“Give An Inch, Take A Mile” is Idiomatic

By Larry Teren


“Give an inch and take a mile” is one of those common phrases found in a dictionary of idioms. It very well expresses the disparity found in situations where someone is getting taken advantage of (usually me). One must speak it in frustration sprinkled with a dash of sarcasm.


For example-you can pretty much tell what takes up much of my mind- let’s say you are driving your car on a major road and are behind three others as the light turns red. As the drivers ahead of you quickly slow down and put on the brakes, so do you. There is a hamburger drive-thru joint at that corner and while you have been sitting there for thirty seconds wondering when the cross light is going to warn the intersecting traffic with a yellow signal, all of a sudden a car inches up to the exit area of the drive-thru. The driver lets his foot off the brake gently so he can move his car off the driveway closer to the street. This is universal way of letting the car that is on the street know that when the light turns green, the car yearning to get out of the drive-thru is going to attempt a mad dash into traffic. No harm, no foul- maybe. Traffic in our direction wasn’t moving anyway.   Continue reading ““Give An Inch, Take A Mile” is Idiomatic”

Shoplifting For Dummies

Calling someone a shoplifter is a polite way of calling him or her a thief. A robber usually breaks into a place to steal goods or money. Or he or she may have a weapon that they threaten to use. But a shoplifter doesn’t enter a place illegally, doesn’t use a weapon or threaten anyone. So, he or she cannot be such a bad person after all, right? Maybe they are desperate for something and don’t have money or they have a compulsion to want to get caught. That’s often the case because they do it out in the open.

Of course, there are professional shoplifters who are not desperate or have a compulsion or want to get caught. They just want to take without paying for it. Sometimes they take from other shoppers such as when my niece put her purse down for two minutes in a dressing room at a store to go to the entrance of the area and look at the three-sided mirror. When she returned her purse was gone. By the time her mother called forty-five minutes later to report stolen credit cards, the thief had already gone to another store that was a twenty minute drive away and used it to make purchases.
Continue reading “Shoplifting For Dummies”