Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Former and latter. Good English language users don't like repeating words, because they don't want to be thought of as parrots. They tend not to repeat the words from
other people's questions, but give short, just sufficient answers followed by a complete sentence of their own. That's in speaking, and in writing there are other ways of not repeating words. The
first is using personal pronouns (it, they, we, its, their, our), then relative pronouns (who, which, this, that), and then relative adjectives in following sentences. The former refers to
something or somebody mentioned first (earlier) and the latter to something or somebody mentioned last (later) in the preceding sentence. So the sentence mentioning the auditors meeting the
management is followed by the one saying that the the former (the auditors) informed the latter (the management) about their (the auditors) findings.
Just over a year ago I wrote about English idioms linking colors with features of people's character, including feeling blue = feeling unhappy, particularly on blue
Mondays. But there are other asociations with the color blue which are more positive. Blue blood is supposedly the color of noble, aristocratic or royal blood, expressing the idea of traditional,
refined blood (assuming its British, I think). True blue gives the idea of something or somebody that is loyal, steadfast and reliable as well as traditional. Blue chip refers to the best,
traditionally most reliable corporations at the top of the stock market index, but originally (as I remember reading somewhere) the blue chips were the most expensive casino tokens (zetony). To
finish with, here's a French one: cordon bleu, which means the blue ribbon which is awarded to the best restaurant chefs who create their own famous dishes. Ordinary cooks can improve their
repertoire by doing a cordon bleu cookery course.