Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #1

    drive a coach and four horses

    Dear teachers,

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

    …gen it suits them I.T.A. chiefs drive a coach and horses through the Television Act.

    Equal pay would drive a coach and horses through her incomes policy.

    Hard to find a chink in Finland's economic armour

    drive a coach and four horses = drive coach and horses = get round a law, find a wide chink, find an intervening space

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 29-Aug-2011 at 14:39.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 964
    #2

    Re: drive a coach and four horses

    A gap big enough for a coach and (4?) horses would be a very wide space indeed, so this is not so much about finding the opening or getting around some rule. This idiom refers to the damage that would be done by all those horse hooves and the cart wheels. Imagine if someone drove a coach and four horses through your garden- the noise, the mess, the dust, the damage that would result- there wouldn't be much left!

    A chink in one's armor is some small gap that makes you vulnerable to harm. You seem to know this, but your post asked for comments on the expressions in bold type.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #3

    Re: drive a coach and four horses

    Hi J&K Tutoring,

    I am tempted to make a new shy try to demonstrate the truth of my interpretation of the expression in question.

    drive a coach and four horses trough a law = circumvent a law in order to make it pointless

    If you can drive a coach and horses through (something) you have found and pointed out a weakness or hole in the strategy or plans (concerning that something).

    Just fancy! You are in the open field (a very wide space). There is a gateway (law) just before you. Probably, if you are a dodger, you would prefer to circumvent the law and will go round the gateway (law) with your coach and four horses past it. There is a figurative meaning in my interpretation.

    Equal pay would drive a coach and horses through her incomes policy.

    Equal pay would be in inconsistent with her income policy.

    The last sentence in my original post was used in order to present an opening for drawing a parallel between two facts. I hope you know such a term of speech as antitheses.

    Finland's economic rules are very strict so you couldn’t get them round driving with your coach and four horses past them.

    I hope I wouldn't be charged with lack of respect for this my persistence to make me clear.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 29-Aug-2011 at 15:37.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #4

    Re: drive a coach and four horses

    Just to amplify a bit, the expression "drive a coach and horses through (something)" generally occurs in a legal context, in this case "the Television Act." When either a legal loophole or an exception to a law is so extensive that it renders the law completely ineffective, a litigant attempting to overcome the law can "drive a coach and horses through it." Conversely, laws that are without loopholes or exceptions are said to be "air tight."(see the last sentence in my original post above). Along the same lines, major exceptions to laws or legal rules may be so capacious as to "swallow the rule." I hope you find this advice easy to digest...

Similar Threads

  1. drive slow or drive slowly?
    By peterwook in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 21-May-2008, 17:52
  2. Her best two horses, her two best horses
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-Nov-2007, 00:50
  3. Horses drive me buggy!
    By Nordic Bill in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-Nov-2005, 23:10
  4. Horses
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 13-Nov-2004, 21:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •