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Throw the baby out with the bath water

[ 2009-05-31 15:27]     字号 [] [] []  
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Throw the baby out with the bath water

Reader's question:

 They cancelled the entire project because the new management didn't like the prototype, but I think they threw the baby out with the bathwater Could you explain “throw the baby out with the bath water”?

He (the “I”) believes it’s a good project. The prototype of the project may not be perfect, but the project as a whole is a viable one. Therefore he thinks the new management “threw out the baby with the bathwater”, i.e. gave away something good along with the bad – the bad being what they intended to get rid of.

“Throwing the baby out with the bath water” is a widely used idiom. And it’s fairly easy to understand if you have ever watched a mother washing a baby. The water gets dirty after each wash, and that dirty water is thrown away.

Now, imagine if the mother, in tossing off the dirty water, throws her precious little baby away as well…

Got it?

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About the author:

Zhang Xin 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.