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Thursday, June 15, 2017

On the Spur of the Moment

On the spur of the moment: to do something suddenly or without planning     

Context #1 

Two students talking after class

Vinnie: Hey, Megan. How was your weekend?

Megan: It was fantastic! We spent the weekend hanging out at Huntington Beach. It was so relaxing.

Vinnie: Wow, I didn't know that you had planned a weekend at the beach.

Megan: I didn't plan it at all. My roommate just decided to go there on the spur of the moment and asked me to come along. It took very little to persuade me!

Context #2 

Two friends are talking in a coffee shop

Sam:  Hey, Pete. I saw you yesterday with Francesca at that new restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. How did you get a date with her? She is beautiful and smart!

Pete:  Well, I still can't believe we went out. I'm always so nervous around her. On Friday, I just happened to see her after class and asked her out to dinner on the spur of the moment. 

Sam: And she said "yes" right away?

Pete: She didn't even hesitate! I'm so glad I took the chance and asked her out because she is a really nice person. I want to ask her out again, but next time I'll plan it.

Meaning: “On the spur of the moment” means to do something suddenly or without a plan. In Context 1, Megan and her roommate decided to spend the weekend at the beach without any previous planning, or on the spur of the moment. In Context 2, Pete had not planned to ask Francesca out, but he did it on the spur of the moment and she said "yes."

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

On a Shoestring

Idiom: On a Shoestring – with a very small amount of money    

Context #1 

Two student talking after class

Vickey: Hey, Mac. Do you know if that part-time position at the bookstore on campus is still available?

Mac: I’m not sure. Don’t you already work part-time at a restaurant and you are a full-time student?

Vickey: Yes, but I’ve been living on a shoestring for the past year and I really need to make more money in order to pay the rent.

Mac: I know how you feel. I lived on a shoestring all through college. When I finally graduated and found a high-paying job, it was such a relief. Let’s walk over to the bookstore now and check on that part-time job.

Context #2 

Two friends are talking about the restaurant where they work

Sierra:  Wow, it has been so slow the past few months. The boss cut my hours again this week. Now, I’m only working 3 hours a day during the evening shift.

Peter:  Yes, me too. I guess they are running this restaurant on a shoestring until the business gets better. They even cut down on the number of items on the menu in order to save money.

Sierra: Well, I hope it gets better soon. At this rate, I’ll need to find another part-time job.

Meaning: “On a shoestring” means to do something, like run a business or manage one’s budget, with very little money.  In context #1, Vickey is looking for another part-time job because she is living on a shoestring budget and needs to make more money to pay rent. In context #2, Sierra and Peter are working at a restaurant that must run on very little money since business is down. 

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