Friday, August 11, 2006

Hobson's Choice

In every minute of our life we have to make choices. Some of them are easy to make, while the rest seem very difficult and important. Our big choices are very, very vital for us. They may have great impacts on our future life and success. As a result, we must study every alternative before making our decision and do not rush to do it, too. In my book, after contemplating our options and making a wise or wrong choice, we must feel responsible for it. In any way, we should not allow ourselves to escape from the bad results, if it had any. By beating the brains out every one has the ability to turn the atrocious results into desired ones.

Have you ever noticed that there come occasions in your life when you feel devastated only because it is impossible to do something by choice or all the alternatives you have are unpleasant?

English, this sophisticated yet strange language has several expressions, which delineate these possible baffling situations.

The first one is “Hobson’s choice”. Mr. Hobson owned a stable of horses in Cambridge. He rented his horses to the students. But he did not really trust them to take care of his horses. So, he had a rule that prevented the students from riding his best horses. They could take the horse that was nearest the stable door or they could not take any horse at all. Thus, “Hobson’s choice” is a free choice that is in reality no choice at all. Today, people may use it to talk about two unwanted choices as well.

No-win situation” is another commonly used phrase. You can use it when you have two choices and no one is good and desirable. Try to imagine that you took an exam on the humanities. Since you want to be a famous lawyer just for the prestige and money this job may bring to you. But unluckily due to stress on the exam day your score is not very high to major in law, but it is good enough to major in only two subjects: geology and geography. The problem is you hate both of them. This situation might be considered a no-win situation, pure and simple.

I do like politics so let me tell you another expression, which is nearly related to our topic. “Lesser of two evils principle” is the idea of two bad political options. In this case one of the options is less bad than the other and should be chosen over the one that is the greater evil. To make it more tangible for yourself, try to remember the electoral politics in the US. By the way,” lesser evil” is another form of it.


The fourth expression is “horns of a dilemma”. Dilemma means a problem offering two solutions, neither of which is acceptable. The alternatives are described as horns of a dilemma. When you are on the horns of a particular dilemma, no matter which option or horn you choose, something awful and hateful will happen.

Eventually, I like to say that there are a few other expressions like these ones. I wanted to make my note short and sweet. Consequently, I talked about the most interesting expressions related to this subject. Have a whale of a time.

6 comments:

M.Amin Abroshan said...

hello Ms.Nazemi!
thanks alot for adding my blog's link!
I saw that you wrote some rules for"English Spelling --- -IE or -EI"in your last posts;I have taken them out from the book "Study skills"about 1/2monthes ago,too(but they are every thing about spelling) ...
You can copy them here...they are really useful!
thanks alot...!

Zahra said...

dear visitor,

I am not Ms.Nazemi. I think you made a mistake.

M.Amin Abroshan said...

I'm really sorry,I didn't make that.
because I saw that sirname and your URL in some where...
I'm sorry ,again!
ok, in next time if i want to call you,I will say:"sis Zahra"!

amin said...

salam i very good وبلاگ
سلام واقعا عاليه من اينهمه زبان تا حالا پاس كردم بلد نيستم يه جمله بنويم واقعا به حال خودم قبطه مي خورم با اجازتون وبلاگ رو تو كامپيوترم سيو مي كنم تا بعدا از مطالبش استفاده كنم در پايان برا شما خواهر وبرادر عزيزم ارزوي موفقيت هاي بيش از اين را دارم
بيانديش بهترين چيست ان را برايتان ارزو مندم

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