Meaning: everything is ok. Usually used in a sentence with negation (not in the least). For example, "Losing did not effect him, not in the least".
Meaning: feeling badly. For example, "He is really out of it this evening. I wonder what is upsetting him"?
Meaning: upset. For example, "Dad gets into a flap when she can't find here car keys".
Meanind: A difficult position. For example "Mom told me to go, and Dad told me to stay. I was in a pinch".
Meaning: concerned and upset. For example, "Dad gets in a stew when Mom is sick. He really worries".
Meaning: No matter what. For example, "Winning the award didn't affect her in any way, shape or form. She hasn't changed at all".
Meaning: Ending a thought with the phrase "if you will" to add acceptance to the thought. Continue reading if you will
Meaning: In every aspect; on the whole; in general. For example, "By in large, everything he said was accurate".
I'm sure you've encountered all manner of theories purporting to explain the significance of things coming in threes. Here is another one for your collection, from 'Discourse & Conversation Analysis', an interesting branch of sociology that concerns itself with the linguistic and behavioural conventions that underpin day-to-day social life.
By Scott Meeker
Globe Features Editor
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