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Let's Read a Newspaper

A Conversation at the Intermediate Level



Lisa and Janet are well-informed about world news. They discuss the importance of reading a good newspaper in the age of Internet. Although the Internet is easily available to most of us, lots of inaccurate and misinformation is published on it. A good newspaper serves best for reliable and accurate information.

Lisa: I've just learned "olive oil" helps to protect blood cells.

Janet: I know olive oil is good for you. But where did you read about its protection of blood cells?

Lisa: I read it in The New York Times today. It was in the Health Section.

Janet: The New York Times is my favorite newspaper, too. It covers a broad range of topics with accuracy and in depth.

Lisa: True. It's far more accurate than many other newspapers around. But of course, people read a newspaper for different reasons.

Janet: I read the newspaper to catch up on the news.

Lisa: Isn't it fun to read the Sunday edition?

Janet: Yap. With all the goodies from art, movies, book reviews to science and politics, travel and real estate, I practically spend half of my Sunday reading it.

Lisa: So, do I. I always recommend it to my students. Reading a good newspaper definitely helps to improve language skills.

Janet: I'm not a student but learn a lot from reading it.

Lisa: You know The New York Times is published on the Internet as well. Don't you?

Janet: Yes, I do.

Lisa: You can sign up on their web site to read it for free.

Janet: Is that right? I didn't know that.

Lisa: Yes, all you need is go to http://www.nytimes.com and sign up.

Janet: That's neat. I'm going to do that immediately.

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well-informed about: To know a topic or subject well. The verb inform takes the prepositions 'of' or 'about': well-informed + of; well-informed about. 'Informed of' and 'informed about' mean respectively 'know of' and 'know about'. 'informed of' implicates knowing of a specific fact, thing or an event, whereas 'informed about' having a broad knowledge of a given subject. "She is well-informed on the cause of the second world war." (She knows the cause of the second world war very well). "She is well-informed about the second world war." (She has a good knowledge of the second world war).

Americans mostly use 'on' for specific facts: "I am well-informed on the bad traffic in New York today." This is a specific fact. "I am well-informed about the bad traffic in New York." The second example is not a specific fact, but general.

My husband is well-informed about English literature." "I want my children to be well-informed about politics." These sentences express general facts.

in the age of: time adverb phrase. In the time of something. It spans a long period of time, such as in the age of Internet; in the age of industrialization; in the age of discoveries

reliable: adjective. Dependable

accurate: adjective. To be true about facts; correct

inaccurate: adjective. To be not true about facts; incorrect

misinformation: noun. Wrong information

serve: transitive verb. To offer something; give a service. " I served a big dinner to my guests last night". "My husband served in the army for two years."

best: The superlative form of the word "good" when we compare things. The word "best" can also be used as "highly good" which doesn't mean a comparison at all, such as in this conversation, "it best serves" means "It serves well."

The New York Times: The largest and well-known newspaper in the USA, particularly in the East coast for well-educated reader

around: preposition and adjective. Near, inside, available. When used before a noun, 'around' operates as a preposition: "He was around the table."; "She came home around nine o'clock last night."; "The students gathered around the teacher."

When used after a noun or pronoun, 'around' . "Don't worry about indifferent people. There are also many caring people around."

If used after a verb, 'around' attaches its meaning--near or exist--to the verb (verb + preposition). "Let me go around this question once more." (Let me discuss this question; Let me talk about this question).

I'll: I will. The abbreviated form of 'I will' in spoken English. In spoken English, the sound 'w' is omitted from pronunciation so 'I will' sound like 'Il'.

help to: Helping verb. When it is used together with the infinitive "to", it means to improve, to create a positive result. "Sleeping enough helps to sustain good health."

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protect: verb transitive. To save from harm. "Wash your hands often to protect yourself from swine flue."

goodies: noun. Slang for good things, desirable things

practically: adverb. Almost

neat: adjective. Good, desirable

edition: noun. A publication printed and distributed to the public on a certain date, such as the Sunday edition of the New York Times (in this conversation). "The last edition of this book covers more subjects."

real estate: compound noun. The housing industry

publish: To print something for the public to buy and read, or view

catch up on: Idiomatic adverb phrase. to advance to a desirable point by working hard

Yap: Slang for "Yes"

in addition: Adverb phrase. additionally

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for different reasons: Adverb phrase. depending upon a situation, reason or fact

in depth: Adverb. In great detail

variety: noun. A group of things in one class that they have some different properties, such as a variety of topics, variety of books, variety of dishes, variety of clothes that they may have different properties.

broad: adjective. It is used for ideas to mean "large" or "wide". For example, it is incorrect to say a "a broad range of books", but it is correct to say "a wide range of books". It is incorrect to say "a wide range of topics", but it is correct to say "a broad range of topics" because a topic presents an idea but not a physical thing. So, use "broad" for conceptual things or ideas and "wide" for physical objects.

range: noun. The extent that things are included on given topic; scope

book review: compound noun. Written evaluation of a book

for free: adverb. Free of charge

sign up: intransitive idiomatic verb. To register for an activity, course or service. "I have signed up for a tennis course."

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