mind one's p's and q's
Practice good manners, be precise and careful in one's behavior and speech, as in Their grandmother often told the children to mind their p's and q's. The origin of this expression, first recorded in 1779, is disputed. Among the more interesting theories advanced is that bartenders kept track of customers' consumption in terms of pints (p's) and quarts (q's) and the phrase referred to an honest accounting; that schoolchildren were taught to be careful in distinguishing the letters p and q; and that French dancing masters cautioned pupils about the correct performance of the figures pieds and queues (either abbreviated or mispronounced in English as p's and q's).
QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!
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Example sentences from the Web for mind one's p's and q's
As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.
Added to drinking water at concentrations of around one part per million, fluoride ions stick to dental plaque.
In his view, a writer has only one duty: to be present in his books.
Yet this, in the end, is a book from which one emerges sad, gloomy, disenchanted, at least if we agree to take it seriously.
And not just sick in the body but in your mind, because you start obsessing.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Practise gliding in the form of inflection, or slide, from one extreme of pitch to another.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
He alludes to it as one of their evil customs and used by them to produce insensibility.
There was a rumor that Alessandro and his father had both died; but no one knew anything certainly.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
Truth is a torch, but one of enormous size; so that we slink past it in rather a blinking fashion for fear it should burn us.Pearls of Thought|Maturin M. Ballou
Under the one-sixth they appear as slender, highly refractive fibers with double contour and, often, curled or split ends.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd