Sunday, January 8, 2012

Know your English !! Part.V

Gobbledegook: Needlessly complicated and unclear speech or writing, as used by some officials. It often includes an excessive use of bureaucratic or technical Jargon.

Hobson’s choice: Apparent choice in which all options turn out to be the same; the original Hobson’s choice was offered in Shakespeare’s time by Cambridge stable keeper called Hobson. He hired out his horses in strict rotation, forcing clients to take the one next in line.

Nailing one’s colors’ to the mast: Stating one’s policy openly or making a clear commitment to pursue a particular goal: The phrase is of nautical origin. The ‘colors’ of a ship are its flags, which in battle would be lowered to surrender.   By nailing them to the mast the captain would make surrender impossible, and so announce his intention to fight to the death.

Sailing under false colors: taking on a false name or identity, or pretending to believe in a policy, in order to hide one’s real purpose: The phrase harks back to the days of sailing ships, when a pirate ship or a warship might fly a false flag, or ‘false colors’, to trick an approaching vessel. Similarly, revealing one’s true colors, or showing oneself in one’s true colors, means revealing one’s revealing one’s real nature or purpose at last- in one same way as the pirate ship or warship might hoist it real flag just before attacking.

Purple Passage (or purple prose): Passage of speech or writing that is full of flowery language, long sentences and extravagant METAPHORS

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