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Two British expressions Hello, 1) if you have an appointment with someone but, at the last minute, let's say your wife, husband or mother calls you to ask to pick him or her up since she/he had a glitch with the car, you call the person you had an appointment to and you say: a) sorry, I had a mishap....... b) or "hitch"... c) something unforeseen, or unexpected..... d) or just "a last minute problem"?....... which one would you be most likely to use (or maybe still others)? As I understand, "accident" or "incident" it implies only something serious, does it? wheras "mishap" something milder. 2) is the expression "to have too many irons in the fire" currently still in use? Thank you
Nov 23, 2016 4:59 PM
Answers · 5
I would not necessarily give a reason, depending upon the appointment in question. The level of detail would differ if I were changing an appointment with a family member, a friend or, say, it was a doctor's appointment. I think "something has come up" would be quite acceptable when not much detail is required. I do hear the "irons" phrase from time to time. The meaning is quite clear even for those who have not, I think.
November 23, 2016
Personally I would use option D, something came up. You are correct that an accident is usually serious and involves damage or injury. For Queen's English this is still valid but of course it depends on if you want to include slang phrases. I don't hear the 'irons' phrase very often but everyone will know what you mean.
November 23, 2016
British expressions? There's nothing British-only about anything you've written. I've used #2 countless times.
November 24, 2016
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