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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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rocket science

Idiom: Rocket science


Context #1 – Two friends are discussing the effects of illegal drugs
Lars: You know, I don’t agree with what the professor said in class today.
Katrina: Hmmmm? About what?
Lars: He said that drugs are the biggest problem in our society today.
Katrina: Well, they are really bad, especially for younger people.
Lars: What about crime? I think that is the biggest problem today.
Katrina: Drugs equal crime. It’s not rocket science! The connection is really clear.
Lars: Oh, I never thought of it that way.

Context #2 – Julia is planning a party for her 6-year-old sister
Julia: Oh, I’m so nervous!
Tito: Why? What’s up?
Julia: I have to plan a birthday party for my little sister. She is turning 6 years old. What should I do?
Tito: Come on! It’s not rocket science! It’s a party for a 6 year old girl. How difficult can that be?
Julia: Well, I want her to have fun!
Tito: Buy a cake, balloons, and presents. Then invite a bunch of her friends over and play some games.
Julia: Well, maybe they want to do something more than that. Maybe I should bring someone in to do their make up and nails. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Tito: They are 6 year-old girls. I think games, presents, and cake should be enough.

Meaning: Something that is not very complicated or difficult to understand
“People use this idiom when they want to describe something that is simple and easy, not complicated. It is usually used in the negative. Instead of saying “it’s not rocket science,” you can also say “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist!”