Monthly Archives: March 2009

Doing a Polite Tap Dance

QUESTION: Nikolay in Russia wants to know what it means when someone does a polite “tap dance”. ANSWER: A tap dance is a type of dance where the dancers wear special shoes with metal parts on the bottom.  Each step … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 16 Comments

Please Don’t Overshare

Ted Landphair of Voice of America had an interesting story recently about a contest that is held (takes place) each year by the publishers of Webster’s New World Dictionary to pick a new word or term that became popular in … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 20 Comments

A Paperboy Looks Back on a Disappearing Job

Today I want to look back (think or talk about something from my past, my personal history).   Back in the mid-1970s, at the age of 11 or 12, I worked as a paperboy for the evening newspaper in St. … Continue reading

Posted in Life in the United States | 23 Comments

To Dole Out and To Be on the Dole

QUESTION: Jorge from Peru wants to know what this sentence means: “Germany and Spain doled out incentives to consumers.” ANSWER: To dole out means to give something–money, food, clothes, or something else–to other people who need it, and usually to … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 12 Comments

Bestsellers – March, 2009

I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the bestselling books in the United States now to give you an idea of what Americans are reading.  The New York Times has a bestseller (most books … Continue reading

Posted in Life in the United States, News and Current Events | 13 Comments

Poll: The Worst Reality Shows

Reality shows (shows about real people or real events) have become very popular in the U.S. and worldwide. There are competition shows, shows that follow celebrities around in their daily life, and many others. Even for those of us who … Continue reading

Posted in Television and Movies | 22 Comments

1500 = Fifteen Hundred or One Thousand Five Hundred?

QUESTION: Mitch in Italy wants to know how to express quantities (amounts; numbers) by using “hundreds” and what is the largest quantity that can be expressed in this way. ANSWER: When you see the number 2,300, you may say to … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 20 Comments