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Thursday the 31st of May, 2007
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FASHION

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Good morning.

In Spanish it is quite common to incorrectly use the English noun fashion as an adjective.

i) ¡Wow! Esos zapatos son muy fashion.

That's like saying the following:

ii) ¡Wow! Esos zapatos son muy moda.

When words get borrowed from one language to another, this type of change often takes place. However, it's important to be aware of these borrowing-errors, so that you don't make mistakes when you speak English. For example, I have often heard students say things like the following sentence:

iii) ***Those shoes are very fashion.*** (incorrect)

However, the correct sentence would use the adjective not the noun:

iv) Those shoes are very fashionable.

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I'll see you in June! 



Wednesday the 30th of May, 2007
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PREPPY (US)

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Good morning.

Today's expression is: Preppy

This word also came up in last Saturday's Ziggurat Breakfast Club.

It means: a young person who goes, or went, to an expensive private school and who dresses and acts in a way that is thought to be typical of such a school. These are often called prep schools (preparatory schools)

This is an informal expression that is mostly used in US English. For more information see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preppy. The information included on Wikipedia is quite interesting.

Example 1:
I don't know if her parents will like me; I don't live in an expensive neighbourhood and I don't have a preppy image and I don't wear preppy clothes.

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I hope you have a nice day!



Tuesday the 29th of May, 2007
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BAIT AND SWITCH

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Good morning. 

Today we will look at another expression that came up in last Saturday's Ziggurat Breakfast Club.

Today's expression is: Bait and Switch

It means: to advertise a product or service at one price, usually a low or bargain price, while actually having little or nothing of this product in stock and offering to sell the customer a similar product at a higher price.

Example 1:
I signed up for a high-speed DSL line for nine Euros per month. It seemed very cheap; however, the nine-Euro-per-month rate only lasted for one month. After that, they began charging me thirty-two Euros per month! First nine Euros, then thirty-two Euros...that's what I call bait and switch publicity!

Example 2:  
The other day I saw a flat for sale for 250,000 Euros. It was a penthouse, with a lift, lots of light, just reformed, etc. When I called, they said it had been sold, but that they had a lot of other flats. The only problem was that all the other flats cost at least 500,000 Euros. I was a victim of a bait and switch.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website.

Enjoy your day.



Monday the 28th of May, 2007
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WORK EXPERIENCE vs. INTERNSHIP

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Good morning. I hope you had a nice weekend.

Last Saturday at the Ziggurat Breakfast Club, the topic of Internships (US English) or Work Experience (UK English) came up. 

Today's expression is: Work Experience

Meaning: a period of time that a young person, especially a student, spends working in a company as a form of training. Sometimes is it paid, and sometimes it is not.

The most logical translation for this expression into Spanish would be prácticas

In standard US English, speakers generally use the word Internship. In the US, work experience refers to the experience and skills that you gain from working (whether it be a real job, or an internship). This subtle difference can sometimes cause confusion.

Example 1:
Before getting his first job, he did work experience in a major multinational company. They didn't pay him much, but he got a lot of experience from it, which allowed him to get his first real job.

Example 2:
George: Tony. I was wonderin' if you could offer my oldest daughter an internship at Downing Street before you leave office. I want her to run for senator, but she has no experience.
Tony: Yes...no problem. I will talk to my men and make sure they organise a work experience programme for her this summer. 
George: No, Tony...she doesn't have any experience. That's why I want her to do an internship  
Tony: Yes...I know George...but in England we call an intern-...oh forget it. Fine. I'll set up the internship
George: Thanks Tony. You're a swell guy.

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Have a good day.



Friday the 25th of May, 2007
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UK vs. US: WINDSCREEN vs. WINDSHEILD

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Good morning.

Today we look at two more words that are different in standard US and UK English.

Today's word is: Windscreen

Meaning: the window across the front of a motor vehicle.

In standard US English speakers usually use the word windshield.

Example 1:
Tony: George. It's raining quite hard. Don't you think we ought to turn on the windscreen wipers (limpiaparabrisas).
George: The what wipers?
Tony: The windscreen wipers...you know those blades with a rubber edge that clean the windscreen
George: The wind what?  
Tony: I believe in America you say...windshield. Is that correct?
George: Oh yeah! I'm sorry again Tony. I keep forgetin' that we ain't in Texas.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website.

Have a nice day and an excellent weekend!