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English Detective #12, Cross-cultural Business & Micro-finance: May 7, 2013
May 06, 2013
Your First Clue: Vocabulary we’ll Emphasize in this Issue
academic, acquisition, allocation, circumstances, compensation, conformity, consequences, construction, contract, currency, dimension, dynamic, estimated, excluded, fee, generated, implement, impose, incentive, initiative, maximum, preceding, pursue, sufficient
A few definitions of new vocabulary not discussed on the Money Words page:
We’ve talked a lot about academic vocabulary, but I just realized we have not yet really examined the word. It comes from ‘academy,’ originally the name of the place where Plato taught in ancient Greece. Now ‘academy’ is used for schools or institutions that encourage the study of a particular subject. In the U.S. private high schools are often named academies.
We use the adjective form, ‘academic,’ for anything related to higher (university) education. So academic vocabulary is words used often by scholars or in universities. Sometimes it is also used as a noun: university professors may be called ‘academics.’
To acquire is to get something, usually by buying it. Acquisitions may be land, money, or companies. (“The newest acquisition of multi-national Corporation X is an American seed company, to enable them to expand their farming operations.”) A person who is acquisitive is greedy-- they want to have a lot.
Inccidentally, while I was researching the language site Duolingo, I just found a good example of the use of acquisition. This (old-- but still interesting) article just before Duolingo went live is titled “Meet Duolingo, Google’s Next Acquisition Target; Learn A Language, Help The Web.” It suggests that Goggle may want to buy this company from its creator, just as it bought his previous companies. (Click here if you would like to see it for yourself.)
To construct something is to build it. ‘Under construction’ means something is in the process of being built, and ‘constructive criticism’ is criticism that can help a person do better, rather than just hurting feelings.
‘Dimension’ has several meanings, but all start from the ‘three dimensions’ of height, width, or depth. A flat surface has only two dimensions; a cube adds volume or depth, so it is three-dimensional. Sometimes when we want to talk about a different angle or way of looking at something we talk about ‘another dimension of the problem...’
Something that’s dynamic is constantly moving & changing. A dynamic person is energetic and enthusiastic.
An estimate gives an approximate number-- not exact, but close enough to give a general idea of what the exact amount will be.
To exclude is to leave out (the opposite of include.) A policy of exclusion would deliberately leave many people out. An exclusive resort only accepts certain (usually wealthy) people.
To impose is to put (or often force) new rules or requirements on someone. “The Mexican government protested the American imposition of new restrictions on trade.”
To initiate is to start something. An initiative can be a proposal. Initiative can also be a personal characteristic: being a self-starter-- able to see what needs to be done, then do it.
Preceding means what came before. A precedent is a first event that sets an example for what follows, so unprecedented means that nothing like this has happened before.
To pursue is to follow or chase after someone. You might read about police pursuing a criminal, or about a young person deciding to pursue a career in medicine or business. The American Declaration of Independence talks about people’s right to the pursuit of happiness-- to try to find and follow what will make them happy.
This Issue’s Reading and Practice Activities
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