October 09, 2008

#01-169: Reading Boomtown Chronicles 41

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 are your talents?

Boomtown Chronicles Part XV - published Monday, October 9, 2008 (cont.)

  • Subtitle: "Shenzhen magnet for talent."

talent: talented people. This is a word with several faces. Springing from a word that meant "a weight, or a unit of money," it clearly means something that's valuable. So far, so good. But how is it used? Well, it can be a countable noun ("She has many useful talents") or an uncountable one ("There is a lot of talent in Shenzhen.") But this second use can have two meanings. "She has a lot of talent" means she is very talented. But "Shenzhen has a lot of talent" can mean there are many talented people in Shenzhen! And just to make it more confusing, this can also be done with the plural countable version: "Many of Hong Kong's greatest talents helped raise money for earthquake relief."

  • "Developed world" and "developing world."

developed vs. developing: These are not precisely defined terms. Generally speaking, "developed" means further along in a never-ending process, and "developing" means in the earlier stages of that process. But there is no exact line to cross that makes a country one or the other. China is often called a "developing" country, but looking around at Shenzhen, and peeking inside the technology industry, and reading so on, that's hard to believe! Let's be careful using these words in any strict, limiting way.

  • numerous "university graduates have flocked to the city..."

flocked: gathered, not unlike a flock of birds gathering to eat scattered seed.

  • The article mentions "postdoctorate degree holders."

postdoctorate degree: To my knowledge, there is no such degree. Instead, it may describe a degree taken after a doctorate degree. For example, a person with two doctorate degrees, taken one after the other, would be a "postdoctorate degree holder."


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

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

  1. developed
  2. developing
  3. flocked
  4. postdoctorate degree
  5. talent

  1. Japan and other ________ countries usually have excellent transportation systems.
  2. After taking his PhD in archaeology, he decided to go back to school and stud for a ________ in teaching.
  3. It's amazing how much ________ there is in any city, just waiting to be discovered.
  4. The fans ________ to buy tickets for the K-pop group's concert.
  5. ________ nations often face challenges in the areas of infant healthcare and nutrition.

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for October 9, 2008

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