take the right tack(redirected from they took the right tack)
take the right tack
To adopt the method, strategy, practice, etc., most likely to result in success. I think we're really taking the right tack with this new environmental initiative. After a rough few years, the company has taken the right tack to get back to profitability.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
right tack/track, to take/on the
To take or be on the correct course of action or reasoning. The first expression refers to the tack of a sailing ship— that is, its course when it is tacking (steering in zigzag fashion when sailing to windward). The word “tack” was being transferred to a course of action by 1675. The second term, which dates from about 1880, alludes to the direction of a path. Both have antonyms—on the wrong tack or track—denoting a mistaken course of action or reasoning.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer