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    #1

    Question In the book

    We used every trick in the book to finish the project on schedule.

    From this usage, I derive the meaning of in the book as using all the ability.

    Frequently, I see this phrase preceded by trick. Is it a derogatory term?

    Are the following usages correct?

    Having used everything in the book, I left with no choice.

    All the tricks in the book won't help you to persuade her.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: In the book

    It's not necessarily derogatory.

    "Every trick in the book" means every method you can think of.

    You can try every trick in the book to get your lawnmower working, get your teenager out of bed in the morning, or get your faucet to stop dripping. There is nothing bad about that.

    It's the goal that determines whether it's good or bad.

    Note that "Trick" doesn't always mean "a mean thing you do to someone." It can also mean "a way of doing something that's not well known." There's a trick to opening this box. What's the trick to keeping your cat off the table?
    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.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: In the book

    Thanks Barb for your quick reply.

    Since "Every trick in the book" is an Idiom, the other sentence should be

    Having used every trick in the book, I left with no choice.

    Is it correct to amend the idiom as in the following sentence?

    All the tricks in the book won't help you to persuade her.

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    #4

    Re: In the book

    Not a teacher.

    Surely you've read the unwritten book of all the Anglo-Saxon methods for dealing with situations?

    That's what this idiom refers to. It's about having experience and knowing a thing or two about how to get things done.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: In the book

    Personally, I think the idiom works better with using or trying every trick in the book than to say "every thing in the book" as a subject.

    You can try every trick in the book and it won't help you...
    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.

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    #6

    Re: In the book

    Thanks Barb, for your kind tutelage.

    I understand that I should use/try every trick in the book, rather than all the tricks in the book.


    @SoothingDave.

    Thanks for your reply too.

    Surely you've read the unwritten book of all the Anglo-Saxon methods for dealing with situations?

    Is it an allusive metaphor or just a sarcastic comment?

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    #7

    Re: In the book

    Quote Originally Posted by amirdhagopal View Post
    Thanks Barb, for your kind tutelage.

    I understand that I should use/try every trick in the book, rather than all the tricks in the book.


    @SoothingDave.

    Thanks for your reply too.

    Surely you've read the unwritten book of all the Anglo-Saxon methods for dealing with situations?

    Is it an allusive metaphor or just a sarcastic comment?
    Sarcasm. Sorry.

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    #8

    Re: In the book

    Mistakes hit the nail on the head, when they are not repeated; besides, they help to remember things forever.

    Sincerely, I want to assert my thanks to UsingEnglish Forum, especially Barb, for making English easy to understand and bring it within the limits of my ken.

    @SoothingDave

    As a matter of fact, I thoroughly relished your comment; it made me chuckling.

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