Friday, November 28, 2008

Leadership failure

Another example of the bastardised form from an exotic source, the Economics Times of India -
When the going gets tough, we expect our leaders to lead the way — to be an example in cutting costs, to be the first one to take salary reductions. However, if the leader is all mouth and no trousers, we get upset. Rightly so.
But, sadly, wrongly expressed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stumble and fall

The Times gets itself deeply confused in a profile of the front man from inexplicably popular popsters Razorlight. The standfirst asks, barbarically -
With his cocksure swagger, tangle of hair and big opinions, Johnny Borrell is a throwback to rock gods of another age. But is the Razorlight frontman all mouth and no trousers?

But then, in the text by Craig McLean, we find a well-deployed variant of the proper phrase -
He went to a posh school (Highgate) but became a teenage drug monster, hanging about in Camden Town with the likes of Doherty and his Libertines bandmate Carl Barât. “Heroin was quite chic in the Nineties,” he says of his two-year habit. “It was around. I wasn’t grown up at that point, I was just a teenager getting high.” Mystique-building artifice, it seemed, jostled with heady aspiration. He was all mouth and (white) trousers (and no shirt).

Score one for McLean, and minus points for whichever hopeless sub wrote that standfirst.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Good streak

A good twist of the phrase by Sue Nelson in the York Press (surely a bastion of its proper use) -
MY 15-year-old son, a lovable 6ft 2in streak of mouth and trousers, has been talking about “Getting A Car” in two years’ time.

Well done, Sue, and good luck...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pants on fire

Bewildering use of the bastardised form in a headline in the Scotsman -
Fireraiser was all mouth and no trousers
A BUNGLING fireraiser challenged a man to fight then set himself ablaze when he tried to torch a house.
The High Court in Glasgow yesterday heard that 37-year-old Gary Reilly fled the scene with his trousers on fire.[...]

The head's both ignorant and inaccurate, as clearly he was wearing trousers - though, perhaps, not for that long.