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    #1

    "grain of salt"

    Can somebody show me the likely usage of this idom?

    Does this phrase usually have a negative or positive (encouraging) tone?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "grain of salt"

    Take with a grain of salt

    This traces it back nearly 2000 years; I wouldn't be surprised if it's even older.

    It's not strongly negative, but it's not very complimentary to say 'Don't worry about him. You can take anything he says with a pinch of salt'.

    b

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    #3

    Re: "grain of salt"

    Hi NearThere,

    grain of salt


    (With) a grain of salt is a literal translation of a Latin phrase, (cum) grano salis. A pinch of salt may also be used.


    In common parlance, if something is to be taken with a grain of salt, it means that a measure of healthy skepticism should be applied regarding a claim; that it should not be blindly accepted and believed without any doubt or reservation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary "to take 'it' with a grain of salt" means "to accept a thing less than fully".

    Regards.

    V.

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    #4

    Re: "grain of salt"

    Thanks very much to BobK and Vil. I got it now.

    So would it be fair to strongly suggest the US presidential candidates be taken with a grain of salt?

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    #5

    Re: "grain of salt"

    Well, people might differ about whether it's fair. I'd say it was quite wise though.

    b

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    #6

    Re: "grain of salt"

    It's usually what a person says or claims that should be taken with a grain of salt - not the person himself.

    Surely any presidential candidate must tell the truth once in a while!

    Dave

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    #7

    Re: "grain of salt"

    BobK: Well, people might differ about whether it's fair. I'd say it was quite wise though.


    Dave: Surely any presidential candidate must tell the truth once in a while!
    I'm feeling you guys!

    And thanks to Dave for your clarifying an important point that the phrase be applied to a claim rather than a person.


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    #8

    Re: "grain of salt"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortimer View Post
    It's usually what a person says or claims that should be taken with a grain of salt - not the person himself.

    Surely any presidential candidate must tell the truth once in a while!

    Dave
    I wonder, Dave, do you think that it could be applied to a person, politician or not, who lies with such frequency that one would say the person themselves should be taken with a grain of salt?

    Sort of, you've got to apply this to this person whenever he/she opens their mouth.


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    #9

    Re: "grain of salt"


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