in a pinch

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MOTIVATION

일 처리가 능숙한 사람은 뭐가 다를까?

그들은 난관에 부딪혀도, 어떻게든 빠져나갈 방법을 찾아낸다.

딱히 확실한 해결책이 없어도, “어떻게든 방법을 생각해내서” 주어진 고비를 헤쳐나간다.

“뭔가 깔끔한 solution이 없어서 창의적으로 생각해야할 때”, 그런 상황을 영어로 어떻게 표현할까?

“If you are stuck in a public restroom with no toilet paper in it, you can use dollar bills or socks in a pinch

[DEFINITION]
  1. when no other solution is available.
  2. In an urgent or difficult situation;

COMMENT

1. pinch는 보통 동사로 쓰이고, “꼬집다”라는 뜻인데, 명사로 쓰일 경우엔 “꼬집는 것” 이다.

그래서 “In a pinch”는 꼬집힘을 당한 상태, 즉 “압박의 상태” 라고 볼 수 있다.

압박의 상태에서는 어떻게든 그 상황을 벗어나려고 하기 때문에, 그럴 때 하는 행동들이 “in a pinch”에 한다고 볼 수 있다.

FROM MOVIES
  • Some well-placed duct tape can patch anything up in a pinch. – See? (Steven Universe)
  • Always happy to help out in a pinch… (Bachelor Party)
  • Oh, it’ll do in a pinch. (Mr Deeds Goes to Town)
  • And if you’re in a pinch, you can use one as a coffee filter. (Raising Hope)
  • Do you speak the language? In a pinch Barney can order cold cuts in Swahili. (Mission Impossible)

FROM NEWS
  • In a pinch, the Cisco rep could offer discounts or freebies?say, a new videoconferencing system for the CEO?to keep a rival with a superior product from getting the business. (Bloomberg)
  • In a pinch, a manila folder ? or even a napkin ? would work, too. (NYT)
  • It was the place to turn for travellers’ cheques, post from home, tour arrangements and, in a pinch, even cash (Economist)

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FROM TWITTER
  • Did you know, in a pinch, attention can even be a substitute for oxygen?
  • In a pinch, a roll of packing tape on your desk can make a pretty good bowl for M&Ms.
  • No time to workout? No gym membership? Here are some great 10 minute workout options that you can use in a pinch.

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(조크입니다. 절대 따라하지마세요. )

META & CONTEXT
  • Is it a slang? No.
  • Can I use it in an email? Yes.
  • Can I use it in a formal setting? Yes.
context plot
data source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/

PHRASE HISTORY
1900년대 후반에 인기가 없어졌다가 다시 인기가 많아진게 인상적이다.
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image source: Google Ngram

TYPICAL MISTAKES

1. 관사를 조심하자. the 가 아니라 a !

– A piece of clothing can be used as a bandage in the pinch. (X)

– A piece of clothing can be used as a bandage in A pinch. (O)

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