Tried and true

中国日报网 2013-03-29 10:37



Tried and true

Reader question:

Please explain this sentence: Car buyers here stick to the tried and true.

My comments:

This means that car buyers are not keen to try anything new, but instead stick to traditional brands, brands with which they are familiar, brands that they have learned to trust over the years.

Here, the tried and true refer to established and well-known brands, instead of new brands that may be good but are not popular as yet.

If you stick to something, of course, you keep doing it.

Tried and true is a cliché that describes something, a method or advice, that’s not only true but has been repeatedly proven to be true, correct and accurate.

And precisely because something’s been proven again and again, people don’t mind doing it one more time. Hence, tried and true products are dependable.

Also trusted and true, same thing. Things are trusted because people have used them before and developed an allegiance to them.

I’ve also seen another variation of the phrase: time-tested and true. Time-tested? Tested and proven again and again over a long period of time.

Tried and true, tested and true, trusted and true, time-tested and true whatever, you see all these words (tried, tested, trusted, time) begin with the letter “T”, the same as the word “true”. This is why these phrases stick – whoever used them first, they soon caught on.

Do not over use them, though. You may sound tiresome if you stick to them as they can sound redundant. You can say the same thing with one word, true, or correct, or accurate.

For example, instead of saying someone’s theory is tested and true, you can simply say it remains true, valid – to this day.

In our example, car buyers stick to the tried and true also may suggest that they are conservative, not willing to try something new. And that may not always be a good thing.

Well, to each their own. Here let’s stick to the phrase itself and read a few recent media examples:

1. In Anchorage, the dress code favors practicality over style.

When it comes to dress sense, which is worse: layer upon bulky layer of long underwear and puffy coats? Flashy, barely-there outfits? Or downright sloppiness?

Travel + Leisure readers rated major destinations in categories including style for the annual America’s Favorite Cities survey — and the results confirm that city dwellers fall short of fashionable in myriad ways.

But it’s Anchorage that earned the dubious honor of No. 1 worst-dressed city in America.

That’s no surprise to Miriam Jones, a paleoclimatologist who has traveled in and out of Anchorage “too many times to count” during a two-year research stint. “It’s not uncommon to see oversized parkas with fur-lined hoods and bunny boots, and people aren’t alarmed when a person wearing a ski mask enters a room.” In Alaska, she adds, men sport beards and flannel in the most unironic way possible: to keep frostbite at bay and their appendages attached.

Baltimore, on the other hand, can’t blame icy temperatures for its No. 3 place on the worst-dressed-people list. According to eight-year resident Erika Poniske, locals dress poorly for a host of reasons, some of which can be attributed to city subcultures. Baltimore hipsters, she says, bypass the tried-and-true thrift store, opting to dumpster dive for their clothing instead. And if you spend enough time in the quirky neighborhood of Hampden, you might just run into a woman wearing her hair in a real-deal ’50s beehive.

Poniske believes it’s the city’s die-hard commitment to all things casual that makes it most deserving of its ranking. “If you’re going to take time to dress up in Baltimore, you better be on your way to somewhere specific. Otherwise you’re going to stand out, and you’re going to feel awkward.”

- What is the worst-dressed city in America?, May 30, 2012.

2. Burgers are getting bigger in Hamilton.

The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro has signed a lease for a 3,000-square-foot location in Jackson Square that is expected to open in four to six months.

Along with that beefy news is word that the popular Chuck’s Burger Bar on Locke Street is opening a second location downtown. The deal isn’t final, so co-owner Chris Preston doesn’t want to say much. But he’s eager to land in the core.

“The downtown is back … It’s a matter of being a part of Hamilton’s resurgence.”

Burgers seem to be the upscale comfort food of choice these days and there are plenty of examples in Hamilton of restaurants dedicating their menu to the tried and true sandwich.

“There are a lot of restaurants out there that have a giant menu and try to do everything great. But some of us want to slow down and do one thing amazing,” said Preston.

The team behind the Works thinks the burger is the place to be, too.

The full-service chain features seven types of eight-ounce burgers and 72 possible toppings. They range from the ordinary pickles and tomato to the upscale Gouda and grilled pear to the outrageous peanut butter and Kraft dinner.

The chain began in 2001 in Ottawa and grew to six locations before a trio of investors bought the rights in 2010. They are now on an expansion tear with 19 locations, another seven under construction and five more lined up.

- Burgers a burgeoning trend in Hamilton,, March 20 2013.

3. Here we meet again, Lakers season.

At the corner of frustration and disappointment.

Monday marked the team's first three-game losing streak since late January, which led to that air-it-out meeting in Memphis.

Tuesday marked getting the last card in a poker hand nobody wants as Metta World Peace was diagnosed with a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, making him the fifth out of L.A.’s five opening day starters to miss some time because of injury this season.

“Disappointing obviously and our backs are against the wall once again when we gave ourselves a touch of breathing room,” Steve Nash said after L.A.’s 109-103 loss to the Warriors in game they trailed by 23 at halftime. “Now we really got to fight and things aren’t looking good in terms of our rhythm is a little off, morale is a little down, guys are banged up and we got to really fight now.”

They also have to fight against in-fighting, it would appear.

First, there’s the tried and true Kobe Bryant vs. Dwight Howard score to settle.

Howard has just 17 shots total in his last two games, connecting on 12 of them (70.1 percent). Bryant has 45 attempts in those two games, making 19 (42.2 percent).

“I don’t even want to talk about it,” Howard said after the Warriors game. “We have to figure out what we need to do to play. If you want to win games, you have to play the right way.”

Howard has just three shots total in the fourth quarters of the five losses L.A. has in the month of March.

Bryant spoke up in Golden State, saying that they need to feature Howard more.

“I think he’s playing phenomenal,” Bryant said. “We have to figure out a way to get him some more looks down low though. I tried to step back as much as I possibly could and allow that to develop. He was in foul trouble and all of the sudden it’s a 19-point game and we can’t sit around much longer. But we got to figure that balance out.”

When told about Bryant’s comments, Howard seemed to sniff out the hypocrisy.

“He said what happened?” Howard asked, almost incredulously, before sticking to a diplomatic response. “When we lose, everything is magnified. We just got to play the game the right way, do what we did coming out of All-Star break to get some wins and go from there.”

- Lakers at crossroads again,, March 26, 2013.




About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.



Time to connect the dots

These results do not square with expert predictions

Bad sport?

Cardinal rule?

Can’t say the same?

(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑:陈丹妮)



















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