Know your English Education


“Come in! Did you go to the airport this morning to pick up you cousin from London?”

“He decided not to come because of the coronavirus scare.”

“That’s so sad. You were really looking forward to his visit. That explains the long face, I guess.”

“Long face? Are you telling me that my face is long?”

“The expression ‘long face’ is frequently used in informal contexts to suggest that a person is looking rather sad — there’s a look of disappointment. For example, Jai has been walking around with a long face ever since he was dropped from the team.”

“By the end of the tenth over, there were some long faces in the room. We knew that our girls weren’t going to win the World Cup.”

“Good example. With the final exams around the corner, many students are walking around with a long face.”

“That’s not the case in Bengaluru. The virus has forced many schools to cancel the final exams. The children’s summer break has already begun.”

Happiness personified

“I heard about that. I am sure the students are like a dog with two tails.”

“Two tails? A dog usually wags its tail when it’s happy. So, when you say that someone is like a dog with two tails, are you suggesting he’s extremely happy?”

“That’s exactly what it means. The person is excited because something good has happened. Ever since Sunitha got engaged, she’s been like a dog with two tails.”

“How about this example? Ganesh has every reason to be like a dog with two tails. He won the lottery last week.”

“Sounds good. After her promotion, Vineeta was walking around like a dog with two tails.”

“Talking about promotion. Weren’t you planning to ask your boss for one?”

Too much tgo bite

“I’m scared that if I ask for a raise or a promotion now, he will bite my head off.”

“Bite your head off? Are you scared that he will say no to your request?”

“When someone bites your head off, what the person is doing is shouting angrily at you. He reacts rudely to something you have said.”

“And you feel that there was no reason for the person to react that way.”

“Exactly! I made some innocent comment about her favourite teacher, and Sunny bit my head off.”

“You need to be careful with her. She has a temper. How about this example? The next person who says that I have been walking around with a long face, I am going to bite his head off.”

“Sounds good. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to bite someone’s head off just because you are in a bad mood.”

“Well, not all of us can be like a dog with two tails all the time.”


“The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a septic tank. The really big chunks always rise to the top.” John Imhoff

The writer teaches at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 5:51:55 PM |

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