Here is a part of a dialogue made up by a student. The task was to use some of the idioms we are currently studying.
The idioms are 'bullish' and 'be hemmed in by'.
oldlong-time economy partners are not as efficient as they used to be.
-Right. These dinosaurs are so slow even if they work against the clock. The situation isn't too bullish. Any ideas?
-Well, I've been taxing my brain, but to no effect so far. Any movement ahead is hemmed in by the lack of ideas.'
I do understand that 'bullish' means 'optimistic' or 'robust' in the business context, but I am not sure about the above example.
Then, instead of 'taxing my brain' I would say 'racking my brain'.
As for 'hemmed in by the lack of ideas', I feel that the idea the student wanted to convey is clear, but the idiom 'be hemmed in by' is used incorrectly.
What is your opinion?
Thank you for your time and help.
Last edited by vectra; 03-Jun-2012 at 18:57. Reason: punctuation
You're right about "taxing my brain" being inappropriate. "(W)racking my brain" would be much better. It is the problem itself, or the process of trying to solve it, which is taxing the brain.
I don't think you can be hemmed in by a lack of something.
And I agree about 'hemmed in' not working ('hemming in' is a physical reatriction).
Last edited by BobK; 04-Jun-2012 at 16:02. Reason: addet to transscription