Teaching Materials for Waltur Paints Himself Into a Corner

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In the three stories in Waltur Paints Himself into a Corner, the second book in the series, Waltur continues to think that idioms mean exactly what they say. The humor in the stories comes from Waltur’s literal interpretations.

Idioms are word usages that cannot be understood literally — they have meaning to the native speakers of a language because the native speakers learn what the words or phrases actually mean. For example, most native speakers of English know that the sentence “Corie was on pins and needles” doesn’t mean that Corie sat or stood on sharp pins and needles, which is what, taken literally, the words convey. As most native speakers of English know, “was on pins and needles” is an idiom that means “was very nervous.”

Among the different kinds of idioms are those based on proverbs. Many proverb-based idioms are hundreds of years old, and some go back two thousand years. Such saying embody not only colorful use of language, but wisdom as well. The idioms in Waltur Paints Himself into a Corner are proverb-based idioms.

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