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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Packrat

Idiom: A Packrat

Context #1:
Chris:  Have you been to Tom's apartment? It's a total mess!
Jerry: Yeah I know!  He's got books and clothes and stuff everywhere.
Chris: He never throws anything away.  He's a real packrat!
Context #2:
Anthony:  Hey Sean, what are you doing?
Sean: I'm cleaning out my garage.  My wife says I have to get rid of all the stuff that I haven't used in years.
Anthony: Well, if you haven't used that old soccer ball in 10 years you probably don't need it.
Sean: I know, but I just like to keep things.  My wife says she married a packrat.  
Meaning:  "a packrat" is a term that refers to someone who likes to keep things instead of getting rid of them.  Often this is someone who has a hard time throwing things away.  This idiom was taken from LSI's textbook Reading Horizons, which is used to teach Level 6 Reading/Vocabulary at LSI schools.  For more information please visit

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

“ A Pet Peeve ”

Idiom:  “ A Pet Peeve 

Context #1:
Joe:  Today I was driving to school and some guy cut right in front of me on the freeway.  He didn't use his turn signal or anything!  I hate that!
Tim: I know.  That is a pet peeve of mine.  I can't stand when people do that!
Context #2:
Christine: So how's it going with your new boyfriend?
Tammy: Pretty good.  But he comes over to my place and leaves his dirty dishes in the sink without washing them.  It's driving me crazy.  That's one of my pet peeves, you know?
Christine:  Well, then you should just talk to him and let him know how much it annoys you.
Tammy: Yeah, you're right.
Meaning: a "pet peeve" is a noun, it means something that really bothers or annoys you.  It is something that drives you crazy, in a bad way!  This idiom can be found in LSI's textbook "Reading Horizons" which is used to teach Level 6 reading at LSI schools.  For more information please visit

Monday, August 27, 2012

"To tell the future"

Idiom:  “To tell the future”

“to tell the future” means to predict (or foresee) an event that hasn’t happened yet. This expression has the word “tell” in it, but actually the meaning is not related to “saying” anything. It is related to “reading” or “seeing” the future.


Geoff: Emma! I’m so scared! What are we going to do?!?

Emma: Calm down, Geoff! What are you talking about?

Geoff: I just learned that the ancient Mayans could tell the future! 2012 is the last year on the calendars they made, so the end of the world is coming soon! They knew about it over 1,000 years ago!!!

Emma: Yeah, I heard about that. I’m not worried about it, though. Even if it is true, I think you should try to chill out and enjoy life. Don’t freak out!

Geoff: OK, Emma. Maybe you’re right. I’ll try to relax.