keep things straight

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keep (something) straight (in one's mind/head)

To be able to understand something clearly and comprehensively; to keep the details of something clear in one's mind. This project is getting so out of control. I can barely keep it straight in my mind anymore! I'm no good at lying because I can never keep my story straight!
See also: keep, mind, straight
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

keep things straight (in one's mind)

Fig. to correctly distinguish one thing from other things. These two bottles look so much alike. It's hard to keep them straight.
See also: keep, straight, thing
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
See also:
References in classic literature ?
I did all I could to help him to keep things straight. We did our very best to keep the thing from everyone, for, when once such a whisper gets about, it is not long before everyone has heard it.
Rich Shapiro, whose 2010 Wired expose examines the heist comprehensively, told Borzillieri and Schroeder he needed a flow chart just to keep things straight. So, to make Evil Genius , the pair stayed faithful to chronology.
From ALSF to ZYC, we all use some form of memory aid--in addition to checklists--to help us keep things straight. Here's another one you can add to your collection.
It's too small an island to get lost." Each reassured me that they rely on "local knowledge" to keep things straight.
Focussing what is going into our bodies, as opposed to how much, is probably the best way to keep things straight. We know saturated fats are bad for us, we're starting to understand that sugar is equally destructive, but eating fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, looking especially at deaths as a result of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
A dab of blue paint on the SERVICE connectors and red on the EMERGENCY pair will keep things straight the next time you hook 'em up.
Having established that setA[degrees] ting, Blomkamp then introduces us to Max (Damon), an exA[degrees]convict who works in a factory while tryA[degrees] ing to keep things straight and himself out of trouble.
Just to keep things straight, since the emergence of the H1N1 patient zero in Mexico last March, pharma companies in the past year were depicted as
"So we keep things straight forward and simple, so everyone understands.
One of the easiest ways to keep things straight is through signs and branding right in front of the bank branches.
To keep things straight, Philbin has a separate interest-bearing checking account where he deposits money budgeted for replacement purchases.
To keep our readers up with the latest moves, Cheers inaugurates the Brand Scorecard, which we hope helps everyone keep things straight.
To keep things straight, we have had many reports of no problems and high satisfaction with the LibertySurf service.
He drifts between time and place, leaving the reader thumbing pages trying to keep things straight. Simon's friends and family seem painfully distant, just sketches of urban poverty.
Publishers like to keep things straight. And readers - some readers at least - they like to keep things straight.
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