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link@: learning english with voa news : Thursday, December 12, 2019

Today is December 13, Friday, someone calls it "The Good Friday". Why? O.K. Let us know about it!

Many Christians around the world observe Good Friday on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s Passion, crucifixion, and death, which is told in the Christian Bible. It is the day after Maundy Thursday.

Good Friday commemorates Jesus' death on the cross.

©iStockphoto.com/Richard Goerg

What Do People Do?
Many people in different countries celebrate the anniversary of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, and death on the Friday before Easter Sunday. This is an observance that involves people fasting and praying. Many church services are held in the afternoon, usually around noon or midday to 3 pm, to remember the hours when Jesus hung on the cross. Many churches also observe the day by re-enacting the procession of the cross as in the ritual of the Stations of the Cross, which depicts the final hours of Jesus’ life. Processions are held in many countries such as India, Italy, Malta, the Philippines, and Spain.

Kites that are often handmade are flown in Bermuda on Good Friday to symbolize the cross that Jesus died on, as well as his ascension into heaven. This custom dates back to the 19th century. Churches in countries, such as Belgium and Mexico, are draped in black on Good Friday in memory of Jesus’ suffering on the cross. The day is solemn and a general air of sadness is felt in many towns and villages. Many Christians in Poland fast on dry bread and roasted potatoes. Egg decorating is also part of the Easter preparations in Poland and many other countries.

Well! Although today is not " Good Friday" exactly,  it's also Friday 13th, Then someone calls it as "Good Friday", too.

FRANCE 24 English – LIVE – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream

https://youtu.be/0fKyrdQ15gs

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Digital Communication: Emojis and Grammar
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Digital Communication: Emojis and Grammar

December 12, 2019

everyday grammar
everyday grammar
 
Digital Communication: Emojis and Grammar
 

Writer and actor Larry David is behind some of America’s most popular television shows, including Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The shows often discuss the details of everyday life in a funny way.

One time on Curb Your Enthusiasm, David criticized the use of emojis -- symbols often used in text messages and internet exchanges.

She texted me.

She texted you. How adorable.

Yeah... smiley face at the end.

Oh! Smiley face, see I hate that.

I told her about the smiley faces, I can’t stand it! And everybody uses them!

On today’s report, we will discuss grammar and digital communication. We will talk about emojis and the kinds of words they replace. We will also talk about the different ways people around the world use emojis.

Increased use of emojis

Emojis have their roots in Japan. Their name comes from the Japanese words for “picture” and “characters.” They have been common for years in Japanese electronic messages and Web pages. Over time, people in other countries came to adopt them, too. In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries named the “face with tears of joy” emoji as the word of the year.

You might be asking yourself about the link between emojis and grammar. The first key point is this: Sometimes emojis act as a kind of language to communicate important information about emotions or attitudes. These emotions or attitudes might be difficult to express in writing, yet they are part of the idea the writer wants to send. For example, when people speak to each other, they often use their faces and voices to give a lot of information.

The website emojitracker follows all emojis used on Twitter. It lists the most popular emojis on the social media platform. You might not be surprised to learn that some of the most popular emojis have a face.

The most popular emoji is still “the face with tears of joy.” The second most popular emoji, according to emojitracker, is the “grinning face with the smiling eyes.”

The limits of emoji and grammar

Our second key point is this: Emojis fit into English grammar in certain kinds of ways. And experts think there are limits on how complex emoji grammar can become.

A 2019 study by researchers in the Netherlands found that emojis were more likely to replace nouns and adjectives. They were less likely to replace verbs and adverbs.

The researchers noted, “No prepositions or determiners were substituted” by emojis.

Prepositions refer to words such as “in,” “on,” or “at.” These words often show the location of nouns.

Determiners are words such as “the” or “these.” They give information about a noun.

The study pointed out that emoji-only communication was very simple.

One of the reasons is that users cannot change how they present the emojis. Also, vocabulary depends on existing emojis. Expressing feelings or attitudes outside the available choices is difficult.

Emojis and other languages

A 2016 report noted differences in how people around the world use emojis. The researchers found that “users from France are more likely to use emojis.”

The researchers also found that users in France were “more likely to use emojis related to hearts, while users from other countries prefer emojis related to faces.”

While how much these trends may have changed over the past few years is unclear, we bring up this point to get you thinking about how emojis are used in your native language.

How do you feel about emojis? Do you give them a frowning mouth with scrunched eyebrows, like Larry David? Or a grinning face with smiling eyes?

Write to us in the comments section.

That’s Everyday Grammar.

I'm Dorothy Gundy.

And I’m John Russell.

John Russell wrote this story for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

________________________________________________

Words in This Story

adorable – adj. very appealing or attractive; very lovable

digital – adj. using or characterized by computer technology

trend – n. a general direction of change : a way of behaving, proceeding, etc., that is developing and becoming more common

character – n. a symbol (such as a letter or number) that is used in writing or printing

attitude – n. the way you think and feel about someone or something

grin – v. to smile widely

scrunched – adj. with tightened the muscles

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

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December 12, 2019

A look at the best news photos from around the world.

Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson holds his dog Dilyn as he leaves after voting in the general election at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London.
1Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson holds his dog Dilyn as he leaves after voting in the general election at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London.
A police officer and a man perform a Hongi after a ceremony called
2A police officer and a man perform a Hongi after a ceremony called "Karakia", attended by Ngati Awa representatives and family members of the New Zealand volcano eruption victims, at Mataatua Marae house in Whakatane, New Zealand.
An Iraqi demonstrator carries molotov cocktails during anti-government protests in Baghdad.
3An Iraqi demonstrator carries molotov cocktails during anti-government protests in Baghdad.
American lawmaker Doug Collins, a Republican from the state of Georgia, speaks as lawmaker Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, listens during a markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
4American lawmaker Doug Collins, a Republican from the state of Georgia, speaks as lawmaker Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, listens during a markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
A pilgrim carries a small statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe on his back during the yearly celebrations at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
5A pilgrim carries a small statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe on his back during the yearly celebrations at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama take part in community service during an event with the Obama Foundation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
6Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama take part in community service during an event with the Obama Foundation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
People look at an Airbus 380 plane flying toward the airport of the southern French city of Nice.
7People look at an Airbus 380 plane flying toward the airport of the southern French city of Nice.
Horsemen go to the airport as they prepare to welcome Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on his return from the Peace Nobel Prize ceremony, in Addis Ababa.
8Horsemen go to the airport as they prepare to welcome Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on his return from the Peace Nobel Prize ceremony, in Addis Ababa.

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6 Minute English

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

Chatting to new people

EPISODE 191212 / 12 DEC 2019

Introduction

Many people feel uncomfortable about the idea of talking to people they don't know, but this is something that could be good for their state of mind. Neil and Georgina discuss research that says that seemingly inconsequential conversations with new people can have a beneficial effect on our mood and wellbeing. And our presenters feel good about teaching you related vocabulary!

This week's question

According to the Oxford English dictionary, approximately how many words are in use in the English language? 

a)    171,146

b)    271,146 

c)    371,146

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary

underestimate

think that something is smaller or less important than it really is

anticipating
guessing or expecting a certain outcome 

to pluck up (the) courage
to force yourself to do something that you’re scared or nervous about

connect
start or have a good relationship with someone

mood
the way we feel

introvert
person who prefers to spend time on their own 

Transcript 

Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript     

Neil
Hello. This is 6 Minute English and I'm Neil. Joining me for our discussion is Georgina.

Georgina
Hello!

Neil
Now, Georgina, you’re a chatty, sociable kind of person, aren’t you?

Georgina
Well, yes, I think so.

Neil
But would you go up to a stranger and strike up a conversation?

Georgina
That might be going too far – if you don’t know them, what are you going to start talking about?

Neil
A good question. But maybe you should – because in this programme we’re looking at how talking to strangers might actually be good for you! But first, let me talk to you about today’s question. I’d like you to answer this. To make conversation we need words – so according to the Oxford English dictionary, approximately how many words are in use in the English language? Is it…
a)    171,146
b)    271,146
c)    371,146

Georgina
We use a lot of words in English, but not 371,000 – so I’ll go for a) 171,146.

Neil
OK. Well, as always I will reveal the answer later in the programme.
Now, let’s continue our conversation about having conversations with strangers! Many of us spend part of every day surrounded by strangers, whether on our commute to work, sitting in a park or cafe, or visiting the supermarket.

Georgina
But we rarely reach out and talk to them because we fear it would make us both feel uncomfortable – or awkward. And Gillian Sandstrom, social psychologist from Essex University in the UK, can explain why. Here she is speaking on BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind programme….

Gillian Sandstrom, Social psychologist, Essex University
We kind of underestimate, we have this negative voice in our head that's telling us "I shouldn't have said that, why did I do that? I said that story better last time". But the other person doesn't know any of that and they’re probably… they might be anticipating that they won't have a positive conversation and then they do. And they think, wow, that person was amazing. So we walk round with this fear that the other person isn’t going to be interested in talking to us.

Georgina
Fascinating stuff. So we have a negative voice in our head telling us about all the bad things that might happen. We basically underestimate ourselves.

Neil
To underestimate means to think that something is smaller or less important than it really is. We worry that what we say won’t be interesting or important enough.

Georgina
Ah, but the other person doesn’t know that. They’re also anticipating – or guessing - the outcome. They're thinking that if they have a conversation, it won’t go well. But of course, when strangers do talk to each other it normally goes well.

Neil
Yes, it’s just fear that is stopping us. But if we get over that fear, and get chatting, people might actually like us – and we might make new friends.

Georgina
Another reason why you should pluck up the courage to talk to strangers is that it’s good for our health!

Neil
Pluck up the courage’ – that’s a good phrase, Georgina, meaning force yourself to do something that you’re scared about and… research by the University of Chicago found we may often underestimate the positive impact of connecting with others for both our own and others' wellbeing.

Georgina
And connecting here means starting or having a good relationship with someone. So the research found that, for example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may leave you both feeling happier than you would think.

Neil
Gillian Sandstrom also spoke about her research and the power of talking to strangers on the You and Yours programme. Listen out for the word ‘connected’…

Gillian Sandstrom, Social psychologist, Essex University
What we've shown in the research is that it's really good for your mood. So people are in a better mood after they reach out and have a conversation, however minimal, and the other thing that the research has shown is that just makes people feel more connected to each other.

Neil
There you go! Talking to strangers is good for our mood – and mood means the way we feel. It’s good for our mental health – and we might discover people actually like us!
And even if we’re an introvert – a person who prefers to be alone rather than with other people - experiments have shown that talking to others can make us happier.

Georgina
The problem remains, Neil, that when speaking to someone new, what do you talk about?

Neil
How about some interesting facts – like approximately how many words are in use in the English language? Which is what I asked you earlier. Is it?
a)    171,146
b)    271,146
c)    371,146
What did you say, Georgina?

Georgina
I said 171,146. Was I right?

Neil
Spot on, Georgina. Well done! Yes, there are an estimated 171,146 words currently in use in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary –plus many more obsolete words.

Georgina
I shall pick a few of them and make conversation with someone on the Tube later, but not before we recap some of the vocabulary we’ve explained.

Neil
Yes – so we highlighted six words, starting with underestimate which is to think that something is smaller or less important than it really is.

Georgina
Anticipating 
means guessing or expecting a certain outcome. I anticipate this programme to be 6 minutes long!

Neil
That’s a given! Next, we mentioned the phrase to pluck up the courage,meaning to force yourself to do something that you’re scared or nervous about.

Georgina
When you connect with someone, it means you start or have a good relationship with someone. I think we’ve connected on this programme, Neil!

Neil
Absolutely, Georgina. And that’s put me in a good mood – mood means the way we feel.

Georgina
And finally, an introvert is a person who prefers to spend time on their own.

Neil
Thanks, Georgina.  Well, that’s our conversation over, but you can hear more from us on our website and on our app. Goodbye!

Georgina
Bye!

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 HM on board as royal barge procession gets under way

Dec 12. 2019
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By The Nation

2,019 Viewed

The royal barge procession for HM King Rama X to celebrate his coronation began on schedule on Thursday (December 12). Both Thais and foreigners have been waiting for months to witness this spectacular event. 

King Rama X and the Royal Family arrived at Wasukri Pier and boarded the vessel for the royal barge procession at 4pm.

 His Royal Highness Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti

His Royal Highness Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti

 

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, and His Royal Highness Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti entered the royal barge Suphannahong, which was manned by 50 oarsmen with two steersmen, two officers, one standard bearer, one signalman, seven Royal Chatra bearers and one chanter to sing the traditional boat song with the oarsmen chanting in unison. 

Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati and Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya

Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati and Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya

Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati and Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya were onboard the royal barge Anekkachatphutchong.

Phra Buddha Patima Chaiwat

Phra Buddha Patima Chaiwat

The royal officials invited Phra Buddha Patima Chaiwat, a Buddha image from the reign of King Rama IX, to be enshrined in the middle of the barge, a tiered roofed shrine on the royal barge Anantanakkharat.

The royal barge procession departed Wasukri Pier to Ratchaworadit Pier where the land procession to be held. 

HM the King then rode in the royal palanquin in the small royal land procession on Maha Rat Road. The procession turned right to Phra Lan Road, and it turned right again to the Grand Palace through Vises Jayasri Gate. Meanwhile, Her Majesty Queen Suthida also participated in the land procession as the King's Guard.

After arriving at the Grand Palace, His Majesty changed his royal attire and robe and then returned to Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall by car.

 

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Thai massage makes it to Unesco list

Dec 13. 2019
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By The Nation

583 Viewed

Thai massage was added to Unesco’s list of intangible cultural heritage yesterday (December 12) making it the second Thai culture heritage to make the list after Khon masked dance in 2018.

The list was announced after the 14th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bogota. 

The Department of Cultural Promotion and the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine are to hold a press conference today at Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) to make the official announcement. 

Nuad Thai or Thai massage involves the manipulation of energy inside the body and has become popular all over the world.

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Apple’s Tim Cook surprises locals at Wat Arun

Dec 13. 2019

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By THE NATION

677 Viewed

Apple Inc’s chief executive officer Tim Cook is on a surprise visit to Thailand, posting on his personal twitter account on Friday (December 13):

“สวัสดี Thailand! My journey this morning along the Chao Phraya River culminated in a visit to the peaceful Wat Arun. Thank you Jirasak Panpiansin for showing me this historic temple through your lens. (IG: joez19)”

Photo: twitter @tim_cook

Photo: twitter @tim_cook 

Jirasak Panpiansin is a Thai photographer whose portfolio appeared on Apple’s instagram account in April 2017.

Cook later posted another tweet of him visiting students at Satit-Chulalongkorn school in Bangkok’s Pathum Wan district. There has been no official report of his visit to Thailand but the chief of the tech giant last week called on Seiko Advance in Japan and Singapore Airlines in Singapore.

 

Photo: twitter @tim_cook

Photo: twitter @tim_cook

 

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December 13, 2019

 



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