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Monday, August 5, 2013

Down-To-Earth



Idiom:  Down-To-Earth; used as an adjective.

First Example:  
“All the boys in Judy’s class love the new girl, Sabrina.  Unlike the other girls who only think about celebrity news and gossip, Sabrina is a very friendly and down-to-earth girl who often values true friendship with others.”

Meaning:  Down-To-Earth refers to people who have a sensible and practical character and/or personality.  In the example above, Sabrina is very popular amongst the boys in her class because she has a very sensible personality and values friendship above celebrity gossip.  This idiom can apply to any person who has a very practical and sensible personality.  This idiom is most often used as an adjective when describing sensible people.

Here is another example:

Second Example:
“Everybody in the company admires the new General Manager, Henry.  Thanks to his leadership and down-to-earth approach to solving problems, every employee was able to get a bonus this year.”

Meaning: In this case, the idiom, Down-To-Earth, serves to describe Henry’s practical and sensible decision-making ability.  Because Henry has a very practical approach to solving problems, the company was able to provide their employees with a bonus for the year.  In this example, the idiom is being used as an adjective.

This idiom is from the book "The Idiom Adventure – Fluency in Speaking and Listening," which is used as supplementary material in LSI’s Intermediate Conversation classes.


For more information, please visit http://www.languagesystems.com/ 

Word of Mouth



Idiom:  Word of Mouth; used as a noun, usually as the object of a prepositional phrase.

First Example:  
“Before newspapers were invented, news was spread by word of mouth.”

Meaning:  Word of Mouth refers to information that was obtained via gossip spread by spoken communication.  In this example, the primary method in which information was disseminated was primarily through verbal communication.  In other words, before newspapers were invented, people would find out about current events through gossip, rumors, or other verbal forms.  This idiom can apply to any situation where information can be obtained through verbal means.  This idiom is most often used as an object for the prepositions, “by” or “through”.

Here is another example:

Second Example:
“The rumor that Cynthia had been cheating on her boyfriend was spread through word of mouth.”

Meaning: In this case, the idiom, Word of Mouth, serves to express the idea that the rumor behind Cynthia cheating on her boyfriend had been mainly transmitted via verbal communication.  Whether or not there is any truth to the rumor is irrelevant.  In this example, the emphasis is that the rumor had been communicated orally between different people.  In this example, the idiom is being used as a noun.

This idiom is from the book "The Idiom Adventure – Fluency in Speaking and Listening," which is used as supplementary material in LSI’s Intermediate Conversation classes.


For more information, please visit http://www.languagesystems.com/