THE LANGUAGE LOVERS’ CORNER 34: JUST FOR KICKS
Notes for language teachers and advanced students of the English language
by Oriel E. Villagarcia at firstname.lastname@example.org
I. FURTHER MEANINGS OF FAMILIAR WORDS
Today’s word is EVEN
Here are some uses of the word EVEN which your students may be unfamiliar with:
- People who speak with an even voice put me to sleep.// Shamans use the even beat of a drum to induce altered states of consciousness in their clients // even rate, even temperature (constant, steady, unchanging)
- Even ground is level, flat.// An even floor. // An even surface.
- She has beautiful even teeth (the same size, arranged in a level line)
- That TV set cost me an even $500 dollars (exactly, no more, no less) This usage is not listed in British learners’ dictionaries.
- Socialism advocates an even distribution of wealth (equal and fair)
- Make sure the picture is even with the upper part of the window (in the same line)
- He has an even disposition (placid, serene, calm)
- If you stand an even chance of getting something, you have a fifty/fifty chance of being successful or not.
- If you say to someone “Now we are even” you are most likely indicating to them that you have just paid back money you owed them, or it could mean that you have just meted out punishment to whoever wronged you.
- He realized, even as he asked her out, that she would turn him down (used to emphasize simultaneity)
11. We’ll go on a picnic even though it rains (emphasizing the word though)
12. An even match or contest is one where the chances of winning remain the
same for the contenders
13. He knew even as he saw her, she had failed the test.
(used for emphasis)
14. If a score is even neither of the teams has more points than the other.
15. If a team evens the score, each team has the same points as the other one:
they evened (up) the score at 3-3.
16. To even out is to become level, as for example, prices after a period of
fluctuation. It can also refer to the action making a surface even and
smooth, as when you even out a rug.
II. OVER TO YOU
Fill in the blanks with the missing word.
- She said she would …….even with him for having stood her up.
- I didn’t make any money, but at least I did not lose any at the casino. I just ………..even.
- We’ll divide this even ………., i.e. each of us will pay the same amount.
Answers as usual are given at the bottom of this article.
III. WHAT DO YOU CALL SOMEBODY WHO………..
Avoid the use of highly informal English in number 2 and number 6
- keeps putting off doing something until a later time.
- is overly concerned with satisfying somebody else’s needs (usually in a position of power) in order to gain an advantage for himself.
- does not drink any alcohol.
- is in charge of a museum.
- has difficulty concentrating and often forgets or loses things.
- does illicit things, breaks the law, is corrupt, morally wrong, etc.
- breaks the law, defies conventions, is a rebel or switches allegiance.
Answers at the bottom.
IV. DECIDE WHETHER THE FOLLOWING ARE TRUE OR FALSE
- A dimple was a unit of currency used in England during the Middle Ages.
- An antic is a very dangerous insect which grows in Africa.
- A tidbit is a small piece of food.
- A foreboding is a feeling that something bad is going to happen.
- To slather is to engage in idle gossip.
- To forfeit is to waste your time doing trivial things.
- To muse is to reflect, to think about something carefully and usually for a long time.
Answers at the bottom
V. A FAMILY OF RECs
You are to name the words which begin with REC
- ……..to go back on something you asserted, to retract
- ……..a break, usually a short period of time to recover
- ……..careless, not minding the consequences of your actions
- ……..happening again, usually something unpleasant
- ……..to meet again after a break
- ……..to pull back, move back in order to keep away from something
unpleasant or frightening
7. ……..a person who leads a solitary life and avoids other people’s
Answers at the bottom
ANSWERS TO THE EXERCISES
OVER TO YOU
1. She said she would get even, i.e. get her revenge, get back at him.
2. I just broke even.
3. We’ll divide this even steven. The word steven is used playfully to reinforce the
meaning of the previous word. This is an instance of reduplication.
WHAT DO YOU CALL SOMEBODY
1. procrastinator 2. sycophant 3. teetotaler(Am. Engl.) with ll (Brit. Engl)
4. curator 5. scatterbrain 6. miscreant 7. renegade
Please see the notes in the section TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
DECIDE WHETHER TRUE OR FALSE
1. a dimple, F 2. an antic, F 3. a tidbit , T 4. a foreboding, T
5. to slather, F 6. to forfeit, F 7. to muse, T
Please take the time out to look up these words in your dictionaries. These words are
useful and were taken from a novel for teenagers.
A FAMILY OF RECs
1. recant 2. recess 3. reckless 4. recur
5. reconvene 6. recoil 7. recluse
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
We hope you liked the selection of words we included for this issue of The Language Lovers Corner. At the risk of sounding reiterative, we urge you to look up the words presented here in your dictionaries and to find out more about them.
For instance, you will discover that none of the words in the section What do you call somebody belong to the informal, colloquial register. In highly informal colloquial English, for instance, a sycophant would be called a suck up, and in language bordering on the offensive, an ass kisser. The word miscreant is labelled as formal in most dictionaries, and once again, in informal language words such as
lowlife, crook, jerk, or even the offensive mother fucker might be used.
This is it for now, except that we will be offering an exciting language workshop on May 5, called FUN WITH SLANG. One prominent feature of this workshop is that all of the examples (and there are over 100 of them) are presented in context so learning and remembering them is made easy. Further details (venue, registration, fees, etc.) on this workshop are given in the TOOLS FOR TEACHERS schedule section in this publication. We hope to see some of you at this workshop.
Oriel E. Villagarcía holds an M.A. in Linguistics for English Language Teaching from the University of Lancaster, and was on the Advisory Panel for the MACMILLAN ENGLISH DICTIONARY (MED), First Edition. He is a British Council and a Fulbright Scholar, and he did graduate work at the University of Texas. He is available for workshops on language
or methods throughout the country and abroad. He can be reached at email@example.com