The holidays are over, the weather is getting better, so no excuse for not starting our business-related idiom series. We will take a look at commonly used expression in the office world, though their use is not exclusive to business. It’s “time” to get started!
Let’s get down to business! – let’s get started and to the point
E.g. “All right, we need to get down to business so we can finish this today.”
The manager got down to business right away so they could discuss the issues that needed to be settled.
all in a day’s work – nothing unusual, just part of the job
E.g. He doesn't particularly like to make cold calls, but it's all in a day's work.
Mingling with celebrities is all in a day's work for this reporter.
around the clock – non-stop, 24 hours a day
E.g. When the internet went down, the IT staff worked around the clock to get the system back as quickly as possible.
We need to close this deal today, so we will be working around the clock until we come to an agreement.
at the eleventh hour – at the very last minute
E.g. They were able to negotiate an agreement at the eleventh hour, just in time to avoid a strike.
Jean always turned her reports in at the eleventh hour.
at the end of the day – to sum up, when we are all finished
E.g. Many people applied for the position, but at the end of the day, only a handful of them got an interview. .
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the manager’s decision.
crunch time – short, stressful period to get results
E.g. The end of the month is always crunch time for the team, they want to make sure that the numbers are up for the month.
The deadline is tomorrow to submit the proposal, so it is now crunch time.
on the dot – at the exact time
E.g. We have the conference call scheduled at 9.30 am, on the dot.
Make sure you arrive at the meeting on time. 2 pm, on the dot.
call it a day – to be finished/done
E.g. It is Friday, 5 pm, let’s call it a day. We can continue working on this project on Monday.
Jimmy reached a point in his professional athlete carrier, when he had to call it a day. He will dedicate his time now to his family and business.
Now here is an interesting question: if babies are born to English parents but adopted by Italians, what language would they speak? And how about ducks raised by dogs – would they bark or quack? Alright, adults can easily answer these questions but try to ask the same from 5-6 year olds, and the responses will surprise you.
Psychology professor Krista Byers-Heinlein and her co-author, Concordia undergraduate student Bianca Garcia, tested 48 monolingual, simultaneous bilingual (learned two languages at once) and sequential bilingual (learned one language and then another) five- and six-year-olds, and their findings were quite different than expected.
It turns out that language learning can change children’s beliefs about a wide range of domains, reducing their biases, therefore their tendency for prejudice and stereotyping. If you are interested in how each group of children responded, read along here.
Photo by Purestock/Thinkstock
In honor of Presidents' Day celebration and George Washington's birthday coming up in a few days, why don't we take a look at some idioms commonly used in politics?
to run for office - to try to be elected to a particular office (political position)
E.g. Will President Obama run for office again in 2016? No, he cannot, he would have served two terms already.
John has always been interested in politics and now he decided to run for mayor.
to throw in the towel - to give up, to admit defeat
E.g. He knew he was going to lose, so he threw in the towel.
Jimmy will never throw in the towel, he is a fighter.
common denominator - traits or characteristics certain people have in common
E.g. Lowering taxes seem to be the common denominator in today's politicians.
Mr. Brown likes political dinners. Food is often a common denominator among opponents, it has the ability to bring people together to have a balanced discussion about controversial topics.
to enter the home stretch - to get close to the end of the race
E.g. The political campaign is in the home stretch. The candidates are looking forward to getting the results next week.
"Let's give it everything we have got, we are in the home stretch now!"
mudslinging - destroy their opponent's good name by saying bad things or through misleading advertisements
E.g. I don't like the negative campaigning, this mudslinging is really annoying, it makes us dislike all the candidates.
The mudslinging did not help expand the media coverage of the issues, they have to find different tactics to succeed.
landslide victory/by a landslide - a victory when one candidate receives an overwhelming majority of the votes
E.g. In the 1997 General Election, Tony Blair and his Labor party had a landslide victory.
Their coalition was re-elected by a landslide.
neck and neck - very close in a race
E.g. The opponents were neck and neck in the race for office. Their votes were tied.
The opinion polls showed the two candidates are running neck to neck.
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