January 01, 2009

#01-204: Reading Boomtown Chronicles 68

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 #01-208, I wrote 72 lessons explaining expressions in articles published in the Shenzhen Daily. Read more about "Reading Boomtown Chronicles."

Get Ready: What, if anything, are you enthusiastic about?

Boomtown Chronicles Part XXIV - published Monday, December 22, 2008 (cont.)

  • "There have never been so many Chinese people so enthusiastic about making investments..."

enthusiasm: excitement; passion. The -thus- in this word is the same as the theo- in "theology." It means "god." The en- means "in," so enthusiasm is the condition of being filled with (a) god. I think anyone who was filled with, or possessed by, a god would behave very enthusiastically indeed!

  • Two similar words were used in the article: "vivid" and "avid"

vivid: lively

avid: enthusiastic

Viv- refers to life, as in "vivify" (bring to life) and the Spanish "Viva!" (live long). Avid, on the other hand, comes from a Latin word meaning "longing for" or "ardent about." The av- root also shows up in the word "avarice," meaning "greed."

The -id ending is what makes these words so similar. It is generally an adjective suffix (though it's sometimes found in nouns). Think of words like pallid, humid, stupid, rapid, liquid (now also a noun, but originally the adjective form of liquor) and so on.

  • People learned about various stocks from "pamphlets."

pamphlet: a short book or booklet (usually under 80 pages) with a paper cover. Back in the 12th century there was a small book (in Latin) called Pamphilus, or about Love. The word "Pamphilus" was a Greek name made of two parts: pan meaning "all," and philos meaning "loving" or "dear." So the name "Pamphilus" meant "Loved by all." This small book was very popular. By the late 14th century its title had entered English to refer to any short, popular book on a current topic.


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

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

  1. avid
  2. enthusiasm
  3. pamphlet
  4. vivid

  1. Sometimes a small ________ is the best way to publish your ideas.
  2. Laura was an ________ fan of the local basketball team.
  3. Roger's bosses were impressed when he approached every task with great ________.
  4. Any book can be improved by a few ________ illustrations.

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for January 1, 2009

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