The English language is full of tricks and words of similar meaning that are confusing to second language speakers.
One of these is limelight and spotlight. While some believe that to be in the limelight and under the spotlight are much the same, I think they are quite different.
This week South Africans bade farewell to our stalwart entrepreneur Richard Maponya. Mayponya, who died at the age of 99, brought to the country, the first shopping mall in a township. Until that day, the two were a contradiction in terms.
The newsreader said that we had lost a business magnate
As South Africans settle into the swing of 2020 economic uncertainty still dogs day to day discussions. So despite the freshness of a new year, you might be feeling a little grey and this is the perfect time to flex your marketing muscle.
Take all the grey and apply it to some cerebral activity.
Last week, I decided I was tired of egg and toast for breakfast, so I ate muesli for five days. This week I ran out of bread and it would be a while until I could get to the shops. By the end of the week I was really missing my bread.
Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash
It seems that I have to wait for the cows to come home to get paid by some of my clients. In one instance, I have been waiting for more than four months for an invoice to be paid. Each time I phone to enquire about the status of the payment I am fobbed off with lies that equate to “the cheque is in the mail”.
Although the world has modernised to include the option of electronic payments, the lie can be just as glib. “I’ll send you proof of payment.” When no such thing shows up in your email, you realise you have been taken for a fool for yet another month, with false promises such as “at the end of the month”, “on our next pay run” , “definitely by Friday” – I have heard them all, and four months later I am tempted to take the legal route. Really, it is ridiculous. The companies still run month to month don’t they? The full-time staff still get paid, don’t they? But when it comes to paying freelancers, there is every excuse in the book not to.
So, I sit back and wait impatiently for the cows to come home.
Lapse in time
This idiom suggests “an indefinite period of time”, a “lapse of time with no definite end”. History informs us that the idiom has its origins as early as the 16th century. Cows enjoy a stroll and once in the fields they are satisfied to roam aimlessly with no intention of returning to their milking stables – i.e. a long but indefinite time.
Although there is comfort among fellow freelancers who suffer the same ill-treatment, four months is beyond my patience threshold, and I have threatened legal action. Since I made this threat, I’ve received a phone call to say, “I’ll send proof of payment”.
Will the cows be home soon?
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