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  1. #1
    Casp is offline Newbie
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    Post Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    *Warning: gross subject!*

    For those of you who are native speakers of English, is this idiomatic expression correct English? Do you understand the meaning? Is it too descriptive? The text is about acne:


    "The big, ugly red bumps simply shrank, as if a valve to the pus formation had been turned off!"


    Many thanks.
    Last edited by Casp; 10-Jun-2011 at 17:05.

  2. #2
    Casp is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    Thanks very much for your suggestion. I was actually describing something that is closer to a boil than a pimple. Is my suggestion grammatically wrong or can it be used? (it would be nice for me to know - I would prefer to stay as close to the original sentence as possible).

  3. #3
    Casp is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    Yes, "gross" it the right word to use about this subject! Sorry to bring this up - it is obviously taken out of content but that still makes it gross.

    Thanks again - I appreciate your help.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    But if you turn off the taps, no more goes in, but there's no reason to think anything goes OUT. I would not assume something shrank or disspearred just because it doesn't get any bigger.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Casp is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    But if you turn off the taps, no more goes in, but there's no reason to think anything goes OUT. I would not assume something shrank or disspearred just because it doesn't get any bigger.
    Thanks for your help. That is actually a good point. Would this work instead?

    "It was as if a valve to the pus formation had been turned off - soon after the big, ugly red bumps simply shrank and no new ones appeared."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casp View Post
    "It was as if a valve to the pus formation had been turned off - soon after the big, ugly red bumps simply shrank and no new ones appeared."
    The title of your thread is: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    My answer is an emphatic no.

    As Gillnetter said, this is rather gross.

    I might not be surprised to find your sentence in a modern novel, but not elsewhere.

  7. #7
    Casp is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    The title of your thread is: Does this idiomatic expression sound natural to a native ear?

    My answer is an emphatic no.

    As Gillnetter said, this is rather gross.

    I might not be surprised to find your sentence in a modern novel, but not elsewhere.
    Thanks for your opinion.

    Yes, any text that describes anything related to pus is gross by definition - I feel that way too. I only use this idiomatic expression to describe a rather amazing outcome. I guess it doesn't work...

    Sorry to gross you out - that wasn't my intention at all
    Last edited by Casp; 10-Jun-2011 at 02:13.

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