October 16, 2008

#01-172: Reading Boomtown Chronicles 44

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: Did you ever think disaster was about to strike, and somehow everything "came up roses"?

Boomtown Chronicles Part XVI - published Monday, October 6, 2008 (cont.)

  • While Daya Bay, Shenzhen's nuclear plant, was being built, the nuclear incident at Chernobyl "reignited controversy" about the building of the plant.

reignite: light something on fire again. Figuratively, the word means to renew some kind of process or reaction, usually a negative one.

  • The worst results of the event at Chernobyl were caused by "fallout."

fallout: the radiation that settles back to earth after an atomic explosion. There can also be literal fallout from natural events, such as volcanic eruptions or forest fires. But we also use the word figuratively to describe many kinds of results, usually negative: one can suffer from the fallout of an illness or a financial loss, for example.

  • Hong Kong people were distressed at having "such a facility on their doorstep."

on one's doorstep: near one's home, or simply nearby. Another, similar expression is "in one's back yard," giving rise to the acronym NIMBY: "Not In My Back Yard," when local residents want to reject a project that they fear will affect their lifestyle or their well-being.

  • Because of the wise and safe placement of the Daya Bay facility, though, "Everything came up roses."

come up roses: turn out well. This is a common expression. Imagine planting roses, and having weeds come up! But if "everything comes up roses," you can say, "All's well that ends well."

  • Despite the huge cost of the project, "By July [of 2008], the plant had wiped the debt and interest..."

wipe (or wipe out): eliminate or, in the case of a debt, to pay it off. Imagine that the debt is written on a whiteboard or chalkboard; when someone "wipes" it, there's no more debt!


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

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

  1. come up roses
  2. fallout
  3. on your doorstep
  4. reignite
  5. wipe

  1. The campaign staff couldn't overcome the ________ from the accusations against the candidate.
  2. Sharon's injury healed quickly; she was able to win her race and make everything ________.
  3. You probably wouldn't want the government to build a waste dump ________, would you?
  4. If you work overtime, you might be able to ________ your credit card debt.
  5. Don't mention the fight you had with him a while back; we don't want to ________ an argument.

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for October 16, 2008

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