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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mellow (used as an adjective)

First Example:
            Steven: Long week, huh?
            Sharon: Yeah, I'm exhausted.
            Steven: Are you doing anything special this weekend?
            Sharon: Nope. I'm just gonna keep it mellow, maybe rent a movie and order pizza. If possible, I think I'm going to avoid leaving my house until Monday.
            Steven: That sounds great! I wish I could relax, but I'm taking the kids to Disneyland.
            Sharon: Well that sound fun.
            Steven: I'd rather be relaxing like you.

Meaning: While "mellow" can describe a taste (for example, a mellow dish would be pleasant and mild, not spicy or strong in any way), it can also be used to describe an atmosphere or attitude. A person or place that is mellow is relaxed and laid-back. When Sharon says she is going to keep her weekend "mellow," she means she is just planning on relaxing.

Second Example:
            Grace: What do you think of the new math instructor?
            Todd: I like her so much more.
            Steven: Me too! She's such much more mellow than Mr. Sanchez was!
            Sharon: I know! He was so high-strung!

Meaning: In this instance, Steven says that the new instructor is more mellow than Mr. Sanchez, meaning the new teacher is more relaxed than their former teacher, who was nervous and anxious according to Sharon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

To Ream Someone Out

Context 1: 
            Natalia: Victor! Mind if I eat lunch with you?
            Victor: Sure, if you want
            Natalia: What's wrong? Why do you seem so upset?
            Victor: I just got reamed out by my boss in front of everyone.
            Natalia: Oh no! What happened?
            Victor: I was working on this report for him, and I thought it was due Monday. But it turns out, he wanted it today for his lunch meeting.
            Natalia: Uh oh.
            Victor: Yeah. He yelled at me in front of my desk, then slammed the door of his office.  Then he stormed over to the meeting room and didn't say anything when he walked by. So now I'm not even sure I still have a job after lunch.
            Natalia: I'm sure you'll be fine. I'm sure he will calm down and realize it was just a misunderstanding. Still, sorry he reamed you out, especially with everyone around.

Meaning: The expression "to ream (someone) out" means to very strongly and angrily criticize someone. Here, Victor says that he just got "reamed out" by his boss, which means that his boss probably yelled at him in a critical way. Below that, Natalia apologizes that Victor's boss "reamed him out." Notice that in the first example, since the idiom is happening to the subject, there is no "someone" in the idiom ("I just got reamed out"), but in the second example, since the idiom is happening to the object, there is a pronoun in the idiom ("sorry he reamed you out").