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Thread: Worn out idioms

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    Default Worn out idioms

    One of the panels I attended at NJ TESOL this year was on the topic of idioms. Most teachers use them to communicate the intricacies of English as a language, but the speaker (I forget her name) stated that a problem with teaching idioms is that many are "worn out" and "dated." As a result, the student will set himself apart from other speakers.

    Is this a trend that we are seeing? I want to know what other teachers think. I've already spoken to a few colleauges who are wiping idioms out of their lesson plans. I don't think it is necessary is it?

    I saw this article recently on the subject...
    SPLICETODAY.COM | Writing | It Was a Dark and Perfectly Stormy Night

    I think idioms have their place.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Worn out idioms

    I think the argument is a bit flimsy. I can understand the idea of 'offshore English', where native speakers are taught to avoid excessive use of idioms and other culture-bound features of the language to facilitate international communication, but to say that they shouldn't be taught because 'many' are worn-out, ignores the fact that many more are not and others are coming into use. The pushing the envelope/waking up and smelling the coffee/thinking outside the box types that the article dislikes mostly seem to belong to the Orwellian language of business that has inspired Dilbert and B@llsh@t Bingo. I think that extending this to exclude all idioms is an unrealistic and rather pointless exercise.

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