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    tear to shreds (tatters)

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

    Well! There must still be cross-examiners who could tear a reputation to tatters, especially if there wasn't one to tear. (J. Galsworthy, "The Silver Spoon"

    “You know, if I were a logician,” he grinned heavily, “I could tear your argument to shreds.” (J. Jones, ‘Some Came Running”)

    tear to shreds (tatters) = denounce, run down, raze to the ground, smash to smithereens

    Last edited by vil; 24-Jul-2011 at 12:40.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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    Re: tear to shreds (tatters)

    More of less, yes. To utterly destroy. To ruin beyond the ability to repair.
    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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