As I was walking to a public lecture yesterday I heard a random guy on the street telling another random guy, ‘You know, it’s all a bit hit-and-miss‘ and my inner spy rejoiced. I immediately knew this was going to be my next victim.
The meaning of this expression should not be very difficult to guess, it means ‘not planned or done in an organized way’ (Macmillan Dictionary).
As usual, some more examples:
– Seeking out the best bars in a foreign city is a hit-and-miss affair — unless you are fortunate enough to have fallen in with a couple of members of the British Guild of Beer Writers (Intelligent Life).
– Such calculations are notoriously hit-and-miss (The Economist).
– Vile’s own hit-and-miss work lacks the force and character to own the theatres just yet – even his own band linger on stage at the end, not realising he has gone (The Guardian).
– It’s the same in Japan, Italy and the US: elections are hit-and-miss (The Guardian).
– The resolution of student complaints used to be a hit-and-miss process. It’s now a lot easier, thanks to a new judicial review procedure (The Guardian).
When it comes to language and correct usage, let’s hope for more hits and fewer misses.