Sep 25, 2008

September Reading: Seven Staples of Public Speaking


bullet point [countable]
a thing in a list that consists of a word or short phrase, with a small printed symbol in front of it

know one’s stuff / know one's onions 
be experienced or knowledgeable in one's field or in the matter at hand
-- Patrice knows her stuff when it comes to Mexican history.
-- He’s a good lecturer as he really knows his stuff.
-- We need a handyman who knows his onions.

screw up [phrasal verb][ informal]
to make a bad mistake or do something very stupid [= mess up]
--You'd better not screw up this time.

screw (something) up [ informal]
to spoil something by doing something stupid [= mess something up]
--She realized that she had screwed up her life.

screw up your eyes/face
to move the muscles in your face in a way that makes your eyes seem narrow
--He screwed up his eyes against the bright light.
--Her face was screwed up with pain.

screw (somebody ) up [informal]
to make someone feel very unhappy, confused, or upset so that they have emotional problems for a long time [=mess somebody up]
--It really screwed her up when her mother died.

screw up the/enough courage to do something / screw up your courage 
to be brave enough to do something you are very nervous about
--I finally screwed up enough courage to talk to her.

wing it [spoken]
to do something without planning or preparing it
--We'll just have to wing it.

Chicken Soup for the Soul
is a series of books, usually featuring a collection of short, inspirational stories and motivational essays.

word for word
in exactly the same words
--The newspaper printed his speech more or less word for word.
--he repeated the conversation word for word.

also word by word
if you translate a piece of writing word for word, you translate the meaning of each single word rather than the meaning of a whole phrase or sentence

bore to tears / bore to death / bore stiff / bore the pants off
= make them very bored
-- Sam was bored to tears by the opera but didn't dare to admit it.
-- Carol bores the pants off me with her constant talk of remodeling.
-- His books bore me to death.

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