Laurie’s List: collocations and similes (wait, what?)

What do collocations and similes have to do with downsizing, you ask?

Good question.

Collocations are words or phrases we put together naturally when we speak the language. For example, a native English speaker will say “It’s not a big deal” but never “It’s not a large deal.” It’s the same with similes. We’ll say “strong as a bull” but not “strong like a bull.”

Which doesn’t have much to do with downsizing other than Winston Churchill once said:

Broadly speaking, the short words are best and the old words best of all.

And when you use short, old words a lot, you get the kind of well-worn clichés that John Prine uses to great effect in It’s a Big Old Goofy World.

A tenuous connection to downsizing perhaps but a great excuse to show some images that came to mind while I was listening to the song one rainy day. (It all makes much more sense if you click play on the video first, and then scroll along.)


Work like a dog

fishermen in mexico laurie best photo

Like a bump on a log

reclining man statute laurie best photo

Mind all your manners

Recovered_JPEG Digital Camera_233

Be quiet as a mouse

rabbit on grass laurie best photo

As big as a house

teepee frames laurie best photo

Eats like a horse

wooden horse sculpture laurie best photo

Knocks his old balls


Round the old golf course


Cute little dish


Smokes like a chimney

geyser with walkway laurie best photo

Drinks like a fish

stone fish sculptures laurie best photo

There’s a big old goofy man dancin’ with a big old goofy girl…

man balancing woman upside down laurie best photo

… Oooh, baby, it’s a big old goofy world”


A head like a rock

mosaic head sculpture in Santa Fe laurie best photo

Made my knees knock

famous world war 2 kiss sculpture done large laurie best photo

Sing like an angel

Gladys's stone angel laurie best photo

Eat like a bird

oversized bird eyes tourists for dinner laurie best photo

Know every single word


“There’s a big old goofy man… 

RVVG - 1.jpg

.. dancin’ with a big old goofy girl…

IMG_8974 … Oooh, baby, it’s a big old goofy world”


(musical interlude – wait for it!)

Kiss a little baby


Give the world a smile


If you take an inch


Give ’em back a mile


Lie like a rug

flat empty road through field laurie best photo

Don’t give a damn


Happy as a clam

boy smiles for the camera at Mardi Gras parade laurie best photo

Head is just as empty


As the day is long


Clear as a bell

Grand Tetons with sailboat on Jackson Lake laurie best photo

Wise as an owl

school desks in ghost town laurie best photo

Stubborn as a mule

three mules on the road laurie best photo

There’s a big old goofy man…


…dancin’ with a big goofy girl


Ooh, baby, it’s a big old goofy world.


One comment

  1. Well, that was fun! Are you doing this while on the road with Helen and Sam, or are you back home? I love that song and the photos are great! xoxo


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