Dienstag, 22. Mai 2007

an idiom a week

This weeks' idiom is very sweet:

a piece of cake- something that is extremely easy to do or to achieve:

Fixing that door hinge should be a piece of cake for Fred.


The rich American couldn't undertand why the Irish angler was lying lazily beside his boat on the beach, smoking a pipe. "Why aren't you out fishing?" asked the American. "Because I have caught enough fish for the day," said the fisherman. "Why don't you catch some more?" "What would I do with them?" "You could sell them and make more money," was the American's reply. "With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough to buy nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats . . . maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me." "What would I do then?" asked the fisherman. "Then you could really enjoy life." said the American. "And what do you suppose I might be doing right now?" said the Irishman, smiling and puffing away on his pipe.

What they said

E.M.Forster quotes:

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."

"You can transmute love, muddle it, ignore it... but you can never pull it out of you..."

"To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art; men can only make us feel small in the wrong way."

"I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves."

"Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice..."

new trends

The hottest clothing trend of this summer have to be embellished dresses, which have a rapidly growing fanbase amongst the Hollywood stars and starlets.

If, as a mere mortal, you too wish to jump on the bandwagon and inject some quirky glamour into your wardrobe, you can choose between a wealth of such dresses at high street shops like HM or Zara.

Have a merry time looking for the embellished dress of your dreams!

Frightened by phrasal verbs?

When teachers talk about phrasal verbs it gives many a English learner the willies as the grammar and the meaning of this verbs is so knotty.

Unluckily, native English speakers adore to blend a few basic verbs and some particles into a phrasal verb while speaking so as to show off.

So what can the English learners do?

In the May issue of Spotlight Robert Parr offers guidance on how to become friends with phrasal verbs:

STEP 1. : Realise that it is paramount for you to understand phrasal verbs and not to produce them initially. As time passes, however, you should start to make use of them more frequently because your spoken English will sound much more fluent if you do so.

For example, force yourself to say "We have to put off the meeting until Friday." instead of "We have to postpone the meeting until Friday."

STEP 2. : Don't bother too much about the grammar and the meaning of phrasal verbs because if you revise them from time to time, you will master this difficulty.

STEP 3. : Finally, ban the thought of phrasal verbs being something to be afraid of from your head and use them actively while speaking as often as possible, which is what I'm attempting to do at the moment with limited success.

dating-part 2

For all of you hopelessly romantic people out there here is the second part of the "useful-vocabulary-for-dating" series:

Two days later, Sandra is talking to her friend Ivana on the phone.

Sandra: He's gorgeous! So easy to get on with.

Ivana: What does he do?

Sandra: Design software.

Ivana: I hope you didn't bombard him with questions about his job.

Sandra: Look, are you my dating coach or something? Anyway, why not?

Ivana: He might think you're checking for wallet padding.

Sandra: You've never even met him!

Ivana: He paid, I suppose.

Sandra: Yes. Is that another mistake?

Ivana: So, when are you seeing him again?

Sandra: Tonight.

Ivana: Tonight? Don't you think you're coming on a bit too strong?

Sandra: He only suggested a quiet drink somewhere.

Ivana: Don't you think maybe now's a good time to hang back a bit?


bombard with-
an excellent, show-off-your-range-of-vocabulary way to say that someone is asking you way too much questions:
They bombarded him with questions about his looming wedding.

dating coach- After some time browsing the web, I stumbled across a great article about dating coaches which goes to show that they are currently all the fashion. According to the article, dating coaches are the last port of call for a mushrooming number of desperate singles. Although the methods applied on the clients and the charges vary greatly from dating coach to dating coach, apparently all of the coaches have one ultimate goal-to boost their clients' seductive skills. What can I say about that, but ask myself what ever happened to the good, old times when people just went on a date oblivious of any rules and still found their perfect match.

To read the whole article, visit: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/FunMoney/Story?id=2193295&page=2

wallet padding- is an expression which stands for how much money there is in a man's wallet

come on strong- informal-to make it very clear to someone that you find them sexually attractive

hot books

Although this book has an excruciatingly long title, you shouldn't be put off by it as "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" ranks high amongst my "the-best-ten-books-which-were-ever-written" list.

In a nutshell, the story is about a 15-year-old boy named Christopher who has autism (a mental illness which makes people unable to communicate properly, or to form relationships). Apart from the fact that he cannot show emotions easily, he is as clever as they come. Just how shrewd he is can be observed by the reader while he tries to find out who killed a neighbours' dog, which is the ostensible topic of the novel.

As the plot unfolds, the reader gets the unique opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a boy who says that feelings are nothing else than "...having a picture on the screen in your head." While reading, you feel sorry not only for Cristopher, but also for his family, who always feels that they are fighting a losing battle aganist his illness and are accordingly jaded by their life routine.

I must say that I'm well aware that this book doesn't give you a complete insight into the complex phenomenon of autism, but what it certainly does is to broaden your perspective through acquiring knowledge on this topic. What's more, so poignant is the book at times that a male friend of mine even had to sob while reading it.

All in all, this attention-grabbing book is definitely worth spending time on as it is a far cry from any fiction book I've ever read before.