Help with English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Saint, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No, it means too important to interfere with or change.
     
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  3. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    ride (on) the coattails of (someone) : To benefit from someone else's success; to use someone else's success as a means to achieve one's own.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Sure.
     
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Seems to be a hyperbolic and humorous way to make that point.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It's a fairly familiar phrase for some of us.
     
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I know it's familiar. I was just thinking about the origin.
     
  10. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Might the idea be originally to conceal oneself behind another person or persons (under the outer clothing) and so steal a march?

    There is an Abe Lincoln speech in 1848

    "But the gentleman from Georgia further says we [Whigs] have deserted all our principles, and taken shelter under General Taylor's military coat-tail,....................."

    https://www.etymonline.com/word/coat-tail
     
  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Is it similar to "take advantage of somebody" ?
     
  12. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    "To take advantage of somebody" often means to do them harm.So the two expressions are quite different.
     
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    It's like "drafting" in car racing. You "take advantage" of the guy in front by putting in less effort yourself, but you don't necessarily hold him back. It also gives you the potential to "leap-frog" ahead of him.
     
  14. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    sticking point means what?
     
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    no

    by being around the person who is achieving or who is being recognized and so by being around that person you are being assigned or using(allowing to be assigned to you) other peoples opinion of their success to benefit yourself.

    "taking advantage of" has no value of an atmosphere or surrounding perceptions(of other people).
    it is directly personal to be in direct removal of some type of personal position(value of the self), be it emotional physical or financial or romantic etc...

    when placed in the 1st position/person
    "you have been/are riding on my coat tails"
    still does not literally imply the person is taking something away from the other.

    while some concepts of English appear simple compared to some other languages, other parts of the language is extremely complex.
    however, that higher level of complexity is rarely used in day to day language because peoples vocabulary.
    peoples vocabulary's differ greatly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The crux. The bone of contention. The essence. The thing that's important here.
     
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Nice going, explaining an idiom with another idiom.

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  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    It means the point at which things become stuck, usually in a discussion, e.g. where you're trying to reach compromise. It's actually a fairly literal idiom.
    If you are trying to reach a deal that has 10 individual points to be agreed, you could agree on 9 but that last one might prove difficult. That point would be the sticking point as far as concluding the deal is concerned: it is holding up the overall agreement. Resolve the sticking point (so that you are no longer stuck) and you can progress again.
     
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Bone of contention, yes, but not the others. The crux, what's important, may not be a sticking point at all, say, in negotiations, but rather some rather less important matter that is holding up the agreement.
     
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  20. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    "The Bone of Contention was not the Sticking point, however the crux of the matter was as yet to be uncovered"

    ethereal meaning running as subtext or narrative is quite a normal aspect in more advanced English.
    it is used quite extensively by well known writers like
    Lord of The Rings
    Harry Potter
    it appears almost a lost art in US literature which is sad because of the heavy leaning on language immersion that the US has to other language cultures.
    In the US south some of the more traditional English Writers still have it as a prominent skill.
    it has been used quite masterfully in a conversion from literal to visual in some new US African American TV Series.
    Genocidal power & control dysfunction exercised as a method of education tends to destroy the art of language & culture.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  21. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    corn and maize are the same?
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    In the US, yes, they are the same.
    In the UK "corn" could be referring to any one of the cereal crops such as wheat, maize, barley etc. And typically an area would refer to their most common crop of these as corn and it would be known which one was being referred to. That said, even in the UK we refer to corn on the cob, popcorn, sweet corn etc, which are all maize products.
     
  23. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    I have skill/skills to do this job better than others.

    skill or skills?
     

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