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Friday, January 6, 2012



What day is the end of the work (or school) week in your country? Do people think it is a special day?


Roy and Dale, co-workers in an American office, are chatting on Friday:

Roy: Man, this was a tough week!
Dale: Yeah, TGIF!
Roy: I guess. But on Monday, it's back to the old 9-to-5.
Dale: At least the dress code has loosened up a little. Look at us: no ties, comfortable clothes…
Roy: Yeah. Thank God it's Casual Friday!


Roy and Dale are part of a "corporate culture," the environment around the workers in a corporation. Corporate employees often have their own special vocabulary, and a certain way of dressing.


Match the terms to their meaning.

1. 9-to-5
2. casual Fridays
3. dress code
5. tough
6. Man
7. Yeah

a. required clothing style
b. words that appreciate the end of the work week
c. difficult
d. a reference to the boring work week
e. a way to agree
f. a relaxation of the rules
g. an opening expression like "Gee" or "Oh"


1. What makes a week "tough" for you?
2. What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
3. Do businesses in your country usually work "9-to-5"? Do they have "casual dress days?? What other practices in your country are the same as, or different from, the ones in this lesson?


1 d: If you work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, that would make a standard (in the U.S.) forty-hour week. Of course, different offices have different hours; you might work 8 to 6 with a two-hour lunch, and still call it "a 9-to-5 job."
2 f: Some companies with more formal dress codes allow their workers to dress more casually on Fridays. While a few started in the 1950s, it didn't really become popular until the 1970s. (When a school allows students to wear "street clothes" instead of the uniform, it might be called "free dress day.")
3 a: Most companies require their workers to dress in a certain way. For some, it's coats and ties for men, dressy for women. Others are more relaxed, with open shirts allowed for men, jeans for men and women, etc.
4 b: an abbreviation generally well known inside and outside of corporate culture. It means "Thank God It's Friday," and indicates that the weekend is almost here. There's even a restaurant chain called "T.G.I. Friday's," with locations in over 50 countries. (The picture above shows a promotion for TV programming on Friday nights on America's ABC network in 1989.)
5 c: a "tough" week would be one with a lot of work, more stress than usual, etc.
6 g: We sometimes begin sentences with a word to express emotion (called an "interjection"); "man" is one of those words.
7 e: "Yeah" is a form of "yes."

This lesson is ©2012 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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