Page 2 of 2 First 1 2
Results 11 to 17 of 17
  1. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 19,757
    #11

    Re: Help with understanding

    It's Yiddish. Americans have borrowed quite a few words from that language.

    Hopefully, I won't get Alex and Alexy confused much.
    Not a professional teacher

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 5,661
    #12

    Re: Help with understanding

    A red flag is a warning signal.

    Tighter than a drum is a cliche. And for some of us - editors and would-be-editors - a cliche is a red flag. It warns us that we're reading bad writing.

    So to address complaints about the use of a cliche, the writer added proverbial. It says: "Yes, I know it's a cliche, but it's a darn good one and it fits."

    Unfortunately, putting proverbial before a cliche is, itself, a cliche. So instead of getting rid of a red flag, the writer has added one.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 11,810
    #13

    Re: Help with understanding

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    A red flag is a warning signal.
    Yes.

    Tighter than a drum is a cliche. And for some of us - editors and would-be-editors - a cliche is a red flag. It warns us that we're reading bad writing.

    So to address complaints about the use of a cliche, the writer added proverbial. It says: "Yes, I know it's a cliche, but it's a darn good one and it fits."

    Unfortunately, putting proverbial before a cliche is, itself, a cliche. So instead of getting rid of a red flag, the writer has added one.
    Hmm. I don't think I agree it's a cliche. (Perhaps we have slightly differing ideas of what a cliche is.) I'd describe tighter than a drum as an 'idiom of analogy'.

    You're right of course that the use of proverbial here is a way for the writer to refer to his own use of this idiomatic analogy.

  4. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 13,133
    #14

    Re: Help with understanding

    I would expect "oy vey" as the Yiddish expression.

    The British "oi!" is like our "hey!"

    And a "red flag" is a warning. An alarm.

  5. Moderator
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 17,700
    #15

    Re: Help with understanding

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I would expect "oy vey" as the Yiddish expression.
    That's possible, too, but just "oy" is a lot more common.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 5,661
    #16

    Re: Help with understanding

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It doesn't mean that. It's an impolite way of getting someone's attention. You might hear someone rudely shout "Oy! You! I want a word with you!" It can be used to express annoyance. "Oy! Don't do that! It's really annoying!"
    I spell it oy, but I think I've seen oi.

    In Great Britain, yes, Oi! is a word for getting attention — e.g. in Billy Elliot, "Oi! Oi! Dancing boy!"

    In the US, the sound is reversed: Yo!:

    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 5,661
    #17

    Re: Help with understanding

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It doesn't mean that. It's an impolite way of getting someone's attention. You might hear someone rudely shout "Oy! You! I want a word with you!" It can be used to express annoyance. "Oy! Don't do that! It's really annoying!"
    In the US, when we say Oy!, it's Yiddish for Woe!, short for Oy, ve iz mir!: Oh, woe is me!:

    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

Page 2 of 2 First 1 2

Posting Permissions

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