Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In the news: Living frugally

I really enjoyed this story from abcnews Nightline. It's called Ultimate "Cheapsters" Compete for Cash. It's about a group of college students competing in yet another reality show, this time on who can save the most. The winner is the contestant who does the best job living frugally. These twenty-somethings penny pinch, dumpster dive, and bargain hunt. One even ditches his apartment for a tent in the woods, where he and his tent mate make hearty meals out of canned goods. Another contestant obsessively clips coupons, while yet another has learned how not to pay a dime for food, though he eats constantly. If you haven't seen this report, you'll find out how he does it when you click the link to the abcnews Nightline site below.

The contestants fight tooth and nail and slug it out for 7 weeks for the $10,000 cash prize. The show is actually sponsored by a bank in Utah and aims to teach and give students an incentive to learn how to be financially wise while they're still young. In the end, all their hard work pays off, especially for the winner who gets the cash prize. But really, as the reporter points out, they are all winners. With skyrocketing college tuition and the dismal job market, these college students are definitely on the right track.

Check out the vocabulary below and click on the link to watch the news report.
 Ultimate 'Cheapsters' Compete for Cash | Video - ABC News

fighting tooth and nail - fight hard or use a lot of effort to compete or accomplish something
Penny pinching - when someone avoids spending money
Dumpster diving - going into a dumpster (a huge garbage bin) to look for trash that can still be used
Bargain hunting - looking for good, cheap prices
incentive - a good reason to do something (Getting a good grade is an incentive to study hard.)
Ditch something/someone - to throw away or to leave behind
hearty meal - filling, nourishing meal
frugality - being economical; saving money and spending less
Obsessive - preoccupied or controlled by something (obsessive gambler; obsessive eating)
Skyrocket - to increase fast (skyrocketing gas prices)
dismal - depressing (An economy that's not doing so well can be referred to as dismal)
Not pay a dime - get something for free
Slug it out - compete; fight
pay off - get the benefit of something (His hard work paid off in the end. His company gained a lot of recognition.)

Thanks for reading and listening. 
This is Joe with the small guide site and the small blog.
Follow me on Twitter @joeyu2nd.
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

TT4BS - /æ/

Welcome to another TongueTwisting4BetterSpeech. For this pronunciation lesson, we're going to practice the sound /æ/. To make this sound, you need to flatten your mouth and spread it outward. /æ/

Let's practice pronouncing these words. Remember to go slowly first and emphasize the sound, especially if it's not easy to make.
Cat, mat, sat, flat, lack
Tangible, manor, cranberry, dragon, grapple
Uncanny, kilogram, romance, understand, retract

Here are three tongue twisters for you to practice the sound /æ/.
1. The fat cat had an uncanny way of catching rats.
     [ had an /hædən/   schwa /ə]
2. Sam ran after the tram to escape the traffic jam.
3. He has to grapple with exams he can't understand.

Alright, folks. You should memorize at least one of these, so you can say it and practice whenever and wherever you are.

Thanks for practicing with me and the small guide site.
Don't forget to like and Tweet this if you find it useful.
This is Joe. Follow me on Twitter @joeyu2nd, and be a fan of the small guide site on Facebook.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

irrepressible (adj)

The word irrepressible is an adjective that means impossible to restrain or control.

1. He's always had an irrepressible love for animals since he was a kid.
2. The police had a hard time controlling fans at the rock concert. Their excitement was irrepressible.
3. Their irrepressible energy at practice stems from a strong desire to win first prize in the competition.
4. Their manager's anger was irrepressible when he found out they had spent $10,000 without asking him first.
5. He has an irrepressible sense of humor that is also contagious.

contagious - able to spread or pass on something to others, as in a contagious disease.

Thanks for reading and listening to this small lesson.
This is Joe with the small guide site.
Follow me on Twitter @joeyu2nd.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vocabulary in the news

Happy Valentine's Day
, everyone! I came across this article last week, saw some good vocabulary in it, and thought, what better day to share it than today. So if you like the idea of getting drenched in chocolate, check out the vocabulary below, then read the article to get some ideas--if not for today, then for next year. The title of the article is "10 great places to get drenched in chocolate" from USAToday Travel.

Drenched - very wet
1. We forgot our umbrellas, so we got completely drenched.
2. It was so hot outside; we were drenched in sweat every time we went out.

Gear up - get ready, prepare
1. They were gearing up to leave when we arrived.
2. Stores geared up for Valentine's day as early as mid-January this year.

Luscious - deliciously rich; pleasingly sweet (adj)
1. I was so full, but the desert looked so luscious; I couldn't resist.
2. When she bit into the peach, she found it was so sweet, juicy and luscious; she decided to buy another pound.

Edible - able to be eaten (adj)
1. He thought the decoration on top of the cake was edible, but it was actually plastic.
2. They picked edible plants when all their food was gone.

Run the gamut - include the entire range
1. The store's merchandise ran the gamut; it sold everything from computers to furniture, books to vitamins.
2. Participants of reality tv shows express emotions that run the gamut, including anger, sadness, and jealousy.

Adjacent - next to (adj)
1. The post office is just adjacent to the movie theater.
2. Living adjacent to a restaurant can be convenient, but it can also be noisy.

Indulgence - following your desire
1. Their uncontrolled indulgence in gambling caused them to go bankrupt.
2. Spas provide services that satisfy their clients' indulgences.

Again, you'll find these vocabulary words in the article "10 great places to get drenched in chocolate."

Thanks for reading and listening.
This is Joe Yu with the small guide site and the small blog.
Follow me on Twitter @joeyu2nd.
Be a fan of the small guide site on Facebook.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Change of plans

Well, folks, change of plans. the small blog is not moving, after all. I know; I was excited about it, too. I've spent a lot of hours figuring out WordPress, and I got the page pretty much the way I wanted it. Unfortunately, incorporating it with the small guide site with the program that I was using didn't turn out to be as straight forward as I thought.

I could change the address to make it look like its within the small guide site, but I don't want any broken links; that would not be cool. I want my old lessons to be exactly where they are in case any of you wanted to check them out again.

So I thought and thought about it and decided that the best option right now is to stay put. We'll continue to be right here on Blogger, which I actually like, and at the same address. There is a small change though; I've redesigned both the small blog and the small guide site for a fresh, new look. I hope you like this small change; I hope you'll keep visiting; and I hope you keep spreading the word about the small guide site and the small blog.

Thanks for reading and listening to this quick update.
This is Joe Yu with the small guide site and the small blog.
Follow me on Twitter @joeyu2nd.
Be a fan of the small guide site on Facebook.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Some vocabulary from a news article

Here are the vocabulary words from the article I posted on Facebook yesterday. Sorry for the sexy voice; I caught a cold this week, and I'm still nursing it. But I actually feel better today.

Gear up means to prepare or to get ready.
1. Students are gearing up for the coming semester.
2. I get excited whenever I gear up to go on vacation.

Take on means to accept a challenge.
1. Tom always takes on new assignments even when he's too busy.
2. Jim took on the winner of the hot dog eating contest; unfortunately, he lost.

Valiant means courageous or brave.
1. The NYPD is always looking for valiant men and women to join the police force.
2. His valiant actions at war earned him a purple heart.

A purple heart - a military award given for wounds received at war

Make it out to somewhere means to be able to get somewhere.
1. He hopes to make it out to Maryland for his niece's birthday.
2. Do you think you'll make it out to Colorado this year for some skiing?

Do whatever it takes means to do all you can to achieve something.
1. Sandra will do whatever it takes to finish her degree while also raising two kids.
2. He is doing whatever it takes to make his business succeed.

Pull off something means to succeed in spite of some difficulty.

1. He took the exam with very little sleep, but he pulled it off and got a 98%.
2. They did their best to finish the project on time; unfortunately, they weren't able to pull it off.

An upset means an unexpected win by an underdog.

1. The team and the whole community is hoping for a huge upset in the local high school basketball team's game against a formidable opponent from across town.
2. The incumbent mayor is popular, but many believe there's still a good chance the other candidate can pull off an upset.
underdog - the weaker team in a competition; the team that's not expected to win
formidable - impressive; strong; intimidating
incumbent - the person (usually a politician) who is in office during an election

Now that you're more familiar with these vocabulary words and phrases, why not check out the article again? It's not too long, and the words and phrases above are in the first three paragraphs. 

Thanks for reading and listening.
This is Joe Yu with the small guide site.
Follow me on Twitter @joeyu2nd.
Be a fan of the small guide site on Facebook.