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❯❯ FALSE FRIENDS   ❯❯ TRANSLATION   ❯❯ WORD BUILDING  Nº 150 - Spain: 5,95€/Brazil: R$14.90/Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy: €6.00






in English


Rachel McAdams


❯❯  Classroom Controversies: uniforms, coeducation, religion ❯❯  Will the Chinese economy cause world economic collapse? ❯❯  How to be a non-native EFL teacher ❯❯  Shakespeare’s most popular poem


Isle of Palms (USA) 00150

8 414090 253369



CURRENT AFFAIRS 4 News & Anecdotes 6 Science 7 Internet  –  The Virtual Office 8 Economics  –  Is China Slowing Down? 10 Life  –  A Year on Safari

EDITOR’S NOTE Welcome to   Think  150. We’ve put together a very special magazine to celebrate our 150th issue. Douglas starts our world tour in the People’s Republic asking if the Chinese economy is slowing down (pp. 8-9). If that’s not something that worries you it should – all our prosperities largely depend on the answer. We visit sub-Saharan Africa – albeit indirectly – on pp. 10-11 to look at our assumptions about animals. Nichole takes us off to a little known island on the US Eastern Seaboard to visit unspoilt beaches and battleships (pp. 12-13)! Then we zoom down to South Africa to look at how rapid social change is turning many people’s lives upside down (pp. 20-21). Finally, we look at how gin, the ‘in’ drink around the world, devastated English society in the 1700s. In fact, even the biographical articles have a globetrotting edge to them this month. Colman writes about Canadian Rachel McAdams (pp. 26-27), while the language article looks at P.G. Wodehouse, an Englishman who became an American (pp. 16-17). Wodehouse was considered by some a traitor because he made some broadcasts for the Nazis. On pp. 18-19 we look at half a dozen other alleged traitors and what happened to them. On a more practical level we look at how you could make a bit of money out of your English on pp. 24-25. The language section is full of typical useful  Think  articles on common mistakes, false friends, pronunciation, etc. On the CD we debate a series of controversial questions relating to schools (tracks 1-5) and there are some poignant monologues on things that have disappeared from our lives (tracks 8-11). Finally, don’t miss Hamish’s version of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet (track 6). This is accompanied by an analysis of the poem (pp. 22-23) and a metric version (track 14).




See you next issue,  Nick Franklin, editor

MAGAZINE ABBREVIATION & SYMBOLS KEY Listening: there is a recording on the CD connected to the text.


CULTURE 12 Travel  –  The Isle of Palms 14 Culture  –  The Meaning of Memes 16 Language – P.G. Wodehouse 18 History  –  Traitors on Air 20 Society  –  Future Shock, South Africa 22 Song/Poem – Sonnet 18................................ 24 Feature  –  How to be a TEFL Teacher 26 Cinema – Rachel McAdams 28 Drink  –  Gin is In LANGUAGE 30 Functional – Keeping a Conversation... Going....................................... 32 Common Mistakes  –  The Gordian Not 34 Translation – Error Detectives 36 Word Building – Pigheaded Birdbrains 38 Words – Exclusion Words 39 Pronunciation – -eo- Words........................ 40 False Friends  –  Connotations: Part 1 42 Miscellany..................................................................... 43 Crossword 44 Subscription form 45 Tapescripts................................................................... 51 Next month Bookmark – Footwear


Exercise: there is an exercise in the subscribers’ exercises relating directly to the text.


Conversation point: these questions prompt discussion on topics related to the text. Subscription information: or Tel. 902 044 066

Subject link: there is a related article on the pages given.


sth. = something, s.o. = someone, swh. = somewhere


Find us on Facebook too. 3


Is China’s Growth Engine Slowing? BY DOUGLAS JASCH, twitter: @douglasjasch

May you live in interesting times! 1 The wife of disgraced2 Chinese politician Bo Xilai, has been given a suspended death sentence after confessing to killing3 a British businessman in a case that rocked4 the country’s top political leadership. The sentencing closes the chapter on China’s biggest political crisis in two decades. Bo was a populist socialist politician with his career on the rise5. He was about to become part of the leadership group that controls The People’s Republic. However, his views were more radical and socialist than the current leadership and so his enemies have grasped6 this opportunity to bring him down7. It almost sounds counterintuitive that a left-leaning8 Chinese leader would be considered a threat9 in a Communist country, but anyone who has followed China over the past 20 years will know that, while China is an autocracy, its economy is largely10 run11 on capitalist principles. Whilst12 Bo was himself corrupt and was accumulating large sums of money, he was popular with the average person13 because he argued against the sins14 of an overly15 capitalist system.

Unprecedented Economic Growth Bo’s popularity came at a time when China had been experiencing unprecedented economic growth. According to the IMF16 , China’s annual average GDP17 growth between 2001 and 2010 was 10.5%. Over the past 30 years China has experienced average growth in GDP of around 10%, probably the greatest economic expansion in human history.

Along with this very high economic growth, China has seen an increasing disparity between the rich and the poor. While the economic boom has seen an improvement in the lives of many in the Chinese underclass, there has been a growing resentment among those who have stayed at the bottom and still struggle18. Bo tapped into19 the discontent of the poor, who had seen the wealthy20 gaining most of the benefits of the

(supposedly) an Ancient Chinese curse (= malediction) 2 disgraced – (false friend) discredited, in disrepute 3 to killing – to having killed 4 to rock – shock, disconcert 5 on the rise – in the ascendant 6 to grasp – leap at, take advantage of 7 to bring s.o. down (bring-brought-brought)

– oust s.o., topple s.o., eliminate s.o. left-leaning – socialist, progressive 9 threat – menace, danger, troublemaker 10 largely – more or less, mostly 11 to run sth. (run-ran-run) – manage sth., organize sth. 12 whilst – although 13 the average person – (in this context) ordinary





unprecedented economic growth. He used the rhetoric of the more traditional socialist mantra about income redistribution to rapidly increase his popularity. Many in China considered that he might be a future leader of China. China’s middle-class population (defined as those with annual income of at least US$17,000) is greater than 100 million people as of 2011. The number of billionaires in China in terms of US dollars doubled from 130 in 2009 to 271 in 2010, giving the People’s Republic the world’s second-highest number of billionaires.

The Problem with a Booming Economy China’s rapid economic growth has had a negative side effect, creating high levels of inf lation. Food and property prices have been increasing at a worrying rate. Food prices in China increased by over 21% in the first four months of 2008 alone. China is currently experiencing a massive

Bo Xilai Chinese people sin – (in this context) evil, defect 15 overly – excessively 16 IMF – International Monetary Fund 17 GDP – Gross Domestic Product 18 to struggle – (in this context) experience difficulties 19 to tap into – exploit, take advantage of 20 the wealthy – rich people 14


Traitors on Air CULTURE  |  HISTORY

What should a democracy do about those who help the enemy by making propaganda1 broadcasts2? In 1945, with mass media3 a recent phenomenon, this was the new dilemma facing4 British and American society. A handful5 of their compatriots had been captured after speaking on Axis6 radio. Was this simply an expression of free speech or was it treason7? Should the broadcasters go free or face8 the death penalty?

Lord Haw-Haw

The most famous propaganda traitor was William Joyce, nicknamed ‘Lord Haw-Haw’.9 He was the Nazis’ leading10 English language broadcaster. During the war he offered extensive details of British losses11 and defeats12 over the airwaves13 in an attempt to14 demoralize people in Britain and Allied troops in Europe. As an American who had adopted German nationality there was some question as to whether15 Joyce could be tried16 for treason7. However, he had falsified papers to obtain a British passport and voted in Britain, so he was tried and executed as a traitor in January 1946.

Axis Sally 1: Mildred Gillars

Mildred Gillars was a failed US actress who from 1934 had worked as a TEFL teacher in Berlin. Her war broadcasts, for which she acquired the nickname ‘Axis Sally’, to US troops tried to stir 17 nostalgia. Moreover, she played on their jealousy18 by talking about unfaithful19 wives and girlfriends back home. Gillars was sentenced to 10-to-30 years in prison by a US court in 1949. She was freed in 1961. In prison Gillars had become a Roman Catholic and she went to live in a convent in Ohio. She died of cancer in 1988.

Axis Sally 2: Rita Zucca

Like Gillars, Italo-American Rita Luisa Zucca was also known as ‘Axis Sally’. From the summer of 1943 until 1945 she broadcast Fascist propaganda and attempted to 20 demoralize US troops21 as they liberated Italy. She was finally arrested in Milan in June 1945. US attempts22 to try16 Zucca for treason7 failed because she had renounced her American citizenship before she began broadcasting for Mussolini. She was however tried by the Italians for collaboration and sentenced to four-and-a-half years, serving 23 nine months. She is apparently still alive and living in Italy.

Words in Welsh

Welshman Raymond Hughes was an RAF airman who was shot down over Germany in 1943. He agreed to make propaganda radio broadcasts in Welsh for the Germans in exchange for privileges over other POWs24. After the war he was tried16 and sentenced to five years’ hard labour, serving23 two. Afterwards he became a successful businessman, dying in 1999. propaganda (adj.) – disinformation, tendentious 2 broadcast – transmission, (in this context) radio programme 3 mass media – (in this context) radio, film and television 4 to face – (in this context) confront 5 a handful – a few, half a dozen 6 Axis (adj.) – relating to the alliance between Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan 7 treason – treachery/criminal disloyalty to one’s country 8 to face – (in this context) be in danger of suffering 9 see   Think   92, pp. 22-23 for a more extensive look at William Joyce’s life 10 leading – top, most important 1


losses – fatalities defeat – reverse (opposite of ‘victory’) 13 over the airwaves – on the radio 14 in an attempt to – trying to 15 as to whether – if 16 to try s.o. – judicially process s.o. 17 to stir – foment, incite 18 jealousy – possessiveness, sexual insecurity 19 unfaithful – inconstant, adulterous 20 to attempt to – try to 21 troops – soldiers 22 attempt – effort 23 to serve – (in this context) be in prison for 24 POW – prisoner of war 11




Keeping a Conversation Going As a learner of English you are likely to1 feel less sure of what you say than any Anglo you might talk to. As a result, conversation will probably be dominated by the native English-speaker rather than2 by you. Your role may well be to encourage3 the other person to keep talking. If you do this correctly you will give the impression of having a much better level of English than you actually4 have. Moreover, as many Anglos like the sound of their own voices, you will come across as5 a likeable person by encouraging3 them to speak. This article looks at the little interjections you can use to urge somebody to keep talking.

Don’t Stop Perhaps the most frequent way of saying, “I’m listening, please continue.” is the noise “uh-huh”. This has the advantage that you can say it while you are eating but repeated too often it may give the impression that you are just making the noise and not really listening. If you don’t want to sound like a husband who just wants to read the newspaper, you need to vary your encouraging6 cues7.

If the person speaking stops because s/he thinks you want to speak or thinks that you are distracted, the easiest way of saying “I’m listening, please continue” in words8 is “Go on.” This can be augmented by the more emphatic “Do go on.” or “Please go on.”

Interest Of course, a more interesting way of encouraging a speaker is to show surprise

at anything vaguely interesting he or she says. There are a number of ways of doing this: ❯❯  Wow! ❯❯  Good grief!9 ❯❯  I can’t believe it! ❯❯  Who would’ve thought (it)? ❯❯  No way! ❯❯  Really? ❯❯  For real? (US English) ❯❯  Are you kidding?! ❯❯  Are you joking?! ❯❯  You’re joking! ❯❯  How about that! (US English) Be careful with ❯❯  You don’t say! ❯❯  No shit, (Sherlock)! (in formal US English) The first expression can be used for disbelief10 but it is often used sarcastically when somebody says something that is obvious. So, if you think you might be misinterpreted, it’s probably better not to use it. The second expression, however, is always used sarcastically when someone states the obvious. Use with caution. You should also be careful with ❯❯  Shut up! (emphasizing both words) This is frequently used among11 younger Americans to mean “I can’t believe it!”. However, British people are often

are likely to – (in this context) probably rather than – instead of, as opposed to 3 to encourage – coax, motivate, stimulate 4 actually – (false friend) in fact, really



A: I don’t like the way mobile phones rule our lives. B: Me neither. C: Neither do I.

to come across as – seem encouraging – (in this context) supportive, responsive, appreciative 7 cue – prompt, indication that s.o. should speak

Oh, no! So what did you do next? rather than by making the noise ‘uh-huh’ good grief! – (minced oath) good God! disbelief – incredulity 11 among – amongst, (in this context) by











Pig-headed, Bloodyminded, Featherbrained Fools! English uses a bewildering1 number of compound nouns that describe a person’s mental state. 52 of these words are based on -head(ed), -brain(ed), -minded and -wit(ted). The terrible thing for the student is that, while2 these words are used without much reference to meaning, they are not interchangeable. In each case only one word can combine with the first word in the compound word. For instance3, you might ask, “is there any way of knowing whether4 we say ‘pig-headed’, ‘pigbrained’, ‘pig-minded’ or ‘pig-witted’?” The question matters5 because, while ‘pig-headed34’ is a relatively common adjective, the other three forms don’t exist in English and sound rather6 comical.


Euphony to the Rescue

...or 22 ways to call someone stupid! RELATED RESOURCES 2

Fortunately, you don’t just 7 have to learn 50 compound words with no help. As with so many aspects of English, euphony8 plays a significant role in these word combinations. Let’s have a look:

-head(ed) 18 out of 23 words ending in -head or headed can be explained in relation to euphony. Notice the rhyme in: deadhead10, redhead11, redheaded12 9

There is assonance13 in: egghead14, empty-headed15, level-headed16 , net-head 17, propeller-head 18 , swellhead 19, swell-headed20 A more grammatical alternative to the last word, also derived from ‘swellhead’, is ‘swollen-headed21’.

bewildering /bəˈwlidəriη/ – perplexing, confusing 2 while – (in this context) although 3 for instance – for example 4 whether – ‘if’ (but ‘if’ cannot be used before ‘or’) 5 to matter – be important 6 rather – quite, somewhat 7 just – (in this context) simply 8 euphony – harmonious combinations of sound, using figures of sound such as alliteration, assonance and rhyme 9 out of – of, from 10 deadhead – stupid or boring person 11 redhead (n.) – s.o. with orange-coloured hair 12 redheaded (adj.) – having orange-coloured hair 13 assonance – the repetition of a vowel sound 14 egghead – intellectual, erudite person 15 empty-headed – stupid 1


There are also a number of alliterative22 compound words in this group: hard-headed23, hothead24, hot-headed25 Once these terms became established, it was logical that the antonyms of the two adjectives should be: soft-headed26 and coolheaded27 Finally, there is one case of pararhyme28: muddle-headed29 The antonym to this adjective is: clear-headed30 This leaves: airhead31, blockhead31, bigheaded32, meathead33, pigheaded34, thickhead35, thick-headed36 and wrongheaded37 which cannot be explained through euphony.

level-headed – calm and responsible net-head – s.o. who is an obsessive user of the Internet 18 propeller-head – s.o. with an obsessive interest in computers and technology 19 swellhead – (US English) vain person, arrogant person 20 swell-headed – (US English) conceited, thinking that one is cleverer or more important than one really is 21 swollen-headed – (UK English) bigheaded, conceited 22 alliterative – involving the repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of the syllable 23 hard-headed – practical, able to take difficult decisions 24 hothead – s.o. who acts precipitously 25 hot-headed – reckless, impulsive, impetuous 26 soft-headed – feeble-minded, stupid 16 17

coolheaded – not easily excited or upset, tranquil 28 pararhyme – the repetition of a consonant sound at the end of the syllable 29 muddle-headed – confused, not able to think clearly 30 clear-headed – able to think clearly and rationally 31 airhead – idiot, fool 32 bigheaded – arrogant, self-admiring. Notice that ‘big-brained’ means that an animal literally has a big cerebrum 33 meat-head – a. an unintelligent person, b. s.o. (usually a man) who is obsessed with lifting weights and the size of his/her muscles 34 pigheaded – stubborn, obstinate 35 thickhead – fool, ignoramus, idiot 36 thick-headed – foolish, idiotic 37 wrongheaded – based on ideas that are not correct 27




YEAR XII Publisher Agustín Buelta Editor Nick Franklin Artistic Director Marina Carresi Sub-Editor Nathan Burkiewicz Produced by: Ediciones Mejora, SL Published by: Ediciones Mejora, SL C/de las Delicias, 3 – 28260 Galapagar (Madrid) Tel. 649830820 e-mail: Photography: Cover: ‘Isle of Palms’ photo by Nichole Jewell, ‘Rachel McAdam‘ by Attit, ‘Gin’ by Dinner Series and ‘Animal Behaviour’ by SonNy cZ. Marina Carresi, Belén Gutiérrez, Almudena Cáceres, Mario Herrera, Ruth Hellema, Sara L. Carresi, Inma Isla, Douglas Jasch + photos kindly supplied by the British Embassy in Madrid. Page Design: Nathan Burkiewicz

Geology - Earthquakes PHOTO BY DAVID DE LA LUZ



Writers & Contributors: Douglas Jasch, Colman Keane, Nichole Jewell, Prof. Raoul Franklin, Almudena Cáceres (webpage), Marina Carresi, Fabiola Vieyra Voices: Hamish Binns, Nathan Burkiewicz, Julie Davis, Nick Franklin, Adrian Hall, Ruth Hellema, Susannah Jones, Rod Musselman Sound Engineer: Josué Bravo Advertising: Irene Martín

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Travel - Turin

Poetry - Goblin Market

❯❯  Feature | The Truth about Werewolves ❯❯  Travel | Tourin’ Turin: Anglo links in Northern Italy ❯❯  Geology | The Science of Earthquakes ❯❯  The Great Debate  | Is (Male) Circumcision Child Abuse? ❯❯  Poetry | Goblin Market: Children’s Tale or Victorian Erotica? ❯❯  Media | How Top Gear Conquered the World

Feature - Werewolves

❯❯  Cinema | Werewolves on Film ❯❯  Sports | Vincent O’Brian: an Irish horseracing legend ❯❯  Word Building  | The linguistic pitfalls of -maid words ❯❯  False Friends  | Connotations & False Friends: Part 2


A Question of Health: The private/public healthcare debate

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Think 150  

We’ve put together a very special issue to celebrate our 150th issue. Douglas starts our world tour in the People’s Republic asking if the C...

Think 150  

We’ve put together a very special issue to celebrate our 150th issue. Douglas starts our world tour in the People’s Republic asking if the C...