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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

Idiom: To make a mountain out of a molehill – to make something seem bigger in importance than what it really is; to exaggerate the importance of something that is not very important

Context #1 

Two co-workers are talking during their break

Dan: What’s wrong, Juan? You look upset.
Juan: Oh, I’m OK. It’s just Bob, my boss is visiting from head office today. He took me into the conference room for a private 30-minute meeting and practically yelled at me the entire time.
Dan: Really? I can’t imagine why since you are the perfect employee.
Juan: He said that I had too many papers on my desk and that I need to put them away so that my desk doesn’t look so messy.
Dan: Seriously? That’s so crazy. Well, you know Bob, he always makes a mountain out of a molehill.
Juan: Yes, he does. What small thing will he find the next time he visits?

Context #2  

Two roommates arguing

Samira:  Umm, Polly. Look at this mess!
Polly: What mess? What are you talking about?
Samira: The cushions on the sofa are crooked and the blanket is not even folded!
Polly: You are making a mountain out of a molehill, Samira! The cushions don’t have to be perfectly straight all the time and blanket doesn’t always need to be folded. That’s not natural when you have people using the sofa every day.
Samira: Well, it just takes a few minutes to straighten everything out.
Polly: That’s just weird. I live in the normal world, so I’m leaving everything like this.

Meaning: To make a mountain out of a molehill means to exaggerate the importance of something that is not important at all.  In context 1, Juan, a model employee, is upset because his boss yelled at him for leaving a few papers on his desk (something not important to his job). In context 2, Samira is demanding that the cushions on the couch always be straight and the blanket always folded. Polly thinks that is asking too much, or that Samira is exaggerating the importance of the situation.

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