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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #1

    two-edged sword

    What expression is more popular and common?

    1) a two-edged sword
    2) a double-edged weapon
    3) a stick of two ends
    4) a two-edged weapon

    My sentence is: Initially we thought of one more spring in the mechanism but we discarded this idea a bit later because it was like ____. I mean it might either work or fail.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: two-edged sword

    The expression I know is "a double-edged sword".

    I have never heard of "a stick of two ends".

    Google Ngram gives the following results: http://tinyurl.com/oer8qxe
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 28-Aug-2015 at 16:35.

  3. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: two-edged sword

    One more expression in my piggy bank then. By the way all of the aforementioned expressions are widely used according to Google hits.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: two-edged sword

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    By the way all of the aforementioned expressions are widely used according to Google hits.
    I got 10 hits for "a stick of two ends", one of which was your post. I got two million for "a double-edged sword".

  5. probus's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: two-edged sword

    A common metaphor is "a knife that cuts both ways".

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: two-edged sword

    But it's not a good choice for his sample sentence.
    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.

  7. probus's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: two-edged sword

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    But it's not a good choice for his sample sentence.
    With respect, it is. It is equivalent to the only one of his examples that is natural, viz. "a two-edged sword."
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 30-Aug-2015 at 09:52. Reason: Fixed quote box

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: two-edged sword

    My understanding of a "double-edged sword" does not fit that sentence. If anything, a single-edged sword might work or fail depending on which edge is used.
    A double-edged sword does work, but with potential adverse effects.

  9. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: two-edged sword

    Exactly. How is a spring a source of adverse effects? Its potential failure might make it a risky solution but it doesn't cut two ways if it does work.
    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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    #10

    Re: two-edged sword

    Whichever version people favour, and I would say two-edged sword, I don't see it fitting this context. Too risky/a risk would fit better IMO.

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