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Against the grain

In to the Wind

August 21, 2013
By Mike Gilchrist , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Against the grain first ran early February 2010.

The word for today is idiom.

An idiom or idiomatic phrase is a group of words when used together have a different meaning than the individual words.

Article Photos

In my example, which is the title of this column today, the idiom means across the alignment of fibers in a piece of wood. So, to me, anything "against the grain" is contrary to my feelings or ideas. As a qualified contrarian, many things in my life go against the grain.

To native speakers, idioms come easily; for those learning English, not so much.

Some of you might believe writing a weekly column is a piece of cake, and perhaps think your weekly columnist can't see the forest for the trees. But, once one decides to paddle one's own canoe, the result is, you have to put on your thinking cap. A case in point, I believe I have managed to carve out a niche. Sometimes writing this column every week is like nailing jelly to the wall.

While at times I like to paint the town red, I take great pains to not paint myself into a corner.

While I might be a square peg in a round hole, I firmly believe the pen is mightier than the sword. While I try to humor, I try not to become a thorn in your side. My long range goal is to continue writing this column until the cows come home.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but someone may only offer a penny for your thoughts. Is this to say pictures are worth more than thoughts? All-in-all neither is worth a plug nickel.

You might consider me to be mad as a hatter, but there is a method to my madness. I hope I've gotten you to put on your thinking cap, and given you some food for thought.

Many times this column is written in fits and starts, and today is no exception. I will admit that at times I live in a fool's paradise and this column might be a fool's errand.

So for this exercise, we have reached the point of no return.

Will I write a column similar to this again? Not for all the tea in China. Actually, I may, but not for a month of Sundays or perhaps only once in a blue moon. However, with this particular column, I have managed to have a field day with idioms.

Our vernacular is awash in idioms.

So here you have it, warts and all. So, let's call it a day.ts and all. So, let's call it a day.

Until next time-

You can read past columns by visiting tamatoledonews.com and clicking on the "Local Columns" button.

In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2005 - 2013 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at mike@aweiowa.com via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342

 
 

 

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