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Idiom Of The Week


“What's that?" Marcus whispered. "It gave me pause the first time I saw it, and it’s giving me pause now!" "Oh, that thing," Antonio answered. "Don’t pay any attention to it. That's something Nero put up to squeeze a few extra pennies out of the tourists." "Wow, we have a strange emperor!" Marcus shrugged. Something that gives us pause makes us stop or hesitate a moment to think about it.

© 2016 John B. & Ching Yee Smithback


One of the problems about learning English is that the sort of thing you find in textbooks or in the classroom is usually "correct usage," whereas in real life you may think you know English -- but then you turn on television, read a newspaper or hear people talking and discover you only understand half of what's going on.


If something is the cat's pajamas, would that make you want to hurry out to paint the town red? Or if you are bored to tears and can't find your feet, is that because you're a glutton for punishment? These are idioms, and unless you know them they can make your head spin! Yet expressions like these are an essential part of our language, adding color, vibrancy and punch to the way we speak and write.


What is a proverb? It is a succinct phrase that, through the years, has been used to express a meaning or a shade of meaning. Through the use of lighthearted illustrations and quirky prose, the husband and wife team of John and Ching Yee Smithback demonstrate the proverbs that have developed in the English language over hundreds of years.
**Read about John & Ching Yee 亞 莊 & 清 儀