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  1. #1
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    Not in my dictionary

    Hello,
    I have a few statements, and hope someone can give me advice. Thanks!

    1) Fail? This doesn't exist in John's dictionary.
    2) You really don't know John's personality. Helping elderly? These words will never exist in his dictionary.


    3) Writing a book by myself? This never exist in my dictionary.

    My questions are:
    a) Is this phrase 'something not in my dictionary' correct or usual way to express this particular ideas?
    b) If not, would there be any common phrase or idioms that suggests the similar ideas, for statement 1 and 2?
    c) Statement 3 is different from 1 and 2. In 3, it means: I want to write a book if I could, but unfortunately I don't have the skill.
    Though I am not sure, I kind of feel this may not be the right way to express the original message. Can someone suggest me another way to write?

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Not in my dictionary

    Quote Originally Posted by morning View Post
    Hello,
    I have a few statements, and hope someone can give me advice. Thanks!
    1) Fail? This doesn't exist in John's dictionary.
    2) You really don't know John's personality. Helping elderly? These words will never exist in his dictionary.

    3) Writing a book by myself? This never exist in my dictionary.
    My questions are:
    a) Is this phrase 'something not in my dictionary' correct or usual way to express this particular ideas?
    b) If not, would there be any common phrase or idioms that suggests the similar ideas, for statement 1 and 2?
    c) Statement 3 is different from 1 and 2. In 3, it means: I want to write a book if I could, but unfortunately I don't have the skill.
    Though I am not sure, I kind of feel this may not be the right way to express the original message. Can someone suggest me another way to write?
    Many thanks
    1 and 2 are OK - except that the normal expression is 'helping the elderly'. So the puctuation should be something like Helping? Elderly? The words will....

    3 is wrong, for 2 reasons; grammar (3rd person ending), and the expression's just inappropriate. You could say

    Writing a book by myself? Never in a million years.
    Writing a book by myself? No chance/No hope.
    Writing a book by myself? Don't hold your breath.


    And if you think you could, but just don't think you will:

    Writing a book by myself? That's not in my game-plan.
    Writing a book by myself? That's not on the cards.


    And if you're sure you could, but would never want to:

    Writing a book by myself? Not [expletive of your choice] likely.

    b

  3. #3
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    Re: Not in my dictionary

    Wow, thank you for your reply and for each example. I'm really glad that I asked. Everything looks so clear now. Thanks

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Not in my dictionary

    Quote Originally Posted by morning View Post
    Wow, thank you for your reply and for each example. I'm really glad that I asked. Everything looks so clear now. Thanks
    My pleasure.

    One last thing: 'not in my dictionary' is a variant of the more common 'don't/doesn't know the meaning of the word'.

    Me, worry? I don't know the meaning of the word.

    He didn't know the meaning of the word 'failure'.


    b

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