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Know your English

Know your English | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Why were you so late for Jyothi’s party last night? Are you working on a new project?”

“I wish I were. The project I’m working on right now is pretty boring. I wish my boss…”

“All I want to know is why you were late yesterday.”

“That’s simple. I was stuck up in traffic.”

“Stuck in traffic.”


“You don’t say ‘stuck up in traffic’. When you get caught in a traffic jam, you generally say ‘stuck in traffic’ and not ‘stuck up’. If I don’t leave home by 8:00 o’clock, I invariably get stuck in traffic.”

“Many of my friends have started using the Metro because they don’t want to get stuck in traffic.”

“The use of the word ‘stuck’ also suggests that you are caught in a unpleasant situation. One from which you can’t escape. For example, during the pandemic, children were stuck at home all day.”

“Poor things. They couldn’t even meet their friends. How about this example? I was stuck in a lift yesterday with four other people. Luckily, it was only for ten minutes. But it was scary.”

“I’m sure it was.”

“Tell me, is ‘stuck up’ ever used?”

“Of course. The expression is frequently used in informal contexts as an adjective. When you refer to someone as being a ‘stuck-up individual’, what you’re suggesting is that he’s a bit of a snob.”

“In other words, he thinks he’s smarter or better looking than all those around him.”

“He thinks he’s the most important person in the room, and therefore treats everyone with contempt.”

“Not a very friendly sort of person, I guess.”

“Not friendly at all. Their daughter, Indu, is very well behaved. Jai, on the other hand, is a stuck-up little brat.”

“My former boss was a stuck-up individual. It was difficult to talk to him.”

“Good example. Many of my friends think that Jyothi’s husband is a bit stuck-up.”

“Really? He seemed very friendly yesterday. He certainly knows how to throw a party. What fantastic food. By the way, can we postpone tomorrow’s lunch? I think I ate a bit too much last night.”

“No problem. It’ll probably do my stomach some good as well. I’ve been eating out every day this week.”

“Not a good idea. Jyothi told me that the Manager is planning to hire new people in the department. Is it true?”

“I’m the wrong person to ask. You should ask Revathi. She’s plugged in to everything that happens in the office.”

“Plugged in? Does it mean someone who is in the know?”

“Very good. When you say that someone is ‘plugged in’, what you’re suggesting is that the individual is well informed. He has connections and therefore, he’s always in the know about things. For example, if you wish to know about the stock market, you should talk to Deepesh. Among our circle of friends, there’s no one who is more plugged in.”

“How about this example? There was a time when I was up to date on all Bollywood news. I haven’t been plugged in since graduating from college.”

“That’s a good example. It’s sad to note that the Principal is not plugged in to the needs of the teachers.”

“There are not many who are!”

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

-Lewis Carroll

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 10:35:34 am |