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  1. #1
    Judge Brybe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    Well, that is the question

  2. #2
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    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    I've never heard of it. Where did you find it?

  3. #3
    Judge Brybe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    I found it in a book, sir. It goes: 'Do you protest that there aren't any genes for behaviour? You are still wrecked among heathen dreams'. It's from a book by Richard Dawkins, sir A couple of similar contexts can be found on Google.
    The meaning is absolutely clear, but I'm worried about the phrase's 'status' (idiom?) and possible connotations.

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Judge Brybe View Post
    I found it in a book, sir. It goes: 'Do you protest that there aren't any genes for behaviour? You are still wrecked among heathen dreams'. It's from a book by Richard Dawkins, sir A couple of similar contexts can be found on Google.
    The meaning is absolutely clear, but I'm worried about the phrase's 'status' (idiom?) and possible connotations.
    It's a line from a poem by W. B. Yeats. It's not an idiom.
    William Butler Yeats | "The Wanderings of Oisin: Book I" | poetry archive | plagiarist.com

    But you're doing well if the meaning is absolutely clear to you.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    Hello Judge Brybe,
    Please note that a great number of us here are not male, including the person who first responded to you, so using "sir" as a form of address is not appropriate.

    In fact, you don't need to use any for of address at all.

    I have never heard or seen that particular phrase before either, so I think you can say it's not a well-known idiom, if it's an idiom at all.
    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.

  6. #6
    Judge Brybe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    Thank you very much indeed! Well, now that I know it is a Yeats quote, I would not say the meaning of the line is absolutely clear, Yeats tends to be an obscure author at times. Still, at least, I do seem to get Dawkins' meaning alright.

  7. #7
    Judge Brybe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    you don't need to use any for of address at all
    I see, ma'am. I'll try to avoid using them in the future. Although I do enjoy acting like I'm a schoolboy when talking to real English teachers

    that particular phrase
    We have figured it out. It is a Yeats quote.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Wrecked among heathen dreams - Idiom?

    And an interesting choice of quote considering his views.

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