09 September 2009

Vocabulary In the News : 8 September 2009 – New York Post & The Chronicle

NOTE! I apologize, link to images and PDFs became inactive over time.

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.nypost.com/

- If you have a pullout in a newspaper or magazine, then this means that there is a thin book that you can keep after you have thrown the newspaper or magazine away. In this case, they have included a short 20-page booklet as a NFL 2009 guide.

-A bribe is the money or present that you give to someone to help you do something dishonest or illegal. The act itself is called bribery, which is considered a crime. In the article which you can read at the link below, several city inspectors with links to powerful crime families were taking bribes in order to overlook violations in city construction codes. These inspectors were lining their pockets when the mob bribed them.

- Other city building inspectors were involved in a drug scam. This is when you follow a dishonest plan or trickery in the hopes of making money. In this situation, some inspectors were using the constructions sites as places to deal in illegal drugs. The word is also a verb. For example, you have all gotten those spam emails from some poor widow of a dead African official who has inherited a lot of money and needs help getting it out of the country or some other sad story so she has contacted you to help her and in the process, you’ll earn some of that money! Well, whoever sent you that email with the phony story is trying to scam you out of your money. Some scammers are so good at scamming and appear legitimate that we would call them a scam artist.

- The sub headline states that there is a mob taint on the construction inspectors. In other words, the whole situation appears to have a connection to the mob; it has the appearance of corruption. It gives the idea that the situation smells or is possibly infected by the mob. The word also exists as a verb. In the United States during an important court case such as in the OJ Simpson trials, the jury was kept hidden and they were not allowed to watch television during the trial because no one wants outside influences to taint or corrupt the jury. We want them to make an honest decision based only on the facts in the case and not from what is being said on television by the media. Here’s another example of how we can use this verb. Imagine you are walking in the country enjoying the fresh air when all of sudden you pass by a farm and you smell the cows! You could say that the air is tainted by the smell of cow manure. In other words, it added a quality to the air that made it unpleasant!

To find out more, go to: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regional/graft_shocker_3FyDTCePvamziXbKSCeOZL

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.kcchronicle.com/

I’d like to take just one expression from the front page of the Geneva, Illinois newspaper The Chronicle, because it’s a good idiomatic expression.

- If you walk a fine line, this means that you have to be careful about what you say or do because you might offend, anger or annoy someone. You have to treat a situation with great delicacy. Alternatively, you can also say, to walk a thin line.

The headline on the front page is referring to a speech that President Obama made to school children yesterday afternoon. The President has been accused by conservatives of using his speech to spread propaganda in the classroom. To find out more, read the article by clicking on the link below.


Front pages taken from : http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/

To learn more about the above political controversy swirling around President Obama’s speech to schoolchildren, watch the following video from www.newsy.com.

To view the video at Newsy and to access the transcript, go to : http://www.newsy.com/videos/obama_in_the_schools

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