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Friday, July 5, 2013

The Finer Points

Idiom: "the finer points”

Meaning: the more complex or detailed aspects of; minutiae, particulars, specifics, technicalities

Example #1:

Jan: I had no idea that Carl’s work was so challenging. I only heard that he was an engineer. Then, yesterday we met for lunch and he discussed the finer points of his work. He has so much to do!

Steve: I know. When he explained the finer points of his job to me last month, I was amazed that he is able to get anything done.  

Jan: On top of that, he does his job so well.

Steve: You’re right.

   

Example #2:
Selena: Do you want to go to this “Seminar for Singles" tonight?

Jackie: This is the first I have heard of it. What will be discussed in the seminar?

Selena: They are going to review the finer points of dating, like what to say, how to dress, and what perfume to wear on the first date.

Jackie: That sounds great! I really need it considering that my last date was an absolute disaster.

Selena: Well, then I guess going over the finer points of dating might help. Let’s go together!

Jackie: OK. I’ll see you later!


Meaning: "The finer points” means a more complex or detailed part of a subject. Synonyms include specifics or details. In the first example, the speakers know that Carl is an engineer; however, they didn’t realize all the details of his job until Carl explained the finer points of his job. In the second example, The two women are going to attend a seminar (or small one-day class) in which the teacher will explain the finer points of dating to single people. This idiom can be found in the 2nd edition of Reading Horizons. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 6 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit: www.languagesystems.com

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

To Hit Bottom or To Hit Rock Bottom

Idiom: "to hit bottom” or “to hit rock bottom”

Meaning: to reach the lowest or worst point; to reach the lowest possible level or be in the worst possible situation


Example #1:
Jerry: This has been such a bad year for my company.

Steve: Really? I thought you had a successful business.  

Jerry: Well, because we had to close for a month after damage from the earthquake, our profits hit bottom in May. I guess things can only get better now.

Steve: You’re right. Profits can only go up after you have hit bottom.

Jerry: Let’s hope so!

Example #2:
Selena: Wow, I had a long talk with Jill last night and she has really had a difficult life.

Jackie: Really? She seems so successful and happy with her life.

Selena: She is now, but she was an alcoholic for ten years.  Every time she tried to quit, she would start drinking again. Then, she hit rock bottom. She was homeless and sick. She finally made the change and now she hasn’t had a drink in over five years.

Jackie: It is sad that she had to go through all those bad things, but sometimes a person has to hit rock bottom before they can really make a change for the better.

Selena: Yes, I guess you’re right.


Meaning: "To hit bottom” and “to hit rock bottom” mean to reach the lowest or worst point or to reach the lowest possible level or be in the worst possible situation in one’s life. In the first example, Jerry’s company “hit bottom” because of damage from an earthquake that caused him to lose money. In the second example, the two people are talking about a woman who was an alcoholic for many years and couldn’t make a change until her life was ruined completely, or until she “hit rock bottom.”  This idiom can be found in the 2nd edition of Reading Horizons. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 6 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit: www.languagesystems.com