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Exciting Adventures in the English Language and Culture

Tag: sayings

Carpe diem

Image by Faby Green from Pixabay

My first encounter with this phrase exuding energy as well as the special charm of Latin happened in 2011. Such is the title of one of the episodes of the Canadian TV series Being Erica, in which the protagonist, thanks to the superpower of time travel her therapist Dr Tom possesses, learns to enjoy the present, without worrying about the past or future.

The phrase was coined by Horace in his poem ‘Tu ne quaesieris’, published in 23 BC. The verse is addressed to a lady worrying about her future. Its closing line reads: Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’, which translates as, ‘Seize the day, trusting tomorrow as little as possible.’

So, carpe diem/ˌkɑːpeɪ ˈdiːɛm/ – you only live today once, so don’t waste it!

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It’s not rocket science

It’s not rocket science is commonly used to say that something is not very difficult to do or understand.

Designing a website may be a lot of work but it’s not rocket science.

The expression comes from the States.

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In one ear and out the other

I find it very annoying when people seem to listen to you, but when you later get back to what was said, you realize they can’t remember it. In this case we can say that your words went in one ear and out the other.

It went in one ear and out the other

Obviously, this has been happening for thousands of years, as one of the early written uses of the idiom dates back to the times of Ancient Rome.

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