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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Well-oiled machine

Idiom: Well-oiled machine

Meaning: Working in a proper and successful way; a well-oiled system or company that operates without problems.

Context #1 – Caris is just starting a new job at Minefield Company.
Larry: Welcome to Minefield Company! Is this your first day working here?
Caris: Yes, it is.
Larry: Great! Let me show you around. Here is our Marketing Department and here is the Human Resource Department. There is also an employee lounge right around the corner, where you can get snacks and coffee while taking a break.
Caris: Wow, everything is so organized here.
Larry: Yes, our company is like a well-oiled machine. And we like it that way.
Caris: It certainly makes me happy to be working here!

Context #2 – Two people are talking about working on political campaigns.
Jenna: Wow! I am so impressed with Hillary Clinton’s vision for America. I think that I will work on her campaign for president once she announces her intention to run.
Ignatius: Oh, I don’t like her at all. She is just a typical politician who is tied to Washington. I would much rather support Kent Thorpe. He is the one with a vision!
Jenna: Kent who? I’ve never heard of him. I don’t even think he has any supporters or even a structure in place to start a presidential campaign.
Ignatius: He doesn’t need a “structure” in place. He only needs to speak and his charisma and vision will change this country.
Jenna: I don’t think so. A presidential campaign must be like a well-oiled machine, with every part working together perfectly in order to succeed.
Ignatius: If that is the case, then Hillary’s well-oiled machine didn’t help her win last time, did it?
Jenna: Well, it’s because Obama’s political campaign was just a little better.
Ignatius: We shall see. Just wait for President Thorpe!
Meaning: The idiom “well-oiled machine” means that a system or company works in a proper and successful way. In the first context, Caris is impressed by how well the company operates. In the second context, Jenna believes that only a candidate with a campaign like a "well-oiled machine" can be successful.

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