Showing posts from November, 2015

November tweets

I have been on Twitter for four and a half years now. If you haven't signed up, why not do so? I think it is an entertaining way to help you along the learning path.

Here is a look at some of the tweets from Novembers past:


I have been living in my flat since November 2011. I will have to move again in a year's time when the contract runs out.

The thing about tweets is that you are limited to 140 characters so you have to omit words.  For example in the first tweet here, I'd normally say:

I am very happy in my new home and neighbourhood. I am still hard at work opening boxes and arranging things but the end is in sight.

Very happy in my new home and NEIGHBOURHOOD. Still hard at work opening boxes and arranging things but the end is IN SIGHT. — Graham Mad Teacher (@madteacher72) noviembre 5, 2011
I am hopeless at putting furniture together. I think the table would still be in the box if I hadn't had help.

Notice that I write useful expressions in capital letters. What…

Things turn ugly in Zimbabwe

Uproar as Zimbabwe's Mister Ugly winner deemed 'too handsome'
Crowd favourite claims the man who beat him to the title only won because he has missing teeth and is not ‘naturally ugly’
Judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwe’s 4th annual Mister Ugly contest, upsetting supporters of the crowd favourite and prompting violence at the event.

Judges on Saturday chose 42-year-old Mison Sere, citing his numerous missing front teeth and a wide range of grotesque facial expressions, over William Masvinu, who had held the title since 2012.

Masvinu and his supporters mobbed the judges upon hearing their decision, claiming that Sere was “too handsome” to win and his ugliness wasn’t natural since it was based on missing teeth.
“I am naturally ugly. He is not. He is ugly only when he opens his mouth,” maintained Masvinu, gesturing at his rival.

“Do we have to lose our teeth to win? This is cheating,” shouted another contestant, Patrick Mupereki.

While no one was injured, there was…

"Fellow Spaniards: Franco has died"

On This Day
1975: Spanish dictator Franco dies

General Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain with an authoritarian hand for 39 years, has died at the age of 82.

He had been ill for five weeks and died early this morning at La Paz hospital, Madrid. Doctors said the cause of death was heart failure aggravated by peritonitis.

Flags all around the country are at half-mast and the general's body is now lying in state at the El Pardo Palace.

Franco, also known as the Generalissimo, will be buried next week at the Valley of the Fallen mausoleum.


The Prime Minister, Carlos Arias Navarro, his voicetrembling with emotion, announced the death at 1000 local time on radio.

 He said that on his deathbed General Franco had asked his enemies to forgive him.

"I ask pardon of all my enemies, as I pardon with all my heart all those who declared themselves my enemy, although I did not consider them to be so," the general had said.

He also asked the Spanish people to remain loyal to…

Pollution problems hit Madrid

Madrid completely car-free following anti-pollution parking ban
MADRID'S radical anti-pollution plan means the city streets resemble a Sunday afternoon rather than a working day, locals report – parking has been bannedwithin the M-30 ringroad, or the central 'oval' of the city, except for residents and the disabled.

Mixed feelings have been provoked by the sudden parking ban, which carries a €90 fine if ignored. Those who live in the city are delighted with the extra parking spaces suddenly available to them, and traffic jams have disappeared literally overnight. Getting from A to B in taxi or bus is much quicker and easier, and the whole city has a more relaxed feel about it, say workers, tourists and residents. But the downside has been that all public transport routes are now packed. The frequency of metro trains has not increased, and when they arrive, it is often impossible even to get on board, especially during rush hour. Those who have further to go to get to work …

Do you have a dadbod because you binge-watch too much?

Binge-watch is Collins' dictionary's Word of the Year Collins English Dictionary has chosen binge-watch as its 2015 Word of the Year. Meaning "to watch a large number of television programmes (especially all the shows from one series) in succession", it reflects a marked change in viewing habits, due to subscription services like Netflix.

Lexicographers noticed that its usage was up 200% on 2014.

Other entries include dadbod, ghosting and clean eating.

Source: BBC News Vocabulary:

binge (v,n) / binge-drinking -

due to -

to notice stg -

usage (n) -

a sea change in stg -

to partake in stg -

to run the risk of stg -

plump (adj) -

to fit (a description) -

purported (adj) -

brief (n) -

a snapshot of stg -

to be due -

to require -

to advocate stg -

to spread -

to splay -

to deny stg to sb -

to draw attention to stg -

an offence -

to swipe -

in order to -

to dismiss -

What's your favourite new word and why?

Get busy before you start work

14 things successful people do before breakfast
Do you do 14 things before work? This report from the World Economic Forum spells out how to make the most of your mornings
Many people think that squeezing in breakfast before work is a feat in itself. However, research from the World Economic Forum states that successful people make the most of their mornings.

They have released a list of 14 things that successful people do in the mornings before the first meal of the day.
It includes exercising, spending quality time with the family, networking over coffee and working on a personal-passion project. Source: Telegraph Vocabulary: to spell out -

to make the most of stg -

to squeeze in -

a feat in itself -

to state -

to release (a list, a report) -

to eke out (a life) -

to embrace -

to set aside -

to invest in stg -

to rush -

to back sb/stg up -

a finding -

willpower (n) -

overuse (n) -

to keep up with stg/sb -

to fall flat (a plan) -

rest assured -

to munch -

to kickstart stg -

beyond the …