6 August 2012

The Idiom Conundrum

I feel the need to share with you a strange phenomenon that occasionally walks up and smacks me in the face, the idiom conundrum. If you have ever spent time staring at a word until it becomes a strange pile of letters that mean nothing to you, then you've already experienced some of my distress yourself.

Every so often, usually when I have been talking for a couple of hours straight (I know… shocker, right?) I become painfully aware of what I'm saying and how little sense it would make without a great deal of popular culture and social context. That probably explains why some people don't find me funny. Hey! My belief system is perfectly legitimate!

That brings me to the idiom conundrum. Here are some of my favourite idioms:

  • Barking up the wrong tree
  • Not the brightest Crayon in the box
  • Hit the nail on the head
  • Touching base (Actually I hate that one. I cringe when I hear myself say it)
  • Hidden agenda
  • Going off like a possum in a fusebox
  • Dumber than a box of hammers

I can't actually give you an exact figure on how many times I use these a day. In fact, there are periods of time when I speak only in Idioms; using smaller words like gap fill on a shoddy construction job to pull it all together.

But is the way that many of us communicate, you know you do it too, alienating the people around us who wouldn't have a clue what we mean when we say we're calling to 'touch base'.

This week with more than a few of the Stealth Crew out on the road, I have asked them to keep a mental tab of how many times they use the strange and wonderful tool of mass amusement and strike one on the mental tally for every time they receive a blank stare in return.

Could be a very interesting survey. And in good time it may improve the hit rate with my comedy routine. Breaking down the barriers of time, distance, culture and language. Yes that's what my next goal list will read. What about yourself. Do you find yourself pondering the idiom conundrum? Are you an avid contributor?

I'd like to know I'm not the only one.