Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Apply directly to forehead.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                                                   

Idiom Thesaurus

avoiding (or helping to find) mixed metaphors
  (+15, -2)(+15, -2)
(+15, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

I'm writing a document, and I want to explain to someone that if the project I've been dumped on had been specced out properly, then I'd feel a whole lot more comfortable.

The phrase in question goes something along the lines of,
"If information gathered during the design phase had not simply been *taken as read*, then the necessity for the recent onslaught of changes to the business requirements (and subsequently the need to entirely redesign the process model) might have been spotted earlier on."

However, I'm not sure I'm happy with the *taken as read* part. I know what I want to say, and I know that I could use, for example;
taken at face value
taken on spec
taken as gospel
etc. But I can't help feeling that there's a well used idiom that's waiting behind the surface that would make that sentence leap off the page and express all the incredulous frustration I'm currently experiencing and direct it full square at the reader.

A dictionary that allowed you to put in a phrase, and then returned, google style, the top 25 matches based on closeness of meaning, frequency of usage, synonyms, antonyms and any other type of nyms that might be of assistance would come in most handy.

zen_tom, May 09 2006

A Zillion Kajillion Clichés http://www.eccentri...are.com/zkdemo.html
"our new cliché, catch phrase, and idiom thesaurus." But maybe someone could invent a _good_ one. [HaltAndCatchFire, May 09 2006]

Overused Metaphor Thesaurus Overused_20Metaphor_20Thesaurus
[theircompetitor, May 09 2006]

How Not To Say What You Mean: A Dictionary of Euphemisms http://www.amazon.c...0198604025?v=glance
not exactly what's asked for, but still a good, fun phrase dictionary. [calum, May 11 2006]

[link]






       I could use it, mainly because I usually need to ratchet down the linguistic complexity of my sentences to accommodate my coworkers levels of reading comprehension.
AH, May 09 2006
  

       That particular phrase seems to work in context: whoever wrote the spec assumed that everyone had already read the findings, rather than making sure they were fully validated with everyone involved.   

       But perhaps "buried in a shoebox" would also convey your meaning more clearly.
DrCurry, May 09 2006
  

       [DC] in this case, the person writing the spec was unable to read between the lines (the people responsible for providing the information were doing so from an imperfect position with regards to their level of knowledge) and the spec was written without looking beyond the most superficial of requirements.   

       Not so much "buried in a shoebox" (although I do like that a lot) as "a tissue-thin and almost entirely transparent membrane of error, misinformation and lies - that should have, under even the most perfunctory analysis have evaporated like so many whisps of shimmering gossamer".
zen_tom, May 09 2006
  

       [zen_tom], are you a associate of mine? Sounds like some of our customer-supplied specifications.   

       "sold a bill of goods"
normzone, May 09 2006
  

       are you laying the blame at the wrong feet, zen?
po, May 09 2006
  

       heh [normzone] customers, they're the same all over the world.   

       And po, please? I am currently employed in a purely consultative role i.e. I'm impervious to blame, because I don't actually do anything! (and that's the way I like it)
zen_tom, May 09 2006
  

       I'm not blaming you, if thats what you meant...   

       just think you should be a bit more sympathetic to the one who failed to read between the lines and interpret the gobbledegook incorrectly   

       but then I'm probably misinterpreting wrongly too.
po, May 09 2006
  

       You're not misinterpreting at all - The truth be told, I never did send the email I was planning to - Instead I copped out and sent a watered down version that pointed out problems without actually fingering anyone with blame.   

       If I'm really frustrated, I type up the nastiest, most scathing, to the point email I can, and then let it sit somewhere to ripen overnight. The next day, you read it, and then delete it.   

       Sometimes though, it would feel nice to send the email you wanted to, the one that cut to the core of the problem (as you saw it) rather than the carefully measured, neutrally worded one that you (I) always end up sending in the end.
zen_tom, May 09 2006
  

       Yes, and I've learned not to have any eddresses on that email, either, in case the send button gets clicked.
normzone, May 09 2006
  

       I do that too. Maybe there should be a site for unsent (and anonymized) emails, just for giggles. Mine usually run towards "How someone who seriously believes {X} can even operate a computer well enough to promote this opinion continues to baffle me." Once baffling gets involved, I know I'm not going to send it.   

       The major problem with your sentence is the grammar of the end part. You talk about spotting an onslaught earlier on, and that's not what you mean.   

       I like this idea. Thesauruses should include phrases, not just words.
jutta, May 09 2006
  

       An anonymous rant site - that should be a halfaked idea in itself (can't find one quickly in Google).   

       You could probably use one of the anonymous confession sites in a pinch.
DrCurry, May 09 2006
  

       re: onslaughts, thanks [jutta] Grammar is another one of those things that's best left to breathe and later returned to (after someone else has had a good look).   

       This is another problem I have, I tend to think and write with heavy use of parentheses (perhaps it's a natural tendency to explain, or tangentalise) but this tendency, if I'm not careful, often tries to express itself in speech. Confused expressions abound.   

       re the purging qualities of the unsent mail, I'm not sure whether to advocate putting the right address in there or not. Yes it poses a risk - but at the same time, it's so much more satisfying venting spleen freely when you can see the person's email address sitting precariously in the <to> box.
zen_tom, May 09 2006
  

       "they're" = us?
po, May 09 2006
  

       po, are you referring to Ian's they're, or mine? I haven't got any good reply if it's mine, so hopefully it's not - Either way, after we have a few pints, we can all have a laugh, and look up Ian's idioms.
zen_tom, May 09 2006
  

       Ian's - yeah, lets look up Ian's
po, May 09 2006
  

       The toughest principle to follow while explaining things is to state your observation in positive terms, because for most people that entails eliminating the negative.   

       // .. "If information gathered during the design phase _had not_ simply been *taken as read*, then the necessity for the recent onslaught of changes to the business requirements (and subsequently the need to entirely redesign the process model) _might have_ been spotted earlier on."   

       "had not " here, sets up "might have " later on and frankly [zen-tom] "You lost me". When I see a sentence construction like that, I feel either an idiom or a zinger coming on. I recognize your style as constructive, so it's obvious to me you'd avoid flaming someone over misunderstandings not attributable to their ability to carry on with instruction.   

       ** Note ** We're facing a similar "new development" at work. Some believe that when faced with unassailable force to change a process, an adequate response is to whip together and formallize a mnemonic, or worse, a powerpoint that addresses the change. "Now, why not have every vendor check off every receipt with an affirmation that 'I viewed the powerpoint'?"   

       God help us in our search for context.
reensure, May 11 2006
  

       Most designs firms make most of their money by making sure the spec is not what the customer wanted but what he asked for. By doing that you can charge 3 times the amount for changing the spec.
miasere, May 11 2006
  

       I have two thesuarii; the standard Collins and the "International Thesaurus"(also Collins) which does contain idioms. Idiom-rich Languages such as French may be a problem, so just give a gallic Shrug
giligamesh, Nov 25 2007
  

       I love this idea as much as a rattlesnake with a hole in its head, wearing a funny hat, taking a sh1t in the woods.
Dub, Nov 26 2007
  

       If all dictionaries/thesauruses had reverse lookups, the world would be a better place. [+]
ed, Nov 26 2007
  

       //"If information gathered during the design phase had not simply been *taken as read*, then the necessity for the recent onslaught of changes to the business requirements (and subsequently the need to entirely redesign the process model) might have been spotted earlier on."//

A minor point - this would have more impact split into two short sentences. I'm not sure "necessity" is the word you're looking for - I would have gone for "inevitability". Then, for "taken as read", do you mean "assumed" ("taken as read") or "mistakenly ignored" ("in the dark") or "wilfully ignored" ("the elephant in the room")or "buried" ("brushed under the carpet")?

I'm not sure I understand [jutta]'s grammar point - the subject of the verb "might have been spotted" is "the necessity", not "onslaught".
hippo, Jan 13 2009
  

       Hi zen_tom - from your comments half-way down the page, I wonder if the phrase you're looking for should be "taken on trust" rather than "taken as read".   

       "Taken as read" implies that all the parties concerned were satisfied they knew what each other's meaning was. But it sounds like your complaint is not that the original parties did not think they understood each other, but that your predecessor made no effort to establish the reliabitility of what he/she was told - i.e. they took it on trust.
spacemoggy, Jan 13 2009
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle