What noise really gets on your nerves?


Certain sounds, noises, often repeated again and again can make you really irritated. At least they can me. At the moment it’s the sound of a dog barking. And one dog in particular - the one two doors down from my house. I have evil thoughts about this dog verging on slaughter. The wretched thing jumped two gardens the other day and ended up in mine. I gave it the evil look and it ran for its life until the owner collared it. I asked her whether there was something wrong with her dog as it seems to bark incessantly and she solemnly assured me: It’s a barker! An inborn respect for womankind prevented me from saying a word.


Now I’m curious, Alan. What would you have said if it had been a man? Personally, I’m always at a loss for words in such situations, blaming myself for it later, when I find dozens of appropriate retorts and it’s too late — or is it that maybe our guardian angel happens to be on duty in those moments and prevents us getting into (further) trouble?

I don’t want to give you ideas, but some neighbours of mine were sued by their next door neighbours because of their constantly barking dog. We all know what a lack of sleep can do, so I don’t blame you for your murderous thoughts!!

Hi Alan,

Once you have a new fan who turns out to be so talkative, maybe you should somehow try and get him/her involved in some type of conversation? Have you talked to the little doggy yet? Maybe he simply wants some extra attention and asking him a few questions will do the trick?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Torsten,

Thanks for the advice. I’m afraid I am not a dog or cat person. I think that dogs should be quiet, know their place and stay away from me.

Incidentally there is an expression barking mad, often abbreviated to barking suggesting the idea of being completely crazy. And that just about sums up my dog neighbours. It’s just as well that they are extremly unlikely to log on and read this.


Interestingly enough, one of the participants of a course we are currently running brought her little dog to school yesterday and believe it or not she (the dog) didn’t make a sound throughout the entire day (8 am to 4 pm) and was very well behaved. So, I guess that a dog like would suit you, Alan?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Torsten,

You’ve started me off again thinking of words and now I feel a test coming on but can’t be sure whether I’ve written it already - dog eat dog society - dogged determination - barking up the wrong tree - a dog’s life - in the doghouse - go to the dogs - dog’s dinner- top dog. No, I shall have to stop, the grass needs cutting and it’s going to rain any minute!


Alan, you have already incorporated a lot of dog expressions into your tests, here are some of them:
leading a dog’s life
“Two Dogs”
Expression: “Every Dog”
Expression: “Hair of the Dog”[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Alan

I’m a cat person, so your “dog” expressions naturally made me think of an expression that I indirectly associate with cats: “hissy fit” (meaning: temper tantrum). Do you know that expression or is it strictly American?

As to your original question, I absolutely cringe at the sound that chalk on a blackboard sometimes makes.

I also hate it when my neighbor decides he needs to drill holes in the wall in his house. I could swear the drilling sound is louder in my house than in his. And it seems like it’s never just 1 or 2 holes…


A barking dog Alan?
I have a barking dog INSIDE THE HOUSE!
This crazy old caucasian shepherd lives in our hose, and loves playing his favourite game the let-me-out-then-let-me-in.
Time flys when you having fun,but I wish I had a dog like this in my neighburghood.
Or even farer.

Hi Spencer,
as I was a child I had caucasian shepherd ,
I had got it from one Russian soldier they were quite many were I was living unfortunately the caucasian were to wild ,to aggressive
and mine was growing so fast and had become so strong and independent we must had given him to the country cottage.
He is death since years but somehow I was many years only one not feeling the fear because of him.
he was very big and he doesnt use to bark he was just attacking in silence barking was for fun.

Hey Yan,
Ours is not that bad, I mean he’s never bit anyone, and he’s old already, about 12 years.
I like him, he’s like a family member, and he still looks scary as hell.
If someone decides to break in for a minute at night, the first of us he meet is going to be a caucasian in the house.
How’s that for a nice surprise?
(the second surprise’d be myself running downstairs with a sword in my hand that I keep beside my bed)
(I know I’m paranoid,but it doesn’t mean that noone followes me :slight_smile: )
Anyway, I’m happy You like these monsters as well,
Take care

There is also the expression “hairy ape fit”, often shortened to just “a hairy”.

When I have a class that just won’t be quiet and get down to business, I bring them to attention quickly by dragging my fingernails down the blackboard. The noise doesn’t bother me, but it goes right down other people’s spines. I learned this efficient classroom management technique from my brother.

The sound I can’t stand is that of someone filing her fingernails. If someone is doing that, I have to leave the room.

As Amy said before the sound of drilling holes is terrible,My department on the fifth floor receives any sound that comes from other departments so its not only one neighboor there are 20 and about twice a week you hear the sound of drilling holes in the whole department,I really want to go downstairs and say something but my baby Daniela also starts to cry so We<my husband,my son and I> have to deal with the sound of drilling and my daughters sound when she cries,kind of difficult , :?