EDUCATION PLUS

Icy phrases

"What are you doing here? Weren't you supposed to leave for Goa yesterday?"

"That particular plan had to be put on ice."

"How can a plan be put on ice? I mean, how can you do something like... ?"

"... when you put something on ice, you are postponing doing it."

"In other words, you are putting the plan on hold."

"Exactly! Here's an example. I am afraid we'll have to put your project on ice for a while."

By the way, to put something on ice has the same meaning as to put something on the backburner."

"I think we should put cricket on the backburner for some time. I am sick and tired of the game. Tell me, why did you have to postpone your trip?"

"Well, we had our annual meeting yesterday and things got pretty ugly."

"Why? What happened?"

"Some of the shareholders became angry and shouted. They started throwing the chairs and... ."

"... sounds terrible. What did your boss do?"

"Nothing really. He remained ice cool."

"Ice cool, eh? He must be like my principal. He too remains ice cold no matter what."

"I didn't say my boss was ice cold, I said he was ice cool."

"But they mean the same thing, don't they?"

"No, they don't. When someone remains ice cool in a difficult situation, he remains very calm. You admire him because he remains unruffled."

"In movies, the hero always remains ice cool."

"Exactly! Here's another example. During the penalty shootout, the goalkeeper remained ice cool and managed to bring off two brilliant saves."

Now tell me what ice cold means. How is it different from ice cool?"

"When you say that someone is ice cold, what you are implying is that the individual shows no emotion. He shows no feelings at all. He is not at all friendly." "In other words, there is no warmth in a person who is ice cold. There is a total lack of feeling."

"Yes, that's right. This expression `ice cold' has a negative meaning. For example, the killer's eyes were ice cold."

"I asked Jeevan several questions and all I got in response was an ice cold stare."

"That sounds like him all right. A cold and unemotional person can also be called an `iceberg'."

"I have several of those in my family. My cousin Venu is an insensitive iceberg."

"My cousin Hema is an iceberg."

"I know. I met her last year. If you ask me, she is more of an ice queen."

"What's the difference?"

"An ice queen is not only cold, but also haughty. You usually use the term with women."

"My boss' wife is an ice queen."

"Have you ever told your boss that?"

"You must be joking. I'd lose my job. Tell me, have you handed in your assignments?"

"I tried to, but the teacher refused to accept them."

"But why?"

"I was late. The assignments were due last week. I tried telling the teacher how ill I was... ."

"... the excuses you gave cut no ice with the new teacher, eh?"

"Cut no ice with the teacher? Don't know what you are talking about."

"When you tell an individual something and it cuts no ice with him, it means it has no effect on him. He doesn't change his mind."

"In other words, the excuses that I offered didn't influence my new teacher."

"That's right! The teacher was not influenced or impressed by what she heard."

"How about this example? The romantic sob story cut no ice with the audience."

"Good example. Do me a favour. From now on, don't put your assignments on the back burner."

"Aye, aye, captain!"

***** ***** *****

"What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic." — Unknown

S. UPENDRAN

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