Where did the phase, “I caught a cold” come from? It’s one of those weird idioms.
I love idioms – those weird phrases we say that don’t really mean what the words mean.
You know like, “I’m all ears.” Now that would be a weird, strange and possibly frightening image. Serious, you’re covered in ears from head to toe? How do you breathe? Eat?
Or how about the ever popular, “Hitting the nail on the head”? Do you ever have a hammer in your hand when you say that? Are you even in a room with a nail and hammer when it’s said. There’s a guy at my office who likes to say, “Let’s hit it on the head this time.” You hit me on the head, with or without a hammer, and you’ll find me escalating the situation quickly.
If you think too much about these things, you’ll realize how stupid they sound. Hence the word, “idiom” derived from manifestation of stupid – the idiot (who cares if that’s true or not, it’s a fun explanation).
But getting back to the “elephant in the room”, “catching a cold”, it seems that I have in fact caught a cold. I didn’t mean to catch one. I didn’t go out into the garden with a big net and swoop one up. There aren’t any little traps on my desk to ensnare wandering microbes.
No, just the other day at work my throat felt scratchy. At first I just put it down to have been assigned to a new manager and spending the whole day talking to him. Mostly I was telling him how to do his job and he was mostly ignoring me, which is working well for us so far.
By the second day of marathon meetings to create a “road map” of all the work we’ve promised to do and aren’t likely to get done, (this is high-tech, the point of the road map is to have a map of where we’re going, not to actually go there – different processes, longer post), I was starting to feel a bit “under the weather.”
Well, living mostly on the ground and the clouds going over my head, I’m “under the weather” most of the time except when flying in an air plane which sometimes goes over the weather.
But I digress.
I have a cold. You know the stuffy, coughy, can’t breathe kind of cold with a cough. It’s annoying. First you can’t breathe, then you break out into coughing fits followed by the world spinning slow counter-clockwise (or withershins for those of you studying 16th century Low German and it’s impact on the Scottish language). It’s worse at night as every thing backs up and sneezing starts. At least it’s a break from coughing.
My father use to describe two phases of a cold as: “At first you’re afraid you’ll die followed by a period when you’re afraid you won’t die.”
He use to also tell me, “If you take care of yourself, get lots of rest, and drink plenty of liquids, you’ll be over the cold in 14 days. If you don’t, it could take two weeks.” Thanks Dad!
The most annoying thing about the cold is that I sit around, take some medication and start to feel better. After awhile I start to feel like I could go do something. Then I stand up and move and that withershins (or the world moving backwards) starts up. I was supposed to read the Bible lesson in church this morning for the big show, Easter Sunday. Instead, I tried to leave a message on the pastor’s voice mail. Luckily for me, Heather had the pastor’s cell phone so I could send a text without all the coughing and spluttering.
When did pastor’s start doing text messaging? I missed a memo there.
Well, I’ll have to end this post now. I think it’s time for either my decongestant, or my cough medicine or my blood pressure pills. Did I take that extra vitamin C I was thinking of? Umm, did I confuse the BP pills for the vit C? Was it 10 or 20 milligrams for the cough syrup. Wow, that might explain this post.
There you have it right from the horse’s mouth, idioms are strange and colds a pain.