The English We Speak

Let the dust settle

Summary
Neil’s keeping out of the way. There’s an argument in the office about the messy desks but it’s really only about one desk – Neil’s! It’s a good time for him to teach Feifei a new phrase while the dust settles – whatever that means!

Transcript
Feifei
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Feifei but I’m not sure where Neil is.

Neil
Sorry I’m late. It’s going a bit crazy out there in the office.

Feifei
Crazy?

Neil
Yes. Everybody is arguing and shouting.

Feifei
About what exactly?

Neil
The mess in the office. The boss says it’s untidy and we should clear up after ourselves. He even said that my desk was like a pigsty!

Feifei
Hmmm, well you’d better stay in here and keep out of the way until things have calmed down.

Neil
Good idea – I’ll just let the dust settle.

Feifei
Oh, so the office is messy and dusty – is that what everyone’s arguing about – the dust?

Neil
No Feifei, I just mean I’ll wait for the situation to calm down.

Feifei
Got it! So, you’re just keeping out of the way – are you scared?

Neil
Of course not. I just wanted to hear these examples…

Examples
We’ve had lots of complaints about the changes but let’s wait until the dust settles before we respond.

We’re busy moving house at the moment but I’ll give you a call when the dust settles.

Now the dust has settled after the restructuring, I think we can talk about recruitment.

Feifei
This is The English We Speak from the BBC and we’re finding out about the phrase ‘let the dust settle’, which means to ‘wait for a situation to calm down’.

Neil
We can also say ‘wait for the dust to settle’ – which is what I’m doing right now.

Feifei
Neil, I have a feeling you’re just avoiding the situation for one reason.

Neil
Oh yeah, what’s that?

Feifei
Look out there. They’re all pointing at your desk. They’re not arguing about a messy office. They’re complaining about your mess.

Neil
Really. Well, I like to work in a messy environment.

Feifei
Maybe, but I don’t think the dust is ever going to settle in this argument.

Neil
OK. But I think I’ll stay in here for just a little longer.

Both
Bye.

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/the-english-we-speak/ep-180604