(Ungefärliga) Engelska uttryck

Such a shame. This could’ve been a great purchase. Alas, the authors Kerstin Johanson and Mia Carlstedt are guilty of a number of misdemeanors.

First, what’s the point of creating a list of idioms predicated on themes when no contextualized examples are provided? And no cultural or usage notes, either. Do the writers seriously expect the average Swedish learner to know whether an idiom is used in a specific region or how frequently it appears in spoken or written English?

Second, why not ask an English-language editor to check for accuracy? A self-styled book on idioms must ensure that the selection of idioms is letter-perfect. There’s no such thing as stop the night (spend the night?); in the end of the day; not care a monkey’s (not give a monkey’s?); take a French leave; Uncle Tom Cobleigh (sic); go back to the drawingboard; loose one’s head; or not hurt a flie.

I’m not sure what led the authors to come up with the selection of idioms and proverbs included in this book. Some of these expressions are downright dated and of little use. I wonder how many people still use many a little makes a mickle, for instance. Labeling these phrases would certainly offer the readers some guidance.

It’s baffling to see publishers dip into their pockets to publish a good-quality hardcover book marred by so many inaccuracies and with questionable content. However, if you’re interested in learning about the Swedish equivalents of some random English idioms, then maybe this book could be useful. Otherwise, save your kronor.