Tag Archives: phone

In any shape or form

in any shape or form meaning

Photo credit: starsketchers.blogspot.co.uk

As you probably gathered from my previous post, I went to Paris last week, that’s why there’s not been many updates with new English phrases (I’ve just tried a typical British understatement – there’s been none, actually). However, I did learn quite a bit of French vocab, though I’m still not sure whether I should be sharing it here, I’ll have to think about it.

Anyway, when I came back one of the first things on my to-do list was to phone up the Hay Festival people and book some tickets – students can only do this via the phone, apparently. So, armed with a list of events I was hoping to go to, my student card and my debit card (students go free, but you need to pay a deposit), I phoned their number and one of the first questions I was asked was “Have you ever been to the Hay Festival in any shape or form?” I haven’t come across this idiom for a while, so I noted it down and carried on answering the questions. Sadly, all the events with Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins had been sold out by then, but I’m still looking forward to this event!

I thought I’d include a few examples of how “in any shape or form” (meaning “in any manner or under any circumstances”) is used. Note some slight variations:

– 96 per cent of the electorate voted against Europeanization in any shape or form (Oxford Dictionaries)

– BBC News arts editor Will Gompertz suggested that the four all “make work that is in some way, shape or form, a collage (BBC – oops, BBC missed a comma between ‘way’ and ‘shape’).

– The opposition parties know that the only way to break Labour’s stranglehold on Wales is to come together, or work together in some shape or form (BBC).

– It’s worth recalling that UN security council resolution 1973, passed last month, does not authorise member states to support the rebels, to defend armed groups, or to oust Gaddafi. Nor does it authorise an Iraq-style ground invasion or military occupation, in any shape or form, size or scale. But in reality, much of this is now happening, willy-nilly. Make no mistake: the creep is on (The Guardian).

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To pocket-call

to pocket-call meaning

Photo credit: cnn.com

Almost every dinner at our place is cooked and eaten to the soundtrack of Marc Riley’s show on BBC 6 Music. His today’s show, apart from the good music, as usual, had a rare linguistic treat for me – I learnt a new word and, most importantly, it was one of those I-never-new-there-was-a-word-for-it-in-English-words. I get twice as excited when I hear them.

Now, have you ever put a phone in your pocket or your bag only to find out later that the cheeky thing has called somebody on your contact list? It used to happen to me all the time. And when it happens again I’ll know the word for it – ‘to pocket-call‘, as in ‘Sorry, I pocket-called you yesterday’.

P.S. According to Wikipedia, you can also call it ‘pocket dialing‘ or ‘butt dialing‘.

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