sábado, 29 de abril de 2017

Speaking about Easter (a little too late)

Before anything else, it's important that we understand Easter itself. That is one of the most important christian holidays that celebrates and honors the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You must be familiar with the story of Jesus, son of God, dying and then coming back to life again. Jesus was killed by crucifixion, which is basically to be hung on a cross and left to die. That is why some Christians wear crucifixes on necklaces or have them hanging on a wall.

Easter is always celebrated on a Sunday in March or April, therefore its date changes every year. And speaking of the holiday itself, Lent is the period of about 40 days that comes before Easter. Some Christians take this time to prepare for the holiday and give up some specific foods as in preparation for Easter. Some may even fast for a few hours. If you don't know what fast means as a verb, that's when people don't eat anything at all, whether by religious or non-religious reasons. And since we're going backwards in time, there's another really famous celebration, especially here in Brazil, that comes right before Lent. That's Carnival. Our Carnival is the biggest one in the world, so I probably won't have to bother explaining what it is.

Back to Easter, it's common to hear about something called the Passion. We may even watch some movies or plays titled the Passion of the Christ or simply the Passion. Passion is a very known word in its literal meaning, but when it comes to Easter, we're actually referring to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died and was put in a tomb, which is basically a place where you put a dead body, Jesus got to be compared to a lamb, a very present symbol of Christianity, because He died for our sins like an innocent animal would. That was a sacrifice and sacrifices are basically difficult things someone might do for the sake of themselves or other people.

quinta-feira, 6 de abril de 2017

Vocabulary related to Bullying

After watching 13 Reasons Why, which is a Netflix original series, I decided to cover some of the words and expressions related to bullying. That happened because the series approaches bullying, sexual abuse, suicide and many other things. So why not?

Since we seem to have adopted the word bullying in our own language, it clearly explains itself. What you may not know though is that we have the word bully as a noun and a verb. If you bully someone, for example, you may threaten to hurt them, force them to do something, beat them up, attack, harass, intimidate them, make fun of them, scare them, spread rumors about them, tease them, etc. Therefore, you're a bully.

You can easily tell who's a bully in a classroom by their behavior. Behavior is what we call a particular way of acting. If you have a behavior that may be described as abusive, disrespectful, bossy or threatening to others, especially to the weaker, you're likely to be a bully. And spotting a bully in a classroom is just as easy as finding a target. A target is usually someone of few words that don't seem to fit in quite easily, may have their possessions taken, personal belongings damaged and faces social exclusion. Many teachers and authority figures sometimes choose to turn a blind way to those behaviors and only stand by. Both expressions to turn a blind eye and to stand by mean to ignore something and pretend not to see it.

Tolerating an unpleasant and difficult fact like bullying is managing to accept it even though you do not like it. That's not the way to go. Alright, guys. See you next time!

domingo, 2 de abril de 2017

Vocabulário relacionado a April Fool's Day

I'm a few hours late, but I still think it's important to talk about yesterday, April 1st, also known as April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day. Although it's not a public holiday in any country, people celebrate it by playing practical jokes, tricks and hoaxes on each other. I'm not here to do any of that, so don't worry. But I want to cover some of the words related to that day, which by the way will come in handy on other days of the year. So stick around!

I mentioned the terms "practical jokes", "tricks" and "hoaxes" before. And maybe you're still confused by the meaning of them. So, here's a quick explanation: practical jokes are any kind of trick played on someone as a way to make them look foolish, which makes sense if you consider we're talking about April Fool's Day. Speaking of which, fool or foolish refer to a person who's silly, stupid or unwise; the difference is that fool is used as a noun, whereas foolish is an adjective. Back with the kinds of jokes, we also have "hoaxes". Hoaxes are also a trick, but in this case it is usually a trick planned to deceive a large group of people. If you take a look at the picture below on my blog, you'll see an example of that. There is what it seems to be an accident with a subway car broken through and surfaced on the square in front of the town hall, in Denmark. But in reality, it's just a hoax staged to fool people around.

Aprilsnar 2001.png

Another word for a practical joke is a prank. A prank call by the way is a telephone call in which the caller lies to or tricks the person they called. Those calls are usually made to strangers and the point is to cause confusion or anger. If you're someone who likes to play pranks or maybe make prank calls, you're a prankster. Some people are a prankster's favorite targets on April Fool's Day because they are easily deceived. in English, you can call people like that naive or gullible. And finally to wrap this all up, we have the spoof stories, which are fake stories presented as though they were real. Alright, guys. That's all for today. Talk to you next time!