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You have shortened my life by 10 years! ??!

Discussion in 'English Only' started by GeogeHalin, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. GeogeHalin Senior Member

    HK-China
    Japanese
    Hello members!

    Today, I was in my study room, and my brother came in and startled me by shouting suddenly at mu ear, I was absorbed at my work and I had not expected him so I was startled.

    I wonder what native speakers say in situation like this. Would you say "You have shortened my life by ten years!" if somebody had just scared you and you were complaining about it?

    Should the "life" be "life span" instead?
    Is that idiomatic?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    "You just took 10 years off my life".
     
  3. Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    It's not something I would say, but it's grammatically correct and understandable.

    The more common phrase is "You just scared me out of ten years' growth."
     
  4. Madrid829 Senior Member

    Ohio
    US English, Great Lakes area
    I agree with SwissPete's suggestion.

    Florentia52's suggestion may be regional—it's not something I've ever heard before. :)
     
  5. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    I agree with SwissPete's answer. Another possibility is:

    frighten/scare the life out of somebodyto make someone feel very frightened She frightened the life out of me, shouting like that.
    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/scare+the+life+out+of

    E.g.

    "You scared the life out of me!"
     
  6. Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    Properly, it's "a year's growth," but I thought it would be confusing to change the number of years. And it may well be regional, though I used to live in Ohio and am sure I heard it there.
     
  7. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    I've never heard the "year's growth" one in Britain.
     
  8. Madrid829 Senior Member

    Ohio
    US English, Great Lakes area
    I just Googled some variations of the phrase and it seems like everything that comes up are excerpts from older children's books. So maybe there are some pockets where this is common? I'm from Southeast Michigan, live in Northwest Ohio and used to live in Northeast Indiana, and actually did my undergrad at Wisconsin and I've never heard it! (Incidentally, Wisconsin was the first place I ever heard "Cool beans.")
     
  9. Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    I can't say I've heard "scared me out of a year's growth" in Wisconsin. I lived in southern Ohio, and I would guess the people who used it were from the Kentucky hills. Sayings of that type could easily survive in pockets in Appalachia. In any case, it wasn't something I heard very often.

    "Cool beans," on the other hand, appears to be a Wisconsin product.
     
  10. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Adults usually don't have any more physical growing to do, regardless. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I think "You just shortened my life (by) ten years" would work, but "you have shortened" leaves me wondering when, how, or for how long.
     
  12. Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    Would 'twere so.
     

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