see flaw in action


Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
JD: And you saw my biggest flaw in action today. I was willing to let a patient I liked go without an endoscopy because I wanted to spare him a painful procedure.

Source: Scrubs 806

Background: JD admitted to his intern that caring too much about his patients was a problem sometimes. Case in point, earlier today, his intern insisted on ordering a painful procedure on one of his favorite patients despite his disapproval. It turned out that the patient had cancer and he felt embarrassed about jumping the gun and blaming his intern for that.
Hi, "saw my biggest flaw in action" is new to me, so I made up the following example and would like to know if it is acceptable to you:

On our way to school, I told my best friend that the classmate who sat next to me was a racist. And speaking of the devil, the racist appeared and came up to an Asian guy by the lockers and told him he should keep his eyes open. My friend was struck dumb by his words. At that point,I, who was used to his racist insults, told him "You just saw it in action." and wandered off.
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm slightly confused because your example does not showcase 'to see a flaw in action'. So is your question really about 'to see something in action'?


    Senior Member
    French (France)
    I think both your quotation and your own example involve a mixed metaphor. You can say “I saw X in action” only if X is someone or something that actually acts, for example “I saw him in action”. A flaw does not act. It would be better to say just “you saw my biggest flaw today”.
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