Linked Questions

61
votes
20answers
20k views

Phrase for a small, legitimate fix for part of a system so broken the fix is unimportant [duplicate]

Looking for a phrase/metaphor describing a situation where a proposed solution, though valid, is targeted for one of many problems in an entity plagued by so many problems as to render the individual ...
1
vote
3answers
130 views

What do you call a right, but insufficient measure? [duplicate]

Imagine, there is a big fire in a house and someone is trying to extinguish it by pouring water from a coffee mug. This person has the right intention (the vector of his deeds points in the right ...
32
votes
27answers
164k 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 ...
50
votes
10answers
6k views

Idiom: People caring about minor stuff while something terrible is happening

Imagine a situation in which the whole place is on fire, a bomb is about to explode, everyone is running for their lives and someone is checking his looks on the mirror... pretty inappropriate for the ...
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
35k 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 ...
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?
3
votes
7answers
6k views

What's the word to describe work that is a waste of effort?

I am looking for a word to describe projects, work that is insignificant? I can't remember that. It has to be just a word that describes "work that is a waste of effort".
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Phrase or idiom for funnelling efforts in wrong direction

What one phrase or idiom describes situations (see examples below), in which people funnel their efforts in the wrong direction? A boy wants to have a cup of coffee, so he buys a notebook in a ...
-1
votes
3answers
643 views

A situation when you do too many thing but achieve nothing [closed]

I am looking for few nouns describing "a situation when one does too many things but achieve nothing important or useful".
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 ...