Archives for posts with tag: mathematics

Word-perfect is to know one’s script as an actor.

Keeping track means being aware of what is going on, whether financially or of someone’s whereabouts or any other changing situation.

A track record comes from athletics and similar sports, where an athlete’s performance is logged and used as a standard to improve upon.  It has found its way into other spheres such as work or standards of behaviour.

Track down means find.  Clues might be required such as a tracker would use in the woods to hunt an animal.

Stop someone in their tracks.
This expression means the same as bringing someone up short. 

The wrong side of the tracks is the poorer side of a town with a railway.

Under starter’s orders describes the runners just before a race.

Set the record straight means to correct what has been said or written previously.

To have someone taped
is to be able to predict their behaviour.  Tape can be used to tie things up.  Magnetic tape was used to record sound and data before CD’s were invented.  I’m not sure of the derivation.

In a groove means in a rut, repeating the same activities without change.

In the groove means “hip” and presumably led to the 1960s slang word, groovy.  There was a pop song with the title Feeling Groovy.

Keeping a log is a form of record keeping especially at sea, where every ship used to have a logbook.

That reminds me of an old joke, which may require some explanation for younger people who grew up using calculators.

When Noah let the animals out of the ark, he told them to go forth and multiply.  All the pairs of animals went off happily except for the adders, who hung back.  “We don’t know how to multiply”, they told Noah.  “We’re adders.”
So Noah went and cut down a tree and made a log-table so that the adders could multiply.

The Bible is a record of God’s dealings with human beings.  Within it other records are referenced.  One incident involving written records is described in the Book of Esther.  This book is fascinating.  Another blogger is inviting people to look at it this month.  Are you ready for this challenge?


A second helping of dessert (for example) is often shortened to seconds.

A second sitting is a later mealtime, where there is not space for all the diners to sit down at the same time.

Second best might describe a suit of clothes or be a second choice, where a number of options have been ranked in order of preference.

Second thoughts are often best
is a saying.  It is not always wise to act on impulse and do the first thing that comes into our heads.  Sometimes the first idea is the best, but it is worth weighing up the options.

I’ll second that means I agree.  In formal meetings it I the custom for one person to propose a motion or a candidate, then another has to second the proposal before a vote can be taken – perhaps by a show of hands.  (See my previous post.)

He’s been seconded to…
…a different workplace.  A secondment is a spell working away from one’s usual place of employment.

Any second now…
…something might happen!

(A second here is one sixtieth of a minute and a minute is one sixtieth of an hour.  Obviously?  But what about angles?  A second is one sixtieth of a minute and a minute is one sixtieth of a degree!)

Two to a pair is an idiom.  A pair is two as in shoes, gloves, socks and so on.  If two people are described as two to a pair, it usually means one is as bad as the other.

It takes two to tango.
A tango is a dance in which the partners hold each other close.  The saying means that if someone does not want to be led astray they can resist.

Standing at ten to two refers to the position of someone’s feet.  The numbers represent the time on an analogue clock face.

A second chance is something we often need if we have failed at something or done something wrong.

If we have been forgiven there is no record of our sin as far as God is concerned.  He has given us the chance to wipe the slate clean.

The prophet Jeremiah (who often gets a bad press) spoke the words of the Lord (Jeremiah Chapter 31 verse 34 (NIV)) “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.”  The link includes the whole of this verse and the context.  It is a wonderful promise to believers.  Jeremiah Chapter 31 verses 31-34