18 September 2009

Vocabulary In the News: 17 September – The Globe and Mail (Canada)

CAN_TGAMClick on the front page to have a larger image.  To visit The Globe and Mail homepage, go to: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

- Bono and his company raised the roof and took Toronto by storm with a dazzling spectacle. If you raise the roof you make a lot of noise or you’re complaining very noisily. U2 also took the city by storm. In other words, they were a huge success! The reason was that U2 gave a dazzling or extremely impressive spectacle. It’s very close to the French meaning and means an exciting and impressive public event. Depending on how you use the term, a spectacle can also refer to an embarrassing event. Last week for example, rapper Kayne West made a spectacle of himself when he went on stage during the MTV Video Music Awards completely drunk.


- Canadian Prime Minister of the Conservative Party is finding unlikely support from the center-left party, New Democratic Party (NDP), and from the independence party, Bloc québécois! The Liberals in Parliament are calling for a censure which could lead to new elections; however the two parties that previously scorned Harper are now keeping his government afloat, possibly avoiding elections. If you scorn someone, you treat that person as if they don’t deserve approval or respect. If you keep a boat afloat, you prevent it from sinking. Here, the unexpected support will keep Harper’s government in charge. Prime Minister Harper is in a difficult situation because he has warned the nation against socialist economic policies and now two parties that support such policies have promised to support him in a confidence vote. Nonetheless, the Conservative Party is ahead in the polls.


- A fiery (fougueux/enflammé) debate is raging in the United States due to the media and more importantly due to comments made by Democratic stalwart, former President Jimmy Carter. If an argument or debate rages, it is causing a lot of anger. In the first sentence, we have the debate pictured like a fire that is burning out of control. In the headline, Carter is described as a Democrat stalwart which means he is in a position to speak with strong authority for his party. He claims that what lies beneath the backlash to President Obama’s healthcare reform is racism! In other words, Carter asserts that racism is the real ‘hidden’ reason for the angry and negative reaction to Obama’s policies. He claims this racism is bubbling to the surface.  He is picturing racism, in this common expression, as being like a bubble at the bottom of a hot liquid that rises to the surface when the temperature gets hot enough.      


1 comment:

  1. Blogger’s note: I usually don’t step in and make any political comments on this blog, but the last story deserves one because the claim of racism by Carter and the left (the media included) is inflammatory and completely irresponsible. And I’m mad as hell about it! Recent polls across the country show that a majority of Americans are against socialized medicine and other policies as supported by the White House and the Democrats. A huge demonstration against big government just took place on Saturday in Washington, D.C. with 1.8 million protestors (less people came for the inauguration!), the largest demonstration ever in the history of the nation’s capital. Even though the Democrats have the power to pass these reforms without the Republicans, they don’t have public support and this is a last-minute effort on their part to destroy the opposition by simply accusing them of being racists for not supporting a president who just happens to be African-American. The Democrat have decided to play the race card (see blog post Expressions Found in Cartoons: The “Beer” Summit and the Race Card for an explanation of the last expression.)! They are hoping to shut up the opposition with this accusation because who wants to be accused of being a racist?! For me, this is one of the lowest points ever reached in American politics when someone is demonized as racist for not supporting the policies of the current president, as if we don’t have a right to oppose his policies. This unfortunate political move on the part of the left will destroy the racial progress made in the United States in the last century.


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