I saw an English woman say this to a Greek man in a television programme. His answer was that she should just not go. But there’s no travelling involved. If you’re being sent to Coventry, people are not speaking to you. They’re ignoring you. By way of a punishment. You’re being excluded because of something you did. Ostracised and made to feel as though you don’t exist. The origin probably has to do with the fact that the town of Coventry was a Parliamentary stronghold and royalist prisoners were sent there from Birmingham as an extra punishment. But this meaning isn’t confirmed.

Other idioms involving cities are: It’s like taking coals to Newcastle (like taking water to the sea) and They’ve got more front than Brighton (about someone who is extremely sure of themselves). The seaside town of Brighton is famous for its long seafront. But ‘front’ also means impudence or effrontery.

This week’s most ludicrous bit of interference by Microsoft? ‘She tried to kick the bucket into the water’ became ‘she tried to die into the water’. Try typing ‘kick the bucket’ in Word. Microsoft flags it with a dotted blue line and suggests: ‘Direct language is clearer and won’t confuse the reader’ and suggests you just say ‘die’!:-))