Like a mushroom/ Like mushrooms

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canadalynx

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Do you use the expression "like a mushroom/ like mushrooms"?

Examples :

1. Her husband treats her like a mushroom. Poor Anita.
2. The government treat us all like mushrooms.
3. We shouldn't be treated like mushrooms. We ought to know the truth!
 

GoesStation

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jutfrank

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You've now got me imagining all the negative ways one could possibly treat a mushroom! :-?
 

canadalynx

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Tell me about it.

Mushrooms connote both positive and negative things depending on the language and culture.
Imagine one speaks five languages and has lived in different continents. The brain must be tired.
 

GoesStation

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Businesses are sometimes said to apply the mushroom theory of management to their engineers: keep them in the dark and feed them manure.
 

emsr2d2

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Businesses are sometimes said to apply the mushroom theory of management to their engineers: keep them in the dark and feed them manure.

Sentences 2 and 3 make sense with that definition. Sentence 1 doesn't work without further context.
 

canadalynx

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Sentence 1 is not impossible but less common.
 

Rover_KE

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Less common than what?

You'll have to explain to me what sentence 1 means.
 

probus

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Re sentence 1: Although the origin of the saying is as GS said, I think its use has expanded. It is now applied to anyone who is kept in the dark and fed BS.
 

canadalynx

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Thank you probus for the post.

@Rover_KE
The usage in sentence 1 is less common than the usage in sentences 2 and 3.

The husband might not be sharing all his activities with his wife and tells her lies. Some might see it as cheating if another person is involved and the wife doesn't know about it. He keeps her in the dark.
 
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emsr2d2

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It works well enough as long as the context warrants it. Having an affair wouldn't fit - you don't keep your partner "in the dark" if you're having an affair. The fact that it's an affair makes it, by definition, a secret. However, a different context could work. If the man in question had, say, run up huge gambling debts and had wasted their life savings, and his wife had no idea that the money was gone, you could say he was keeping her in the dark (treating her like a mushroom). By the same token, if she noticed that their savings account was empty and he told her it must the result of the bank being hacked, or some other lie, the phrase would work better.
 

5jj

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1. Her husband treats her like a mushroom. Poor Anita.
2. The government treat us all like mushrooms.
3. We shouldn't be treated like mushrooms. We ought to know the truth!
The mushroom theory of management did not spring to mind when I read those sentences. They meant nothing to me.
 

emsr2d2

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The mushroom theory of management did not spring to mind when I read those sentences. They meant nothing to me.

It didn't spring to my mind with sentence 1 at all. However, it instantly became clear when I read sentence 2.
 

Tdol

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They're scarcely natural sentences even to those familiar with the idea of mushroom management.
 

canadalynx

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Well, my original question was "Do you use the expression ..."

A simple yes or no would suffice.
I just wanted to know if this expression is "transatlantic".

Thank you for the inputs.:)
 

probus

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GoesStation responded right away with a simple No and a bunch of us soon clicked Like. That means we agree with GS. A single No therefore suffices.
 
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