Headline English: Private Equity’s Latest Fix

icon_59030Here’s a headline from a recent Wall Street Journal article:

Private Equity’s Latest Fix: Auto-Body Repair

A lot of newspaper headlines (titles of articles) are based on a “double meaning” of one of the words, where one word has two different meanings. Here the key word is fix.

The verb to fix means to repair, to take something that is broken (such as part of a car) and make it so that it works again, or looks the same as it did before.

But “fix” can also be a noun to describe something that you are addicted to, usually an illegal drug like cocaine or heroin. (To be addicted means you feel you MUST have something, even if it is causing you harm or injury.)

This headline is using both meanings of “fix.”

Let’s go back to the beginning of the headline: private is used here to refer to what does not belong to the government. (Things run by or owned by the government are called public.) Equity refers to money that people want to invest in something. (Remember to invest means to give money to someone in the hopes of getting even more money back.)

So private equity refers to people and companies whose main job is to invest money. This headline is telling us about one of the latest or most recent interests of these investment companies.

In the original article (paid subscription required), we read about equity firms (companies) buying auto-body repair places. An auto is a car (from “automobile”). The body of an auto is the outside of it (not including the engine or the wheels, for example).

If someone hits you with his car, you need to get your car’s body repaired or fixed. Private equity companies are buying these repair “shops.” In fact, they are buying lots of them, almost as if they were addicted, as if they needed their “fix” of them. That’s the double meaning of “fix” in this headline.

The word shop doesn’t appear in the headline, but usually we refer to businesses that do auto body repair as repair shops. A shop can be a place you buy something, but another meaning of “shop” is a place where you get something fixed. We even sometimes say, “My car is in the shop” when we mean our car is being fixed by a mechanic at an auto repair shop.

So, to summarize: Some investment managers are interested in buying lots of small auto-body repair shops and combining them to form a large company with the hopes of making more money.

I just hope no one hits my car so I don’t have to use one.


Image Credit: Car Accident designed by Hadi Davodpour from the Noun Project

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19 Responses to Headline English: Private Equity’s Latest Fix

  1. Hilario says:

    MONOPOLY. Business games have been there for long time, private equities are private owned monetary funds that have the purpose of dominating a particular business segment, setting up a fix item, mainly related to private services (such as laundries and hair-styling) buying low what would be more valued in trend up business prospect. The shops are always in demand for services and a new revised offer can be designed to foster its demand and make it more profitable within a given business model. Consumers are not always favored from these forms of business integrations and authorities should monitor these movements always watching this business practices with a close eye in order to avoid pool agreements on prices or services. Monopolistic business practices have been banned for being one of the biggest aberrations of capitalism.

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks a lot Jeff. This article is so much fun and helpful. (^_^).~

  3. Dan says:

    Thank you Jeff.

    I was unaware about that, and I did not know the other meaning of fix.

    Listening to Car Talk I know what a repair shop is.


  4. lynn says:

    A different meaning of fix, thanks Jeff

  5. Tania says:

    Hi! Dear Jeff, at last you are writing us again.
    We all were worried about you. No Anniversary Video in July? It sounds strange.
    Vacation for a month? We can’t believe you.
    As I think your life credo is “get busy living, or get busy dying”.
    You have always told us the truth. Where have you been? We were missing you.
    We are glad to be together again.
    Thinking about “Grease”…
    “We go together
    We’ll always be like one
    We always be together”.

  6. Tania says:

    Hi! Maybe I exaggerate using the word “always”… but at least we like to be together
    with all our blog friends and our teachers.

  7. emiliano says:

    Nice to read you again Jeff, I think Tania is right
    as “always” SHE IS.

    I don´t have a car since 1994 and I only could
    say I have been happy without it.

    I was driving with only tweenty one, just a record
    here in Spain long ago, so now I have been resting
    for a long long time, saving money and without
    car´s problems.


  8. Lassana says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks Jeff about this interesting topic, I was not aware about this specific field.
    I have learned the meaning of several words it’s very useful.

    Thanks again Jeff.

    See you soon.

  9. Dent says:

    Hi dear Jeff
    It was very useful script , I hope we see you more in the blog!
    Thanks a lot


  10. Tania says:

    Hi! Grease, an 1978 American musical and movie…
    Pronouncing this word, it sounds somehow frightful. I have avoided to see this movie thinking that it is a violent one.
    I know the word “grease” – used to lubricate axles – but not and the “greaser” movement.
    I have seen no film with John Travolta so young and nice.
    I read that Lady Di wanted to dance especially with John Travolta being the best dancer.
    But I have read and about John Travolta’s sexual scandal, and…

  11. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for revealing us a new famous musical.
    I have found the lyrics of the hit songs from this musical.
    As of 2011, “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” are still among the 20 best-selling singles
    of all time in the UK.

  12. Tania says:

    Hi! May I share with you these songs?

    Summer Nights

    “Summer lovin’, happened so fast
    I met a girl crazy for me
    I met a boy, cute as can be.”


    Hopelessly Devoted To You

    Guess mine is not the first heart broken
    My eyes are not the first to cry
    You know I’m just a fool who’s willing
    To sit around and wait for you.
    I’m hopelessly devoted to you.
    My head is saying , “Fool, forget him.”
    My heart is saying , “Don’t let go. Hold on till the end.”
    And that’s what I intend to do
    I’m hopelessly devoted to you.



    Somehow, someway
    Our two worlds will be one.

    In Heaven for ever
    And ever we will be
    Oh please, say you’ll stay.

    My darling’, you hurt real bad
    You know it’s true
    But baby you gotta believe me when I say


    Tears On My Pillow

    You don’t remembr me, but I remember you
    … you broke my heart in two
    Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart,
    caused by you, you

    Love is not a gadget, love is not a toy
    When you find the one you love ,
    he’ll fill your heart with joy.

  13. Tania says:

    Yes, we all dream that someone to fill our heart with joy and hopeful and love.
    Is it impossible?

  14. Tania says:

    Hi! I am not a fan of the football, baseball or basketball.
    It is interesting to know about their popularity in the U.S.
    I admire very much the most tall men, especially Africano-American, playing
    basketball and touching the basket with their hands.

    “The player shoots the ball.”
    In our football, we say “shoot and goal”.

  15. Tania says:

    Hi! It is amazing to be a witness at all events mentioned in English Cafe 463 during
    the George H.W. Bush’ term.
    Thank you.
    In this way we can’t forget our history.

  16. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for the explanation of the difference between
    “private’ and “public”.

  17. Marcos says:

    Hi Jeff and everyone

    A second language isn’t easy, worse yet when I find a pun like that ( fix ). I’m happy to be here.

    Thank you Jeff

  18. Betty says:

    Thanks Dear Jeff for this English lesson of double meaning of “Fix”.

    Sometimes I feel very frustrated because of too many new words to learn every day. But sometimes I tell myself not to get frustrated. Just relax and learn naturally and slowly. Don’t worry if I learn a word today and the word goes tomorrow.

    Yes, it is new to me that “Fix” means “Addiction”.

    Thanks again Jeff

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  19. Betty says:

    Hi Tania

    Have you figured out the “the meaning , the symbol, of the new drawing from our blog”?

    You asked the question on 3 August. I wanted to find the symbol as well. I found it this morning and so I want to tell you where to find it, in case you haven’t found it yet.

    If you click into “Noun Project” in the “Image Credit” in this blog, and then in the “Search for anything” enter “calendar”, you will find the image.

    Thanks Jeff, it will be my latest fix to find all those nice images in that web page.

    Betty 🙂

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