Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Wednesday, February 21


I asked my (Japanese) officemate for some words meaning to correct someone. She didn't know there were any other words so I started describing a few. Then Zhenyi, a (Chinese) grad student, came in and we looked through a thesaurus while I described some of the phrases. Beating a dead horse (offshoot from jawbone) was sort of obvious, but called on the carpet wasn't so much. I wasn't sure how to describe dress down. I mean, where did that even come from? Then there is the highly descriptive tonge-lashing and the also-highly-descriptive-but-not-so-obvious raked over the coals. There are talking to and chew on for people over 50, as in "Boy, I'm gonna give you a real talking-to." I prefer rail at for any particularly energetic yet fruitless exercise in castigation while jump on is saved for those picky little things we just won't leave alone (read: Scott's spelling). But my favorite is ream and the similar rip/tear into. Probably because ream sounds mean and aggressive. Perhaps nicer people use chide.

1 comment:

Scott said...

So dress down has some connotations related to the military. You can check here for some more information: