Future perfect? – The Hindu (Aug 16, 2017)

Future perfect? – The Hindu (Aug 16, 2017)

In talking of a New India free of casteism, terrorism, corruption and nepotism by 2022, in his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was… For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. casteism (noun) – discrimination due to caste (system).
  2. nepotism (noun) – partiality, inequality, discrimination/prejudice.
  3. sell (verb) – persuade, convince, get support.
  4. dwell on (phrasal verb) – linger over, speak at length; elaborate on.
  5. inexorably (adverb) – in a way that is impossible to stop/prevent.
  6. go so far as to do something (phrase) – do something regarded/considered as extreme.
  7. embrace (noun) – welcome, accept/adopt; include/comprehend.
  8. intended (adjective) – planned, considered, meant.
  9. overzealous (adjective) – extreme, fanatical, over-enthusiastic.
  10. lynch mob (nou) – relating to the group of people who punish/kill by hanging someone for claimed offence without legal trail.
  11. echo (verb) – repeat, say again/restate, reiterate.
  12. call for (adjective) – demand, necessitate, publically ask.
  13. compassionate (adjective) – caring, loving, kind-hearted.
  14. discriminate (verb) – differentiate, distinguish, separate. 
  15. invoke (verb) – evoke, induce, cause.
  16. surgical strike (noun) – a military attack aimed to cause damage on a particular target with small/no collateral damage to the surrounding.
  17. stand-off (noun) – deadlock, stalemate, impasse (in a dispute/conflict).
  18. reliance (noun) – dependence; trust/confidence on something.

16AUG17_WL1Note: 

  1. Click each one en.oxforddictionaries.com/…ition/foremostof the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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A hasty order – The Hindu (Aug 15, 2017)

A hasty order – The Hindu (Aug 15, 2017)

Just when it appeared that this year’s medical admissions in Tamil Nadu would be solely based on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and that no further legal avenue was available to circumvent it For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-2

  1. hasty (noun) – reckless, irresponsible, quick-tempered.
  2. smack (of) (verb) – suggest, hint at, trace.
  3. heavy-handed (adjective) – clumsy/awkward, insensitive, harsh/severe.
  4. impose (verb) – force, foist, thrust.
  5. shell entity (noun) – it is a corporate entity without active business operations or significant assets.
  6. apparent (adjective) – evident, obvious, clear.
  7. impugn (verb) – challenge, question, dispute.
  8. pass the buck (phrase) – to shift blame/responsibility from oneself to someone else.
  9. cap (verb) –  limit, restrict, put a ceiling on.
  10. launder (verb) – hide the origins of (money obtained illegally) by transferring it through foreign banks/legal businesses.
  11. predominant (adjective) – primary, main, most important.
  12. resolve (noun) – determination, firmness, will power.
  13. dodgy (adjective) – dishonest, deceitful, unreliable.
  14. sake (noun) – cause, purpose, reason.
  15. purview (noun) – range, scope, ambit.
  16. unwarranted (adjective) – indefensible, inexcusable, unapproved.
  17. dormant (adjective) – inactive, unused.
  18. suspicious (adjective) – sceptical, distrustful, doubtful.
  19. adhere (verb) – abide by, stick to, comply with.
  20. commensurate (verb) – appropriate to, in line with, consistent with.
  21. purported (adjective) – claimed, professed/pretended; alleged.
  22. unbiased (adjective) – fair, impartial/ non-partisan, neutral.
  23. unease (noun) –  fright, fearfulness, anxiety/panic.
  24. rationale (noun) – reason/basis; principle; motivation.

15AUG17_WL2Note: 

  1. Click each one en.oxforddictionaries.com/…ition/foremostof the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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A new twist – The Hindu (Aug 15, 2017)

A new twist – The Hindu (Aug 15, 2017)

Just when it appeared that this year’s medical admissions in Tamil Nadu would be solely based on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and that no further legal avenue was available to circumvent it For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. exemption (noun) – exception, exclusion, relief.
  2. litigation (noun) – legal action, lawsuit, charge.
  3. avenue (noun) – way, path, direction.
  4. circumvent (verb) – bypass, avoid, dodge.
  5. abolish (verb) – put an end to, terminate, eradicate.
  6. jeopardize (verb) – risk, threaten, endanger/imperil.
  7. prospects (noun) – chances, opportunities, expectations.
  8. entail (verb) – cause/produce, generate, prompt.
  9. desperation (noun) – hopelessness, despair; recklessness/rashness.
  10. get around (phrasal verb) – overcome, surmount, prevail/triumph over.
  11. reluctant (adjective) – unwilling, disinclined, opposed.
  12. assent (noun) – approval, consent, endorsement.
  13. strike down (phrasal verb) – abolish, annul, nullify  (a law or regulation).
  14. writing on the wall (phrase) – omen, sign/signal, indication.
  15. unrelenting (adjective) – constant, continuous, steady/persistent.
  16. albeit (conjunction) – though, even though, however.
  17. belated (adjective) – late, delayed, not on time.
  18. bound to (adjective) – certain, sure, very likely, guaranteed.
  19. spawn (verb) – produce, generate, bring about.
  20. the eleventh-hour (phrase) – the last moment; last-minute.
  21. heartburn (noun) – discomfort, inconvenience, difficulty. 
  22. ought to (modal verb) – must, should.
  23. allay (verb) – reduce, decrease, relieve/ease.
  24. thrust (verb) – force, push, pressurize.
  25. short-change (verb) – defraud, deceive, trick.
  26. inevitable (adjective) – unavoidable, unpreventable, certain.
  27. imperative (noun) – necessary condition, requisite/requirement, necessity.

15AUG17_WL1Note: 

  1. Click each one en.oxforddictionaries.com/…ition/foremostof the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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Sound and fury – The Hindu (Aug 14, 2017)

Sound and fury – The Hindu (Aug 14, 2017)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric against North Korea and equally strident counter-threats by Pyongyang have made the situation in the Korean Peninsula drastically worse.   For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-2

  1. stand-off (noun) – deadlock, stalemate, impasse (in a dispute/conflict).
  2. fury (noun) – rage, anger, wrath.
  3. wind down (phrasal verb) – diminish, lessen; wind up/bring to end.
  4. rhetoric (noun) – heroics, hyperbole/extravagant language.
  5. strident (adjective) – (of opinions/comments) harsh, rough, loud.
  6. warhead (noun) – the front part (head) of a missile that has the explosive.
  7. sort (noun) – type, kind, variety.
  8. deter (verb) – prevent, stop, block.
  9. escalate (verb) – accelerate, increase/intensify, make serious.
  10. appalling (adjective) – shocking, horrible, terrible.
  11. substantial (adjective) – fundamental, essential, basic.
  12. play down (phrasal verb) – underemphasize, downplay, understate.
  13. counsel (verb) – advise, guide, recommend.
  14. spiral (noun) – increase, rise, enlargement/expansion.
  15. volatile (adjective) – unpredictable,  uncertain, unsettled.
  16. regime (noun) – government, rule, administration.
  17. artillery (noun) – big guns, ordnance, cannons.
  18. demilitarized (adjective) –  relating to an area wherein all military forces are removed.
  19. predecessor (noun) – forerunner, precursor, antecedent.
  20. resort (to)(verb) – adapt, exercise, make use of, use/utilize.
  21. sanctions (noun) – action taken, or an order given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country, by not allowing economic aid for that country, etc (Courtesy: VOA Learning English).
  22. intimidate (verb) – frighten, threaten, scare.
  23. futility (noun) – failure, pointlessness/uselessness, worthlessness.
  24. totalitarian (adjective) – authoritarian, autocratic, dictatorial.
  25. on the line (phrase) – at risk, in danger, endangered.

14AUG17_WL2Note: 

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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Wages of neglect – The Hindu (Aug 14, 2017)

Wages of neglect – The Hindu (Aug 14, 2017)

The death of more than 60 children in the span of a few days in a major referral hospital in Uttar Pradesh has jolted the conscience of the nation. This was an entirely preventable tragedy.  For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. wage (noun) – reward, recompense, retribution.
  2. holistic (adjective) – relating to the whole/complete/entire factors; comprehensive, full, total.
  3. overhaul (noun) – a thorough examination, revamp, recondition.
  4. jolt (verb) – surprise, shock, startle.
  5. conscience (noun) – morals, standards, values/principles.
  6. perish (verb) – die, be killed (suddenly).
  7. frantic (adjective) – panic-stricken, panic-struck, berserk/distraught.
  8. requisition (verb) – request, order, call for.
  9. assertion  (noun) – affirmation, declaration, statement.
  10. prejudice (verb) –  bias/influence; damage, spoil/impair.
  11. unremitting (adjective) – relentless, constant, endless.
  12. encephalitis (noun) – it is a sudden sudden inflammation (swelling) of the brain.
  13. afflict (verb) – trouble, affect, bother adversely.
  14. epidemic (noun) – outbreak; a situation in which a disease spreads quickly and affects many people (Courtesy: VOA Learning English).
  15. wrack a variant of rack (verb) – torment, afflict, torture/pain.
  16. fatal (adjective) – deadly, lethal, killing.
  17. crippling (adjective) – weakening, destroying, spoiling.
  18. will (noun) – determination; decision, intention.
  19. determinant (noun) – factor, issue, concern.
  20. irrigation (noun) – supply of water to farm land to grow crops & plants.
  21. proximity (noun) – closeness, nearness, adjacency.
  22. vaccination (noun) – treatment with a vaccine to protect against a particular disease.
  23. paediatric (adjective) – relating to the branch of medicine dealing with children and their diseases.
  24. trail (verb) –  lag behind, fall behind, lose.

14AUG17_WL1Note: 

  1. Click each one en.oxforddictionaries.com/…ition/foremostof the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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Know Your English: Don’t be a showboat – The Hindu (Aug 13, 2017)

Know Your English: Don’t be a showboat – The Hindu (Aug 13, 2017)

“I don’t think I can eat the entire slice. I’ll cut it into two. Where do you keep your cutleries? In the kitchen or in the…”

“No, it’s in the shelf over there. You’ll find the cutlery in the bottom drawer.”……

For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

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Courtesy: The Hindu

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Everyday Grammar: Okay – VOA Learning English (Aug 13, 2017)

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Courtesy: Voice of America

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Words and Their Stories: When Do We ‘Eat Crow?’ – VOA Learning English (Aug 12, 2017)

Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories. On this show, we explore the origins and usage of expressions we use in every day American English

Okay, nobody likes to be wrong. But when it turns out that we are, in fact, wrong, the best thing to do is admit it.

For some reason, in American English when we need to admit that we are wrong, we usually eat something. For example, admitting a mistake often requires that we swallow our pride. The expression means that we must forget ourselves in order to repair the damage our mistake has done.

That’s right. Or, let’s say you are bragging about something you can do. But it turns out you can’t. If you claim that something is true when it isn’t, you may have to eat your own words.

Now, normally eating is a good thing and eating pie is even better. Blackberry, apple and pumpkin pie are all quite delicious. However, one pie that tastes awful is humble pie. When you eat humble pie you have to admit you are wrong. You, in a way, have to eat humility, which according to this expression does not taste very good.

Sometimes when we offer a challenge, we make a bet. We may use the phrase, “If I’m wrong, I‘ll eat my hat.” This is a way of saying, “There’s no way I’m wrong.” In many old American films and television shows, this phrase is used as a joke. And the joke is always the same: someone, proven wrong, shakes salt on his hat as he pretends to eat it.

Okay, so swallowing pride, eating words and humble pie, or even eating one’s hat are all fairly easy to understand — kind of.

But what about eating crow? Why is eating crow a way of admitting you’re wrong?

Some language experts say this expression comes from English writer Rudyard Kipling. Kipling uses an image of eating crow in his 1885 short story “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes.”

Morrowbie Jukes was a European colonist in India. While traveling one day, he falls into a sand pit and cannot escape. Another man, a native Indian, is also trapped in the same sand pit. The Indian man stays alive by catching wild crows and eating them. Morrowbie is full of pride as he yells, “I shall never eat crow!”

However, days pass and he has eaten nothing. Hungry and  facing certain death, he finally does what he swore loudly he wouldn’t do — eat crow.

Often people have to eat crow when they make very bold, repeated public statements that turn out to be false. Not just individuals – the media sometimes has to do it, too.

That’s right. In 1948, then-president Harry Truman was campaigning against Thomas Dewey. The Washington Post newspaper predicted over and over that Dewey would win. The newspaper was wrong.

After the election, they sent this telegram to the winner, President Truman:

“You Are Hereby Invited To A ‘Crow Banquet’ To Which This Newspaper Proposes To Invite Newspaper Editorial Writers, Political Reporters And Editors, Including Our Own, Along With Pollsters, Radio Commentators And Columnists … Main Course Will Consist Of Breast Of Tough Old Crow En Glace. (You Will Eat Turkey.)”

Now, let’s hear some of these expressions in a short story.

Four friends live in a small town. Their favorite thing to do together is to play basketball together. One of them, Lane, is new to town. He’s really good at basketball and lets everyone know. His friends warn him that if he keeps bragging, he will soon have to eat his words. But he doesn’t listen.

“If anyone in this small town beats me on the court, I’ll eat my hat!

Lane was always betting like that. He really thought no one could beat him at basketball.

One night after shooting hoops all day, the four friends find themselves in a mom-and-pop restaurant for dinner. As Lane brags about how great he had played that day, the owner of the restaurant comes over with their food. He’s very tall, but walks slowly and his back is stooped. His strong hands are spotted with age.

Hearing their conversation, the old man smiles. “I used to shoot a lot when I was younger,” he remembers fondly. “It’s quite a game!”

The friends agree with him. They have a great conversation with the old man about how basketball has changed over the years.

Lane, however, is upset. No one is talking about his victory on the court that day.

But then he lets his pride get the better of him.

“Well, old man, it’s nice that you played once. But basketball is a game for young people like me!”

“That’s the truth,” the old man laughs. “My tired old legs could never go up and down the court the way they used to.”

“Yeah, restaurant work is more suited to an older person.”

Lane says “older person” as if it were a bad word. Lane’s friends sink down in their seats, embarrassed at his behavior. The old man just smiles. He stands up straighter and clears his throat loudly to get everyone’s attention.

“Well, there is one thing that I can still do quite well. I can shoot a mean free-throw!”

He points at Lane and adds, “In fact, I might even beat you, young man.”

Lane laughs at this. His friends, who know the old man better than Lane, say nothing. They simply sit there, smiling, as Lane invites the old man to a friendly free-throw competition the next day.

“If you beat me at free throws, I’ll …” Lane pauses, not knowing what to bet.

The owner thinks of it for him.

“If you lose, you must wait tables in my restaurant for a week.”

Lane agrees to the bet and they shake on it. They arrange to meet at the basketball court the next day at noon. Word about the challenge gets around quickly. The town is that small. At the appointed time, spectators fill the seats around the basketball court.

The rules of the competition are simple. The one to make the most free-throw shots in a row wins. Lane goes first. He makes 24 excellent free-throw shots. But he misses his 25th throw.

“Beat that!” he yells, throwing the basketball at the old man.

The old man picks up the ball and walks slowly over to the free throw line. The restaurant owner sinks shot after shot, all of them perfect.

The old man is still shooting to the roar of the crowd when Lane leaves the court with his tail between his legs. In the end, the old man made a total of 63 perfect free-throws – a new court record!

At first Lane is too embarrassed to go into the restaurant. But finally, he swallows his pride and apologizes to the old man. The old man graciously gives Lane an apron, then watches as the young man waits on his first customer.

As most of the people eating at the restaurant knew about the bet, Lane has to eat crow every time he takes an order. And then he eats massive crow when his friends come into the restaurant. They give him a really hard time!

Soon, though, Lane is having fun talking about basketball with the old man. When Lane tells his friends how much the old man knows about basketball, they aren’t surprised at all.

“Yeah, we tried to tell you that. But you wouldn’t listen. That old man was a college basketball star and even played for a professional team.”

“Well, you could’ve told me that before I challenged him!” Lane throws a towel at his friends.

“You needed to eat some humble pie. Your bragging was really getting on our nerves! Speaking of pie, waiter,” one friend says, “I’ll take the peach pie for dessert.”

After the third day, Lane and the old man decide to meet every evening after work to shoot hoops together.

“On one condition,” says the old man.

“You name it,” answers Lane.

“Please stop waiting tables in my restaurant. You’re really bad and I’m losing customers.”

And that’s the end of this Words and Their Stories. How do you admit you’re wrong in your language?

Do you eat crow? Or just your hat? Let us know or simply practice these expressions in the Comments Section!

I’m Bryan Lynn and I’m Anna Matteo.

 

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

 

admit – v. to say usually in an unwilling way that you accept or do not deny the truth or existence of (something)

brag – v. to talk about yourself, your achievements, your family, etc., in a way that shows too much pride

colonist – n. a person who helps to create a colony

shoot hoops – slang : playing basketball

mom-and-pop – adj. owned and run by a married couple or by a small number of people

stooped – adj. (of a person) having the head and shoulders habitually bent forward.

fondly – adv. in a loving way

mean – adj. chiefly US, informal : excellent or impressive

spectator – n. a person who watches an event, show, game, activity, etc., often as part of an audience

roar – n. a loud continuous confused sound

graciously – adv. to do something with kindness and courtesy

massive – adj. large in amount or degree

to get on someone’s nerves – slang : to annoy someone a lot

with his tail between his legs – informal phrase : with a feeling of being embarrassed or ashamed especially because one has been defeated.

This was originally published on the www.learningenglish.voanews.com and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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English in a Minute: Drop the Ball – VOA Learning English (Aug 12, 2017)

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Dropping the ball in a team sport is not a good thing. But what does this mean in other situations? Let’s hear from Ashley, Jonathan and Anna!

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Courtesy: Voice of America

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English @ the Movies: ‘Takes Your Breath Away’ – VOA Learning English (Aug 11, 2017)

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Courtesy: Voice of America

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