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Improve Vocabulary (27 September): Saudi King Allows Women to Drive.

Saudi Arabia IELTS PTE Vocabulary.jpg

A view of a Saudi Arabian beach. Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The following news is copied from the Guardian. To read the complete article, please click here.

Women in Saudi Arabia have been granted the right to drive, overturning a cornerstone of Saudi conservatism that had been a cause célèbre for activists demanding reforms in the fundamentalist kingdom.

Overturn (v): To overthrow; turn upside down. 

Cornerstone (n): Something that is essential, indispensable, and basic.

Conservatism (n): The tendency to preserve tradition and customs.

A cause celebre: An issue that leads to controversy, heated debates, and protests.

King Salman ordered the reform in a royal decree delivered on Tuesday night, requesting that drivers’ licences be issued to women who wanted them. Following the decree, women will no longer need permission from a legal guardian to get a licence and will not need a guardian in the car when they drive, said the new Saudi ambassador to Washington DC, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Decree (n): A formal and authoritative order.

Guardian (n): A person who guards and protects.

“I think our leadership understands our society is ready,” he told reporters.

Asked by reporters if Saudi Arabia planned to relax the guardianship laws, or take any other steps to expand women’s rights, Salman would not comment. The US state department welcomed the move as “a great step in the right direction”. The decision comes amid a broad reform program that last week led to women being allowed into a sports stadium for the first time. It is the most significant change yet to a rigidly conservative social order in Saudi Arabia that has strictly demarcated gender roles, and severely limits the role of women in public life.

Rigidly (adj): Not flexible; Unyielding.

Demarcate (v): To mark or determine the boundaries of something.

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Improve Vocabulary (28 August 2017): Unprecedented Floods in Houston.

Houston IELTS PTE.jpg

A view of Greater Houston. Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Houston, the most populous city of Texas, is in the grip of a hurricane Harvey that has caused more than 75 centimeters of rainfall inundating large parts of the city. The city has witnessed an entire year’s rainfall within a week leading to overstretching of the rescue services and forcing the residents to fend for themselves.

Grip: A tight hold; a firm grasp.

Inundate: To cover with flood water.

Overstretch: To extend beyond what is reasonable or usual.

Fend: To give support; provide.

On a scale of one to five, Harvey was category four storm when it hit the coast and has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. The entire city’s power and other critical infrastructure have been disrupted and the administration is making concerted efforts to restore it.

Downgrade: To lower the status or rank.

Infrastructure: The underlying base or foundation on which something is built.

Disrupt: To break apart so as to prevent normal functioning.

Concerted: Determined or planned.

Restore: To bring back into existence.

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IELTS and PTE Vocabulary Test – 1

migration vocabulary IELTS PTE.jpg

Image A Pxhere

Capsize vocabulary IELTS PTE.png

Image B Pixabay

blind spot ielts pte.gif

Image C (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The answers will be posted in this space soon. A link will be sent to all participants.

Learn exciting vocabulary for IELTS, PTE, GRE, GMAT, and CAT by the vocabulary section daily and listening to AUDIO to improve your pronunciation. Follow this blog or like our Facebook Page to stay connected with latest posts.

Improve Vocabulary (23 August 2017): The Barcelona Attack.

Barcelona city IELTS PTE.jpg

A view of Barcelona City. Image courtesy: Pixabay

The following paragraphs have been derived from various news items of the BBC. 

A group of 12 jihadists has been blamed for a series of attacks in and around the Spanish city of Barcelona, killing 15 people.

Recently, a group of jihadists mowed down people on the Las Ramblas boulevard under a van and drove a car into pedestrians in the resort of Cambrils.

Mow down: To kill one or more people suddenly in a violent way. Several people were mowed down by the machine gun. 

Boulevard: A broad street lined with trees.

Pedestrian: The one who walks on foot.

At around 4:50 pm on August 17, when the Las Ramblas was packed with tourists and local residents, a white van careered down and the driver zigzagged with the purpose of targeting as many people as possible. Many were knocked to the ground while others fled for cover in nearby shops and cafes. The driver then fled the scene and police started combing the area for the attacker.

Packed: Crowded to maximum capacity. The disco was packed with young boys and girls.

Career (verb: Careered): To move swiftly in an uncontrolled way.

Knock down: (Same as mow down) To strike someone hard.

Flee (past form: fled): To run away from a danger.

Comb (verb: Combing): To search thoroughly.

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Improve Vocabulary (11 August 2017): A Migration Crisis in Spain.

Spain IELTS PTE.jpg

A migration crisis looms over Spain. International Organization for Migration (IOM) states that in 2017 more than eight thousand migrants, about three times that of the number in 2016, have arrived in Spain. It is assumed that the spike is primarily due to the short route between Morocco and Spain.

Migrate: To go from one country or place to another.

Loom: An event which is about to happen.

However, the journey through illegal migration routes sometimes ends in a tragedy. In May 2017, about 49 Africans, who were trying to reach Spain through the Mediterranean sea, went missing after their boat capsized.

Capsized: to turn bottom up; overturn.

In February 2017, the Spanish police discovered a decomposed body of a six-year-old African boy. His mother and he are assumed to have died when their boat sank while transiting from Morocco to Spain. The body of the innocent boy has prompted an outrage on social media and human right groups have used it to raise awareness about the plight of refugees.

Decompose: to rot; disintegrate.

Outrage: A powerful feeling of resentment; anger over something.

Plight: An unfortunate condition.

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Improve Vocabulary (9 August 2017): The Google Memo

google memo IELTS PTE.png

Recently, a Google employee wrote a controversial memo questioning the company’s diversity program and hiring policy that employs more women in the company. The tech giant has expelled the employee.

Controversial: Related to a dispute, debate, contension.

Memo: A short note.

Diversity: Variety.

Expel: To force out; To drive away. 

The employee argues in the memo that more men than women work because of biological differences between the two genders. The memo highlights several biases and blind spots in the company.

Bias: Prejudice; preconceived opinion about somebody

Blind Spot: An area or subject about which one is uninformed.

Google believes that all employees should be cognizant of the fact that unconscious biases prevent women from progressing in the society in general and the tech industry in particular. However, the memo states that the biological differences between males and females are responsible for the different level of representation of the two genders.

Cognizant: Aware.

Unconscious: Not conscious; Doing something without being aware.

You can read the whole memo here.

Words learned today.

  1. Controversial
  2. Memo
  3. Diversity
  4. Expel
  5. Bias
  6. Blindspot
  7. Cognizant
  8. Unconscious

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Improve Vocabulary (7 August 2017): Vegans

Vegans IELTS PTE vocabulary.jpg

Scientists have recently proven that changing the eating behavior of humans can have a strong positive impact in reducing global carbon emissions. They have pointed out that if humans stop consuming meat and other animal products, harmful emissions can be reduced by up to 70 percent.

Emissions: Gases produced by an activity (factory emissions) or living thing (farming emissions).

Those who do not consume any animal products are termed as Vegans. They are against any form of exploitation or cruelty against animals. Thus, vegans not only oppose any food derived from animals but also refuse leather shoes and clothes that use any animal byproduct. In nut shell, veganism goes beyond vegetarianism, which is only about not eating meat and fish.

Veganism has not only a strong ethical grounding but also a firm environmental advantage. Rearing animals such as cows, pigs, and goats produce one of the strongest greenhouse gas called Methane.

Vegans: Those who do not consume any animals or products.

Ethical: Moral. The right thing/ action.

Greenhouse gases: Gases that absorb sun’s heat and increase the Earth’s atmospheric temperature.

Words Learned Today:

  1. Emissions.
  2. Vegans.
  3. Ethical.
  4. Greenhouse Gases.

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Improve Vocabulary (4 August 2017): The War on Drugs.

war on drugs IELTS PTE.jpg

This article is extracted from longreads.com. Please read the complete article here.

Drug laws and their enforcement in the United States have always been a deeply racialized project. In 1875, San Francisco passed the country’s first drug law criminalizing “opium dens” associated with Chinese immigrants, though opium was otherwise widely available and was used by white Americans in a variety of forms. Cocaine regulation at the turn of the twentieth century was colored by racial insecurities manifesting in myths that cocaine made Black people shoot better, rendered them impervious to bullets, and increased the likelihood that Black men would attack white women. Increasing criminalization of marijuana use during the early twentieth century was similarly premised on racialized stereotypes targeting Mexican immigrants, fears of racial mixing, and suppression of political dissent.

Enforcement: To carry out (implement) effectively (esp. laws)

Manifest: Clearly seen, observed or understood (through human senses)

Render: To cause or become (Heavy rainfall rendered irrigation unnecessary) 

Impervious: Not capable of being damaged

Premise: Something assumed or taken for granted

Stereotype: Oversimplified image or idea of something.

The “war on drugs,” officially declared by President Richard Nixon in 1971, has come to refer to police practices that involve stopping and searching people who fit the “profile” of drug users or couriers on the nation’s highways, buses, trains, and planes; saturation of particular neighborhoods (almost entirely low-income communities of color) with law enforcement officers charged with finding drugs in any quantity through widespread “stop and frisk” activities; no-knock warrants, surveillance, undercover operations, and highly militarized drug raids conducted by SWAT teams. It also includes harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug convictions, which contribute to mass incarceration, and a range of punitive measures aimed at individuals with drug convictions.

Saturation: To a full extent (a 100 percent) so that no more can be added.

Surveillance: Close watch over someone or something.

Undercover: Acting or working in secret. 

Mandatory: Required by law or rule.

Incarceration: To put in prison.

Punitive: aimed at punishment.

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Improve Vocabulary (2 August 2017): Voting Machine Flaw Exposed in the US.

This extract is copied from the Wall Street Journal. Please visit the WSJ website for more information.

Good News: WSJ subscription is now available at just $ 1 for 3 months.

A touch-screen voting machine used in a 2014 election in Virginia was hacked in about 100 minutes by exploiting a Windows XP flaw that was more than a decade old as part of a demonstration on security vulnerabilities in election technology.

Hack: To get into someone else’s computer system without permission.

Flaw: A mistake, fault or weakness.

Vulnerable: Easily hurt or attacked or influenced.

The hacker was Carsten SchuÌrmann, an associate professor at IT University of Copenhagen. He was one of the computer hackers invited to the Defcon convention in Las Vegas to test the security and integrity of common pieces of voting technology, many of which were purchased more than a decade ago and are rapidly becoming obsolete.

Obsolete: Not in use anymore.

Within hours of the doors opening Friday at the Voting Machine Hacking Village, hackers penetrated the WinVote voting machine and gained access to an electronic poll book, the kind used to check in voters at thousands of polling places across the country. Microsoft Corp., which made the Windows XP operating system, declined to comment.

Penetrate: To move deeply into something.

They also penetrated the hardware and firmware of a kind of touch-screen voting machine used in hundreds of jurisdictions across the country.

Firmware: A software (computer program) that is used to communicate with a computer.

Jurisdiction: A territory or a sphere under a legal authority.

Words learned today:

  1. Hack
  2. Flaw
  3. Vulnerable
  4. Obsolete
  5. Penetrate
  6. Firmware
  7. Jurisdiction

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ImproveVocabulary (1 August 2017): Pakistan Unseats Prime Minister.

The following paragraphs are extracted from Wall Street Journal dated 29th of July. Please visit the WSJ website for more details.

Pakistan was plunged into a new phase of political turmoil Friday after the country’s Supreme Court removed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office following an investigation into allegations of corruption.

Plunge: Suddenly fall into something.

Turmoil: A state of confusion, disorder.

Pakistan, a fragile democracy that has been ruled by the military for nearly half its existence, is considered vital to the U.S. effort to bring peace to neighboring Afghanistan. Now, Islamabad’s attention to that problem could be sapped by its own political crisis. The world’s sixth-most populous country, Pakistan is also locked in a tense, nuclear-armed standoff with another neighbor, India.

Fragile: Easily damaged, broken, harmed.

Sap: To make someone weaker by taking away strength.

Standoff: A situation in which an agreement is not possible.

The court disqualified Mr. Sharif, a third-time prime minister, for not being “honest,” a requirement for lawmakers under Pakistan’s constitution. The court also ordered a corruption trial against Mr. Sharif, whose family is accused of amassing wealth through corrupt means and purchasing expensive overseas properties with that money. His daughter and preferred political heir, Maryam, and his two sons also face a corruption trial, as does the finance minister, Ishaq Dar, who has been caught up in the allegations as well.

Amass: To get a large amount of something.

Heir: A person who will legally receive money, property, etc from elder members of a family.

Mr. Sharif, who along with his family denies any wrongdoing, hasn’t been convicted of any crime, and some of his supporters voiced defiance in the face of the court’s action.

Defy (defiance): To refuse to obey a person.

Words learned today:

  1. Plunge
  2. Turmoil
  3. Fragile
  4. Sap
  5. Standoff
  6. Amass
  7. Heir
  8. Defy

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Improve Vocabulary (31 July 2017): Australia Foils Terror Plot

Australia IELTS PTE

Australia’s counter-terrorism police recently prevented a deadly plot to bring down an airplane and have arrested four people in Sydney allegedly associated with an Islamist group. Investigators have seized hazardous materials that could have been used to make explosives such as an improvised explosive device (IED).

Alleged: Doubtful, Suspect, Supposed.

Seized: Take hold of something forcibly, grasp.

Hazardous: Full of risk, Perilous.

The country’s national terror threat level remains atprobable“.

Probable: Likely to occur.

In recent days, law enforcement had become cognizant of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist attack using an IED,” the Police Commissioner told a news conference.

Cognizant: Aware, Conscious.

To prevent any such future attacks, the government has proposed changes in the law to give Australian military sweeping powers to respond immediately to any domestic terror threat. The law also proposes that military offer counter-terrorism training to the police. The current investigation is expected to be long and protracted.

Sweeping: (adjective) wide range or scope

Protracted: Prolong, Long duration

Today’s word list:

  1. Alleged
  2. Seized
  3. Probable
  4. Cognizant
  5. Sweeping
  6. Protracted

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Improve Vocabulary (29 July 2017) Qatar Withstands Embargo: Listen While You Read

qatar embargo vocabulary IELTS PTE

Qatar withstands embargo: sees it an opportunity to fill the void.

Embargo: A government order prohibiting any commerce/ business.

The Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates imposed an economic blockade on Qatar in 2014 and again in early 2017 on the grounds that it supported certain prominent religious dissidents. Despite international mediation attempts, Qatar understands that the sanctions may continue for years.

Blockade: Isolating or closing off a place for movement or business or commerce.

Dissent (Dissident): To differ in opinion especially from the majority.

Mediate (mediation): To settle disputes as an intermediary between parties.

Sanction: A penalty (same as a blockade and an embargo)

These confrontations have forced Qatar’s government to draw lessons and prepare for any future showdown. It has advertised the issue as an existential issue and defined the sanctions as a Saudi attempt to challenge the country’s sovereignty.

Confront (Confrontation): to face somebody with hostility and opposition 

Showdown: To confront someone.

Existential: Related to existence.

Sovereignty: The independence of a state.

It has started investing greatly to reduce its reliance on other Gulf countries. The country has made its own port operational to handle sanctions on transportation of cargo via Dubai. The sanctions also led to the disappearance of Saudi dairy products. Consequently, Qatar is also investing hugely in its own dairy industry.

Rely (reliance): To depend on someone. 

Today’s words:

  1. Embargo
  2. Blockade
  3. Dissent
  4. Mediate
  5. Sanction
  6. Confront
  7. Showdown
  8. Existential
  9. Sovereignty
  10. Reliance

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Improve vocabulary (29 July 2017) Myanmar and South Korea – Listen While You Read

News IELTS PTE

Myanmar’s economic growth:

During the past half decade, Myanmar has grown at a rapid pace and this has reverberated across the country. Jungles, swamps, and farms are being replaced by supermarkets, malls, apartments and new infrastructure. A recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) report has forecasted Myanmar’s growth rate at 8 percent per annum.

Reverberate: To rebound, recoil, resound or echo.

forecast: To predict, calculate in advance.

Myanmar, after years of oppressive rule under despotic generals, ended its isolation and embraced democracy only last year. Though expectations regarding the country’s economic growth are astronomically high, many investors question the sustainability of such growth.

Oppressive: burdensome, causing discomfort by being excessive.

Despot: A tyrant, an oppressor, Autocrat.

Embrace: To adopt something.

Astronomical: Extremely large.

Unequal educational opportunities in South Korea:

In 2014, an elite educational institution modified its rules to give admission to a student from a rich family. Recently, a court ruled that this subterfuge had fundamentally shaken the “values of fairness” in the South Korean society and had caused the “feeling of emptiness and betrayal” among “hard-working students”.

Modify: To change something, to amend.

Subterfuge: An artifice used to hide something, a trick.

Betray: Disloyal, unfaithful. 

The key question here is “Will the thickness of a parent’s purse determine a child’s prospects?”

Prospect: An anticipation of future.

Words learned today:

  1. Reverberate
  2. Forecast
  3. Oppressive
  4. Despot
  5. Embrace
  6. Astronomical
  7. Modify
  8. Subterfuge
  9. Betray
  10. Prospect

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Improve vocabulary (28 July 2017) Electric Cars – Listen While You Read

Electric Vehicles IELTS PTE.jpg

The United Kingdom has recently decided to join other European countries in banning the sale of all internal-combustion engine-powered cars by the year 2040. 

This move is a regulatory push across Europe to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles and introduce electric and fuel-cell cars that are not only unpopular in the market but also face many infrastructure challenges such as availability of charging stations. The governments were forced to act because automakers, with a few exceptions, are still investing profoundly in improving the efficiency of diesel-powered vehicles. 

Regulate: To control by rule or law. 

Phase out: To bring to an end. 

Infrastructure: The basic framework of a system or organization. 

 Profoundly: A lot, intense, thorough, deep.

Though certain automakers such as Toyota Motors are committed to the goal of manufacturing emissions-free fleet in a few decades, the concerns about claims of increasing efficiency of diesel vehicles were raised when Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal came to light in 2015. Volkswagen had been deceiving regulators on the discharge of pollutants from its cars by malicious modifications in its software.  

Deceive: To mislead by false appearance or statement.

Discharge: To emit something. To remove something.

Malice (Malicious): Desire to cause injury, harm.

China has also joined hands with the European Union to prevent climate change by investing heavily in electric vehicles technology and supply chain. Moreover, China is also deterring customers from buying internal-combustion engine vehicles. 

Deter: Discourage or restrain from acting.

However, such regulatory changes are likely to face strong headwinds from interest groups such as oil and gas companies, and automobile manufacturers who not only pay huge taxes to the government but also contribute heavily to employment. 

Headwinds: Wind opposite to the course of a moving object; severe resistance.

Words learned today:

  1. Regulate
  2. Phase Out
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Profoundly
  5. Deceive
  6. Discharge
  7. Malice
  8. Deter
  9. Headwinds.

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Improving vocabulary with the BBC (27 July 2017)– Listen While You Read.

Transgender IELTS PTE

Read this article on the B.B.C here.

Trump: Transgender people ‘can’t serve’ in US military

US President Donald Trump says transgender people cannot serve in “any capacity” in the military. (Transgender: A person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex at birth.)

He tweeted that he had consulted with military experts and cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption“. (Disruption: A radical change; A forcible disruption of something into parts.)

The Obama administration decided last year to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military.

But in June, Defence Secretary James Mattis agreed to a six-month delay in the recruitment of transgender people.

As is often the case, the announcement came in a series of tweets.

Mr Trump said: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” (Decisive: Crucial, Important, Determined.)

(Overwhelm: Overpower or Overcome or Destroy – a mind, feeling or physical thing.)

(Entail: To involve or impose something as a burden.)

But the measure will not go into effect immediately.

The Pentagon says: “We will provide revised guidance to the department in the near future.”

The timing of this transgender ban is almost as interesting as the move itself.

Why now? With the Trump administration being buffeted by the Jeff Sessions political death watch, the ongoing multi-prong investigation into the Trump campaign, the healthcare drama in the Senate and the impending Russian sanctions bill, perhaps the administration decided this was a good time to change the subject and rally conservative forces to his side. (Buffeted: To strike or push repeatedly.)

Republicans have long used cultural issues as a wedge to divide Democrats and energise evangelicals. As one White House insider acknowledged, this is straight out of that playbook. While Mr Trump campaigned as sympathetic to LGBT rights, he needs the traditional religious conservatives to stay loyal to him now, more than ever. (Evangelicals: Those who are devoted to the cause of Christianity.)

(Wedge: To separate or split)

Words learnt today:

  1. Transgender
  2. Disruption
  3. Decisive
  4. Overwhelm
  5. Entail
  6. Buffeted
  7. Evangelicals
  8. Wedge

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Improving vocabulary with the BBC (25 July 2017)– Listen While You Read.

Read this article on the B.B.C here.

How Bitcoin is infiltrating the $60bn global art market

Why is the art world getting excited about digital currency Bitcoin and its underlying technology blockchain? (Underlying: fundamental, basic)

Eleesa Dadiani owns and runs an art gallery in London’s famous Cork Street. She was born in Georgia in the Caucasus.

But she is also a passionate believer in the power of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

When we meet she is busy preparing for an exhibition of sculptures made from the exhausts of former Formula 1 racing cars. (Sculpture: A work of art produced by carving, modeling or welding to create a figure.)

One of these strange rib-cage-like creations made from the super-strong alloy Inconel has been gold-plated and will sell for about £35,000.

“These are pieces of history,” she tells me.

In a first for the tradition-bound art world of Cork Street, her international clientele will have the opportunity to pay using Bitcoin, the digital cryptocurrency underpinned by blockchain technology. (Cryptocurrency: A digital currency that uses codes to record transactions.)

The gallery will also accept other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Litecoin, and soon, Monero, she says.

“This is not a demand-driven decision at all, it’s intuitive based on the way things are going,” she says. (Intuition: A quick perception or insight which is independent of the rational process.)

She believes paying by cryptocurrency will become as normal as paying by cash or credit card. She also hopes it will attract a new, nontraditional type of art investor.

Blockchain, the underlying technology, is a digital record of transactions that are distributed across and verified by thousands of computers in a network.

Once the network has reached a consensus that a transaction has happened, the ledger is updated and cannot be tampered with. (Tamper: To meddle into something with the purpose of destroying it.)

“Blockchain is a borderless, open source, a decentralized peer-to-peer network that governments cannot shut down,” she says. “For me, the blockchain is going to be the biggest thing since the internet.”

Today’s words are:

  1. Underlying.
  2. Sculpture.
  3. Cryptocurrency.
  4. Intuition.
  5. Tamper.

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Improving vocabulary with the BBC (24 July 2017)– Listen While You Read.

Michael Phelps loses ‘race’ to Great White shark

The world’s most decorated Olympic swimmer completed 100m in open ocean off South Africa in 38.1 seconds to the shark’s 36.1. The Discovery Channel aired the “race”.

But what viewers actually saw was a montage of Phelps swimming alongside a computer-generated Great White. (Montage: To connect various pictures/ videos – often by superimposing – to show them as one)

Before Sunday’s broadcast, Discovery had the 28-time Olympic medallist, who is now retired, and the shark swim the course separately.

Computer-generated footage of a shark was then superimposed over the swimmer to look like they were racing alongside each other. (Superimpose: To put one thing over another)

Some social media users loved the “race” idea, but many said that they felt “robbed” by the simulation. (Simulation: Imitation, enactment or copy of something actual/ real)

Although the US athlete represents the peak of human athletic prowess, he can only swim at a top speed of 5-6mph (8-10km/h) without a monofin, while a Great White is capable of doing at least 25mph in short bursts. (Prowess: Exceptional bravery, strength, or ability)

But humans have long pitted themselves against dangerous animals, often ones they know are much faster.

They have done this for money; to draw attention to a cause; to create a spectacle, and perhaps also out of an inflated sense of what humans are capable of. (Spectacle: )

Here is another instance when man has raced beast.

Bryan Habana, one of the fastest players in international rugby, decided to take on the world’s fastest land animal in 2007 as part of an event sponsored by a conservation group.

Habana is quick, but not Usain Bolt quick – running the 100m in 10.4 seconds at his best (compared with Bolt’s 9.58 world record).

Still, the then 23-year-old, keen to raise awareness about the decline of the cheetah, fancied his chances.

The cheetah was tempted with a dangling leg of lamb which it chased during the race, while Habana, who was given a significant head start, gave it all he had. (Tempt: To allure, attract someone to do something)

The end was close but the cheetah just got over the line first. Habana asked for a re-run and was soundly beaten.

Today’s words are:

  1. Montage
  2. Superimpose
  3. Simulation
  4. Prowess
  5. Tempt

Learn exciting vocabulary for IELTS, PTE, GRE, GMAT, and CAT by the vocabulary section daily and listening to AUDIO to improve your pronunciation. Follow this blog or like our Facebook Page to stay connected with latest posts.

Improving vocabulary with the BBC – Listen While You Read.

This news item is copied for educational purposes from the http://www.bbc.com. Please read the complete news here.

Legislators in the Philippines have voted overwhelmingly to extend the martial law to deal with an Islamist insurgency in the island of Mindanao. (Overwhelm: To overpower; to overcome completely. Insurgency: An act of rebellion, revolt.)

Militants linked to so-called Islamic State have been occupying parts of Marawi, a city in the south, since May.

President Rodrigo Duterte said the extension was necessary to crush the insurgency, but his critics say it is part of a wider power grab. (Crush: To destroy forcibly.)

Mindanao is home to a number of Muslim rebel groups seeking more autonomy. (Autonomy: Independence, freedom)

It is a sensitive issue in the Philippines, where martial law was imposed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos for much of his rule.

A previously imposed 60-day martial rule was due to expire on Saturday. It went into effect on 23 May, just hours after deadly clashes between the army and gunmen linked to so-called Islamic State.

The extension means the law will now remain in force until 31 December.

In May, President Duterte warned that martial law could be extended across the Philippines after insurgents killed police officers in Marawi.

Some opposition lawmakers questioned why it should be applied to the whole of the southern island, instead of just the city.

“I fear that the plan to extend the martial law in Mindanao will pave the way for a Philippines-wide martial law,” Senator Risa Hontiveros was quoted by AFP as saying.

Martial law allows the use of the military to enforce the law and the detention of people without charge for long periods. (Detention: to keep in custody, keep under restraint.)

We’ve today learned five words:

  1. Overwhelm
  2. Insurgency
  3. Crush
  4. Autonomy
  5. Detention

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Improving Vocabulary with the B.B.C – Listen While You Read.

This news item is copied for educational purposes from the http://www.bbc.com. Please read the complete news here.

Marcus Daley suffers from anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition which can be triggered by food including peanuts and shellfish. (Trigger: verb, To initiate a chain of events.)

He was traveling with his parents to Melbourne after a holiday in Thailand.

He suffered a severe allergic reaction after other passengers around him opened their snack packets of peanuts.

His father Chris Daley, a doctor specializing in respiratory issues, told the Australian Broadcast Corporation that his son received a special nut-free meal but quickly became severely ill when others were eating their nuts. (Respiration: The act of inhaling and exhaling of air; breathing.)

“He started vomiting, his eyes were starting to swell and he couldn’t speak properly,” Mr. Daley said, adding that the family was less than an hour into their seven-hour flight home.

Thankfully, the Daleys had brought anti-allergy medication, which quickly brought the situation under control.

Major airlines such as Qantas, Air New Zealand, and British Airways do not serve nuts during its flights or offer them in in-flight meals.

Singapore Airlines issued a statement on Wednesday saying it would review the serving of nuts on board all flights.

“As soon as our crew was made aware of the situation, they immediately removed all packets of peanuts from the area around the affected passenger and his family,” the airline said. (Affect: verb, (in the case of a disease) to attack.)

“Our crew suspended the service of peanuts in the Economy class cabin for the remainder of the flight.” (Suspend: verb, To cease or stop something.)

It added that passengers with nut allergies were able to request nut-free meals when making their flight bookings but said that they were not able to guarantee “a nut free cabin”.

“We do not have any control over passengers consuming their own snacks or meals on board, which may contain nuts or their derivatives,” the airline said in reply to a customer’s comment on its Facebook page. (Derivative: adjective, derived from something; secondary.)

We’ve today learned five words:

  1. Trigger
  2. Respiration
  3. Affect
  4. Suspend
  5. Derrivative

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Similar yet confusing words in the English​ Language

confused_word_usage

Many students commit the mistake of using EFFECT in place of AFFECT or replacing ADVISE with ADVICE. These mistakes may seem inconsequential, but they’re considerable and may cost you bands. Here’s a list of such words that, in my experience, students often confuse.

EFFECT vs AFFECT: Effect is a noun and is the “result” of something. Affect, on the other hand, is a noun and it refers to impact.

“His words affected (impacted) my thoughts deeply and the effect (result) was clearly seen in my grades.”

ADVISE vs ADVICE: Advise is a verb and advice is a noun.

“He offered me a good advice (noun) and I acted as he had advised (verb).”

ASSURE vs ENSURE: Assure refers to telling someone that something will happen definitely. Ensure, on the other hand, means guaranteeing something.

“I assured (told you with confidence) you that your son’s admission into Harvard is ensured (guaranteed).”

BREATH vs BREATHE: Breath is a noun and it refers to air going in and out of lungs. Breathe a verb and it is the process of exhaling and inhaling.

“He was trying to breathe heavily but with each breath, toxic gases entered his lungs.”

Stay connected to learn more such words. Good Luck learning English!

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