Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lost: the plot. Found: a favorite new expression.

I got an email last night from a friend whose daughter is in Julia's class. She knew little about the school Sports Day that's scheduled for tomorrow, and was hoping I could shed some light on the particulars of the event.

The fact that she was turning to me for the inside scoop on something as institutionally British as a Sports Day amused me to no end. (The only reason that I even have the slightest clue what a Sports Day entails is that one of Julia's beloved Rainbow Magic fairy books takes place at a school Sports Day and Julia has regaled me with the details of the story with mind numbing refreshingly enthusiastic frequency. Julia and I are both going to be very confused tomorrow if this particular Sports Day does not involve both egg-and-spoon races and an evil goblin lurking about.) But what really made me laugh aloud was the way my friend described her confusion about the plans for the day. "Think I lost the plot completely a few days ago after the email about the picnic and blanket," she wrote.

"Lost the plot." Is there any expression more perfectly descriptive of the situation or more completely British than this one? I love it. I appreciate good language in general and creative expressions in particular, and quite a few British sayings have tickled my fancy since I arrived here. But this one is by far my favorite. Expect to hear me talk about losing the plot frequently from here on out. Hell, I was doing it all along... now at least I'll sound witty and British instead of clueless and American.


5 Comments:

Anonymous Kristy said...

Love it! hee hee.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Iota said...

Have a look at this http://www.cathykeir.co.uk/blog/ for losing the plot in action. I think she must have read your blog entry, then written her own, determined to weave it in.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anny said...

Do you have to put down Americans to praise the Brits?

5:29 AM  
Anonymous anny said...

It's Anny - I'm sorry about the post I left. I've thought it over - never do anything in haste. Anyway I am sorry.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I share your appreciation of this expression. A man in Scotland just wrote and said that someone "lost plot" and then "found God". Your post shows me, now, what he must have meant. He just omitted the word 'the' and, well, I lost plot in the process!

4:06 AM  

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