Friday, March 23, 2012

"Beat Around the Shrubbery"

I just finished watching an episode of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. As you may know, Poirot is a fictitious detective. Much to his dismay, many people mistake him for French because of his accent, but he is actually Belgian.

Poirot's English is very good, but he does use an "unnatural" order to his words at times. He also makes mistakes with his use of expressions and idioms.

In tonight's episode, there were two "errors." He said, "It is dried and cut," and "Let's not beat around the shrubbery."

The correct order for the first error is "cut and dried." When something is "cut and dried," that means it is clear and obvious.

"Beat around the shrubbery" should be "beat around the bush." To beat around the bush means to avoid the subject or approach the subject indirectly.

These mistakes are amusing when they come from Hercule Poirot who is a fastidious perfectionist about everything else. I love him!



Linda said...

I love this! What a great idea for a blog. Students learning English who are advanced will find this very helpful as idioms and slang expression can be very confusing. thanks- (I'm an ESL tutor and am always looking for interesting things to share with my class, like this). :-)

Craig Howling said...

This could be a great cultural lesson as i'm a TEFL teacher in France.

Name: Debra Garcia, M.A. said...

Craig, Absolutely! Sounds like a great idea!

nagla matar said...

ì love his mistake that it learn me more

Anonymous said...

cut and dry*

Name: Debra Garcia, M.A. said...

Dear Anonymous,

Both work.