Neck and Neck

Neck and Neck

neck and neck

New Idioms are “Lay off” and “Cut back.” The Grammar focuses on Modals.

Alice: “I think the big news is the Meta layoffs.”
Bonnie: “Excuse me, I have to yawn.”
Alice: “You’re funny, but they are truly laying off 11,000 employees.”
Bonnie: “And Twitter laid off 50% of its staff a week ago. So? What’s the buzz?”
Alice: “Meta is the parent of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram. That’s all I know.”
Bonnie: “It’s something about virtual reality headsets. They’re video games.”
Alice: “Zuckerberg is cutting back. These layoffs are part of his cutbacks.”
Bonnie: “I heard he was investing 5 billion dollars in this every year.”
Alice: “Not any more.”


Lay off is a phrasal verb which means to terminate the employment of a worker. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Virtual reality means computer imaging that attempts to mimic real scenes or places. See online Idioms Dictionary.
The buzz refers to exciting or interesting news. “What’s the buzz” is identical to “What’s the big deal?” which is to say, Why is this such a major issue? See online Idioms Dictionary.
Cut back means to reduce or decrease the use, amount, or cost of something. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Modals

“People can strap them on.” The modal “can” is straightforward and refers to ability or capability, and shows no social function here.


neck and neck

New Idioms are “Waffle about” and “I’d bet my bottom dollar.” The Grammar focus is on Conditionals.

Philip: “There’s only one important thing in the news today. Arizona!”
Peyton: “How do you mean? Did Kelly win?”
Philip: “Yes, the astronaut sailed through to victory! Can you believe that?”
Peyton: “In these midterms, I think I would believe just about anything.”
Philip: “That means if Democrats win either Nevada or Georgia, they will end up with Senate control for another six years!”
Peyton: “I saw what’s happening in Nevada. Laxalt, the Republican, was leading by less than 1,000 votes. But there are thousands more to count, and that includes Clark County, which leans heavily Democratic, doesn’t it?”
Philip: “That’s Las Vegas, and yes, I’m sure it does. I’d bet my bottom dollar on it.”
Peyton: “How did Kelly win? I know he supported women’s abortion rights.”
Philip: “Yep, and of course the other guy was against abortion rights, but kept waffling about the issue. He also just hammered inflation and border security.”
Peyton: “Masters got millions from billionaire capitalist Peter Thiel, but it didn’t get him over the top.”
Philip: “Kelly also got millions of dollars from Democratic donors.”
Peyton: “It’s obscene how much these horse races cost.”
Philip: “Ain’t that the truth.


Neck and neck means exactly even, especially in a race or a contest, so that it is impossible to say who will win. See online Idioms Dictionary.
End up means to reach some conclusion, state or situation due to a particular course of action. See online Idioms Dictionary.
I’d bet my bottom dollar means to be totally certain that something will happen. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Waffle about means to be continually indecisive or ineffectual about some issue. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Over the top means beyond a certain threshold, goal, or quota; having gained more than one’s goal. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Ain’t that the truth is an expression emphasizing agreement with what somebody just said. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Conditionals

“That means if Democrats win either Nevada or Georgia, they will end up with Senate control for another six years!”

This structure is often called a Type I or a Future Conditional. It consists of a main clause and a subordinate clause, with the latter often beginning with the Adverb Subordinator if. In most cases, two different clause orderings are possible. So this sentence could have been expressed “That means Democrats will end up with Senate control for another six years if they win either Nevada or Georgia.” The if clause states the condition, the main clause gives the outcome.

The Type II or “Present Conditional” looks like this: “If I had the money, I’d fly to Paris.” And Type III or “Past Conditional” like this: “If I had had the time, I would have written a novel.” Of course, there are many other types of Conditionals which are worthy of study.

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