The Importance of Not Being Thorough

This morning I was trying to think of some phrases that use the word "face" to show to someone and did a quick Google search. One of the results I came across was this:

I think that this is fairly typical of phrase lists and repositories that you'll find on the web - long, exhaustive lists that contain the best and most useful phrases right along with ones that you've never heard of ("A face like a fiddle") and those that are commonly known but little used ("Cut off your nose to spite your face").

I've written before about the need to differentiate the everyday phrases from the merely interesting ones. A longer list of phrases isn't better than a short one.  It's worse, because the language learner has no way to tell which ones are top priority.  They end up memorizing obscure old aphorisms and then get discouraged when people don't respond well to them.

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