Thursday, January 20, 2011

Needed Like A Hole In The Head

A hole in the head is the expected result of a gunshot to the human head. As most people have better things to do than to be shot and murdered, needing something like a hole in the head means to not need something at all; for something to instead be unwelcome in the extreme.

The expression may be an expression of British sarcasm, but it has long been used in American discourse. It is probably out of date in the United States.

Example: Chris Keates, general secretary of one of the United Kingdom's main teachers union, said to British media:

“Teachers want another curriculum review like a hole in the head. This is a pointless review when ministers have already determined that children should have a 1950s-style curriculum."

This is saying that British teachers do not want a review of the national educational curriculum whatsoever. It is as unwelcome as random murders of teachers by masked gunmen.

One might think that this is a wild exaggeration, but fights between teachers and governments about what teachers should be required to teach in schools, and if they should be required to teach more "hard subjects" with more math, more history, and more language, are extremely fierce nonetheless.

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