C2.2 – CPE Revision – notes from class 13/6/11

Here are some notes based on 5 words and expressions that cropped up (or came up, or, appeared) in the texts we listened to in class this evening.

1) Crop. We heard this word in the form of a phrasal verb. A speaker was describing how genetic mutations in animal species happen or “crop up” occasionally or “now and then” in nature.

Here is some more info about this word:

Examples of crop up: The problem with the computer first cropped up when we tried to install some new software. / Your name kept cropping up in conversation at the party – the president is very keen to meet you. / The issue is bound to crop up regularly before the election as politicians try to woo undecided voters.
Match the above uses to the definitions: 1) something appears in something you read or hear 2) Something which happens unexpectedly

Use: in a search for crop in the British National Corpus (a database recording language use), 41 out of 50 random results from a possible 1,631 used “crop” in an agricultural context and “crop up” cropped up in 4 of the rest of the results. In these the verb was collocated once with “frequently” (e.g. “examples crop up frequently”) and “bound to” (e.g. the issue is bound to crop up in the meeting) which matches nicely with the example we saw in class today (“now and then”).

2) Up.  In addition to crop up we encountered other phrasal verbs with “up” in the listening texts.  Here are 4 examples:

  • Lots of new gyms are springing up around the country.
  • Lots of people exercise in order to tone up their bodies.
  • Exercising at intervals during the day is a way of breaking up the monotony of the working day.
  • The issue of what content is included in the news comes up a lot when journalists and editors meet daily to discuss where to send film crews to cover stories.
  1. Which examples could be substituted with “crop up”?
  2. Which is specifically linked to the idea of physical shape?
  3. Which one example could be best paraphrased with the word “arise”?
  4. Which one example could be best paraphrased with the word “appear”?
  5. Which phrasal verb communicates the idea of division and can be used as a synonym as “split up” in the context of relationships?

3)  Word formation (Use of English part 2).  We heard one of the speakers criticising modern housing design because the houses tend to have little individual personality.  In her opinion they are too often uniform and mass-produced.  She used the word “faceless” to criticise this style.

(i)  Suffix:  less  – which of the words below do not transform to adjectives with -less as a suffix?  What prefixes are used instead?

  • doubt
  • point
  • logic
  • thought
  • end
  • mature
  • violent
  • fruit
  • fear
  • interest
  • power

Click on here for a nice summary of the suffix -less in comparison with -free

4)  A structure with ‘so.’  We heard a speaker give an example of a genetic mutation in an animal being more successful than they usually are.  She used the phrase:  “…so much so that we are getting more of them not less.”  This is “so much so” as a means of adding emphasis and/or an expression of surprise to a statement.  It works in a similar way to the phrase “to the extent that.” Check out some examples:

  • Over the last century English has become a truly global language, so much so that most communication in English happens between non-native speakers of the language.
  • There is a seemingly endless list of museums to visit in Madrid, so much so that I never found time to visit all of them.
  • “Madrid is green, modern, and committed to protecting the environment.  EU legislation is enthusiastically implemented, and the capital’s residents are keen recyclers, so much so that they happily divide their rubbish up into different categories, making it all the more easy to dispose of and reuse.  (elpaís.com in English “More and more Madrid building firms recklessly dumping waste” (7/12/2010) (http://www.elpais.com/articulo/english/More/and/more/Madrid/building/firms/recklessly/dumping/waste/elpepueng/20101207elpeng_2/Ten)

What an effective little structure for making a statement more emphatic!  So much so that you might want to experiment with it in a Proficiency writing text.  Notice how the “so much so” refers back to a point made previously.

5)  Finally, a little Use of English part 3 practice.   This takes the key word from an expression we heard at the end of the final listening text in class tonight.  What is the same missing word in each of these sentences?

  1. Sadly, many people today are caught in a vicious _________ of gambling and bank loans.  They tend to borrow money to finance more gambling in the hope that they will win big money and solve all their problems.
  2. In her youth she was something of an anarchist but grew steadily more conservative and reactionary as she grew older.  However, in her latest collection of writing she seems to have come full _______ and her ideas are once again much more radical.
  3. It’s a lovely old-fashioned theatre.  We got a good view from the upper ________ but being so high and so far from the stage made it difficult to hear exactly what the actors were saying at certain points during the performance.  

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