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Know Your English: October 24, 2016

“I saw your cousin’s car this morning. It looks almost new. Where did he...”

“It looks great, doesn’t it? You know something? He paid only two lakhs for it.”

“ Some people are lucky, I must say. That’s a pretty big car! And he paid peanuts for it!”

“Paid peanuts for it? What are you talking about?”

“When you say that you paid peanuts for something or you bought something for peanuts, you mean that you paid very little money for it. You got the item rather cheap.”

“I see. How about this example? For a man of my uncle’s experience, the salary the company is offering him is peanuts.”

“Sounds good. We have so many engineers in our country that many of them are forced to work for peanuts.”

“I know. Some of my seniors are getting paid only nine or ten thousand a month.”

“That kind of salary is considered peanuts these days. Anyway, tell me what’s happening with Jai’s daughter, Anuradha? Did she get into the State team?”

“Unfortunately, she didn’t. She’s very depressed about it. She’s thinking of quitting.”

“Quitting? That wouldn’t be a smart thing to do. Tell her to keep her chin up and do...”

“Chin up? I’ve never heard that expression before. What does it mean?”

“When you tell someone to keep his chin up, you’re asking him to stay positive - no matter how difficult or terrible the situation may seem. You’re telling him to remain cheerful.”

“So, it’s an expression that you usually use when you wish to encourage someone. I’m going to ask Anuradha to keep her chin up and continue with her training.”

“Good example. The players were devastated when they conceded the second goal. The coach told them to keep their chin up and keep fighting.”

“When Madhuri’s first movie bombed at the box office, she didn’t get depressed. She kept her chin up and worked really hard. Today, she’s a superstar.”

“I know. My uncle was talking about her the other day, and he...”

“Did you tell him about your promotion? Was he happy to...”

“My uncle was telling me about his health problems. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.”

“Couldn’t get a word in edgewise? Does it mean he didn’t let you talk?”

“It means that I didn’t get an opportunity to say what I wanted to. My uncle was speaking non-stop. I was unable to say anything.”

“It’s like trying to talk to Sujatha when she’s angry, I guess. When she gets angry, you simply can’t get a word in edgewise.”

“That’s a good example. It’s also possible to say ‘edgeways’. I wanted to explain to the Manager why I was late, but I couldn’t get a word in edgeways.”

“It was supposed to be a press conference. But the Minister reduced it to a monologue. The poor reporters couldn’t get a word in edgeways.”

“Our politicians are famous for that. They like the sound of their own voice.”

“They have to like it. Nobody else does!”

* * *

Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet service to see who they really are. — Will Ferrell

Email: upendrankye@gmail.com

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2020 5:15:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/Know-Your-English-October-24-2016/article16080378.ece

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