Для занятия с группой О.В.Нагель 26.02.2020

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Follow the news (part I)

The story from investopedia.com:

What Was the Dutch Tulip Bulb Market Bubble?

The Dutch tulip bulb market bubble, also known as 'tulipmania' was one of the most famous market bubbles and crashes of all time. It occurred in Holland during the early to mid-1600s when speculation drove the value of tulip bulbs to extremes. At the height of the market, the rarest tulip bulbs traded for as much as six times the average person's annual salary. Today, the tulipmania serves as a parable for the pitfalls that excessive greed and speculation can lead to.

If you cheat and fail, you’re a cheater. If you cheat and succeed, you’re savvy.

Critics, though call this model simplistic (others use the word “vulgar”). For instance, the author of this unit received this letter from one of his colleagues:

Enjoy the definition of the linguistic competence from one of the world’s leading linguists: The term linguistic competence refers to the unconscious knowledge of grammar that allows a speaker to use and understand a language. (Chomsky) The key word is “unconscious”

Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destructions (Warrant Buffet).

A derivative is a contract between two parties which derives its value from an underlying asset. Types of derivatives: futures, options, forwards and swaps. Please find out how the tulips grow and you will get the meaning of the word “futures” in this contest. 

Iraq had used WMD against its own people and against its neighbor Iran. The German intelligence certainly believed that this was WMD… Iraq, indeed, had weapons of mass destruction…Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction…The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

Abbreviations hinder your understanding of the news. Never stop asking questions and be complacent. If you know what EU is, why not to ask yourself about AU? 

The escalating crisis in Darfur has now cost Sudan the chance to lead the African Union for the second time. The issue’s dominated the AU summit taking place in Ethiopia, -… non-Africans being included in the 26,000-strong planned UN-AU peacekeeping force. Most African nations now have elected governments, but there are deep divisions over Zimbabwe. African leaders respect Robert Mugabe for his stand on land rights and for that reason are reluctant to side with the EU against him. 

One more useful abbreviation that triggers “blackouts” while watching news – IMF:

It’s a legal case facing the former IMF chief. No bailouts for the head of the IMF. - …for the 10 bn EU-IMF loan. – The International Monetary Fund.

Quote from IMF’s website: The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other.


Note, that no one cares if the triggers that switch your brain off belong to “professional fields” (politics, economics) or seemingly unimportant names of the reporters and anchors. Example:

Well, right now he is in Greenland, so kids keep watching, keep waiting. I’m Isha Sesay…- Get the global picture of the day’s news in 30 minutes. 

It is not so easy to recognize this name in the middle of the sentence or even in the end of it: Back to you, Isha. This split second when the name is pronounced is a typical example of the mentioned above triggers that “switch off” your perception. The legendary British rock band Pink Floyd created the album called Momentary Lapse Of Reason. We will use the abbreviation MLR. When the number of MLR per second exceeds the threshold, the watching stops and the news are being declared boring and irrelevant. The threshold varies from individual to individual. Did you notice in one of the previous videos the word “bailout”? It is the typical example of MLR: 

200 million dollars government bailout. – bailout the Irish government.

People create excuses very fast. For instance: “I don’t care about economics” protective philosophy. But how about the pilots who manage to bail out in time?

The two crew members bail out.

Someone may say that he or she is not interested in both economics and wars, but they should be prepared to extend this philosophy of ignorance to jurisprudence too:

But he’s free on 16 thousand-dollar bail. 

There is nothing wrong in not knowing the facts, words, idioms etc. when you learn something new every day and never get complacent.

Complacency = a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder

Watching news is the best way to garner useful words that you would hardly come across in the movies or songs. 

We can’t be complacent, we have to stand out and say “enough is enough”. – People get complacent. It’s a natural instinct: you just won and now you’re happy and you’re complacent. Don’t be complacent.

Imaging the hypothetical situation when you decided to study English and gain some experience washing dishes somewhere in New Orleans. It is a kind of “work and travel” adventure. You wash your dishes and keep the radio on. Then you hear that “The landfall is expected in 30 minutes and the levees will most probably not hold”. The problem is you never watched the news and you hated the unit on the English Patient platform when its author begged you to pay some attention to a couple of new words:

Isaak made landfall in Louisiana Tuesday night as a category one storm with winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour. Officials in New Orleans hope that billions of dollars in improvements made to the levee system will hold up against the power of Isaak. – When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans five years ago, the levees broke flooding the city.

It is no longer politics, economics, mereology or construction engineering which some folks consider irrelevant. If you do not share with them their endless excuses and permanent lapse of reason (PLR) try to decipher the last video. We break it down so that you could concentrate your attention on the key words.  

They saw him as a David who could stand up to the Goliath of America. – Yeah, this seems like a real David and Goliath battle. 

Now we can more information about this great catch: Two Florida men are celebrating the catch of a lifetime after they hooked a whopping 300-pound fish known as a Warsaw grouper. The super-sized fish lives in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it’s known as one of the hardest creatures to hook — and even harder to reel in. https://globalnews.ca/news/7647810/warsaw-grouper-big-fish-caught-florida/


Watch the last video of this unit and make right decisions if you are still in a grip of PLR.

This was the last call…

The next unit contains a lot of video fragments from the recent CNN and BBC news. They are meant to help you fight your MLRs.  

Специализируемся на развитии навыков говорения и понимания реальной речи на слух. Используем только оригинальные материалы.