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