Visual Vocabulary - To Muddy the Waters

source: EnglishAnyone   2016年10月5日
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Today’s expression is “to muddy the waters.” This is a very common phrase meaning to make a situation or issue more complex or confusing by adding additional, and often unimportant, information or elements.
Imagine you’re standing in a shallow, beautiful stream. It’s a sunny day in the forest, and you can look down through the clear water at your feet.
The mud on the bottom of the stream is undisturbed, and you can see little fish swimming by your toes.
But, once you begin to move your feet, you send mud from the bottom of the stream up into the water, making the stream cloudy and reducing visibility.
Like muddying the waters of a real stream, when you add lots of additional, unnecessary things to a situation or issue, you make it more confusing and difficult to understand.

# “To muddy the waters” is a phrase you can use in both professional and casual situations:
A: By introducing all of that extra data at end of the meeting, Tom just muddied the waters.
B: I know. Sometimes he can explain things too much.

A: I hope I’m not muddying the waters, but there are a few other things about the project we need to consider.
B: I understand. It’s important to be thorough.

A: Stop muddying the waters! No one cares about all of these useless facts!
B: I’m sorry. Forget everything else. Just follow the instructions on the form.

A: Let me tell you exactly what we’re going to do each day on our vacation!
B: You’d muddy the waters of my enjoyment by explaining everything now. Just tell me only what we’re going to do next.