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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

To be a joke

Idiom: To be a joke
Context #1:
Jack: Last night I took my girlfriend to see that new action movie starring Sylvester Stallone.
Tony: How was it?
Jack:  It was a joke! The acting was so bad. And the side effects were kind of stupid too.
Tony: Yeah, I heard the reviews weren't that good.
Context #2:
Christine: Tonight I'm going to attend that public meeting at city hall. They're going to vote on the new law that will ban fireworks within the city limits.
Bonnie:  Really? Good luck!  I stopped attending those meetings because they're always a joke! The city government never listens to the people and it seems like no progress is ever made at those meetings.
Meaning: "to be a joke" is a common idiom in American English that is used to express the idea that something is dumb, boring, or not worthwhile. It is always used in a negative way, with a little mix of sarcasm too.  Practical idioms like this are taught in the Listening and Speaking classes at Language Systems International.  For more information please visit

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