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Monday, January 23, 2012

Mini-Lessons from Monday, Jan. 23, 2012

These Mini-Lessons are posted on Twitter, and in China on Weibo, throughout the day. You can follow them there!

To get the most from them, you should try to use them in sentences, or discuss them with friends. Writing something on Twitter or Weibo is a great way to practice!
  • Science: Pythagorean theorem: geometry; in a right triangle, long side (hypotenuse) squared equals sum of two short sides squared.
  • Language Study: redundancy: repeating words or ideas. "He is a big giant" is redundant, as all giants are big.
  • Business: boycott: refusing to buy something as a way to change a company's policies. "They charge unfair prices; let's boycott them."
  • Literature: The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation: a statement in Thoreau's "Walden." It means most people endure unhappy lives.
  • New Words: bling-bling, or just "bling": flashy jewelry, gold teeth, telephones, etc. usually connected to hip-hop culture.
  • Slang: like xxx and stuff: "etc." after example(s). A: "What kinds of movies do you like?" B: "Science fiction, like 'Star Wars' and stuff."
  • Modern History: Alamo: fort in Texas, where in 1836 all the Americans were killed by a larger Mexican force. "Remember the Alamo" became a battle cry.

NOTES:
  1. Except for the Slang words, all the words in these Mini-Lessons came from lists either on the Oxford University Press site or in the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. I wrote the definitions and examples myself.
  2. The Slang words are from my own list, and I wrote the definitions and examples myself.

This lesson is ©2011 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use"

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