Linked Questions

4
votes
8answers
6k views

Describing a person who values the unimportant while ignoring the important [duplicate]

How do you describe a person who gives the most importance to little details (of little value) while ignoring the aspects of much greater importance? It would describe one who places more importance ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

An idiom for “saving tap water on drowning Titanic” situation [duplicate]

I'm looking for a phrase, that can be applied to the situation when someone attempts to resolve a big problem or minimize damage by performing minor, insufficient actions, or is micromanaging instead ...
1
vote
3answers
724 views

Idiom for doing trivial things during a crisis [duplicate]

I'm looking for an idiom for when someone will do small, irrelevant tasks during a crisis instead of working to solve the crisis. The focus of the phrase wouldn't be on procrastinating, it would be ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Expression for “making a big incident/problem as a minor one” [duplicate]

Can someone help me finding an expression for "making a big incident/problem as a minor one" by ignoring it or taking it casually? I want to insist someone to concentrate on the main incident when ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Term for Perfectionist with poor priorities [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Idiom: People caring about minor stuff while something terrible is happening Someone who is obsessing over details of a project, trying to get them perfect, while fundamental ...
32
votes
27answers
162k views

An idiom meaning someone's doing something useless and has no result at the end

In my native language, we use an idiom to warn someone that they're doing something which has no result at the end: Trying to convince him is like squashing water ... Is there any idiom in English ...
27
votes
9answers
3k views

“Saving on the parrot's chocolate is futile”

In Catalan there is an expression "ser la xocolata del lloro" that can be translated as "saving by not giving chocolate to the parrot is futile", conveying the meaning that when a household wants to ...
20
votes
15answers
34k views

Phrase for focusing on unimportant details

I'm looking for an idiom or saying that I could use when people are focusing too much on small details and not seeing the big picture. A couple that come to mind are "being penny-wise and pound ...
11
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there an idiom like the Russian's “Untilled field”?

"Непаханое поле" - a [big] amount of undone work. Updated example: a kid is leisurely watching TV while there a lot of undone homework (which he hasn't even started). Note: the example below is ...
11
votes
7answers
4k views

What's a good phrase for “refining a process which is hopelessly broken”?

I'm looking for a turn of phrase to describe a situation where the powers that be wish to continue making small improvements to a process which, due to deep-rooted flaws, will never be close to ...
8
votes
7answers
17k views

Phrase which describes falsely improving something

Is there an aphorism or proverb in English which describes attempting to improve something fundamentally flawed by dressing it with a lot of ornament?