Misinterpreting An Idiom Analysis

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Flavell L.,R. (1992) define an idiom as an anomaly of language and a unique linguistic element whose meaning is most likely not connected with the meaning of separate words which form it. They point out that “although it is in form of a phrase, it has many of the characteristics of a single word”(Flavell L,R 1992:6). Their meaning often depends on the context, in one the idiom can be understood literally and in another it can convey entirely different message. Moreover, Baker (1992) draws attention to the fact that idioms disallow any deviation in form unless someone is deliberately attempting to be humorous or is trying to play on words. She claims these alterations are not tolerated:
a) change in the word order
b) deletion of any word
c) addition
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when idioms seem obvious because they allow for a rational literal interpretation and “their idiomatic meanings are not necessarily signalled in the surrounding text”(Baker 1992:66) and
2. when an idiom in the SL has a closely corresponding idiom in the TL which appears to be similar on the surface and yet its meaning is completely or in some part
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Baker (1992) demonstrates what types of difficulties are to be expected by distinguishing four problems:
1. TL may not have an equivalent for an idiom present in the SL. Only in some instances the meaning of an idiom in one language correlates exactly with the meaning of an idiom in another language. For that reason, expecting to locate an equivalent for the idiom in the TL is perceived as unrealistic.
2. An idiom might have a closely corresponding idiom in the TL but the context in which it is used may be dissimilar; “the two expressions may have different connotations, for instance, or they may not be pragmatically transferable”(Baker 1992:69).
3. In the ST an idiom might be utilized in its both senses: literal and idiomatic simultaneously. “Unless the target-language idiom corresponds to the source-language idiom both in form and in meaning, the play on idiom cannot be successfully reproduced in the target language”(Baker 1992:69).
4. The SL and TL may diverge in the way idioms are used in written discourse as well as “the contexts in which they can be used, and their frequency of use” (Baker 1992:70) may differ in the SL and

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