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    #1

    call the tune

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    He could be quite bad-tempered to his clients. You’d have thought as they were paying the money that they’d call the tune and do the bullying. That wasn’t so. Santon bulled them and he was quite sure of himself although they weren’t.

    call the tune = make important decisions, exercise authority

    etymology “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 12-Aug-2010 at 10:59.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: call the tune

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    He could be quite bad-tempered to his clients. You’d have thought as they were paying the money that they’d call the time and do the bullying. That wasn’t so. Santon bulled them and he was quite sure of himself although they weren’t.

    call the tune = make important decisions, exercise authority

    etymology “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    A little confusingly, your actual quote involves the phrase "call the time" yet your post is about "call the tune". I assumed "time" was a typo. Your understanding of "call the tune" is correct. If you call the tune, you are effectively in charge.

    Please see the amendment to the idiom you quoted. It's "piper" (as in the person who plays the musical instrument).

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