Free Week and I want to talk about a few choice phrases.
I used the term “telling tales out of school” a week or so ago. It popped right out; I had not said the phrase or heard it in many years. Do you know it? It means to talk about something that is within the scope of a group or situation which not everyone is privy to.
(Do people still use the word “privy” in this context? I do.)
I was referring to something that happened in a group to someone who was not involved. It wasn’t gossip, nor was it particularly a secret; it simply wasn’t common knowledge.
I am known for my discretion. I have heard and kept more secrets than many people. People know that they can trust me when they need to get something off of their chests. I can mediate situations between people because I have knowledge of both sides. (I almost wrote “am often privy to both sides”). I usually can persuade one party to confide at least part of their ‘secrets’ to the other, without doing so myself. But in this case, I saw no harm in telling a tale, but it did happen within a close group, to which the person I told was not involved.
It hit me funny as I said it, though: “I may be telling tales out of school, but…”. I realized as I said it that it was such an old-fashioned saying that the person that I was speaking to may not know it, but I carried on, since I had already started telling the tale.
Have you ever used that phrase, “telling tales out of school”?
How about “being privy to”?
Have you heard them used recently?
Should I make an effort not to use these phrases?
Do I sound like I belong in another century?