Saturday, May 13, 2006

pear shaped

There is an English (as in UK) expression that is used in Australia - "pear shaped" (technically, the words should be hyphenated, "pear-shaped").

People say that something (like an activity or a project) has gone pear-shaped when it starts to not go to plan.

The thing is, most people have no idea what they mean by something going "pear-shaped". It's just an expression.

I asked my human and he told me that he would never use that expression as it doesn't make sense any way - he told me that nashi pears are round.

So I consulted the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) and the definition is:
3. colloq. (chiefly Brit., orig. R.A.F. slang). to go (also turn) pear-shaped: to go (badly) wrong, to go awry.

1983 J. ETHELL & A. PRICE Air War South Atlantic 158 There were two bangs very close together. The whole aircraft shook and things went ‘pear-shaped’ very quickly after that. The controls ceased to work, the nose started to go down. 1989 Air Forces Monthly Feb. 53/2 When a disadvantaged fighter manages to manoeuvre back into a neutral position, it is a sign to the attacker that things are already going pear-shaped. 1995 FourFourTwo Sept. 108/1 The day itself was one of those prize-winningly crappy days when everything went pear shaped. 1999 J. CASSIDY Street Life 118 Next we travelled to Bournemouth and it was there that things began to turn rather pear-shaped.

Hmmm... it doesn't quite make sense. Not even ABC NewsRadio's Word Watch could come up with a better explanation.

If you don't know why you say it, DON'T.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had a great day today. I went outside a few times when my human hung out the washing in the morning, and again in the afternoon when Emily hung hers out. This morning, I also listened to a great CD by Film School called Film School (click for Amazon samplers). Post-punk new wave (aka Alternative) is popular in my house.

Marley, a black poodle/bicon frise puppy was supposed to visit today, but his human's parents took him away with them on an interstate trip. His human Michael did drop by later this afternoon very briefly to give me a cuddle. I was so looking forward to terrorising a dog that is smaller than me.

I had a nap with my human this afternoon. Woohoo! The humans had corned beef with cabbage and mash (potato, sweet potato and carrot) for dinner, and I even had some beef (but only after I had eaten my raw chicken wing).

While my human was keeping an eye on the footy score, I helped Emily watch Walk on Water, that brilliant Israeli film about which I have already mentioned in a previous post.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home