Monday, 8 June 2009

Seeing Red

Teaching idioms has always been a joy. They reveal the intrinsic rich tapestry of British cultural life. They sum up emotions and feelings that have been around since time immemorial. Students love learning idioms in my experience. It demonstrates a command of the English language which renders an air of superiority. However, idioms are indeed tricky for a lot of students and they need to have a variety of examples so that there is no room for error or embarrassment in output of new language.

An Emotional Colour

Today, I have well and truly seen the colour red....It is not a colour I usually "see" as I am a very calm, placid person. However, in life, situations occur which throw us into unexpected turmoil and anger and there is no other colour to sum up this strong emotion. To "see red" is a very common idiom in a lot of sports, especially football. Footballers tend to get very angry if they feel they are hard-done by! Other articles such as this one and this one here, give good examples of the meaning. Members of Parliament are also not averse to this sudden display of anger. Caroline Flint, the Labour MP who has recently resigned, is a case in point.

A Neat Feature
BBC Learning English has an excellent series of teaching all types of idioms including the colour red. I like the way the idioms are introduced with a lively video presentation and then homework is set for learners to send in their own examples of the target language. This is a great touch.

Blog Saviour
All is calm for the moment. I feel better. I have got it off my chest. My blog has saved me from succumbing to the colour blue, the dark sort...


popps said...

your quote for the day seems very apt for this post - did you choose it or was it random?
Why is to see red "bad" but a red letter day "good"?

LLJB said...

The title was definitely not random! I felt inspired to use my out of character mood to write the post in the quickest time ever.

I guess to see red is "bad" because it denotes great anger, whereas the origin of red letter day - according to Wikipedia- comes from Medieval church calendars which highlighted special holy days in red as opposed to black.