08 September 2009

Vocabulary In the News : 7 September 2009 – San Francisco Chronicle

NOTE! I apologize, link to image and PDF became inactive over time.

Let’s try a new way to learn vocabulary by just looking at headlines! If you’d like a more readable version of this front page(pdf format), go HERE! For the newspaper’s homepage go to: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/

- A to-do list is simply a list of all the things that you need to get done! For the California Legislature, theirs is lengthy meaning they really have a lot to get accomplished. However the end of this legislative session is looming! We use this verb, to loom, to describe something that is unpleasant or difficult which could happen soon. It’s the verb used when the size of something very large seems to threaten something that is small. In this case, it is going to be very difficult for the California Legislature to complete its agenda before the end of the session. Before the current recession, some economist studying the factors stated that an economic crisis was looming if some things didn’t change. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/09/07/MN5319ILVG.DTL

- To ride out something means to get through a difficult or dangerous period or situation without any problems. Oftentimes when a hurricane warning is issued along the Gulf or Atlantic coasts, some people don’t evacuate and choose to try to ride out the storm in their homes. In California, labor union are riding out the downturn. This a situation in which there is less economic and business activity. In this case, the Unions for the moment are surviving the economic downturn in California and are gaining new members. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/09/07/MNUC19I8SL.DTL

- In California, workers are scrambling to fix a span of the workhorse Bay Bridge. If you have to scramble to do something, you have to work very fast and very hard to complete something because you are either having to compete or you don’t have a lot of time. In this case, the Bay Bridge is a workhorse which means it’s probably the most important bridge in San Francisco in terms of how many people use it. Keeping the bridge closed too long for repair is a problem for traffic which is why workers are scrambling to fix the span. Here, span is a synonym for length. We can also use it as a verb. For example, the Golden Gate Bridge spans San Francisco Bay which means it crosses over an area of water. Unfortunately, the city cannot guarantee opening the bridge for the commute Tuesday. This word is used to describe the movement of people going to and from work. This is also a verb. If you take your car or the train to go to work, you commute to work. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/07/BAQU19JGKE.DTL

- The last major front page article speaks about the resignation of President Obama’s green jobs czar (name given to appointed advisors to the President), Van Jones. The headlines states that supporters accuse the White House of caving in. If you cave in to someone, this means you stop opposing something, and finally do whatever it is the other person wanted. Van Jones had made some very controversial comments which many conservatives found unacceptable and so they called for his resignation. On Sunday, Mr. Van Jones tendered that resignation and now supporters of Obama accuse the White House of caving in to conservative criticism. Another idiomatic way of expressing this as found in the article, is to buckle. Supporters might also say that President Obama buckled under the pressure of criticism. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/09/07/MNT319JJCF.DTL

pointing finger 01 Don’t forget to use your dictionaries to find other uses and meanings of the above vocabulary. If you have any questions concerning the vocabulary, don’t hesitate to click on the comments link!

To learn more about the resignation of President Obama’s green jobs czar, you can watch the following video by www.newsy.com

For a full transcript of this video, go to: http://www.newsy.com/videos/the_fall_of_van_jones

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