General_Ricardo   Sunday, May 09, 2004, 05:37 GMT
"one helluva something"
You guys have any similar idoms or whatever?
mjd   Sunday, May 09, 2004, 07:30 GMT
I believe you and I touched on this subject some time ago:

This idiom can have several meanings...'helluva' can have a sarcastic and negative connotation or it can mean that something is very big etc.
General_Ricardo   Sunday, May 09, 2004, 13:58 GMT
I know, but I need similar ones. I'm not gonna describe the car, the guy, and the house in my assay to be "one hell of". No. I need other idoms. If you go back and look at my question, you'll see that I didn't ask for the meaning:)
mjd   Sunday, May 09, 2004, 17:51 GMT
What type of essay is this? If it's on idioms, then I can understand, but "helluva guy" etc. aren't things I'd write in an essay...they're rather informal.

As for similar idiomatic expressions that mean the same thing....I can't really think of one off the top of my head.

Like I said, "helluva" can have several connotations so you need to give me more of the sentence for me to help you. For example, by saying "helluva," are you saying that he's a "good" guy or that he's a "jerk"?
Tex   Monday, May 10, 2004, 00:49 GMT
There's a guy at work who always greets me with "You're doin' a helluva job!" I can never tell whether he means that in a positive or negative way. Sometimes I think he's being ambiguous on purpose.
Boy   Monday, May 10, 2004, 20:55 GMT
mjd, please tell me what does "in 20-20 hindsight" mean? I used to hear it a couple of times during Rumsfeld's testimony?
Elaine   Monday, May 10, 2004, 22:29 GMT
Boy, although I'm not mjd, I'd like to help anyway (that is if you don't mind).

20-20 hindsight:
Perfect understanding of an event after it has already happened; a term usually used with sarcasm in response to criticism of one's decision, implying that the critic is unfairly judging the wisdom of the decision in light of information that was not available when the decision was made.
Boy   Tuesday, May 11, 2004, 11:11 GMT
Elaine, Thanks for your help. You hold equal importance and I really appreciate your help as well. I got the meaning of the phrase but would you mind using it in a couple of example sentences?
Joanna   Tuesday, May 11, 2004, 16:17 GMT
Well, I am not mjd, nor Elaine, but-

"I left my bike unlocked and it got stolen. I should've locked it. Hindsight is always 20/20."
Boy   Tuesday, May 11, 2004, 16:27 GMT
Joanna, no worries. You are also most welcome and I appreciate your help, too.
mjd   Tuesday, May 11, 2004, 20:26 GMT

"Had John gone with his first instinct and invested in stock A instead of stock B, he would have made a substantial amount of money. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20."
Jim   Wednesday, May 12, 2004, 05:56 GMT
I'm not mjd, not Elaine nor am I even Joanna but here's my tupence worth.

The saying is made of two parts: "20/20" and "hindsight".

The following I'm theiving from but they theived it from elsewhere anyway so what the heck.

"Why is normal vision referred to as 20/20?" asks a Kiwi called Matt and here's the anwer.

"Visual acuity is expressed as a fraction. The top number refers to the distance you stand from the chart. This is usually 20 feet. The bottom number indicates the distance at which a person with normal eyesight could correctly read the line with the smallest letters. Normal vision is considered 20/20. If your vision is 20/40, the line you correctly read at 20 feet could be read by a person with normal vision at 40 feet."

So, does everyone know that 20/20 is normal? ... Well actually many seem to think it means perfect but it's not: 20/18 would be a bit better and 20/1 would be super. I wonder whether it will ever get metricated: how's "6/6" sound?

So we have people going about with the misimpression that 20/20 is perfect vision and we add this to "hindsight". Now take a look look at that word: it's made of "hind" and "sight". I'm sure you can see what "sight" is about but where else have you found "hind"? Well, you'll have seen "hind" in "behind" but it's actually a word in it's own right. I'm sure you'll guess the meaning. If not click here: Now can you guess the meaning of "hindsight"? Again, if not click here:

So, with all that under your belt, what would your guess have been as to the meaning of "20/20 hindsight"? Often these expressions turn out to make a lot of sense when you break them down into their parts ... of course "often" is a far cry from "always".