Friday, March 30, 2012

Come Down Hard On ( ~ )

Here's a transitive multi-word idiom that you don't want people doing to you.

Let's first take a look at a few examples from the headlines and see if you can come up with any hypotheses as to what it might mean:

Supreme Court Health Care Law: Justices Come Down Hard On The Mandate 


Law must come down hard on coal mine lawbreakers


NFL Comes Down Hard On New Orleans Saints For 'Bounty-Gate'


Well, based on these three headlines, would you say it means something closer to "to support" or "to admonish"? 

We see it meaning "to admonish", "to criticize harshly".  You can see that someone or something came down hard on somebody or something. It could be a teacher coming down hard on a student, a parent coming down hard on a child, or a spouse coming down hard on a spouse.  In each of these statements, it's a strong statement that may have strong repercussions, often legal.

Put this verb - (to) come down hard on (~ ) - in your browser and see the various cases in which this verb is used. In each case, look to see who did what, and who is coming down hard on him/them, and what would be the repercussions, legal or otherwise, of this.


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