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95

Chasing two rabbits from the widely claimed proverb: "He who chases two rabbits will catch neither." Betwixt and between Torn between the two tasks Stuck in the middle Double minded from the New Testament: For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any ...


56

spread yourself too thin: to try to do too many things at the same time, so that you cannot give enough time or attention to any of them. i.e., I realized I'd been spreading myself too thin, so I resigned as a moderator of EL&U StackExchange. The Free Dictionary Or, as Bilbo painfully explains to Gandalf, "Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if ...


47

There is an idiomatic phrase that describes the situation He can't see the forest for the trees. Dictionary.com defines it as An expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole: “The congressman became so involved in the wording of his bill that he couldn't see the forest for the ...


27

Argument from fallacy could work. (It's also called argumentum ad logicam or fallacy fallacy, among other things.) Logically Fallacious, a database of logical fallacies, describes it this way: Description: Concluding that the truth value of an argument is false based on the fact that the argument contains a fallacy. Logical form: Argument X is ...


21

My first thought for this would be charlatan:- A person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a quack or fraud. [American Heritage Dictionary via The Free Dictionary] Another possibility would be mountebank:- a boastful unscrupulous pretender [Merriam-Webster]


20

We can call this person a poseur or poser. The Wikipedia page provides a fairly good explanation of the term, its use, and its etymology. Pronouncing it as "poser" sounds hip in a surferish subculture way, while pronouncing it as "poseur" (Frenching it up, so to speak) can sound, ironically enough, affected. But appropriate when someone's showing false ...


17

There are two possible candidates for your blank: Because Bob is touch-typing, he can watch the lecturer and type simultaneously. and Because Bob is a touch-typist, he can watch the lecturer and type simultaneously.


12

I think 'subject' would work for all your examples.


11

It's a bit crude, but You can't ride two horses with one ass (also here) or one of its variants seems to be getting at exactly your meaning.


11

Field of study is the generalized term for the subject of the degree given.


10

The term you are looking for here is probably national treasure, as Meryl Streep has often been called that over the past fifteen years: 2000, Steven Spielberg: Interviews: I think Meryl can do anything. She’s become a national treasure. So have Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro and some other people like that I’d like to work with. 2009, Woman Around Town: ...


10

If you mean the bumps caused by damage then bumps would serve but dents would be common, and is particularly likely to be used when they are from damage. If you mean the wave-like ridges across the entire surface, then corrugations. That sort of metal is called corrugated iron.


10

You could say he has tunnel vision, in the metaphorical sense, or that this person is missing the point of your argument.


10

You could call them a pedant - "a person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details" from the Merriam Webster online dictionary.


9

I think you are looking for clifftop. An area of land at the top of a cliff: the windswept clifftops [OD] As opposed to cliffside: the steep side of a cliff or of any abrupt natural incline of considerable size [MW] Enjoying the high life! Thrill-seekers living on the edge as they jump on clifftop 2,300ft above Norwegian fjord ... with ...


9

There's myopic (adj): lacking foresight or discernment; having a narrow view of something (M-W), but it feels like that's not quite it.


9

Leech. While the biological leech is a parasite, the metaphorical meaning does not require actual damage to the host. It is characterized by attaching oneself to the accomplishments of a host and not doing significant efforts of one's own.


8

"Multitasking to a standstill". It's more often used of computer multitasking, when the overhead involved in making the multitasking happen and ensuring it doesn't cause bugs when two processes want the same resource make things slower than if you hadn't used multitasking. But I've found it can sometimes describe human activity very well, too.


8

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. A blind squirrel has no practical option but to keep searching for nuts in spite of its natural limitations. The phrase is often used by the skillful to disparage the lucky breaks of others, but it is also used by the skillful to point out that luck played into their success. Just as persistence and ...


8

parasite src: ODO 2 derogatory A person who habitually relies on or exploits others and gives nothing in return: the capitalist is really a parasite on the workers etym: … '(person) eating at another's table' … syn: hanger-on, cadger, leech, passenger, drone informal bloodsucker, sponger, sponge, scrounger, freeloader British ...


7

A good modifier for various specialists is "armchair". So in this case, we would have an "armchair enologist". Most of the other answers I see here cover the ground of someone trying to pass themselves off as a specialist for some separate purpose. The "armchair" variants, however, rather apply to people making statements with a confidence not ...


7

"You've got to kiss a lot of frogs" (before you find your prince - from the fairy story The Frog Prince, where a prince has been turned by magic into a frog and can only be restored by a kiss from a princess). Alternatively there's the infinite monkey theorem: The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter ...


7

There's actually a great term for this that's generally applied to legal or political issues, but it can be applied elsewhere that's called "pettifogging". It means to purposely draw attention to minor or petty details in order to distract from the larger matter at hand.


7

We created laughter to protect us from the unbearable.


6

Means is very commonly used as to the method of suicide, in such cases as studying whether there is a link between availability of means and likelihood of attempts. (Last I read there was; potential suicides have a set of acceptable means and removing a means will lead to a drop in attempts because, but I'm not current on that at all). Generally it refers ...


6

I was a prosecutor in the US, which does not mean I am right, but it might affect how you interpret my opinion. First, "plea of insanity" is imprecise. In all US jurisdictions, when the defendant is required to enter a plea, the defendant may plead guilty or not guilty. Some jurisdictions allow a plea of no contest. Insanity is an appendage to the above ...


6

Is there a phrase, term, or something to describe the train of thought where a person "pokes holes" in a specific example and overlooks the greater picture...? Yes, and with precision. In the legal arena what you describe is termed a straw man argument. 2. Straw man: A 'straw man' is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on the ...


6

mirror image (noun): something that looks like something else but with its left and right sides reversed. Merriam-Webster online



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