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Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 3 hours 28 min ago
A Compendium of Feedback on the Words featured in A.Word.A.Day

leveret: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 5 hours 38 min ago
leveret: a young hare.

Easter Bunny Cartoon

The English Blog - 7 hours 6 min ago

Easter cartoon

Today is Easter Sunday so here's a topical cartoon by Bob Englehart from the Hartford Courant.

The cartoon shows an Easter Bunny (or Easter Rabbit) delivering Easter eggs in a basket. He tells a little blue bird flying beside him, "It's a sweet job. I work at home in my jammies and I only have to make deliveries once a year."

VOCABULARY
The cartoon features two examples of American usage. 
1. Sweet is used in expressions of assent or approval. • Yeah, I’d like to come to the party. Sweet. • That's a really sweet deal.
2.
Jammies are an informal word for pajamas (spelt 'pyjamas' in British English).

For more on Easter traditions see History.com and USA Today.

Related articles Cartoon: Easter 2013 Egg-Cellent: Celebrate Easter with Shutterstock Footage What's inside your Easter bunny? Ten Good Free Easter Apps - they won't fit in your Easter basket, but they are a treat anyway Easter Eggs, Bunny Rabbits and Easter Time Fun

Reuters Video: Blind children enjoy special Easter egg hunt

The English Blog - 7 hours 39 min ago

An Easter egg hunt in Florida uses special beeping eggs so that blind and visually impaired children can join in on the fun. Vanessa Johnston reports.

TRANSCRIPT
REPORTER: A young girl excitedly looks for eggs to fill her basket. This Easter egg hunt in Florida uses beeping eggs. That way blind and visually impaired children can join in on the Easter fun. Jennifer Dowell is the mother of 4-year-old Christopher.
JENNIFER DOWELL, MOM OF BLIND CHILD: "He's visually impaired, so trying to see normal eggs would be hard. So with having the beeping, he's able to find the eggs and act just like a normal kid."
REPORTER: After the hunt, the children enjoy their new toys - and their new friends.

Related articles Beeping Easter eggs allow visually-impaired children to hunt too EASTER HUNT: Special Egg Event Returns Reuters Video: Chocolate Easter egg fetches big bucks Visually Impaired Kids Hunting for "Audible Eggs" Special kids hunt special Easter eggs

Words in the News: Besieged

The English Blog - 7 hours 49 min ago

Besieged

The desperate residents of a besieged district of Damascus are expected to run out of food on Sunday, leaving 18,000 people facing starvation and leading relief agencies to declare the crisis "unprecedented in living memory". Food packages have not been delivered to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp for 10 days, and Syrian authorities are not expected to allow food trucks in over the Easter weekend. Residents have resorted to eating leaves and animal feed. Some say they cannot get access even to scraps, as a desperate blockade by government forces, in place for nearly 18 months, continues to cut off supplies. Full story >>

VOCABULARY
To besiege is to surround a place with an army and prevent the people there from getting food and supplies, as a way of getting control of it. • The guerrillas continue to besiege major cities to the north.

Related articles Food supplies enter besieged suburb of Syrian capital Assad forces 'starving' refugee camp Aid reaches Yarmouk after 6 months Amnesty pans Syria for starving Palestinian refugees Syria conflict: dozens die of starvation in besieged Damascus camp

Belittle

VOA Special English - 12 hours 7 min ago
Now, the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories. Today’s word is "belittle." It was first used by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. Many years ago, a French naturalist, the Count de Buffon, wrote some books about natural history. The books were a great success even though some critics did not like them. Some critics said, “Count Buffon is more of a poet than a scientist.” Thomas Jefferson did not like what the Count had said...

Speaking More than One Language Could Delay Dementia

VOA Special English - 12 hours 7 min ago
Hello again, and welcome to As It Is! I’m Jonathan Evans in Washington. Today on the program, we have great news for all of our listeners. By learning English in addition to your own language, you could delay or prevent many forms of mental decline! Milagros Ardin has the story.   Speaking More than One Language Could Delay Dementia   New research suggests that speaking more than one language may delay different kinds of dementia. That is, the loss of mental ability. In...

Farmer Invents New Way to Grow Crops

VOA Special English - 12 hours 7 min ago
From VOA Learning English, this is Science in the News. Today, we tell about an American farmer and an unusual device he developed. For 20 years, people around the world have been buying his invention.   Blake Whisenant and his family are farmers. They live in the American state of Florida. For nearly 100 years, Mr. Whisenant’s family has grown fruits and vegetables, and sold them to businesses around the world. The warm weather in central Florida is good for growing crops,...

limp

Spotlight - 14 hours 23 min ago

"He limped home after twisting his ankle."

trailblazer

OALD Word Of The Day - 19 April 2014 - 7:42pm
trailblazer: a person who is the first to do or discover... http://oaadonline.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/oaad8/trailblazer

flit

Spotlight - 19 April 2014 - 12:37pm

"A brilliantly coloured butterfly flitted from one flower to another."

Speaking English with Your Doctor or Patient

About.com English as 2nd language - 19 April 2014 - 12:05pm

If you are in the medical profession, or if you live in an English speaking country, you'll need to communicate effectively and understand specific questions about your / your patient's health. These dialogues provide practice conversations and key vocabulary related to conversations between health care professionals and patients.

Making an Appointment with the Dentist
Making a Doctor's Appointment
Dental Check-up - Doctor and Patient
Dental Hygiene - Dental Hygienist and Patient
Dental Receptionist
Troubling Symptoms - Doctor and Patient
Joint Pain - Doctor and Patient
A Physical Examination - Doctor and Patient
Pain that Comes and Goes - Doctor and Patient
A Prescription - Doctor and Patient
Feeling Queasy - Nurse and Patient
Helping a Patient - Nurse and Patient
Patient Details - Administration Staff and Patient

Speaking English with Your Doctor or Patient originally appeared on About.com English as 2nd Language on Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 10:05:51.

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agnize: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 19 April 2014 - 9:00am
agnize: to recognize; acknowledge; own.

Cartoon: The Royals Visit Australia

The English Blog - 19 April 2014 - 8:03am

Bob cartoon

BACKGROUND
During the latest stage of their tour of Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka William and Kate) visited the Sydney Royal Easter Show, where they were treated to sheep-shearing display. The Duchess of Cambridge got her own back for her husband's jibes about her dress sense – the Duke had teased her for wearing a yellow dress that made her "look like a banana" — by suggesting he should wear an alpaca toupée to cover his rapidly thinning hair. Full story >>

THE CARTOON
The cartoon by Bob from the Daily Telegraph shows the scene in a park near Sydney (note the Opera House). All the people are either dressed as bananas or wearing alpaca toupées. A couple of men are having a beer beside a barbecue, and one says to the other, "Mate, the Royals are great, but how much influence do they actually have?"

EXPLANATION
Queen Elizabeth is still Australia's head of state, and although there is a strong Republican movement in Australia, the Royals seem to be more popular than ever. So the joke is that the Australians may like to think that they're not obsessed with the Royal family, but the latest Royal tour, where William and Kate have been greeted like, er, royalty, suggests otherwise.

VOCABULARY
A toupée (pronounced too-pay) is a hairpiece or partial wig of natural or synthetic hair worn to cover partial baldness or for theatrical purposes.

STEREOTYPES
How many Australian stereotypes can you identify? There's cricket, the Sydney Opera House, a koala bear, drinking beer, the barbecue (aka barbie), the use of the word 'mate', and, of course, kangaroos.

Related articles William praises Australia as Cambridges arrive in Sydney William and Kate arrive in Sydney Royals arrive at the Royal Easter Show Prince George receives cuddly wombat gift Royals arrive in Australia

Reuters Video: Tracing the steps of Jesus on Good Friday

The English Blog - 19 April 2014 - 7:28am

Thousands of Christians flock to Jerusalem's Old City, following the footsteps of Jesus to where they believe he was crucified over 2,000 years ago - at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Jillian Kitchener reports. 

TRANSCRIPT
They're tracing the steps they believe Jesus walked - carrying the cross to where he was crucified more than 2,000 years ago. Thousands of devout Christians followed the cobblestone alleyways along the Via Dolorosa. It translates to "The Way of Sorrows." Every Easter, they flock to the Holy Land, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, stopping to pray at the various stations of the Cross, and ending up here - to the open doors of The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Many Christians believe it's the site of Christ's Crucifixion, burial and resurrection. The Easter holiday and Jewish Passover coincide this year with Sunday being the day believers say Jesus rose from the dead.

VOCABULARY
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday, on which the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated in the Christian Church. It is traditionally a day of fasting and penance.

ALSO SEE
Easter Crossword (The English Blog)
• The Best Sites For Learning About Easter And Passover (Larry Ferlazzo)
Easter Resources (Michelle Henry)

Related articles Reuters Video: Good Friday around the world Good Friday Traditions The History and Origins of Easter Good Friday marked in Holy Land Reuters Video: Chocolate Easter egg fetches big bucks

High Tech Aids Search and Rescue

VOA Special English - 19 April 2014 - 2:30am
From VOA Learning English, this is As It Is Saturday.  I’m Anna Matteo.   Improvements in technology can save lives.  Stronger buildings do not fall during storms and earthquakes.  Warning systems let people know when tornados or tsunamis are coming.  Air travel is safer because of changes in airplane technology.    But even with all of these improvements, disasters, both natural and man-made, will happen.  And when they do, finding victims...

Hopes Decrease in Search for Survivors of South Korean Ferry

VOA Special English - 19 April 2014 - 2:30am
Almost 270 people, mostly high school students, are still missing after the South Korean ferry disaster. But hopes of finding more survivors are decreasing. | In the News

glitz

OALD Word Of The Day - 18 April 2014 - 7:20pm
glitz: the quality of appearing very attractive, exciting... http://oaadonline.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/oaad8/glitz

prospero

Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 18 April 2014 - 10:14am
Someone who is capable of influencing others' behavior or perceptions without their being aware of it.

991 - Describing Distances

English As A Second Language Podcast - 18 April 2014 - 9:00am

Some people don’t like walking even a short distance. Learn about one of them in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:17
Explanation: 3:42
Fast Dialog: 15:42

Sandra: Where will we be staying when we visit Trumanville?

Roger: We’ll be staying in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the town, but a stone’s throw from some of the major sites we’ll want to see.

Sandra: I hope there’ll be a lot of taxis around. You know I hate to walk.

Roger: Trumanville is a very walkable city and we’ll be within walking distance to everything. We’ll be able to go nearly everywhere on foot.

Sandra: I told you. I hate to walk. At least we’ll be within close proximity to the beach.

Roger: Actually, the areas near the beach are too expensive, and we can’t afford it. And plus, the beach is in a remote part of town, and staying there would mean being in the boonies for our entire trip.

Sandra: But we could take taxis.

Roger: Taking taxis everywhere would be really expensive.

Sandra: Tell me that we’ll at least be in the vicinity of good shopping areas.

Roger: It might be a bit of a hike to the shops, but it won’t be too onerous to walk.

Sandra: Read my lips. I don’t want to walk everywhere. Maybe we can rent a car or hire a driver.

Roger: Are you out of your mind?! This is supposed to be a budget vacation, not a luxury trip. I’m not made of money, you know.

Sandra: And I didn’t know you were such a cheapskate!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

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