The Problem With Idioms

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From the annals of misunderstood idioms, Business Insider brings us an email from a guy applying to be a Wall Street trader. He was asked to add a bit of color to his application, so he sent back a reply with various sections highlighted in different colors.

This reminds me of a new guy who was hired to work for me back when I ran a Radio Shack store in the early 80s (hiring was done by a central office in each district, so I hadn’t met him before). He dropped in to introduce himself, and I told him I wanted him to come in from 10 to 6 the next day. When I showed up at 9:30, he was already waiting. “You didn’t need to come early,” I said. “I’m just going to do a bit of paperwork before I open the store.”

“Early?” he asked. “You told me to come in at 10 to 6.” Turns out he had been waiting in the parking lot for me since 5:50 am. This wasn’t my fault or anything, but I’ve always felt a little bad about it ever since.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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