10 diciembre, 2007

written assignment

Hi there!
As most of you know, there's a written assignment for next week.
Advanced (4th A& B): There’s a model LETTER on page 28 of your Workbook. You have to write around 150 words.
Elementary (B&C): for those who have not learnt about the text structure in class you can look at page 25 (AN INFORMAL E-MAIL) in your book.
The DEADLINE is Thursday, December 20th (4th A&B). Wednesday, December 19th (Elementary B &C)

By the way, do you remember some of the idiomatic expressions we explained in class some days ago? These are some explanations of their origin.
To have a skeleton in the cupboard
Author: Tim Bowen
Type: reference material
If someone has a skeleton in the cupboard (or closet in US English), it means that they have a dark or embarrassing secret about their past that they would prefer to remain undisclosed. The expression has in origins in the medical profession. Doctors in Britain were not permitted to work on dead bodies until an Act of Parliament permitting them to do so was passed in 1832. Prior to this date the only bodies they could dissect for medical purposes were those of executed criminals. Although the execution of criminals was far from rare in 18th century Britain, it was very unlikely that a doctor would come across many corpses during his working life. It was therefore common practice for a doctor who had the good fortune to dissect the corpse of an executed criminal to keep the skeleton for research purposes. Public opinion would not permit doctors to keep skeletons on open view in their surgeries so they had to hide them. Even if they couldn’t actually see them, most people suspected that doctors kept skeletons somewhere and the most logical place was the cupboard. The expression has now moved on from its literal sense!
To get the sack
Author: Tim Bowen
Type: reference material
Before the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the age of mass employment, people who needed work done and had the means to pay someone else to do it would hire workers with the skills to do specific jobs. These workers would carry the tools they needed for the job in a sack or in a bag made out of sacking. When the job was complete or when the employer no longer had any need for the services of a particular worker, he would hand him his sack. The worker would gather his tools together and put them in his sack and leave to find work elsewhere. Getting one’s sack back came to be associated with one’s services no longer being needed or being surplus to requirements. It has now passed into modern usage as an informal way of saying ‘to be dismissed’.

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