Advertising: The unreal reality

Mary Jane, a twenty-year-old woman, was waiting in line for about 20 minutes. She, like other people, was in a fast food restaurant which had just released a new hamburger. On a display screen, this ¨dish¨ looked really scrumptious and she started to drool. After being there for almost an eternity and feeling that her stomach was about to explode, she got at the cashier and asked for the meal she had been waiting for. To her disappointment, she just got a mere piece of what she had seen on the display.

This is a good example of how deceitful advertising can be. How many times have we been deceived by this kind of lie?   Well, it is well-known that companies distort the reality in order to sell their products, but how long is it going to last? Is there a boundary? Unfortunately, the answer is uncertain. While some researchers say, ¨people will still consume products since they have a need for them, ¨ there is another group of people that claims that we have the power to decide and select. We, as costumers, can manage to control this entire situation. We are entitled to accept or refuse what is offered and sold to us.

It’s really a pity when kids cry when their superheroes or their beautiful and graceful dollies are not the ones they saw advertised on TV. But not only kids are victims, adults also are affected by this situation. For example, it is funny to see when men and women buy these fat reduction creams thinking that they are going to get in shape by rubbing this ¨magic substance¨ onto their bodies. You’ll probably think that I am mocking at them. But it is not what it seems because I have also experienced these events during my life.

It seems that everybody has been persuaded to buy something and ended up with the other side of the coin. We know that everybody has necessities for food, entertainment, and clothing. It is in these situations that companies play with these necessities with only one purpose: to increase their sales. Our mission, from my humble opinion, should be to state who is the one in control: companies or us. It’s just a matter of taking the plunge and beginning to ask for what is offered should be same to what is sold. So, from now on, think twice before running to a store or a restaurant to get what you just saw on a billboard or TV. You‘ll probably be part of the statistics of people tricked by publicity.

Vocabulary

Scrumptious (adj): An informal way to say delicious. EX. This hamburger is really scrumptious.

Drool (v): To produce saliva in excess. EX. The dog was drooling because it was hungry.

Deceitful (adj): Dishonest. EX. Tabloids just publish deceitful news.

Distort (adj): To change something so that it is not clear or true. EX. companies distort the reality in order to sell their products

Boundary (n): A real or imaginary line that shows a limit. EX. Countries are separated by boundaries.

Be entitled to (exp): To have the right to do something. EX. With all his experience, only he was entitled to give an opinion about the situation.

Rub (v): To spread a liquid or cream over a surface by pressing pressing the substance firmly.

Have you ever been deceived by advertising? What happened? What did you do?

Send us your comments, opinions and any kind of feedback to goesling.wordpress@gmail.com. You can either write us an email or send us a voice message.

SUPERLATIVES

Superlatives are commonly used in advertising.

Ex: We have the BEST burger.

Our car is the FASTEST.

FORMATION OF SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES

Words with one syllable : add –est

Ex: long – longest           fast – fastest                     tall – tallest

Words with  one syllable, ending in E: add – st 

Ex: nice – nicest              late – latest                       fine – finest

Words with one syllable (CONSONANT – VOWEL – CONSONANT) : double the LAST consonant  and add -est:

Ex: hot – hottest  big -biggest                     fat – fattest

Words with two syllables,  ending in Y : change y to i, then add –est

Ex: happy – happiest          easy – easiest                  silly – silliest

Words with two syllables or more, not ending in Y : use “most” before the adjective

Ex: beautiful – most beautiful            modern – most modern              intelligent – most intelligent

With some 2-syllable adjectives, we can use ‘-est’ or ‘most’:

  • clever → the cleverest/most clever
  • simple → the simplest/most simple

There are also some irregular forms:

good – the best                  bad – the worst              far – the farthest/the furthest

So, if you have doubts, always check in a dictionary.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Ho! Ho! Ho! It is the most used expression during this month. Everything is covered with a festive mood. Houses are decorated with red, green, blue and yellow lights. We can hear Christmas carols even in cars. We can see these chubby guys dressed up like Santa everywhere even in gas stations. We can also see kids popping crackers everywhere.  At this time of the year lots of people forget their misunderstandings and try to spend time with their families. It is also a time where people get really stressed out trying to find a good gift for all their relatives and friends.

In this season big companies take advantage of naive customers and offer big discounts. What really calls my attention is the fact that they started with this ¨Christmas spirit¨ in October. Unbelievable, but funny. I still remember when I went to a supermarket and half of it was decorated with the orange and black colors of Halloween and the other half was with red and green decorations of Christmas.

Don’t take my words as if I didn’t like Christmas, but I think that the real spirit is not about offering discounts or the ultimate toys. It is a big chance to share and spend a great time with people you love either with turkey, pork or chicken. That’s why I love Christmas.

I admire people who can´t afford to buy any gifts, but as long as they are together, they are really strong and happy. Also I’d like to say that even though I don’t live in a neighborhood covered by a layer of white snow, with my Christmas tree shining is enough.

I want to extend these final lines for those who are reading this post, to share part of my spirit and wish you  Merry Christmas to all of you.

Christmas is not giving.  It is love and sharing.

Vocabulary

Merry (adj): Happy Ex. I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Festive mood: A nice and enjoyable state. Ex. During the village anniversary, you can see a festive mood everywhere.

Chubby (adj): Heavy set in a way that is cute. Ex. My best friend’s baby was so chubby that pinching her cheeks was mandatory.

Dress up (v): Wear a custom. Ex. On Halloween, kids dress up like zombies.

Pop (v): To explode, to blow up. Ex. Corn starts to pop with heat.

Cracker (n): Tiny fireworks. Ex: Chinese invented crackers.

Misunderstanding (n): Disagreement. Ex: The Beatles separated because of their misunderstandings.

Naive (adj): Innocent, that believes everything. Ex: My little niece is so naive that she thinks I have a treasure.

Ultimate (adj): The best  Ex. If I won the lottery, I’d buy the ultimate Ferrari.

Extend (v): To ample, to add. Ex. The new book edition extended their content with appendixes.

How do you celebrate Christmas? Do you get stressed out during this season? What’s the best gift you have ever received on Christmas? Why was it special?

Send us your comments, opinions and any kind of feedback to goesling.wordpress@gmail.com. You can either write us an email or send us a voice message.

Uses of The Infinitive

*As the subject of a sentence:

     To forgive is not always easy.

     To wait for people drives me crazy.

*After certain verbs (forget, need, want, allow, teach, decide, etc)

I forgot to call my friend.

I can’t afford to buy a new car.

*After adjectives (glad, happy, pleased, relieved, sad, surprised, shocked, etc) to describe people’s feelings.

I’m pleased to meet you.

He was shocked to see his mother after so many years.

*After the structure  too + adjective:

Im  too old to work in a mine.

He is too short to play basketball.

*After the structure  adjective + enough:

He is not good enough to get that promotion.

My sister is rich enough to buy all those expensive clothes.

*After the verb to be as a complement

His last wish was to visit his old school.

One of my duties is to enter students’ data.

*To indicate the purpose or intention of an action

She went to Paris to study French.

I’m studying hard to get a better job.

Times of changes: give yourself a chance

Have you ever wondered if you are in the right place doing what you are supposed to be doing? Sometimes we get those “what ifs” like what if I changed my job or what if I moved to another city, but we remain doing nothing about it. But why? The main reason is that we are afraid of taking risks since we don’t know what the outcomes may be. We fear the unknown.  So, we tend to keep our ten-year job because we feel safe doing it. We know our duties, we are familiar with all the procedures, with the staff, and even with the problems and annoyances that arise from working there.

There is nothing wrong in keeping a job for 10, 15 or even 20 years if we really love what we do, if we are truly happy in that environment we call work.  However, if we feel frustrated, dissatisfied, bored, and we really wish things were different, it is time to step out of our comfort zone and take a chance for ourselves.

I’m almost positive that deep down we all know what we would like to be doing or at least what other things we would like to try. We all more or less have an idea of what we are passionate about, but we don’t dare to unbury our passions and inner desires because we are too scared of failing and losing everything.  In order to overcome our fears, it is essential that we have faith in ourselves. We have to believe that we have the potential, the skills and whatever it takes to succeed in what is going to become our next new adventure. It doesn’t matter if everyone around us keeps telling us “Hey, you can do it” or “You would be so good at this” if we don’t believe that ourselves.  Are we that inept or incompetent that we can’t get anything better? Is the place where we are now the highest mountain we could ever climb? Of course not. There are higher mountains to be climbed and we have the tools to conquer them.

Another important aspect of changes is that is not enough to wish for  something new to happen, but we also need to be looking for opportunities and be ready when they knock at our doors.  Sitting on a couch won’t lead us anywhere.  We should keep ourselves up to date getting all the necessary and latest information about the new field we want to explore, and we’d better brush up on our German if we are planning on becoming the new Marketing Designer at BMW.

It’s not easy to embrace change and start over but we need to remember that we are not alone. There are people around us ready to give us a hand in case we start trembling or think we may fall. And even if we don’t succeed at the first attempt, we should not give up, ever.  Steve Jobs once said, “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” And, indeed, we shall never settle.

VOCABULARY

1. outcome (n): the result or effect of an action, situation, etc   Ex: It’s difficult to predict the outcome of the meeting.

2. annoyance (n): something that makes you slightly angry  Ex: Traffic was one of the greatest annoyances that I found in the city.

3.arise (out of/from) (v): to happen as a result of a particular situation  Ex: Health problems can arise from bad eating habits.

4. comfort zone (n): a situation or position in which a person feels secure, comfortable, or in control  Ex: Staying in our comfort zone can be very limiting.

5.deep down (ex): if you know something deep down, you know your true feelings about it, although you may not admit them to yourself Ex: Deep down she was still in love with Jack.

6. dare (v): to be brave enough to do something difficult or dangerous   Ex: Do you dare to  tell him the news?

7. unbury (v): remove from the ground. (Fig) uncover, reveal   Ex: This is not a good time to unbury the past. Let’s move on.

8. overcome (v): to defeat or succeed in controlling or dealing with something    Ex: She finally managed to overcome her shyness and went to the graduation party.

9.lead (v): take somebody somewhere     Ex: The waiter led us to our table.

10. brush up on sth(v): to quickly improve a skill, especially when you have not used it for a time.    Ex: I need to brush up on my Italian before going to Rome.

11. embrace (v): to accept something enthusiastically   Ex: He rapidly embraced the idea of hiring two more assistants.

12. tremble (v): to shake in a way that you cannot control, usually because you are very nervous, excited, scared, cold, etc. To feel fear or anxiety.  Ex: I trembled at the thought of having to make a speech.

13. settle (v): to become quiet and calm    Ex: You need to improve yourself, do better, never settle.

Do you love what you do? What are your dreams? What’s the most life changing experience you’ve ever had?

Send us your comments, opinions and any kind of feedback to goesling.wordpress@gmail.com. You can either write us an email or send us a voice message.

Gerunds

Working with gerunds can be a bit confusing since many people think that gerunds are present continuous, both use the present participle (also known as the –ing form of the verb) but  the truth  is that while the present continuous is used to talk about actions in progress, the gerunds are used in many ways. If you remember these tips, you won’t have any problems.

*As a subject

Working as a teacher is a rewarding experience.

Exercising helps to release stress.

*After some verbs (enjoy, mind, dislike, hate, etc.) 

I like playing the guitar.

I hate eating pasta.

*After the verb to be (to indicate activities)

The main activity in the company is making toys.

The only thing he likes to do is sleeping.

*After prepositions (for, with, of, on, in, about, from, etc.)

I’m really interested in learning English

He is thinking about moving out. 

*After adjectives

Chronic snoring is detected in overweight people.

Brazilian dancing has become very popular.

OUR WORKPLACE – AN EVERYDAY SITCOM

It looks like an ordinary day at work – people at their stations minding their own business – when suddenly you just feel as if you were on a Seinfeld’s or Friend’s episode. Haven’t you ever felt as if you happened to be on a TV show surrounded by some weird, unique, though funny characters?

Sometimes I think that we are wasting the opportunity to become rich and famous. Actually, we should be having cameras recording 24/7 what happens within the walls of our offices, factories or wherever we happen to work. Beyond doubt, it would become a huge TV success, an Emmy-worthy show.

Regardless of where you work or what you do for a living, I’m quite positive you’ll find some of these characters near you:

a) Mr. Joker: He’s always making fun of everybody, calling people names and playing jokes. A piece of advice: don’t let him know his jokes bother you because then he won’t leave you alone.

b) Miss Princess: She walks with her head a little high pretending to be on a red carpet. If you get a “good morning” from her, you are on your lucky day. Since she lives in a fantasy world, don’t expect smart answers from her. Instead, be prepared to receive the most airheaded, frivolous comments.

c) Mr. Lazy Messy: You can find everything in his station. From a three-week old tuna sandwich to a client’s report stained with coffee. Don’t ask him anything because he’s always busy. Yes, busy reading the sports section, commenting on a friend’s picture on Facebook or sending his hourly tweet.

d) Miss Candy Sweet: Nothing seems to upset her. At all times she’ll talk to you with a beaming smile and her sparkling eyes. But be careful, deep inside she may be cursing you.

e) Miss Snacker: If you hear someone munching, that’s definitely her. She can barely speak to you as she is with the mouth full at all times. So, if you feel like eating that energy bar you brought from home, you’d better hide it and go somewhere away from her like the roof or the men’s room.

f) Mr. Always Right:  It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining. If he says “it’s night-time”, it is night-time. If he says something happened or did not happen, take his word for it because he is never wrong. God made him that way and we can’t fight that.

g) Mr. Loony: Sometimes you may find him talking to himself and even laughing with no one around him. He’s constantly watching all your movements with his creepy eyes. He rarely speaks to you but when he does, we highly recommend you listen to him and play along with whatever thing he says. You really wouldn’t like to upset him, would you?

h) Mr. Buddy: He’s everybody’s boss. This is the most pathetic character because while he wants to be everybody’s friend, nobody wants to be his friend. To make matters worse, he doesn’t give up and he’s always making every effort to make people like him by telling jokes or showing concern when someone has problems. He’s always trying to find out when the next party is, so he can show up even though he’s never invited.

i) Mrs. Grumpy: Never expect a smile from her. She’s always complaining about everybody’s mistakes and flaws. Even the clients and the company itself are not safe from her harsh comments. So, if you need to send her a report, make sure you’ve proofread it a thousand times.

j) Mrs. Mummy: If you don’t feel well or something worries you, you can always count on her. She’ll listen to you and even cry with you. She’d better not find out that you’ve had a fight with one of your office siblings because she won’t leave the office until you guys make up and finish the day with a hug.

And we can go on and on. I have to admit that I’d be Mrs. Grumpy. Don’t blame me for wanting everything to work the way they are supposed to work, and yes, it bothers me greatly when they don’t. Is it too hard to do the things we are required to do? So, being able to find these characters in the real world makes me think that there must be an eccentric Cosmo Kramer, a goofy Ross Geller or a socially inept Sheldon Cooper somewhere on this planet….who knows maybe next to you.

Vocabulary

1. station (n): an area where a person is assigned to work.

2. Emmy-worthy (adj): having the merit and qualities to deserve an Emmy Award.

3. call someone names (exp): to use unpleasant words to describe someone in order to insult them.

4. airheaded (adj): lacking seriousness, stupid.

5. beaming (adj): cheerful and bright

6. curse (v): to say or think bad things about someone or something because they have made you angry.

7. take someone’s word for it (exp): to believe that something is true because someone tells you it is.

8. munch (v): to eat something noisily.

9. loony (n): a crazy or strange person.

10. harsh (adj): severe, cruel.

11. proofread (v): to read and correct a piece of written or printed work.

12. make up (with sb) (v): to become friends with somebody after an argument.

13. socially inept (exp): having no social skills and therefore unable to judge and improvise interactions with other people in an acceptable or ‘normal’ way.

 

Have you ever worked with people with similar personality traits (characteristics)? Are there any other peculiar characters where you work? Which of these characters would you be and why?

Send us your comments, opinions and any kind of feedback to goesling.wordpress@gmail.com. You can either write us an email or send us a voice message.

VERBS AS ADJECTIVES

To use verbs as adjectives, we have to work with their participles, that is, the present and the past participles.

Present participles

We can use the present participle of the verb, also known as the -ing form, as an adjective when we want to describe the characteristics or qualities of a person or an object. For example:

    • My dog frightens all my neighbors. It’s a frightening dog.
    • That movie shocked all the audience. It was a shocking movie.
    • The new teacher bores the students. He is a boring teacher.

Some other participles used as adjectives: exciting, interesting, disappointing, etc.

Past participles

We use the past participle of the verbs as adjectives when we talk about people’s feelings or reactions.

    • There is a dog that has bitten all the people in my neighborhood. I am frightened of that dog.
    • My cousin saw a movie with lots of violence yesterday. She felt really shocked.
    • My new teacher only talks and talks. He never says anything new. I am bored.

We can also use the past participle when we want to refer to a characteristic of an object. This characteristic is the result of a previous action. For example:

  • Someone broke the window. My window was broken. It is a broken window.

Here we are talking about the characteristic of the window as a result of an action.

Another example:

  • Someone stole my sister’s car. The car was stolen. It was a stolen car.

Some other participles used as adjectives: bitten, drunk, confused, interested, etc.