Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Field Day for Idioms

The fateful words "She is just a sort of bigoted woman " and "That was a disaster" will go down in history as a spectacular case of Prime Minister Gordon Brown shooting himself in the foot. His prospects of winning the forthcoming General Election next week have possibly been irreparably damaged and his reputation lies in tatters. The cartoon above taken from the Independent shows a picture of Gordon Brown shooting himself in the foot over the choice of words he used about pensioner Gillian Duffy when he thought he was in private. Unfortunately, as the whole world now knows, his microphone was still switched on when he got into his car.

I love the headline above- "Gillian only popped out for a loaf and came back with Brown toast". A wonderful use of informal language "pop out" meaning to go out for a short time, and the play on words "Brown toast" which means that Gordon Brown is in desperate straits or indeed, doomed.

Thanks to the English Blog's excellent coverage of the events here, I was able to view some brilliant cartoons and use them as a handy warmer and discussion opener with my eager FCE / Upper Intermediate level students in the morning and my group of lovely secondary school teachers in the afternoon. I had a copy of the Guardian newspaper to hand and the front page showed a dejected Prime Minister with his head in his hands. The following is a Tagxedo of the words that came up in the discussion that ensued.


popps said...

I kind of missed the news - i only saw the photos.
Was she a bigot?

Janet Bianchini said...

A very good question. According to Mr Brown, in an unguarded moment, he said she was. As far as I know, she was only expressing her opinion on issues which were concerning her.