Saturday, 19 September 2009

a breakneck test

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrase from below and ONLY THEN click on the “gap” box to check your answer.

break the back of something
break the bank
break the deadlock
give a break to somebody
make a break for

Pompom Bugglewit, owner of the most famous tap factory in Hao, was feeling very pleased with himself.
It was only Tuesday and already he felt they had got over the most difficult part of the negotiations with the union - the thorny question of the pay rise. And now, having the negotiations, he figured it would now be just a question of dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s. He smiled complacently at Gufuffer Pluff, the union leader.
'This brings us to the most important of our demands,' said Pluff, peering at the notes below his glasses.
Bugglewit's smile faded. He sat up. 'The most important? But we've settled the pay issue.'
'Yes,' agreed Pluff. 'So now we need to settle the issue of the chocolate biscuits.'
'What chocolate biscuits?' asked Bugglewit.
'Good question. The ones we don't have.'
'The ones we don't have.'
Pluff shook his head. 'No, the ones we don't have. You have plenty with your tea. We, the workers, have none.'
'I'm not stopping you. What about that lady I to last week, the new tea-woman - you can send her out for some, if you give her the money.'
Pluff sighed. 'The members are very agitated about this, Mr Bugglewit.'
Bugglewit held up his hands. 'Ok, ok - I guess it won't to buy a few chocolate digestives. Sure.'
Pluff put his head in his hands as if he were suffering from a terrible strain. 'Mr Bugglewit - digestives? Do you eat digestives? Does senior management? I think not. We want chocolate hob-nobs!'
'Chocolate hob-nobs!' snorted Bugglewit. 'You should be so lucky!'
'In which case, my members will immediately go on strike,' Pluff said, standing up.
'Now, now, now,' implored Bugglewit. 'I'm sure we can find a way to. Plain hob-nobs, for example. Very tasty.'
Pluff sat down. 'If plain hob-nobs are the starting point, then I guess we may be able to make progress from there.'
Pompom Bugglewit considered this for a moment and then jumped up out of his chair. 'Never!' he shouted. 'The chocolate hob-nobs are all mine!'
And with that, he the door, screaming, 'You'll never take them off me alive!'

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Collocation of the Week by Dr Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.