tin ear


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tin ear

1. A lack of musical ability, especially in relation to proper pitch. Unfortunately, most karaoke singers have a tin ear.
2. The inability to recognize subtleties in language. Don't try to joke around with him—he has a tin ear and can't distinguish sarcasm.
See also: ear, tin

tin ear

Fig. a poor ear for music; a poor hearing ability when it comes to music and distinguishing pitches. I think I had better not try to sing along with you. I have a tin ear and would ruin your performance.
See also: ear, tin
References in periodicals archive ?
Tin ear or no, you've got to start somewhere--and isn't it honorable and even brave of Dean to confront race and class head-on in these pussyfooting times?
Hoffmann's language about music provide material relating to two central figures in the 'Golden Age' of German literature, whilst George Schoolfield writes with his usual irony and erudition about the tin ear of Rainer Maria Rilke, the most 'musical' of poets.
Aphex cures technology's tin ear with iOS and Android app
May's "sorry" apology last week was Downing Street spin and it didn't take long for the PM's tin ear to leave her deaf to genuine complaints.
The Joint Ministerial Committee have become discredited because the Tories have given them the tin ear.
Nationally, the TUC provides a voice in the political system for the interests of workers, although the current government often has a tin ear to such representations.
In a speech to the Fabian Society's conference, Mr Miliband said: "Week after week, month after month, year after year, this Government has shown a tin ear for what is really going on.
Only a tin ear could fail to hear the discordant note.
You could have just been laid off from your job, stripped of your health insurance and facing eviction, but some well-meaning soul with a tin ear for words will urge you nonetheless to "have a good day.
In the meantime, political fire has focused on high levels of banking bonuses, which have been fuelled by low interest rates, bu oyant markets and what looks like bankers'' tin ear.
State legislators have turned a tin ear to screams for reform solely out of ignorance, inertia or fear of a public backlash.
Despite her tin ear, she thought herself a coloratura and tackled Mozart, Verdi and Strauss with a sublime conviction that she was doing them proud.
The more troubling shortcoming of the book is the fact that, despite its acknowledgment of the social and historical circumstances that inform the parallels it explores, Up from Bondage shows a tin ear for real politics throughout.
Judge Shabaz's critics have a tin ear for the Constitution.
Lloyd has been accused of having a tin ear in his readings of Heaney's poetry; it is also true that there is relatively little discussion here of the actual works of the writers being commented upon; and again, Lloyd's excruciating style in the first two chapters at least will not make his argument readily available to very many readers (he veers more toward the prose of a Homi Bhabha than that of an Edward Said).