1.6: Segmentation Activity

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Idioms 41-50


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Blue Monday

“Have you all noticed that our sick rate shoots up by more than 50% on Mondays,” the boss said. One of the employees responded: “That’s normal. After a great time of partying and drinking on the weekends, it always is depressing to go back to work on Mondays.”

Ruffle someone’s feathers

We all have our hot buttons. Hot buttons are emotional or controversial issues and concerns that trigger an immediate intense reaction. Many people get into their daily routines and the only emotion they experience is when they watch something on TV or in the cinema. Because they lack strong relationships, they may not discuss the emotions dominating their thoughts. So when you give someone the opportunity to discuss something bothering them or that they’re really excited about, you stand out from the crowd. Just make sure that you don’t ruffle their feathers on some controversial or sensitive issues. To ruffle someone’s feathers means to cause someone to become annoyed or upset.

Come to Nothing

In 1975, the Canadian government opened a new massive airport at Mirabel near Montreal. It cost a lot of money to build. Disagreements between the national and provincial governments prevented construction of a multilane highway that would have linked it with the other existing airport at Dorval and downtown Montreal 50 kilometres away. Travellers found the airport difficult and expensive to reach. Not enough passengers used the airport and the whole project came to nothing as the airport was finally demolished in 2004. To come to nothing means to have no significant or successful result in the end.

Get on top of a/the problem

At the international climate conference delegates from certain countries denied that there was a definitive link between global warming and human influence through the emission of greenhouse gases. They argued that climate change was something natural and that there wasn’t enough scientific evidence to claim that it was human made. However, delegates from the most affected countries insisted that there was enough evidence and that it was time to get on top of the problem. To get on top of a problem means to sort it out or to resolve it.


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Reading and Listening: The Bite-Sized Idiomatic Approach


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Idioms 41-50
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