September 02, 2008

#01-156: Reading Boomtown Chronicles 28

wide view of an urban area with bushes in the foreground, over which is written "READING BOOMTOWN CHRONICLES"
Shenzhen, the Boomtown

Note: Between Lesson #01-128 and #01-207, I wrote 72 lessons explaining expressions in articles published in the Shenzhen Daily. Read more about "Reading Boomtown Chronicles."

Get Ready: What gets you in high spirits?

Boomtown Chronicles Part XI - published Monday, August 25, 2008 (cont.)

  • China experienced "double-digit growth for much of the 1990s."

double-digit: ten percent or more (and less than 100) as these numbers are expressed with two digits. (One to nine percent would be single-digit growth.)

  • Deng was "heartened" by what he saw in Shenzhen.

heartened: encouraged. "Heartened" comes from the Germanic word "heart"; the Latinate synonym "encouraged" comes from the Latin root cor.

  • Li Hao said Deng was "in high spirits when feasting his eyes on scenes" in Shenzhen.

in high spirits: very happy, indicating joy and even pride.

feast one's eyes: take in what one is seeing, lingering on a sight which makes one happy, and filling the mind and heart the way a feast fills the belly.

  • Deng warned leaders to avoid finding themselves in a "blind alley."

blind alley: a dead end; a street (or, in this case, alley) that goes nowhere. "Going down (or up) a blind alley" is a commonly-used expression.

  • "deep-rooted" prejudice

deep-rooted: like tree roots going deep into the ground. Such a tree would be hard to remove, so deep-rooted ideas of any kind are hard to remove or replace.

  • Deng's remarks contained "profound truths."

profound: literally, deep. The pro- means "toward," and fundus is the bottom of something. So profound truths go right to the bottom, to the very found-ation of things.

  • "the essence of socialism"

essence: the characteristic quality of something. The root of this word is the Latin esse, meaning "being" or "existence." The "essence" of something, its "essential" quality, is such that if you remove it, the thing loses its being. The essence of a great musician is his performance ability; remove that and he is no longer a great musician.

  • "emancipation"

emancipation: the act of setting [something]free. It has several parts. The e- means "from"; -man- is "hand" (as in "manual labor"); -cip- means "seize" (related to "capture"); and -ation as you know is the noun form of a verb ending in -ate. So "the act of going from [or "leaving"] capture by the hand." Marvelous!


Read more:

Practice: Choose the correct term to fill in the blank in the sentence below:

  1. blind alley
  2. deep-rooted
  3. double-digit
  4. emancipation
  5. essence
  6. feast your eyes
  7. heartened
  8. in high spirits
  9. profound

  1. Hey, come over and ________ on my new car!
  2. She was excited at the news of her ________ raise.
  3. The judge had a ________ hatred of wrongdoers.
  4. The ________ of poetry is its imagery.
  5. He experienced a ________ sense of relief when the doctors declared him cancer-free.
  6. Good advice can keep us from getting stuck in a ________.
  7. When I was in the hospital, I was ________ at the news of my mother's visit.
  8. Every student (and teacher!) looks forward to the ________ brought by summer vacation.
  9. The workers were ________ as five o'clock approached.

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for September 2, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. f; 2. c; 3. b; 4. h; 5. d; 6. a; 7. g; 8. i; 9. e