Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Or could they? The power of words should not be underestimated especially now when the mere mention of two rather harmless words opens up to a plethora of knowledge. Hey, Google? And knowledge is power said a wise weatherman. No, not Brick Tamland. The average Joe or Pepe or should I say, Cardo, should keep up!
Effective communication is an important aspect of our lives at any stage. As babies, hopefully only until our 30s, we cry and yap to say that we’re hungry. What do you mean you don’t yap when you’re hungry?! Then as we grow older, we realize that most jobs include effective communication skills as one of the qualifications, unless it’s on the graveyard shift and holds “office” in a red light district. And we wish we had paid more attention to our Language as much as our Gym classes learning about subject and verb agreement and figures of speech and not just about being “cool” in grade school because there’s definitely nothing cool about disagreeing subjects and verbs. But don’t fret, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings. Hey, no body-shaming! It’s an idiomatic expression, silly! Learning never stops and you can still up your professional career and even your dating game by understanding and knowing when to use idiomatic expressions properly that will surely have crushie whispering, “Hey, Sexy!”
To take something with a grain of salt
The concept of “context clues” as a reading strategy is a social life-saving skill. Knowing how to use context clues correctly can really save you from dying of embarrassment for not knowing what a word means or worse, using it incorrectly. There must be actual undocumented cases somewhere in the world. But anyway, the bad news is, not even context clues can lead you to the correct meaning of idioms so don’t dare use them if you don’t really know them lest you bite off more than you can chew. No, I’m not jabbing at your appetite, silly. And no, to take something with a grain of salt also doesn’t have anything to do with food, your palette or your appetite like I presume one would think, using context clues. It means to take a complement with a tinge of reality and not too seriously. So when your mum throws you a compliment, take it with a grain of salt, silly!
To wrap your head around something
Timing is everything when using idiomatic expressions. They shouldn’t be used loosely and you must keep in mind that there’s a very thin line between a sweet talking idiomatic expression user and a noisy grandstander. To wrap your head around something means to completely understand a rather complex concept and is often used in the negative case, say, “I could not wrap my head around why we keep on electing the wrong people into government offices.” So please don’t say you could not wrap your head around where to eat today unless you don’t mind crossing over to the other side of the line wearing a sign on your forehead that reads “grandstander”.
Tongue-in-cheek is a manner of saying something in a sarcastic or funny way, or both. In other words, you should take it with a grain of salt. Now, is this something that you can wrap your head around? Better keep up, Cardo! If I see you standing on the corner with a “grandstander” sign on your forehead and whisper, “Hey, Sexy!”, yes, silly, I’m saying that tongue-in-cheek!
Bite the bullet
Don’t get too excited now, Cardo, biting the bullet doesn’t have anything to do with guns nor warfare. And no, unfortunately not even a bullet-eating contest. To bite the bullet means to get something inevitable underway. You often use this when you want something done in haste as opposed to putting it off for another time and procrastinating. You’re gonna have to do it anyway, sooner or later. So bite the bullet and do it now!
It’s not rocket science
Unlike your relationship status, to say that something is not rocket science means it’s not complicated. It’s pretty simple, right? Come on, Einstein, it’s not rocket science!
The elephant in the room
If you don’t have a robot nanny to lift your sofa with one hand and sweep the floor under or a dog named Dollar with dollar patches all over, you know you can’t fit an elephant in the room. If you can, then that will feel very, very uncomfortable in every sense of the word to say the least. Uh, excuse me, Dumbo, I think that’s my head. The elephant in the room refers to a topic that makes everyone feel awkward but at the same time we all just can’t help talking about because of its importance and often because it’s a juicy rumor like an open secret, someone’s sexuality, money matters or a spat between two colleagues in the office who happen to be exes, let’s call them, Miggy and Laida or perhaps between two friends who dated and split up but have remained friends for the sake of making millions, I mean, keeping the friendship, let’s call them, Joey and Rachel. Awkward!
Ignorance is bliss
This is an extra and classy way of saying, “Don’t ask.” or “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Knowing can be both a curse and a blessing. Come to think of it, it is not money rather knowing that is the root of all evil with social media as an accomplice. Because with knowing comes jealousy. And jealousy breeds social climbers. How I know this? Ignorance is bliss.
A little learning is a dangerous thing
Anywhere we are in life, we will all come across “know-it-alls”, whom we also colloquially call, “mamarus”, which might as well be its scientific name. No, it’s not a huge marine mammal, silly! And they have not been reported to be getting anywhere close to extinction either, unfortunately. “Mamaru” is short for “nagmamarunong”. Now, remember that knowing something and thinking that you know something are two very different concepts which therefore come with different consequences. Whether good or bad depends on how you look at “danger”, I guess. But as for me, I’d choose to be on the safe side any day.
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