21 ago. 2011

Context for Idiomatic Expressions

To know an idiom is to know when it is used, so we need a context. I found a quote about a certain firm who was willing to pay Jersey Shore not to use their clothing, a kind of product placement in reverse:
Que la mona sigue siendo mona por mucho que se vista de seda es prácticamente un axioma en el mundo del prestigio, el glamour o la elegancia.... Los ejecutivos de la prestigiosa firma de ropa pusieron el grito en el cielo al conocer que su marca estaba siendo expuesta día sí y día también en el popular reality show Jersey Shore, de la cadena musical MTV.

First, the proverb: "dress a monkey in silk and she will still be a monkey." The newspaper article seems to take this proverb rather literally, as a statement about the fashion industry. It is interesting that this more literal meaning is available, because I've known this proverb to be more about people than about the clothes they wear. The second expression is "poner el grito en cielo" or "protest to high heaven." "Un día sí, un día también" means just about everyday. It is a variation on the phrase "un día sí, un día no," which means "about half the time."