Nissan Leaf

I was very interested to read about Nissan’s new electric car in this article in the Guardian earlier this month. I like the idea of electric cars because they are clean and also very quiet.

There were some really interesting words and expressions in this article right from the beginning:

Sunderland in running to make five-door hatchback

In running‘ in this case is a shortened form of the expression ‘in the running‘. If you are ‘in the running‘ for something, you are part of a competition for some kind of prize or goal.

There’s another interesting piece of competition-related vocabulary in the first paragraph:

Nissan has unveiled what it claims to be the world’s first mass-market electric car — a five-door hatchback called Leaf which its Sunderland plant is vying to build for the European market.

Vying‘ also means competing in order to achieve something. So, to rephrase this sentence, we could say the Sunderland factory is competing with the other factories in Europe for the right to produce this car. The author also uses the word ‘plant‘ in this paragraph to mean ‘factory’.

The article says that the car would produce no carbon emissions but it’s important to mention that most forms of producing electricity at the moment produce lots of carbon and other forms of pollution. This means the car would not be completely carbon neutral.

There is another interesting word later on when it is mentioned that:

it [the car] would be similarly priced to other family-sized cars in the £10,000-£15,000 bracket.

In this example ‘bracket‘ means the category or group of cars that fall within that price range.

There are a few different words used in this article to describe different kinds of cars. When I saw the word ‘saloon cars‘, it started me thinking. There are a few words related to cars that are quite different in U.K. and U.S. English. Here they are:

  • bonnet (U.K.) – hood (U.S.)
  • boot (U.K.) – trunk (U.S.)
  • petrol (U.K.) – gas (U.S.)
  • saloon car (U.K.) – sedan (U.S.)
  • estate car (U.K.) – station wagon (U.S.)

Here in Bali, it’s best to drive a 4WD (four wheel drive) vehicle because the roads are in quite poor condition and are often flooded during the rainy season.

What kind of cars are most common in your country?

Carbon Neutral

I nave noticed more and more articles about the environment in the news in recent years. I think this is great because it is very important for people to be aware of the effect that their actions have on the whole world.

One of the key phrases in the environmental news over the last years has been ‘carbon neutral’ but what does it mean? There is a good explanation along with a lot of other useful words fro talking about the environment on the Carbon Neutral Journal’s website.

The basic idea behind it is not to release any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere or to compensate for any carbon released by doing something to consume carbon dioxide from the air or paying a company to do it for you. The amount of carbon a person or process releases into the atmosphere is called a ‘carbon footprint’.

There was an article on the BBC website a few days ago which puts this vocabulary into context nicely. It also contains some other interesting pieces of vocabulary. I spotted this near the end of the article:

But many environmentalists say their stance is nevertheless important, as they provide a lead for other countries to follow.

‘Stance’ can mean a way of standing but in this example it means their opinion or policy on the matter. We can also say ‘Where do you stand on this matter?’, meaning ‘what is your opinion/policy on this matter?’.

The next phrase is in the penultimate paragraph where Nick Nuttal is quoted as saying:

“In a sense, they are paving the way for medium and larger economies which have to move if we are going combat climate change,”

Here, ‘paving the way’ means that they are providing an example for others and that is will be easier for people to do it in the future. We often see this expression in a more complete way of saying this would be ‘paving the way for others to follow’. There is a more detailed description of ‘paving’ in this post.

What do you do to help protect the environment?