strike a note
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strike a (kind of) note
Of speech, to have or communicate a certain kind of tone or attitude. The president struck an beleaguered note in his address to congress, as he tried to convince them to vote for the healthcare bill he is backing. The manager struck a rather insincere note as he expressed his sorrow at the round of layoffs.
strike a sour note
To indicate, introduce, or allude to something particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, or disagreeable. You definitely struck a sour note when you brought up Dan's ex-girlfriends during your best man speech.
strike a sour noteand hit a sour note
Fig. to signify something unpleasant. Jane's sad announcement struck a sour note at the annual banquet. News of the accident hit a sour note in our holiday celebration.
strike (or sound) a — noteexpress a feeling or view of a particular kind.
2000 Times John McCain …was expected to strike a hawkish note last night, calling for the upgrading of the Armed Forces.