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in the least

Meaning: everything is ok. Usually used in a sentence with negation (not in the least). For example, "Losing did not effect him, not in the least".

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out of it

Meaning: feeling badly. For example, "He is really out of it this evening. I wonder what is upsetting him"?

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into a flap

Meaning: upset. For example, "Dad gets into a flap when she can't find here car keys".

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in a pinch

Meanind: A difficult position. For example "Mom told me to go, and Dad told me to stay. I was in a pinch".

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in a stew

Meaning: concerned and upset. For example, "Dad gets in a stew when Mom is sick. He really worries".

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In any way, shape or form

Meaning: No matter what. For example, "Winning the award didn't affect her in any way, shape or form. She hasn't changed at all".

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if you will

Meaning: Ending a thought with the phrase "if you will" to add acceptance to the thought. Continue reading if you will

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by and large

Meaning: In every aspect; on the whole; in general. For example, "By in large, everything he said was accurate". 

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from ‘Discourse & Conversation Analysis’

I'm sure you've encountered all manner of theories purporting to explain the significance of things coming in threes. Here is another one for your collection, from 'Discourse & Conversation Analysis', an interesting branch of sociology that concerns itself with the linguistic and behavioural conventions that underpin day-to-day social life.

Continue reading from ‘Discourse & Conversation Analysis’

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Three: It’s thrice as nice on this day

By Scott Meeker

Globe Features Editor

Continue reading Three: It’s thrice as nice on this day

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