“How can the Australian players behave so badly on the field? Cricket is supposed to be a gentleman’s game.”

“If you ask me, people who believe that cricket is still a gentleman’s game are living in la-la land.”

“La-la land? What does it mean?”

“When you say that someone is in la-la land, what you mean is that they are out of touch with reality. The person has no clue what’s going on. For example, I have no idea what’s going on with my cousin Ganesh. He seems to be in la-la land.”

“Tell me, where does the expression ‘la-la-land’ come from?”

“As you probably know, ‘LA’ is the short form of Los Angeles. People living in this city are thought to be odd or eccentric. Hence the expression ‘la-la land’.”

“That’s interesting. So, you don’t think cricket is a gentleman’s game?”

“Look, you know I’m really not into cricket. So, ...”

“Just answer the question. Do you think that cricket...”

“Cricket is no longer a game. It’s become a business. Look at the people running it.”

“I don’t agree with you. I think cricket is a wonderful game. It’s still...”

“Look, the two of us can argue until the cows come home and we still won’t be...”

“Whose cows? What cows? What are you talking about?”

“The expression ‘until the cows come home’, means ‘for a very long time’.”

“Is it because the cowherd takes the cows out for grazing early in the morning, and brings them back only in the evening? He’s out the whole day and ...”

“That’s right. When the expression was first used, it meant ‘entire day’. Now it’s used to mean for a very long time.”

“I see. How about this example? You can keep asking till the cows come home, but there is no way that you are going to get a new laptop.”

“That’s a very good example. You are waiting for my boss to come up with a reasonably good idea? Then I’m afraid you’ll be waiting until the cows come home.”

“The two parties debated the issue till the cows came home, but for some strange reason they just couldn’t reach an agreement.”

“It’s never easy to reach an agreement. Anyway, other than watching cricket players insult each other, what else have you been up to?”

“I saw a film called ‘Taare zameen par’. It was pretty...”

“A couple of my friends saw it, and they said it knocked their socks off.”

“Knocked their socks off? Does it mean they enjoyed it?”

“When you say that something knocked your socks off, what you mean is that you found it to be really exciting or good.”

“In other words, it pleased you very much.”

“You were extremely pleased or happy with it. You were just blown away by the experience.”

“I see. You should see Narender’s new car. It’ll knock your socks off.”

“The new restaurant is a very small place. The decor isn’t great, but the food will simply knock your socks off.”

“You must try this new brand of ice cream. It’ll knock your socks off.”

“It’s also possible to say ‘blow the socks off someone’. When the little girl began to sing, she blew the socks off everyone.”

“One advantage of talking to yourself is that at least you know that somebody is listening.” Franklin P. Jones

S. UPENDRAN

upendrankye@gmail.com