Damien Carrick: Would you say that the sky's fallen in though?

Jim Farmer: No, I wouldn't say that. I think the standards of advocacy are still quite high, but I don't think it has necessarily led to people feeling that it's a friendly environment to be in, because after all, it's not, that's the reality. But as I say, I do think possibly the loss of formality has meant that the tradition of court room etiquette and courtesy—courtesy by the lawyers to the judge, by the lawyers to witnesses and so forth—is not as high as it used to be.

(ABC Radio National)

I got this excerpt from a radio interview on the question of courtroom attire. Jim Farmer saw the abolition of the wigs and Damien Carrick, the host, was asking him about the effect of this. I can sort of guess what 'the sky's fallen in' mean but I am not sure if my guess is correct. My guess is that if the standard has decreased. So I was just wondering if you could tell me what was meant by that.

Thank you


'The sky is falling' is a semi-facetious way of referring to something as a major disaster. It suggests that some people might think there is a major problem, but others might disagree.

The questioner in your example wants to know if there has been a serious collapse of courtroom standards.

Note that the phrase is not normally used to refer to physical disasters, such as an earthquake. There's nothing debatable about the seriousness of those.

Best wishes, Clive
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Ah, I see. Thanks for replying Clive.

So its almost like using humour. I think its a very interesting phrase.

Just wondering. This would not be referred to as euphemism, would it?

Thanks again


A more common form of the expression is 'The sky is falling'. (ie without the 'in'.)

Have a look here. Sky_Is_Falling(fable)