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Take something with a pinch of salt

[ 2014-09-10 10:19] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Take something with a pinch of salt

When looking at a picture of John Symonds, one might be forgiven for taking his claim to be a so-called "Romeo spy" with a pinch of salt.


My comments:

In other words, don’t believe it fully. Have some doubt.

The expression taking something with a pinch of salt is almost certainly inspired by the fact that humans use salt to spice up many foods. In other words, salt makes food, especially the bland and less tasty type, palatable and easier to swallow.

Hence, figuratively speaking, if you take a piece of news with a pinch of salt, it means you don’t want to believe the story without reservation. The salt is supposedly what enables you to believe the story at all.

Still, the salt suggests you still only want to believe the story partially.

Today, when the media is inundated with news disguised in the form of rumors and advertisements, somebody somewhere is always using the mass media, the Internet especially, to advocate an idea or promote a product or service, I suggest that you keep a great deal of salt at hand.

And don’t be afraid to take anything suspicious with a large pinch of it.

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About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.