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Words in the News: Life's big questions

Transcript:

Where to turn to in an economic crisis?

Philosophy. This Italian town set up a trail to encourage people to ponder life.

It includes a chair that utters words of wisdom.

This bar owner in Corigliano d’Otranto serves up drinks and cards with questions like: ‘Why have I been born?’

The local philosopher’s helping hand is very much in demand.

Corigliano’s seminars attracted some 1,000 people. The idea might catch on in other towns.

Vocabulary:

philosophy - rational investigation of reality and existence

ponder - reflect

utters - says

in demand - much sought after

catch on - become popular or fashionable

Exercise:

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from BBC news reports.

Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

philosophy/ ponder/ utters/ in demand/ catch on

1. Scooters were so much________ that there were waiting lists to buy one and many sold at high premiums.

2. Dolphins should be treated as non-human "persons", with their rights to life and liberty respected, scientists meeting in Canada have been told. Experts in _______, conservation and animal behaviour want support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans.

3. As well as feeding themselves, all the families working on the allotment hand over a chunk of their produce to others in need. The fruits and vegetables are passed on to what Greeks have dubbed a "social supermarket". It is an idea_______ all over Greece.

4. When I fell into my Glasgow taxi at six in the morning on Monday to catch my flight to Dublin, I was wet, tired, cold and really just wanted to be left alone. The taxi driver sensed my grump and never _______a word.

5. What would John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential economists of the 20th Century, have made of the current economic situation, _______philosopher John Gray.

Answers:

1. Scooters were so much in demand that there were waiting lists to buy one and many sold at high premiums. Italy's Vespa scooter returns to Indian roads http://bbc.in/Ib7J7P

2. Dolphins should be treated as non-human "persons", with their rights to life and liberty respected, scientists meeting in Canada have been told. Experts in philosophy, conservation and animal behaviour want support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans. Dolphins deserve same rights as humans, say scientists http://bbc.in/yaqns4

3. As well as feeding themselves, all the families working on the allotment hand over a chunk of their produce to others in need. The fruits and vegetables are passed on to what Greeks have dubbed a "social supermarket". It is an idea catching on all over Greece. Ingenuity and allotments provide relief in Greece http://bbc.in/JPYZ2l

4. When I fell into my Glasgow taxi at six in the morning on Monday to catch my flight to Dublin, I was wet, tired, cold and really just wanted to be left alone. The taxi driver sensed my grump and never uttered a word. Taxi for the home nations? http://bbc.in/UiWoX6

5. What would John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential economists of the 20th Century, have made of the current economic situation, ponders philosopher John Gray. A Point of View: What would Keynes do? http://bbc.in/Pvw2vN