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"Put your own house in order" upside down

Help on English vocab, including idioms, slang and sayings

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"Put your own house in order" upside down

Postby Shemmet » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:22 pm

Hi, everyone! I was wondering if I could use this phrase upside down - I wanted to say somebody "shook up his well-ordered house" meaning somebody shook up his world, which was peaceful and well-ordered. Do you think it makes sense in English?
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Re: "Put your own house in order" upside down

Postby trypsin » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:03 pm

actually, I did catch you what you said, sorry.
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Re: "Put your own house in order" upside down

Postby Shemmet » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:47 pm

Well, I guess it will need some explaining. Trying to find the right words for what I meant, I started from the phrase "Put your own house in order" but the person I meant has already "put his own house in order" meaning everything was well organised, smooth-running and peaceful in his life. His world was in order. And then, somebody comes, says something or does something and all this is gone - nothing is well-organised any more, problems come up from everywhere... So can I say that this somebody has "shaken up his well-ordered house"
Does it make sense now
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Re: "Put your own house in order" upside down

Postby Josef » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:53 am

Although "put your own house in order" does mean "get your house organized", it has a slightly different connotation. If you say to someone "put your own house in order", you think they should solve their own problems before telling someone else how to solve theirs. Or they themselves should act correctly before advising others how to act.

While you could use it in the way you want, and it would be perfectly correct grammatically, it would not really be idiomatic.

Just my opinion. Please get a second :mrgreen:
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