I have always loved plain white shirts. There’s something so fresh and clean about them and they go well with pretty much anything. That’s why I was interested to see this article on the BBC news website linking an increase in sales of white shirts to the recent recession. The title of the article is interesting:
Taking the pulse of the global economy
When a doctor takes a patient’s pulse, he counts how many times the patient’s heart beats in a certain time so he can work out the rate in B.P.M. (beats per minute). In this article, ‘taking the pulse‘ of the economy is evaluating how strong it is or how well it is doing.
In the first paragraph, it is mentioned that workers are ‘shunning‘ bold colours. In this situation, it means they are avoiding bold colours. Another nice expression to use in this situation would they are ‘steering clear of‘ bold colours.
There’s some more interesting vocabulary in the fourth paragraph:
We report from a funeral parlour where families are choosing cut-price coffins and the number of cremations is on the rise, and a second-hand jewellery shop in the US where New Yorkers are selling their family heirlooms.
A ‘funeral parlour‘ is the place where an ‘undertaker‘ works preparing dead bodies for cremation or burial and arranging funerals. An ‘heirloom‘ is a valuable object that has been owned by one family for a long time.
In the next paragraph, it is mentioned that the reporters put on their sun hats and flip-flops. ‘Flip-flops‘ are a kind of sandal shown in the picture below. In Australia, they are called ‘thongs‘ but in other parts of the world, ‘thong‘ has a rather different meaning. It’s a kind of very revealing underwear!
There’s a nice expression slightly later in the article where a resort where young, rich Europeans and Americans like to party is described as ‘upmarket‘ meaning ‘expensive’ or ‘exclusive’.
Near the end of the article the expression ‘migrant worker‘ is mentioned. A ‘migrant worker‘ is someone who moves or ‘migrates‘ to another city in search of work. When large numbers of people move to cities from the countryside, we often use the expression ‘urban migration‘.