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Monday, December 12, 2011

Apples and Oranges (Fruit idioms 2)


GET READY:

In Part 1, we learned some idioms using fruit. Review those; can you think of any more?

READ THIS:

Laverne: My relationship with Lenny is too much work.  But I guess he's better than Mike was.
Shirley: Come on, you can't compare apples and oranges. Mike wasn't a good person; Lenny is so wholesome, a real "Mom and apple pie" kind of guy.
Laverne: Yeah, but life with him isn't always a bowl of cherries. Guys are so useless!
Shirley: Oh, that's just sour grapes. Don't let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel!
Laverne: Well, we'll see...

NOTES:

Here are explanations of the expressions.

a. to compare apples and oranges: A fairly recent expression, it is usually understood to mean that it's difficult to compare two things that are very unlike each other. Personally, I find apples and oranges easy to compare. But a deeper understanding of the expression tells us not to judge an orange by the standards of an apple: "This orange isn't red enough," etc.
b. "Mom and apple pie": An expression that is said to capture the spirit of America. We do our patriotic duties "for Mom and apple pie." It carries a secondary meaning of decent, honest, and wholesome.
c. life is a bowl of cherries: It means that life is wonderful; it's the title of a song from back in 1931.
d. sour grapes: This means calling something worthless because you can't have it. In a story by Aesop, a fox tries to get some grapes. When he can't reach them, he declares that they must be sour anyway. Laverne calls all guys "useless" because she can't find a good one.
e. one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel: This proverb means that one bad member of a group can have a bad influence on all the good ones. In this case, Shirley is telling Laverne not to let one "bad apple" (Lenny) cause her to give up on all the "apples" (other men).

PRACTICE:

1. I think we should fire George; "__________" and we don't want all the others to become as lazy as he is.
2. We can trust Mr. Lee, though; he's so __________.
3. Just because you failed on your first attempt, you shouldn't say the job is stupid; that's just a __________ attitude.
4. Things have never been better; I can truly say __________
5. You can't say reading books is better than watching movies; that's __________.

QUESTION FOR WRITING:

Re-write the dialogue above, using other expressions instead of the fruit idioms.

ANSWERS TO THE PRACTICE:

1 e one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel; 2 b "Mom and apple pie"; 3 d sour grapes; 4 c life is a bowl of cherries; 5 a comparing apples and oranges

POSSIBLE ANSWER TO THE "QUESTION FOR WRITING":

Laverne: My relationship with Lenny is too much work.  But I guess he's better than Mike was.
Shirley: Come on, you can't compare two people who can't be compared at all. Mike wasn't a good person; Lenny is so wholesome, a real decent person.
Laverne: Yeah, but life with him isn't always wonderful. Guys are so useless!
Shirley: Oh, you're just saying that because you can't find a decent man. Don't give up on all men because you've met one bad one!
Laverne: Well, we'll see...

This lesson is ©2011 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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