As 2018 ends, I thought a good way to start the new year might be to take a quick overview of some of the previous year’s most popular posts. (And some of my highlights!) Some of them are recent, some a little older – from 2017 or 2016. But all will help you get started enriching your life in 2019!
Tag: Keeping up with the Joneses
‘Keeping up with the Joneses‘ is an idiom in many parts of the English-speaking world, implying successfully matching the lifestyle of your neighbours.
Idioms, or fixed expressions such as ‘costing an arm and a leg’ or ‘waste not want not’, are normally considered ‘figures of speech’ in Linguistics, and their meaning is not the regular sum of their parts. For example, to ‘kick the bucket’ must be understood as a set phrase meaning to die, and cannot be determined by analysing the words ‘kick’ and ‘bucket’ alone. As a result, many idioms are culturally specific and difficult to translate.
Nevertheless, unsurprisingly, similar idioms suggesting changing on the basis of changes you observe in others exist in many languages: for example, the delightful Mexican idiom ‘Si de tu vecino ves la barba cortar, pon la tuya a remojar’- ‘If you see your neighbor has shaved his beard, you should start lathering yours’.
But in our globalised world, who exactly are your neighbours, and should you care?