Idiomatic Expressions


Whenever I hear a word that begins with the letter ‘idio’, I get suspicious. For instance, take the word ‘idiom‘. Daniel Webster defines that word as “an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meaning of its elements.” What? Even the definition is impossible to understand.

Thankfully, most of us know from general usage it means a slang expression used and defined by the general public. If you read on in the dictionary, you’ll find the word ‘idiotism’ means the same as ‘idiom’. Thus, when I complain about idiomatic expressions I am complaining about ‘idiotisms‘. I like that word better, it makes me feel smart.

What’s your choice for the most annoying idiotism in the English language?

Here’s mine:

Your husband is driving you along the highway and he points out a car in front of you that’s anchored in the passing lane. He wants to pass, but he can’t.

“Women drivers” he says emphatically, moving over to the right lane to pass and honking the horn at the other car. Despite the fact that I’m happy we are getting around the car in front of us,  I take offense in behalf of all women, some of whom are good drivers.

I think if Mr. Webster had taken a few more minutes to listen to his wife Merriam, and allowed her to drive more often, some of these mind bloggleing idiotisms could have been avoided.

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