non-fiction that should be delivered as a matter-of-fact and for greater knowledge purposes.  Please keep your idiot, woops, idioms to yourself!

Until next time...

Grumpy Old Sarah

By putting a piece of foil behind your radiators, you can, not only be kinder to the environment, but save on heating costs!

The third link in this blog (but here it is again) will take you to a super awesome website:  Enjoy!   


  1. You know, I have to brave the wrath of GOS and disagree here. I love idioms, especially when learning a new language! It's one of the things that makes it fun and it sounds like you know more than you do when you sprinkle them around. They're an indication of what language can do, plus they tell a lot about national character. Possibly it's because the main ones I know in a different language are Spanish and they are great; here's a flavour:-
    'Sude la gota gorda', literally 'I sweated the the big drop' - I was really nervous
    'No tiene dos dedos de frente', lit. 'He doesn't have two fingers of forehead' - he's an idiot
    and my personal favourite, 'Me cago en la leche', lit. 'I shit in the milk' - 'damn it!'

  2. farrah, farrah, farrah...if you hadn't included that last one, i'm afraid we couldn't have be friends any longer ;)

  3. I've pursued the above...slowly taking a poll, and further, sharing with my audience. The following was from an English prof/script writer: "Idioms? It seems to me that communication has already evolved idiomatically. The horse is out of the barn. My peeve is that they are local therefore exclusive, become overused and then tired. I guess they've infiltrated every profession. I'm ambivalent. I listen to crappy language skills every day....yet I do understand that language is organic. Keep tabs on it! See how weak that sounds?"
    THANK YOU for your contribution Mr.Sonnet!

  4. GOS,
    You know I love you but I have to agree with Farrah on this one. I think idioms make language more interesting. I agree that there are times when they are inappropriate and a more straight-forward approach is better, but idioms can be a lot of fun.

    Your timing with this post is interesting because we just were talking about idioms with my students a few weeks ago. I got a few books out with common English idioms and what they mean. My students LOVED them (they are Spanish speakers who are learning English). There isn't a day that goes by when they try a new idiom out on me. It's really cute and they're taking pride in their ability to develop a more colloquial form of speech.

    This is just another perspective to consider. But for the record- I can't stand Dr. Phil either- he's an idiot!

    Great blog~

  5. ok, readers, I'm loving the input - BUT, in fairness, both Farrah & Natalie are referring to second-language-speakers & children...I'm talking about delivering WORLD NEWS & PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVICE...really?? you must have an idiom-line which can be crossed, no?? pleeeeeease??