No two ways about it?

中国日报网 2013-05-24 10:40



No two ways about it?Reader question:

Please explain “there’s no two ways about it” in the following:

Soft drinks are not good for children. There’s no two ways about it.

My comments:

Soft drinks are not good for children?


I thought they are not good for everyone, be they 8 months, 8, 18 or 80 years old.

But anyways it is true: Soft drinks are not good for children.

And there really is no two ways about it. Soft drinks, you see, are essentially bubbly water full of human-added chemicals (either to enrich the flavor or to prolong its shelf life). Most of them are full of sugar, which is bad. The sugar is often artificially made, which is worse.

Anyhow, “no two ways about it” is an idiom that literally means there’s “NO TWO (different) WAYS to talk ABOUT IT.”

This expression is used as an emphasis to a previously made statement, emphasizing what someone has just said is true.

American country singer Pam Tillis once sang a song of this title: No Two Ways About It.

I walked into the club last night

I hadn’t been there for so long

Thinking foolishly I might find you sitting all alone

But oh, how dreams lie

When she put her arms around you

And I watched you close your eyes

Ain’t no two ways about it, something here had changed

Ain’t no going back now to that same old same

Used to be, you were always there for me

See? It’s changed. Forever changed.

Back to our example. Soft drinks are no good for children (or anyone for that matter), and it’s absolutely true. No disputing the fact. There’s no way of getting around it.

In other words, that’s it. Positively, definitely, soft drinks are not good for you. Replace it with tap water.

Or bottled water if the local tap water isn’t up to health standards.

Or boiled water if the bottled water on the local market isn’t up to standards either.

Or keep gulping soft drinks at your own peril.

It can be a surprisingly tough choice, I know. But do keep soft drinks away from children, please, till they’re old enough to make their own choices.

Alright, a few more media examples “there’s no two ways about it”:

1. Candidates for the Thames Valley police and crime commissioner election believe responsibility for tackling urban and rural crime can be balanced.

The six standing in the election on 15 November took part in a BBC radio debate earlier at Henley Business College.

Balancing issues of rural and urban crime will be one of their challenges.

Thames Valley Police covers three counties and a population of 2.3 million people.

As well as serving towns and cities such as Slough, Reading and Oxford, Thames Valley Police also protects a vast rural area.

Independent candidate Geoff Howard, from Slough, highlighted how the role would be supported by a team of assistants.

He said: “That would allow me to spread the responsibilities. It’s a massive job and there’s no two ways about it.

“You need to be visible as much as possible. While I would obviously have head office in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, I would be making sure I get out on the road as much as possible.”

- Thames Valley PCC elections: ‘Balance of urban and rural needs’,, November 8, 2012.

2. Queens Park Rangers’ Malaysian owner, Tony Fernandes, says the club’s relegation from the Premier League has left him feeling “exploited”.

Fernandes, who has made his wealth in the airline and music industries, acquired QPR in August 2011 and he estimates that he has ploughed around £50 million ($78 million, 59 million euros) into the London club since he took over.

The 49-year-old admits that he has occasionally let people take advantage of him, but he has vowed that he will not make the same mistakes again.

“I don’t think I will be exploited any more,” he said, in comments reported by several British newspapers on Saturday.

“I think I allowed myself to be exploited, but that's my choice. Agents are trying to get the best contracts and there’s no two ways about it -- I had to pay premiums.

“I’ve seen all of the parts that make football quite -- maybe ‘immoral’ is a strong word, but they would sell their grandmother to do something. It’s all part of the football ecosystem.”

- Football: Fernandes ‘exploited’ by QPR relegation, Agence France-Presse, May 4, 2013.

3. Sandy-scarred Coney Island showed new signs of life Thursday as famed Grimaldi’s pizzeria reopened in time for Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer.

At a small gathering, Borough President Marty Markowitz munched margherita pizza along with members of his entourage and commercial diver Gene Ritter.

Five years back, Ritter turned up a 500-pound brass bell in the waters off Coney Island, which is now hanging inside the Surf Ave. staple for all to see.

“Coney Island is back and there’s no two ways about it,” said Joseph Silvestri, Grimaldi’s general manager. “People thought we weren’t coming back, but we were coming back. We’re too invested in the area.”

- Coney Island attractions slowly rebound from ravages of Hurricane Sandy as Memorial Day weekend nears,, May 17, 2013.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


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:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

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