A sweet start to the week

I’ve had a very busy time this weekend. I promised you on Friday that I have some exciting news and here it is.

The kind people over at learn2lingo have invited me to write their blog for them. It’s a great site for finding a private teacher to learn with or even for teaching your native language. Have a look if you have time because I’ll be sharing some great tips there to help you with your English.

I’ve also signed up there as a teacher. If you’d like a one-to-one online English class with me or one of the other great learn2lingo teachers, click here.

I had a little time to read the news this weekend, though and it looks like the chefs in this article were even busier than I was. I like tiramisu but I think if I tried to eat one this big, I would end up like this person!

Although it was a short article, there was a lot of interesting vocabulary in it. The first paragraph is full of useful words and expressions:

A dozen chefs in France have laid claim to rustling up the world’s largest Tiramisu dessert, weighing over a tonne and having to be stored in an ice rink.

We’ve seen dozen before here so I won’t go into that one again. We’ve not seen ‘laid claim‘ before, though. It means to say that something belongs to you. We can ‘lay claim‘ to something abstract, like a record, or even something material, like a piece of land.

The other interesting expression there is ‘rustling up‘ meaning to create. I can ‘rustle up‘ fried rice but I’m not much good at cooking anything else!

It’s also mentioned that the tiramisu needed to be stored in an ice rink. An ‘ice rink‘ is a place where we can go ice skating.

The last interesting expression I would like to look at here is ‘pick me up‘. When we use ‘pick me up‘ as a noun, it means something that can give you energy if you are tired or make you feel happy when you are sad. I guess a tasty tirimisu can do either!

Go Nuts

nutsI am a terrible photographer. My photos never come out how I want them to. That’s why I was amused to see this funny article on the Guardian website last week with some great vocabulary in it. The first interesting expression is in the headline:

Photo enthusiasts go nuts for squirrel’s holiday snap

To ‘go nuts’ for something means to get really excited about it. We can also say ‘to be nuts about something‘ meaning to be very interested in it or to love it a lot. For example, I am nuts about cycling at the moment and try to do it whenever I have free time. We can also use the expression ‘to go nuts‘ to talk about getting really angry depending on the context.

The next interesting word is also in the title. We can say ‘snap‘ to talk about a causal photo which is taken outdoors, not in a photo studio.

In the subtitle, the author mentions the squirrel trying to ‘muscle in on‘ the couple’s picture meaning he forced his way into it even though he was not wanted.

There is another interesting phrase in the second paragraph where it is mentioned that the squirrel ‘adopted the position‘. To adopt a position is a nice natural way to say get into a position. We also often say to ‘take up‘ a position meaning the same thing.

It must be amazing for the photographer that her photo was included in National Geographic’s ‘Daily Dozen’ section. ‘Dozen‘ is an old-fashioned word meaning twelve but we also use it in its plural form (dozens) to mean lots of. For example, I have seen that movie dozens of times. The other old-fashioned words we often use to talk about numbers in English are:

  • couple – two
  • score – twenty
  • scores – lots of / many of

There is yet another interesting word in this paragraph:

Apart from the kind of tedious discussion on various blog sites of focal depth and remote control shutter releases which causes any squirrel with sense to tune out and go and see a man about some nuts, the hero of Lake Minnewanka has sparked a rash of tribute images.

Tedious‘ means boring or irritating and the phrasal verb ‘to tune out‘ in this example means to ignore. ‘See a man about some nuts‘ is a variation on the phrase ‘see a man about a dog‘ meaning to make an excuse to leave a boring or awkward situation.  To ‘spark a rash‘ of tribute images means to cause other people to produce a lot of other images inspired by the original.

There was also an interesting link in the last paragraph to a video of a drunk squirrel.  I guess that’s another one to add to our list of drunk animals!

Do you have any funny holiday snaps?

Today’s photo is by Eran Chesnutt.