STUPID PHRASES, BY AND LARGE
… on days when my brain goes in funny circles
By and large, is a very old sailing term ; it’s not advertising a gathering of overweight bi-sexual persons.
As a rule of thumb is an interesting term/idiom too, about approximation vs. precision, using experience as a guide. I want an engineer to use a slide rule, my surgeon to cut straight, and my pharmacist to be an anal-retentive precise nerd — no, none of that rule of thumb for me. Or maybe we can switch to making rule of thumb a guidebook for hitchhikers.
Break the ice doesn’t involve breaking through ice or falling into cold water; it’s about turning a chill in the air into a warm greeting.
Wearing my heart on my sleeve will not send my jacket to the cleaners but might reveal too much …
A near miss is a misnomer that means the opposite of what it says — we mean a ‘near hit’ which is a miss because a near miss would be a hit. Whether it’s debris falling from the sky that almost hits us but doesn’t, or when two aircraft come perilously close to each other — it’s not a near miss; it was a near hit!
Set my teeth on edge.
There’s a method in my madness.
Dead as a doornail.
The world is my oyster.
Love is blind. No, no, no. Love is stupid — everybody knows that.
Extending an olive branch is something you should do if you are an arborist at an olive orchard.
All that glitters is not gold.
Cat got your tongue?
Read between the lines.
Beat around the bush.
Our mind’s eye.
This is later than before.
Hogwash is not pig’s bathwater but a word meaning nonsense or falsehood.
Another strange one is a spine, or backbone, which is part of our anatomy — but so often I hear it in reference to a government policy not having one or a book that does — so I’m wondering if we should be training more back surgeons and policy wonks at book binderies.