Know your English Education

Jumping the gun, aren’t you?

“The day Renu arrives, we can take her to the museum and the zoo. The next day, we....”

“You’re jumping the gun, aren’t you? She hasn’t even booked her ticket.”

“Jumping the gun? Are you saying that I’m planning things a little too early?”

“That’s right! When you jump the gun, you try to do something a little too soon — before the appropriate time. You’re not thinking things through.”

“I see. In other words, I’m being rather hasty. I’m like the runner in a race who starts sprinting even before the starting gun has gone off.”

“Very good. That’s where the expression comes from — the world of athletics. Whenever Sneha brings a boy home, her sister jumps the gun and starts planning her wedding.”

“According to the CEO, the workers are jumping the gun by going on strike. No decision has been taken regarding the downsizing of the plant.”

“That’s an excellent example. Rahul had been with the company for only two months. He was jumping the gun by asking his boss for a raise.”

“I hope the boss didn’t fire him. Tell me, when Renu comes, do you want me to show her all the important places in the city?”

“In the first place, what makes you think she’ll be okay with you taking her around?”

“She’ll be fine with it. The two of us got along when she was last here, remember?”

Burst the bubble

“That was nearly 15 years ago! She was a kid, then. And I’m sorry to burst your bubble, she doesn’t even remember you.”

“Burst my bubble! What are you talking about?”

“When you tell a person you’re going to burst his bubble, what you’re suggesting is that you’re going to say something which is likely to disappoint him.”

“In other words, what you’re going to share is not what he wants to hear from you.”

“Exactly! The news is going to make him unhappy. I hate to burst your bubble, but there’s no way you’re going to pass the entrance exam.”

“Ouch. Sorry to burst your bubble, but no one wants you to captain the team.”

“Sounds good. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your boss is very disappointed with you.”

“Bosses are always disappointed. I was a little bit too disappointed when you....”

“You cannot say ‘little bit too’. You can either say, ‘I was a bit disappointed’ or ‘I was a little disappointed’. I was a bit disappointed when she didn’t give me a raise.”

“Teja was a little disappointed when his father refused to buy him a bike.”

“The children were a bit disappointed when they heard the test hadn’t been postponed.”

“Just a little bit? It must have come as a huge disappointment!”

*******

You never know you’re in a bubble, until it pops. Andrew Revkin

The writer teaches at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. upendrankye@gmail.com

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 9:56:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/jumping-the-gun-arent-you/article30650939.ece

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