Discussion : [descr] évolution des événements / how events change

Discussion in 'Themed Lists' started by beri, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. beri Senior Member

    List thread / Liste : click
  2. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English

    Passive improvement

    - improve
    get better
    Things will improve after the next elections

    - things are looking up
    the situation seems to be improving [especially if the situation has been bad]
    Our marriage was going through a rough patch, but things are looking up since I cut back on my work.

    - on the up and up
    gradually improving, getting better and better
    The company’s been on the up and up since moving into our new offices. Sales are up, we’ve hired some new employees and we might be able to give everyone a Christmas bonus this year.

    - take off
    to improve rapidly
    Sales have really taken off since we introduced that new ad last year.

    - fall into place
    work out [describing complicated situations that resolve themselves]
    Everything’s fallen into place since the summer: I got a new job, a colleague helped me find a new house and a place has just opened up at the local school for little Emily.

    Active improvement

    - pull one’s socks up (mildly fam.)
    improve one’s attitude and work harder
    If you don’t pull your socks up, mate, you’ll be out of a job by the end of the month.

    - pull/get your finger out (fam.)
    make more of an effort, start making an effort [often said as an imperative]
    Pull your finger out, mate! Don’t make us do all the work for you.

    - knock something into shape (fam.)
    improve something, perfect something [especially if a lot of work is needed]
    I’ve almost finished that report. I just need another day to knock it into shape.

    Passive deterioration

    - go south (fam.)
    deteriorate (rapidly)
    If the US economy goes south this year, a lot of people are going to lose their health insurance.

    - take a nose-dive (fam.)
    decline rapidly
    Economic growth took a nose-dive shortly after Aupick won the presidential election.

    - go pear-shaped (fam.)
    deteriorate rapidly, go out of control
    England were one-nil up until the 90th minute when everything went pear-shaped: a blunder by James gave Zidane a free kick which he placed in the top left corner of the goal, and a penalty in injury time gave France the match.

    - the bottom fell out (of something) (fam.)
    sudden disaster struck
    I was an advertising executive until 1999 when the bottom fell out of my life. My wife left me for my best friend, I started drinking, I lost my job and then I got evicted.

    - go down the tubes (fam.)
    fail (rapidly)
    Our plan to retire to the south of France went down the tubes when our pension company went bankrupt and we lost everything.

    - turn nasty
    become acrimonious or violent
    A discussion on the future of Europe turned nasty last night when M. Chirac called Mr Blair ‘mal élevé’.

    mise à jour ok :tick:
  3. beri Senior Member

    Awesome job, Picko, and what's more with a perfect form so it was little work to add, thanks!
    I have a few questions, though:

    Could all these expressions apply to both a situation and a company or entity?
    The thing here is that I can't figure another use of this expression than with "my life" now ;) could you plz provide a couple of additional examples? :):)
  4. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    Hi beri,

    Happy to help. I was intrigued by some of your expressions and thought I'd try and match them. Here are some clarifications:

    on the up and up -- can describe a project (situation), person, or company

    take off
    - company ('Google's really taken off since they figured out how to harness the power of advertising')
    - project, social trend ('It was in 2002 that the Atkins Diet really took off')

    go south
    - project (business deal, investment, idea) ('he was going to start up a website selling shoe laces, but his plans went south when the internet bubble burst in 2001')
    - object ('my computer went south last week'--ie it broke)
    - company?--it would mean 'go bankrupt', but I'm not sure if it's used.

    take a nose dive
    - ongoing project (career, relationship, self-confidence, business relationship) ('Their relationship took a nose-dive when she caught him opening her personal mail')
    - company (enters a difficult period, but without necessarily going bankrupt) ('Marks and Spencer's took a nose dive when people decided their clothes looked "frumpy"')
    - other group, eg sports team ('Manchester United took a nose dive when Rooney injured his leg in a scuffle outside a pub')

    go pear-shaped
    - 'it all' [we tend to say 'it all went pear-shaped for X', rather than 'X went pear-shaped', although this is possible too]
    - project ('My plan to treat Sue to a fancy meal for her birthday went pear-shaped when I realized I didn't have any cash)
    - company ('It all went pear-shaped for Wimpy when McDonald's arrived on the British hamburger scene in the 1970s')

    go down the tubes
    - project ('If we don't send that check off by Friday our holiday will be down the tubes')
    - company ('British Leyland went down the tubes when people realized the cars they produced were crap.')

    Ant it's true that 'my life' or 'my world' are usually what the bottom falls out of, but here are some more ideas:

    - The bottom fell out of the European textile market when tariffs on Chinese imports were abolished ('market' is particularly common).

    - The bottom fell out of his defence when the police found the murder weapon with his fingerprints on it.

    - The bottom fell out for Kerry when another Vietnam Veteran took to the national stage and made the case for the War on Iraq. (Sorry if this is too topical--it's taken from the internet.)

    mise à jour ok :tick:
  5. beri Senior Member

    Terrific, Picko! :):)
  6. James Stephens Senior Member

    Oklahoma, USA
    English, USA
    Up and up is American slang meaning open and honest.

    The company was on the up and up until the new owner started embezzling investor funds.
  7. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Woule these two sentences be synonymous?
    'If we don't send that check off by Friday, that'll put the kibosh on our holidays

    PS : I've seen "down the tubes" spelt "down the tube" (without an 's'). Are both used?
  8. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Yes Lv4, they mean the same thing

    Not sure about 'tubes' vs 'tube' - but usually plural.

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