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Friday the 31st of March, 2006
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APRIL FOOL'S DAY HISTORY

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Good morning. Tomorrow is April 1st, or April Fool's Day. Last year we explained some vocabulary related to this holiday (see Daily Vitamin 01/04/05). This year we are going to explain the history of this special day, or at least one version of it. The history of April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear. Some believe it evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring. The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25. The celebration culminated on April 1st. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian calendar was introduced and New Year's Day was moved to January 1. However, communications were not so good then and, consequently, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st. The general population labelled these people as "fools." People laughed at them and played practical jokes on them (se les gastaron bromas). This eventually evolved into a tradition of joke-playing on the first day of April, and the tradition spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and the French. Jokes performed on April Fool's Day are usually ended by shouting "April Fool!" to the victim. If you would like to read more, this information for this Vitamin comes from the web page wilstar.com. I know I'm a pesado, but today is the last day that you can get a year's subscription to the Daily Vitamin Plus! for 29 Euros. Remember that if you decide that you don't want the subscription during the first 10 days, you can cancel and we'll give you your money back. This is not an April Fool's joke, it's a money-back guarantee (see DV 16/10/2005 for more on "guarantee"). Have a great weekend and be careful of April Fool's jokes!

Thursday the 30th of March, 2006
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TO JOKE

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Good morning. Yesterday we explained the expression You're kidding! (used to say that you do not believe or agree with what someone is saying). A synonym for this expression is You're joking!. Today we are going to explain this expression. Today's words are: to joke; a joke (verb; noun) It means: to say things that are intended to make people laugh; to say something that is not true, to see if someone will believe you; something that you say or do that is intended to make people laugh. Example 1: You should invite Henry to the dinner party. He's very funny and he's good at telling jokes. He'll make people laugh. Example 2: Rebecca, don't be angry with me! I was only joking when I said I thought you were bossy! Example 3 Please stop joking. This is serious business and we need to talk about it. I wanted to remind you again that you can get a year's subscription to the Daily Vitamin Plus! for 29 Euros if you sign up before April 1st. If you decide that you don't want the subscription during the first 10 days, you can cancel and we'll give you your money back. We're not joking. Have a fun-filled day!

Wednesday the 29th of March, 2006
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KIDDING

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Good morning. Today's expression is: You're kidding! -- Are you kidding? (informal, spoken English) It is used when: you do not believe or agree with what someone has said. Example 1: Ralph: Betsy and James are getting married. Tom: You're kidding! I thought they broke up with each other last year. Example 2: Mr. Fence: I have decided to sell my computer company and give the money to charity. Mrs. Fence: You're kidding! I don't believe you for one moment, William. You love that company more than anything else in the world! Example 3 Alan: Do you want to go with me to the jazz festival this weekend? Ruth: Are you kidding? I hate jazz music. Why don't you ask Nancy, instead? If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Have a great day!

Tuesday the 28th of March, 2006
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EXPECT vs. HOPE

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Good morning. Today we are going to explain the difference between two words which are often confused in Spanish because they are both translated as esperar. TO EXPECT It means: to think that something will happen Example 1: Look at those dark clouds! I expect (that) it will rain later on. Example 2: I'm expecting a phone call from Mr. Jones. If I'm not here when he calls, can you take a message? TO HOPE It means: to want and expect something to happen or be true Example 3 My garden is so dry! I hope (that) it rains soon or all my plants are going to die. Example 4 I hope Mr. Jones calls me today before I leave. I really need to talk to him about the advertising campaign. The key difference between the two words is that with to hope the meaning is more about what we want to happen and not only what we think will happen. We hope you will post any questions about today's Daily Vitamin in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Have a fabulous day!

Monday the 27th of March, 2006
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SECOND THOUGHTS

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Good morning. I hope you had a pleasant weekend. Today's expression is: to have second thoughts about something It means: to have doubts about a decision that you have made. Example 1: I know we decided to go to Mexico on our honeymoon but I am beginning to have second thoughts. Won't it be the rainy season then? I would hate to be evacuated because of a hurricane on my honeymoon! Example 2: If you are having second thoughts about hiring Gregory Wells, then don't hire him. It is important to trust your instincts. We can also use the spoken expression on second thought. It means to say that you want to change something that you have just said or to say the opposite of what you have just said. Example 3 Can you call the bank when you get a chance? On second thought, I'll do it myself. I need to talk to the manager, anyway. Example 4 You don't need to bring anything with you to the meeting. On second thought, maybe you should bring the monthly report from your department, just in case the boss asks about it. If you have any questions about today's expression please send me an email. ON SECOND THOUGHT, please post your questions in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Enjoy your day!