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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fish out of water

Context #1

Two colleagues are talking at work...

Penny: How are you finding the transition from accounting to account management?
Mark: It's all quite difficult and confusing. I am never sure just what it is I should be doing.
Penny: It's natural to feel like a fish out of water for the first few weeks. You'll settle in no time.

Context #2

Two friends are talking ...

Ana: How's school going?
Mike: I'm feeling a little like a fish out of water.
Ana: Why is that?
Mike: Well, after spending twenty years in the workforce, going to school with a bunch of bright, quick young people makes me feel out of place. I'm not sure I can manage the workload.

Meaning: To feel "like a fish out of water" means to feel awkward because you are in a situation that you have not experienced before or because you are very different from the people around you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Be in the same boat

Context #1

Ana: Hello, Andrew! Where are you going?
Andrew: I am going to the mayor to ask him to take necessary steps against environmental pollution.
Ana: You're right. Environmental pollution has become a great problem in our lives.
Andrew: Even though the environment helps us to exist, we don’t bother to take care of it. We are polluting it indiscriminately and we're all in the same boat. People are not aware of it. They throw their waste here and there.
Ana: Cars and factories are polluting the environment through their toxic chemicals.
Andrew: That's why I decided to take action! We should take care of our environment. It’s true that we cannot stop pollution. But we can lessen it. Would you like to join me?
Ana: For sure! Let's do it!

Meaning: The speaker said that everyone should make an effort towards protecting the environment, as everyone was in the same boat and climate changes have direct consequences for all.

Context #2

Tuesday Morning at Language Systems during the Placement Test...

Mona: Hello!! Nice to meet you!!
Pat: Hi!
Mona: Hmmm, Hello! I said nice to meet you...
Pat: Sorry, but this is my first time in the U.S., and I'm scared to speak English.
Mona: No problem! I'm scared too, but we're all in the same boat!
Pat: Thank you, my friend! I'm feeling better now!
Meaning: Mona is trying to make Pat feel better by explaining that they both don't have to be proficient in English right now since they will learn how to speak English at Language Systems. They're in the same situation.

*The idiom was first used by the ancient Greeks when speaking about the risks that all passengers in a small boat at sea had to face together. Now it is used to describe any unpleasant situation, not only if you are in a boat!