October 07, 2008

#01-168: Reading Boomtown Chronicles 40

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: In addition to the pandemic, have any epoch-making events happened in your lifetime?

Boomtown Chronicles Part XV - published Monday, October 7, 2008 (cont.)

  • There was a "consensus" among the economic reformers in Shenzhen.

consensus: a type of agreement. Related to "consent, it carries a strong connotation of "harmony." The consensus among the reformers, then, made it easier for those reforms to move forward.

  • The beginning of the reform was an "epoch-making" moment.

epoch-making: creating and defining a new era. "Epoch" is similar in meaning to "era." The "epoch (or era) of reform" dates from the time when Shenzhen began "recruiting workers from inland urban and rural areas..." Of course, we can use the word "epoch-making" more casually, and even jokingly: If you always beat your friend at ping-pong, and one day he suddenly beats you, you can say, "It's the end of an era! An epoch-making event!" But here, it's more literally true.

  • The new economic system "bore fruit."

bears fruit: is productive or successful. "I have been true to my girlfriend, and that faithfulness has borne fruit in the trust we have for each other." So the steps taken by Shenzhen to create reform were successful and "bore fruit."

Grammar note: bear, bore, and then either borne or born. If the emphasis is on the active mother, "she has borne many children"; also "borne" for plants, fields, and other things that bear something (transitive use or "v.t."). But for the passive child, it's used intransitively ("v.i."): "He was born last year." Got it?

  • "Industrial output value increased sevenfold and the number of foreign-investments grew fivefold."

-fold: an ending used to multiply a result by a given number. "Sevenfold" means "by a factor of seven." This can be used with any number, but once we go beyond the smaller numbers, after the smaller numbers, it sounds best with "round" numbers: "a hundredfold" sounds okay, but "ninety-sevenfold" is strange. By the way, if you want to indicate an inexact number, use "many," as in "manifold" (MAN-uh-fold, not many-fold).


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhen

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

  1. bear
  2. bore
  3. born
  4. borne
  5. consensus
  6. epoch-making
  7. three-fold

  1. Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were ________ on the same day.
  2. The moon landing was an ________ moment.
  3. Costs of cancellation must be ________ by the passenger.
  4. We went from 9,000 to 27,000 a month in sales, a ________ increase.
  5. He ________ his dismissal with resignation.
  6. When we reached a ________, it was time to begin.
  7. Sometimes I can't ________ getting up in the morning.

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for October 7, 2008

1 comment:

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