To be off the track

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Jean Francoix

Banned
french/Belgium
Hello,


If someone is having a conversation but this person is missing the point.
Would it be possible to say that he's off the track ? Should I skip the "the" ?


Thank you,

Jean Francois.
 
  • NealMc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hi

    Mmm, I'd stick with he's missing the point.

    Off track or off the track, isn't something I'd use personally (in this context).

    If someone is deliberately missing the point eg a company wants to make 3,000 redundancies and one of the managers feels that this can only be a bad thing, you could describe him as being "off message".

    Cheers
    Neal Mc
     

    GavinCorder

    Banned
    English English (from England)
    Jean Francoix said:
    Hello,


    If someone is having a conversation but this person is missing the point.
    Would it be possible to say that he's off the track ? Should I skip the "the" ?


    Thank you,

    Jean Francois.
    I'd say "off track" or "off the track" meant that he was off direction rather than missing the point. Whereas "off the rails" means he's out of control.
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Jean Francoix said:
    Hello,


    If someone is having a conversation but this person is missing the point.
    Would it be possible to say that he's off the track ? Should I skip the "the" ?


    Thank you,

    Jean Francois.
    I would say "your missing the point" in your example . To "get off the track" is used when someone is following the conversation for a little while and then goes in a completely different direction with it. Such as a train which goes off the tracks. It is following a fixed path and then it derails all of a sudden and is off the tracks.

    I must say that I commonly say "off track" without the "the". Whether it is correct or not I cannot say for sure but I have heard others say it that way also.
     

    GavinCorder

    Banned
    English English (from England)
    daviesri said:
    I would say "your missing the point" in your example . To "get off the track" is used when someone is following the conversation for a little while and then goes in a completely different direction with it. Such as a train which goes off the tracks. It is following a fixed path and then it derails all of a sudden and is off the tracks.

    I must say that I commonly say "off track" without the "the". Whether it is correct or not I cannot say for sure but i have heard others say it that way also.
    Must be an american thing then.
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Another expression: "off the beaten track" which would be used (usually in writing) to describe something that is out of the way, far from the main road such as a tourist attraction.

    There's also an expression called "off-track" referring to betting activities that take place away from the actual event, such as horse racing, dog racing, jai-alai, etc. The betting parlor is at a remote location.
     

    GavinCorder

    Banned
    English English (from England)
    GavinCorder said:
    I'd say "off track" or "off the track" meant that he was off direction rather than missing the point. Whereas "off the rails" means he's out of control.
    Maybe I should qualify what I said earlier... by saying that off direction implies a generally and consensually agreed direction, to which "he" might be assumed to have subscribed. Whereas, missing the point means missing my point, whether he has subscribed to it or not.
     

    GavinCorder

    Banned
    English English (from England)
    se16teddy said:
    You can say that two people that are conversing but don't understand one another 'have their wires crossed'. In some contexts, perhaps 'barking up the wrong tree' can also be used.
    "He's lost the plot" would be a useful colloquialism too. Meaning off message, lost the gist of the conversation, doesn't understand me, ...is drunk...!
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    You could also say, "we're talking at cross purposes", "we're not on the same wavelength", "we're not on the same page", "you don't get it" or "you're not getting it" :)warning: both very casual and more aggressive).

    If the problem is that the other person is simply not comprehending, you could say (later) that the conversation was "going over his head," although you wouldn't say that to him directly. :)
     
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