Praise and Criticism

A. Here are some idioms related with praise and positive comments
In these conversations, the second speaker uses an idiom to repeat and sum up what the first speaker says.
John   : That little village was the most wonderful, beautiful place I’ve ever seen
Sam   : Yes, it really was out of this world, wasn’t it?

Nora  : Professor Ben is the best lecture I’ve ever heard
Sam   : Yes,he’s second to none, isn’t he ?

Lucy  : I am not looking forward to being group leader after John. He’s so popular and successful
Sam   : Yes, he’s a hard act to follow!

Larry : Oh, I do like our new sofa. It looks just perfect here
Sam  : Yes, it’s just made for this room, isn’t it ?

Kathy: I admire William. He defended himself very well in the face of all the criticism and made some good points against his critics too
Sam   : Yes, he gave as good as he got, didn’t he ?

Emily : I don’t think we’ll get tickets for the cup final. They’re all sold and we’d have to pay a huge sum of money to buy some on the black market
Rose : Yes, they’re like gold dust.

Mark :  Dr Zachra research is incredibly original and he has made some important new discoveries
Ted   : Yes, he’s done some really ground-breaking work.

B. Here are some idioms in term criticizing people
Read Alice’s account of some problems she had with a colleague at work. Note the idioms.

…Well,when I started working with her, at first she was all sweetness and light, but after a while she started getting/grating on my nerves, and soon began to have arguments over stupid things. If I made even a small mistake with my work, she would give me a hard time, you know, and she would poke fun at me if I smiled at or chatted with any of our colleagues. To add insult to injury, she began to cast aspersions on my honesty, and one day, when some money disappeared from someone’s handbag, she told people she thought I’d stolen it. I don’t think she was an out and out evil person, but she was certainly asking for trouble, and one day I just lost my temper and, you know, told her exactly what I thought of her and how much I disliked her. She hasn’t spoken to me since that day…

all sweetness and light = friendly and pleasant, but in a false way
getting/grating on  my nerves = irritating/annoying me
give me a hard time = make me suffer/feel guilty
poke fun at = tease/mock me ( you can also say make fun of me )
to add insult to injury = to make a bad situation even worse
cast aspersions on = criticize my character; suggest that I was not honest ( formal )
out and out = completely/totally (for negative qualities of people)
asking for trouble = doing things that were certain to result in trouble (you can also say asking for it, which is more informal )

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