06 October 2009

Vocabulary In the News : 05 October 2009 – The Huntsville Times (Alabama)

AL_HTClick on the image to see a larger version of the front page. To visit the homepage of The Huntsville Times, go to :  http://www.al.com/huntsvilletimes/

1.  In the top story originally found in The Orlando Sentinel, we learn that NASA is strapped. Usually the word appears in the expression ‘strapped for cash.’ Simply, it means that you do not have enough money.  If NASA is unable to obtain a massive increase in their budget, they will not be able to send astronauts to the moon. To do so, they will have to look for a partner in Europe or Asia, turning space exploration into a global effort.


2.  In second story very loosely related to NASA, one of its employees, Mrs. Bennie Jacks, was diagnosed in 2002 with breast cancer and immediately had her right breast surgically removed. Over the next few years she took Arimidex, a drug which is used to treat breast cancer after surgery and prevent its spread to other organs. During this time, Mrs. Jacks was very active in various breast cancer organizations and support groups where she met other cancer victims and survivors. These cancer patients were an inspiration to Jacks because she realized that she too can survive breast cancer; they filled her with hope and encouragement which tapped her can-do spirit. Today, she is proud to say that she has been cancer-free for seven years.

If you tap or tap into an ability you use it or get some benefit from it. A boss hires good staff so he can tap their potential. In the case of Mrs. Jacks, the encouragement and hope she found in breast cancer support groups gave her a can-do attitude or spirit into which she was able to tap into to help her survive.

If you have a can-do attitude or a can-do spirit, this simply means that you know you can do something and be successful, particularly if the task or job is very difficult.


check-mark-graphic Explore other meanings of the word ‘tap’ by going to : http://www.macmillandictionary.com/search/american/?q=tap

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