Don't let those complicated questions about the finer points of the English language throw you off balance - Tim Bowen is here to help. This week he brings us an enlightening discussion on collocates of the word throw.

The European football authorities recently began to investigate allegations that a team threw a match (deliberately lost it in order to take a bribe) several years ago. If the allegations turn out to be true it is likely that the authorities will throw the book at the offending club (punish them very severely). One of the problems here seems to be that in order to be successful some people will simply throw caution to the wind (stop being careful and do something they know has risks) and throw money at something (try to improve it by spending excessive amounts of money). In such cases people often throw good money after bad (continue spending money on something that is clearly going to fail). The inevitable result of this is that it does fail and is then a question of throwing money down the drain (wasting it by spending it on something useless). If a project is to work, people need to throw their weight behind it (support it fully) and not simply throw their weight around (use their authority to tell other people what to do in a rude and unpleasant way).

Sometimes things can throw you off balance (make you feel confused or surprised because you did not expect them) and throw everything into disarray (put it into a very bad state). Under those circumstances you might feel like tearing everything up and starting all over again. The danger here is that you might throw the baby out with the bathwater (get rid of the good and useful aspects of something without intending to, while you try to get rid of the negative aspects). In the end, if all else fails, don't throw a tantrum (get angry) just throw a party and have fun.