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Education Plus

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Know your English

"Hi, come on in! Is something wrong? Please don't tell me you're going to cry."

"Cry? Why would I do that?"

"I haven't the faintest idea. If you're not going to cry, then why the sad face?"

"Haven't you heard? The Left has withdrawn its support, and there are..."

"It was expected, wasn't it? Would you say that this decision of the Left came out of left field?"

"Left's decision came out of left field! What are you talking about?"

"When you say that something `came out of left field', what you mean is that it came as a total surprise. You were not really prepared for it."

"I see. So, when something comes out of left field, it is totally unexpected."

"Exactly! Here's an example. The hailstorm, which lasted more than an hour, came out of left field." "The two slaps that Surabhi gave Rahul really came out of left field."

"That's a good example. The Principal's decision to start new courses without consulting his teachers came out of left field."

"My friend Deepa thinks..." "Please, I don't want to talk about her. She is a nut case."

"No, she isn't."

"If you ask me, she's way out in left field."

"What's with you and the word `left' today? Way out in left field? What does it mean? Wait, wait. Let me guess. My friend Deepa is a nice person. But most people find her odd. Does `way out in left field' mean odd or crazy?"

"Very good! That's exactly what it means. The word can be used with things as well. For example, don't pay any attention to the Principal. Most of his ideas are way out in left field."

"You should meet some of my classmates. They are way out in left field."

"The Minister talked about how we could keep our population under check. The recommendations he made were way out in left field."

"That's expected, isn't it? When was the last time a politician talked sense?"

"I can't remember. Tell me, why do you look so sad? It can't be because of the Left. There must be some other reason. Come on, out with it." "You're right. It has nothing to do with politics. You see, my friend and I have been working on a project. We have to make a presentation next week. Yesterday my friend rang up and..."

"Let me guess. He wants you to make the presentation on your own. He doesn't want to be involved."

"Exactly! He says he's going to be out of town and..." "He's left you holding the baby."

"Left me holding the baby? What baby? What are you talking about?"

"When someone leaves you holding the baby, they inconvenience or burden you with additional responsibility." "The person who is supposed to help you, disappears."

"You are on your own. The other person doesn't want to deal with the problem. And you end up being responsible for something that you..." "And if things go wrong, you are blamed."

"That's right! Here's an example. When the company went bankrupt, all the partners ran away. My poor cousin was left holding the baby." "I want everything in writing. I certainly don't wish to be left holding the baby.

* * *

"The whole point is guys aren't thinking much. They are what they just appear to be. Tragically." - Dave Berry

S. UPENDRAN

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