English Idioms

I was looking at the scanned version of a book titled "American Idioms". There was an interesting example of idiomatic expressions in the introduction which is worth writing here:

Sam is a real cool cat. He never blows his stack and hardly ever flies off the handle. What's more, he knows how to get away with things… Well, of course, he is getting on, too. His hair is pepper and salt, but he knows how to make up for lost time by taking it easy. He gets up early, works out, and turns in early. He takes care of the hot dog stand like a breeze until he gets time off. Sam's got it made; this is it for him.

Now, read the same passage with plain words:

Sam is really a calm person. He never loses control of himself and hardly ever becomes too angry. Furthermore, he knows how to manage his business financially by using a few tricks... Needless to say, he, too, is getting older. His hair is beginning to turn gray, but he knows how to compensate for wasted time by relaxing. He rises early, exercises, and goes to bed early. He manages his frankfurter stand without visible effort, until it is someone else's turn to work there. Sam is successful; he has reached his life's goal.

The book is a real treasure! But, my main point in this post is this: There is a great deal of effort in the software business for making free open-source programs. As for books, there are plenty of scanned and OCR'ed books on the internet, but the great majority of them are illegal, according to the Copyright laws - they are "hacked" books. Will there be a movement for presenting newly written, high-quality online books for free? There are sporadic good examples for this. An example is Baen Books, which publishes numerous free online SF books.

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