NABOKV-L post 0023157, Mon, 30 Jul 2012 18:55:48 -0700

Re: [Fwd: American idioms]
This reminds me of the time some American hair-products company got
into trouble when they tried to market a steam generated curling iron
to the German public under the name of Mist Wand!

Gosh, how can I translate this - if the editors will forgive me "shit

On Jul 30, 2012, at 8:03 AM, Nabokv-L wrote:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: American idioms
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2012 10:06:58 -0400
From: Hyman, Eric <>
To: <>, <

Neither midst nor railway is all that unusual for American speakers.
“I’m in the midst of something” is a perfectly normal expression.
(BTW, the d in midst is often unpronounced, and, in student writing,
is sometimes not spelled or typed, which leads to delightful double
meanings: “I’m in the mist of problems.” Railroad might be preferred,
but railway would not sound at all odd. One of America’s largest
trucking companies is, or used to be, Railway Express (I don’t know
its current status). Perhaps the preference for railroad is that
railroad can be used as a verb, meaning “to hasten to a conclusion; or
to devise false evidence against,” but railway can’t have this usage.

Eric Hyman
Professor of English
Interim Chair
Department of English
Butler 123
Fayetteville State University
1200 Murchison Road
Fayetteville, NC 28301-4252
(910) 672-1416

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