English Reader

Sore spot

Reader question: What does "don't touch him on his sore spot" mean? What is "sore spot"?

My comments:

The sore spot on the body is a wound or injury. If you bumped into a lamp post in the street – say you were really absent minded that time – and you had a lump on the forehead to show for it, then that lump on the head would be a sore spot. You wouldn't want anyone to touch it – let alone hit it hard – and bring out an "ouch" from you.

That's physical pain. Metaphysically, I mean figuratively speaking, a sore spot could be a mental problem as well. Childhood traumas, for instance, can remain psychological sore spots for people in early adulthood or even throughout their lives. In fact, understanding of the effect of traumatic childhood experiences on people is what turned Sigmund Freud into such a big shot as a psychologist. And Freud is the reason why modern-day psychiatry, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy are so big in the West, and increasingly here as well.

Say you've just gone through an acrimonious (angry, painful and unpleasant) divorce, say you wife took the kids along with the apartment, leaving you nothing except a monthly paycheck to fill for child support. Then divorce as a topic might be your sore sport. You wouldn't want anyone to talk in your face about divorce, singlehood (at 40), second marriage or perhaps even relationships in general, not initially at any rate.

Sorry for making you go through so much pain (^-^), but you get the point.

Anyways, here are "sore spot" examples from the media:

1. CEO compensation long-time sore spot

The issue of executive compensation, and whether it is properly aligned with performance, has been on the boil in Canada since long before the credit crisis rolled out.

In September, the Canadian Securities Administrators, an umbrella organization for the country's securities regulators, concluded a two-year overhaul of the way companies disclose what, why and how executives are paid.

The new requirements, such as spelling out how specific elements of compensation encourage certain results, or how much money executives are entitled to under various employment-termination scenarios, will go into effect at the end of this year.

- October 4, 2008, Financial Post.

2. Street Skyrockets Despite Low Confidence

Dow Jones surged nearly 900 points heading into the close as investors went on a shopping spree Tuesday in anticipation of a possible Fed Rate Cut Wednesday. All three major U.S. indexes rose over 9%.

The Treasury Department's initial capital investments under its Troubled Asset Relief Program are being rolled out this week, which may have given the Street some renewed confidence.

Sore spots like a woeful consumer confidence report and job cuts at Whirlpool did not dampen investor appetites.

- October 28, 2008, Forbes.com.

3. Mikey asks for bum inspection

Mikey asked the group to inspect his bottom after he tripped and fell this morning.

Shortly after the blind contestant awoke this morning, he suffered a fall and landed on his rear.

He complained: "My microphone went up my bum cheek, so my bum's all bruised! I need someone to inspect my bum!"

Kat giggled at Mikey's poor luck, before suggesting that Mikey inform Darnell of his sore spot.

"He can kiss it better!" she laughed.

- Big Brother 9, Day 87, August 30, 2008, DigitalSpy.co.uk.