coin that phrase

I was sitting in the Free Press South Towne newsroom writing a review of Arthur Miller’s novel Death of a Salesman. As Aarushi Agni, an editor, proofread it, she came across a phrase that I had used: “take up his mantle.” Neither she nor another editor were familiar with the phrase, but I insisted that it was in fact an idiom. After several minutes of discussion, a third editor concurred and revealed the phrase’s origin. [read more...]
With their keen sense of impending danger, there’s more value to the canary than just their harmonious music. [read more...]
The idiom red herring refers to the act of diverting attention from an item of focus or importance. In a literal sense, a red herring is smoked kipper fish, cured so strongly that its color is a reddish-brown. Strangely enough, the literary term is a red herring itself. [read more...]
It’s amazing, sometimes even humorous, how much you can learn just by hanging around in a newsroom. [read more...]
To “strike while the iron is hot” is often used in situations where if you do something immediately, you will have a good chance of succeeding—but where did this phrase come from? [read more...]
Have you ever heard someone say, “Put some elbow grease into that, will you?” Young people today may hear this saying from parents, teachers, and other adults in their lives, but they also may not know exactly what it means. But this phrase and its definition was well known by American youth about 30 years ago. Today, with the rapid growth of technology and cultural changes, this knowledge has mostly been lost. [read more...]