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  1. vectra's Avatar
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    #1

    shoot off one's mouth

    Hello everyone,
    These are the last of the idioms for my freshman students I would like you to clarify.

    Shoot off one's mouth - the definition in the book to express one's opinion loudly
    Example sentence - You are not supposed to shoot your mouth. You must be self-possessed.
    Jump down one's throat - the definition is to become angry with somebody
    Example sentence is She always jumps down her son's throat when he comes home late.

    Some time ago a native speaker pointed out the wrong example with the expression to pencil something in. The sentence in the test was John did not have any problems passing his exam because he had penciled in all the lectures.
    I had to redo the sentence into: 'I had penciled in a meeting with you on Tuesday, but we need to arrange a suitable time.'
    As you can see, double-checking is quite useful, especially when you are given a set of idioms prepared by someone else.

    Thank you very much for your time and help.
    Last edited by vectra; 06-Jan-2011 at 12:04. Reason: absent-mindedness

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    #2

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Hello everyone,
    These are the last of the idioms for my freshman students I would like you to clarify.

    Shoot off one's mouth - the definition in the book to express one's opinion loudly
    Example sentence - You are not supposed to shoot your mouth. You must be self-possessed.
    Jump down one's throat - the definition is to become angry with somebody
    Example sentence is She always jumps down her son's throat when he comes home late.

    Some time ago a native speaker pointed out the wrong example with the expression to pencil something in. The sentence in the test was John did not have any problems passing his exam because he had penciled in all the lectures.
    I had to redo the sentence into: 'I had penciled in a meeting with you on Tuesday, but we need to arrange a suitable time.'
    As you can see, double-checking is quite useful, especially when you are given a set of idioms prepared by someone else.

    Thank you very much for your time and help.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****
    ************************


    Vectra,


    I believe that "shoot off one's mouth" is a little more than

    simply "expressing one's opinion loudly." I feel that it is

    closer to:

    Expressing your opinion (loudly or quietly) without

    due consideration. In other words, giving your opinion

    before you have had time to consider all the facts.


    THANK YOU

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    ... so the example sentence is wrong: 'You are not supposed to shoot your mouth OFF. You must be self-possessed.'

    b

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    #4

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    Here are two examples of the usage and my interpretation of the expression in question:

    Oh, he’s something of a demagogue…. He shoots off his mouth a lot about how he’ll jack up the income tax and grab the banks, but he won’t… (S. Lewis, “It Can’t Happen Here”)

    What the hell did you do now? Shooting off your mouth to a clown like that -! (M. Wilson, “My Brother, My Enemy”)

    shoot off one’s mouth = shoot off one’s face = twaddle, talk nonsense, flap one’s mouth, prattle, wag one’s tongue

    V.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    ...
    shoot off one’s mouth = shoot off one’s face = twaddle, talk nonsense, flap one’s mouth, prattle, wag one’s tongue

    V.
    Be careful: 'talk nonsense' and 'prattle' are verbs, as is 'wag one's tongue (although it is usually used in a nominalized form: 'Then he moved in with her, which really set tongues wagging - and wagging of the tongues doesn't denote nonsense; it refers to the spreading of rumour). 'Flap one's mouth' is also (formally) verbal, although if it exists somewhere in cyber-space it is a mistake; mouths don't flap, tongues do.

    This leaves 'twaddle', which isn't a verb at all. You may know this vil, but lists that lack parallel structure are often misleading.

    b

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    #6

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    This leaves 'twaddle', which isn't a verb at all. (BobK’s pearl)

    twaddle (v) = (twŏd'l
    ) [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtml1/01/clip_image001.gif[/IMG]
    intr.v., -dled, -dling, -dles.
    To talk foolishly; prate.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/twaddle#ixzz1AH6gPidq


    V. from the cyber space

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    [QUOTE=vil;699951]This leaves 'twaddle', which isn't a verb at all. (BobK’s pearl)/QUOTE]
    The Corpus of Contemporary American gives only 47 citations for 'twaddle, none of them verbs. I think I'll stick with BobK and COCA.

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    #8

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    twaddle Twad"dle, v. i. & t. [See {Twattle}.] To talk in a weak and silly manner, like one whose faculties are decayed; to prate; to prattle. --Stanyhurst. [1913 Webster]

    V.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    twaddle Twad"dle, v. i. & t. [See {Twattle}.] To talk in a weak and silly manner, like one whose faculties are decayed; to prate; to prattle. --Stanyhurst. [1913 Webster]

    V.
    Keep up your research, Vil, and you'll find it as a verb in the 1961 Webster's Third and in the 1989 Oxford English Dictionary. You'll even find it in the 1995 Concise Oxford Dictionary.

    I know this, as BobK probably knows it. We also know that it is not used as a verb today by enough people for it to appear in either the Corpus of Contemporary American or the The British National Corpus. Bob therefore said, as I would have done: "This leaves 'twaddle', which isn't a verb at all".

    Such a statement is probably more useful to learners than, "Technically twaddle must be a verb, because it is listed as such in some of the world's leading dictionaries. The last citation for it as a verb in the OED is 1826, Webster's 3rd gives no citations, and two leading corpora don't mention it. As no native speaker appears to use it, it is probably wise not to use it, but don't forget: IT IS A VERB; IT IS IN THE DICTIONARY."

    Personally, I'll stick with BobK's shorter version.

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    #10

    Re: shoot off one's mouth

    Since you are so insistent and stand adamant on your statement I yield to your arguments.

    I have fear that later another English teacher will try and probably will find a way to persuade me that there aren’t such verbs as “dance” and “tea”.

    V.

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