(to) work out the (or some) kinks
to solve the problems with
EXAMPLE: The company announced that they will delay the launch of their new product by two weeks. They still need to work out the kinks with their packaging process.
NOTE: A "kink" is a problem or flaw in a system or plan.(to) fine-tune
to make small adjustments to something to increase the effec¬tiveness or to make something work better
EXAMPLE: Rick hired an executive coach to help him fine-tune his managerial skills.no ifs. ands, or buts
no excuses; it's absolutely necessary that; this is how it's going to be no matter what anybody says
EXAMPLE: All employees must attend our team-building work¬shop tomorrow, no ifs, ands, or buts.
SYNONYM: no two ways about it just for the record (also: for the record)
let me make my opinion clear
EXAMPLE: I know that everybody else likes the idea of using a bear for a mascot, but, just for the record, I think it's a lousy idea.
(to) cut it (a little) close
to try to do too much before a deadline; to not leave enough time to get a task done
EXAMPLE: Jerry promised his customer he'd ship out the farm equipment by the end of the week. Since we haven't assembled it yet, I think that's cutting it close.
tagline - see Lesson 3
let's think realistically about this situation (said when you don't like something that's being suggested because you don't think the other person is thinking practically or logically)
EXAMPLE: You think we can start selling our products through our website next month? Time for a reality check! Nobody at our company knows anything about e-commerce.(to) step up to the plate
to take action; to do one's best; to volunteer
EXAMPLE: We need somebody to be in charge of organizing the company holiday party. Who'd like to step up to the plate and start working on this project?
NOTE: This expression comes from baseball. You step up to the plate (a plastic mat on the ground) when it's your turn to hit the ball.(to) get the job done
to do the job successfully; to accomplish the task
EXAMPLE: We plan to outsource all of our software development to IBM. We know they have the resources to get the job done.
(to) work down to the wire
to work until the last minute; to work until just before the deadline
EXAMPLE: The investment bankers need to turn in their report at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, and they've still got many hours of work left on it. They're going to be working down to the wire.
NOTE: This expression comes from horse racing. In the 19th century, American racetracks placed wire across the track above the finish line. The wire helped determine which horse's nose crossed the line first. If a race was "down to the wire," it was a very close race, undecided until the very last second.
(to) do whatever it takes
to do anything and everything necessary to accomplish a task or reach a goal
EXAMPLE: It's very important that our new product be ready before Christmas. Do whatever it takes to make that happen.24/7 (twenty-four seven)
around the clock; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
EXAMPLE: During tax season, many accountants work 24/7.
at the end of the day
in summary; when we look back on this after we're finished
EXAMPLE: At the end of the day, the most important thing is how many cases of product we were able to ship this year.
NOTE: This expression is now overused. You will likely hear it, but you may not want to use it.
SYNONYM: when all is said and done
PRACTICE THE IDIOMS
fill in the blanks, using the following idioms:
working down to the wire
get the job done
cutting it close
work out the kinks
does whatever it takes
Tom is a plant manager at Chocolate Delights, a manufacturer of chocolate. To prepare for the holiday season, the chocolate factory
operates (1) and doesn't shut down for even an hour.
Tom is very hardworking and every year (2) to get a
large amount of chocolate produced to meet the holiday demand. This year, Chocolate Delights decided to make a new type of choco¬late Santa Claus. There were some problems with the manufacturing
process, but Tom was able to (3) . It was just a matter of
(4) one of the machines. Tom's goal is to have 100,000
boxes of chocolate ready to ship by November 1. Will he reach this
goal? Probably, but he'll be (5) Nancy, Tom's boss, is
afraid he's _ (6) this year. "Time for a (7) ," she
told him this morning. "If you don't speed up production, you're
not going to reach your quota." Tom just smiled and replied, "Don't
worry, I'll (
. You can count on me."