LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||11/OUT/2009 4:31 PM|
|Assunto:||to Pat and Dale|
Can I share something?
Maybe that idiom is just plain old - "in the twinkle (twinkling) of an eye" because I still remember it being used in the English Bible as "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" and the Portuguese translation for the most common Bible, for that same verse, used in Portuguese reads "Num momento, num abrir e fechar de olhos".
So, you are right if you are coming from a translation like that of the Bible, where "in the twinkling of an eye" does refer to a very quick, or swift, process.
But again I mean no offense to the Christian Bible followers but the Bible text reads somewhat Shakeasperean.
Indeed, "twinkle" for speakers of the current English language has many more synonyms that have to do with forms of "quick" light than with its synonyms for "moment" (as in twinkle)
Some synonyms for twinkle (as in moment) are
Definition: brief time period
As a rule of thumb, when in Rome do as the Romans do!
If native speakers at that neck of the woods do not use a certain way of speaking do not make that false asumption of the self-righteous "I'll try to educate them" because you won't, really!
Always prefer more current ways of expressing yourself and get and follow the advice of your native speaking pals.
In short, yes, you are right "in the twinke of an eye" is a synonym idiom for "in a blink of the eyes" but the question is if native speakers will understand you right there on the spot or not.
What's the idea?
That people understand us in the first time we say something.
Like the other day some lady called for a new position in our organization told me this right after I congratulated her on her advancement:
"I have my work cut out for me"
Not being a native speaker I really thought she was praising the lady who filled the position before her.
So I only smiled at her and said nothing back!
Only weeks later, I came across the same idiom again and then I decided to search for it and it does mean something else, not what I thought I had understood.
That's the real problem with the English language, as with any other language, when we think that we understood and we did not.
I guess all of us, non-native speakers, have our work cut out for us if we really want to learn and speak the English language really well!
Like Napoleon Dynamite would have said, ' Gosh! '
"in a blink of the eyes" ou "quick as a wink"
In the twinkle of an eye
Nope, a 'twinkle in the eye' is what your dad got when he saw your mom. "I wasn't even a twinkle in my dad's eye" means long before one was born.
"In the twinkle (twinkling) of an eye" and "in the blink of an eye" refer to something done very quickly
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