Keys play such a great part in our lives that it would be impossible to do without this magical noun. It can be used in every situation. Let’s see what saying and quotes about keys we use in our life.
If something has been completely secured, it is said to be “under lock and key” (sometimes, under such condition, we would also like to put, more or less jokingly, the ones that we deem capable of hurting us). If we are finally hired for that role which will allow us to truly affect the group to which we belong, we have reached a “key position“. It seems that this figure of speech originates from the fact that controlling a door through which everybody has to pass gives a certain power.
Sometimes we rack our brains trying to grasp the solution of an ever-fleeing enigma. If we succeed, we can say that we have “found the key” of the problem. While using this statement, we are in good and adventurous company: it is also used by those who try to decipher secret codes or investigate on unresolved mysteries. Those who have the “key to the situation“, or those who have found the “key to reading“, but also those who are trying to help a friend or to support an action.
When we take a break to listen to good music, the tune that we gladly listen is written on five staves, which acquire their meaning from the key placed at the beginning of each stave: treble or G-clef, bass or D-clef, and so on. For this reason, if we do something out of tune, if we break the mould or if we break free from the idea that we give of ourselves, someone could say that we are “off-key“, like a note that has fallen in the wrong place on the staff.
Let us leave the music aside, let’s watch a movie. Certainly there will be a “key character“. Do you prefer to read? Maybe a book that recounts events of the past using a modern twist (and, notoriously, all keys twist in their locks)? Let’s have a little talk: to convince our interlocutor we need a “key argument“. We can’t find it? Let’s challenge him to a game of chess: the move that opens up the solution of the problem is the key one.
When we buy an apartment it is better to ask for it “keys in hand“, that is all inclusive, ready to be used, so that we don’t end up with unexpected surprises. In the past, the person who received the keys of the city knew that he was an important human being.
If today, as in the past, we give the keys to our heart to someone, we are very important. And also lucky, because, as Karen Blixen said “Man and woman are two locked caskets, of which each contains the key to the other“.