Aug 31

Finding errors in the text before it goes to print is ______ of the proofreader.

A. a responsibility
B. the responsibility
C. responsibility
D. all responsibility


Aは少し不自然です。いくつかのうちの一つの責任とはとれますが、その場合「one responsibility」と言ったほうが自然です。CとDは、やはり「a」又は「the」が入ってないと不自然ですね。Bは一般的に使われているフレーズですので、今回の正解はBです。

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Aug 30

Calico cats are cats with three colors of fur. The colors are black, orange, and white. Calico cats are almost always female. This is because the genes for black fur and orange fur are both found on the X chromosome, and male cats, like male humans, have only one X chromosome. If you see a cat with black and orange fur, you know that she is a female!


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Aug 29

Husband: Lily, you play entirely too many video games. How much have you spent on games this year?
Wife: Oh, something in the ballpark of $500. That’s not so much!

The ballpark is a place to play baseball. You need a lot of space to play baseball, so it’s a wide open area. When a number is approximate, we can imagine it being close to the actual number, or in the same general place. If the real number were a point inside a ballpark, our estimate might not be the same number but it would be located in the same ballpark. You can also use “in the area” or “in the neighborhood” in the same way.



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Aug 28

The thief tried to sneak into the museum, but a guard spotted him climbing the wall.

“Spot” usually means a patch of color, but as a verb it can mean “to see” or “to catch sight of”. If you are looking around trying to see something, and you finally succeed, you have spotted it.

Here is a joke:
Jungle Explorer A: Did you spot the leopard?
Jungle Explorer B: No, he already had spots!

In the joke, the first explorer uses “spot” to mean “see”, but the second uses it to mean “paint spots on”.





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Aug 27

For about 6 weeks beginning in October the polar bears migrate to Churchill. They won’t have eaten all summer and come to Churchill to await the freezing over of Hudson Bay. Only then can they venture out onto the ice to catch seals and eat.

Photo by Barbara Dreher.

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Aug 25

Son: Look, Dad, I can balance on the railing!
Dad: You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’, son. Get down from there before you hurt yourself.

“Cruise” is a type of travel. Boats cruise, especially cruise ships. Some cars have cruise control, a feature that keeps their speed constant without the driver’s input. “Bruise” is a mark on a person’s skin caused by hitting or being hit by something hard. This phrase
warns you that your current course is likely to get you bruised, or injured.




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Aug 24

If I have a million dollars, I would buy a big house.

Find the mistake!

A. I have
B. a million
C. buy
D. a big house



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Aug 23


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Aug 23

There are two types of otters, but in English the distinction is not very strong. They are both otters. Some live in the sea and are called sea otters. Others live in rivers and are called river otters, or just otters. In Japanese, they have entirely different names. Sea otters are considered very cute because they float on their backs to open clam shells. What kinds of otters have you seen?

Otterには2種類ありますが、英語だとあまり区別する必要がありません。どっちでも「otter」です。海に住んでいるラッコは「sea otter」で、川に住んでいるカワウソは「river otter」又はただの「otter」です。日本語では名前がまったく違います。ラッコは背中で浮いてシャコ貝を開けるからかわいいですね。どんなotterを見たことがありますか?

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Aug 22

Bob: I heard you started your own company. How is it going?
Fred: Terrible, actually. We are deep in the red.

In a budget, the positive numbers (showing profit) are black. The negative numbers (meaning you are losing money) are red. So when someone is in debt or losing money, we say they are “in the red”.


予算を書くとき、正の数(利益)は黒で、負の数(損失)は赤です。借金しすぎたり、お金を使いすぎたりする状態を「in the red」と言います。

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