breathe down neck vs drive up the wall

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JBPARK

Senior Member
My friend and I are translating this one sentence into English and having a difference of opinion over which one of ours sounds better.
I think both his and mine sound OK but he prefers his over mine.
To settle this matter, I'd like to cordially invite the English experts presiding this forum to give us the verdict, once and for all.

My sentence: My boss has been breathing down my neck over the recent contract signing.
His sentence: My boss is driving me up the wall with this contract sign-off.

Are they both equally good or bad, or does one sound better than the other?
 
  • Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    They don't mean the same thing, JBPARK. If someone is "breathing down your neck", they're hovering over you, checking what you're doing and putting pressure on you. If they're "driving you up the wall", they're making you crazy. The boss might be doing both at the same time (the fact that s/he is breathing down your neck might be driving you crazy), but only you can know what's more appropriate for your translation.
     

    JBPARK

    Senior Member
    I wasn't aware that the semantic distinction of the two phrases could be drawn so sharply as to render my initial inquiry, by and large, pointless.
    Thank you for your expertise. Have a nice day!:)
     

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    I wasn't aware that the semantic distinction of the two phrases could be drawn so sharply as to render my initial inquiry, by and large, pointless.
    Thank you for your expertise. Have a nice day!:)
    Not at all. And if it's not patronising to say so, your English is not only very accomplished but also elegant. Have a good day yourself :)
     
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