|AGM||annual general meeting|
|a.m.||ante meridiem (before noon)|
|a/o||account of (on behalf of)|
|AOB||any other business|
|ASAP||as soon as possible|
|ATM||automated teller machine (cash dispenser)|
|attn||for the attention of|
|CEO||chief executive officer|
|c/o||care of (on letters: at the address of)|
|COD||cash on delivery|
|e.g.||exempli gratia (for example)|
|EGM||extraordinary general meeting|
|ETA||estimated time of arrival|
|etc||et caetera (and so on)|
|GDP||gross domestic product|
|GNP||gross national product|
|GMT||Greenwich mean time (time in London)|
|i.e.||id est (meaning : ‘that is’)|
|IOU||I owe you|
|IPO||initial public offer|
Archive for October, 2013
Preparation is essential for an effective presentation.
When giving a presentation, certain keywords are used to signpost the different stages.
It’s a good idea to memorize them and practise using them,
so that they come to mind easily during a presentation.
|Starting the presentation||Good morning/Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen
• The topic of my presentation today is …
• What I’m going to talk about today is …
|Why you are giving
|• The purpose of this presentation is …
• This is important because …
• My objective is to …
|Stating the main points||• The main points I will be talking about are :
◊ Finally … we’re going to look at …
|Introducing the first point||• Let’s start / begin with …|
transparencies, slides, etc.
|• I’d like to illustrate this by showing you …|
|Moving to the next point||• Now let’s move on to …|
|Giving more details||• I’d like to expand on this aspect/problem/point …
• Let me elaborate on that.
• Would you like me to expand on/elaborate on that?
|Changing to a different topic||• I’d like to turn to something completely different …|
|Referring to something
which is off the topic
|• I’d like to digress here for a moment and just mention …|
|Referring back to
an earlier point
|• Let me go back to what I said earlier about …|
repeating the main points
|• I’d like to recap the main points of my presentation:
◊ First I covered …
◊ Then we talked about …
◊ Finally we looked at …• I’d now like to sum up the main points which were :
◊ First …
|Conclusion||• I’m going to conclude by …
◊ First …
◊ Third,• In conclusion, let me …
◊ First …
|Questions||• Now I’d like to invite any questions you may have.
• Do you have any questions?(published on learn-english-today.com)
Preparation for an interview is essential.
The list of questions below is designed to serve as a guide
so that you are not taken by surprise!
Writing Business Letters
|Referring to payment||
|Referring to future business||
|Referring to future contact||
|Ending business letters||
(published on learn-english-today.com)
Writing Business Letters
Useful phrases and vocabulary for writing business letters.
|Salutation||• Dear Mr. Brown
• Dear Ms. White
• Dear Sir
• Dear Madam
• Dear Sir or Madam
|Starting||• We are writing
– to inform you that …
– to confirm …
– to request …
– to enquire about …
• I am contacting you for the following reason…
• I recently read/heard about ….. and would like to know ….
• Having seen your advertisement in …, I would like to …
• I would be interested in (obtaining / receiving) …
• I received your address from —– and would like to …
|Referring to previous
|• Thank you for your letter of March 15.
• Thank you for contacting us.
• In reply to your request, …
• Thank you for your letter regarding …
• With reference to our telephone conversation yesterday…
• Further to our meeting last week …
• It was a pleasure meeting you in London last month.
• I enjoyed having lunch with you last week in Tokyo.
• I would just like to confirm the main points we discussed
|Making a request||• We would appreciate it if you would …
• I would be grateful if you could …
• Could you please send me …
• Could you possibly tell us / let us have …
• In addition, I would like to receive …
• It would be helpful if you could send us …
• I am interested in (obtaining / receiving) …
• I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
• Please let me know what action you propose to take.
|Offering help||• Would you like us to …?
• We would be happy to …
• We are quite willing to …
• Our company would be pleased to …
|Giving good news||• We are pleased to announce that …
• I am delighted to inform you that ..
• You will be pleased to learn that …
|Giving bad news||• We regret to inform you that …
• I’m afraid it would not be possible to …
• Unfortunately we cannot / we are unable to …
• After careful consideration we have decided (not) to …
|Complaining||• I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with …
• I am writing to complain about …
• Please note that the goods we ordered on ( date )
have not yet arrived.
• We regret to inform you that our order n° —– is now
• I would like to query the transport charges which seem
unusually high.(published on learn-english-today.com)
Millions Suffer From Asthma
I’m Sarah Long. And this is Bob Doughty with the VOA Special English programSCIENCE IN THE NEWS.
Today, we tell about the disease asthma. It affects as many as one hundred fifty million people around the world.
Asthma is a serious lung disease that causes breathing problems. These problems, called asthma attacks, can kill. Asthma can affect people of all age groups but often begins in childhood. It can be controlled but not cured. Sufferers must deal with the disease every day.
Stavros Kontzias (cun-ZEE-ahs) is an eight-year-old boy living near Washington, D-C. He developed asthma when he was about two years old. His parents, Susie and Zack, say the breathing problems would appear whenever Stavros got sick with a cold or lung infection.
His father remembers those experiences as very frightening. He says Stavros coughed a lot. The boy struggled to breathe. His breathing became very loud and had a strange sound. That kind of breathing is called wheezing. Mr. Kontzias says his son never turned blue from a lack of oxygen. But, he says it was apparent that little air was getting into Stavros’s lungs.
The Kontziases made several emergency visits to the hospital when Stavros became sick. Once there, doctors gave the boy drugs called steroids. Mr. Kontzias says the steroids worked very fast to open his son’s air passages. But, he says he began to worry about long-term effects of high amounts of steroids as the trips to the hospital increased.
So, his parents took Stavros to a pulmonary pediatric specialist. That is a doctor who is an expert in diseases that affect children’s lungs. The doctor listened to the boy’s lungs. He also used measuring devices to test the child’s airflow limitations. The combination of the test results and Stavros’s medical history showed he had asthma.
Stavros began a treatment of four medicines a day to control his asthma. The Kontziases also took other steps to control their son’s asthma. They removed all floor coverings in Stavros’s room and most of the house. They also changed the activities he was involved in.
For example, the boy stopped playing European football, or soccer. The continuous running required to play the sport severely decreased his breathing ability. So Stavros began to play baseball instead. It gave him more time to rest and requires much less running.
Stavros and his family saw improvement in the boy’s health over the next several years. His trips to the hospital emergency room grew increasingly rare. Also, Stavros’s doctor slowly reduced the amount of medicine the boy took.
Recently, Zack and Suzie Kontzias reported good news. They say their son has not taken any steroid medicine since last summer. And they say he has not had an asthma attack. His parents also noted that those months included a season of American football, Stavros’s latest interest. The Kontziases now hope the asthma may completely disappear as their son gets older.
Doctors do not know the cause of asthma. Yet they have identified most of its triggers. For example, the common cold can cause an asthma attack in a person who has the disease. There also are several air pollutants that can lead to an asthma attack. Pollen is one such pollutant. Pollen is a fine dust that comes from plants that produce seeds. However, almost any kind of dust can cause an asthma attack if enough of it is in the air. This includes common dust found in houses.
Air pollution from burning fuel also can cause an asthma attack. Tobacco smoke can do the same. Some kinds of animal hair are a trigger for asthma. And, even some insects in the home can lead to asthma attacks.
Several things happen in the lungs when an asthma sufferer has an attack. Cells in the air passages begin to produce too much of a thick, sticky substance called mucous. The mucous creates blocked areas in the air passages. The tissue that lines the air passages begins to expand at the same time. And, the muscles in the passages tighten.
All these changes cause the air passages to narrow. This reduces the amount of air that can flow in and out of the lungs. The sufferer can not get a good, deep, breath of air. The narrowed airways also cause coughing and a tight feeling in the chest.
Health experts say asthma cases are increasing around the world. The World Health Organization says asthma rates worldwide are increasing on average by fifty percent every ten years. W.H.O. officials say asthma cases in western Europe have increased by two times in ten years. They say the number of asthma sufferers has increased in the United States by about sixty percent in the past twenty years.
American experts give an even higher number. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says the rise was seventy-five percent in about the same time period. It also says more than twenty million Americans report having the disease.
The number of deaths from asthma also has risen in the United States. The W.H.O. says about five thousand Americans die from asthma attacks each year. In the early nineteen-eighties, the yearly death rate from asthma in the United States was about half that.
The World Health Organization says asthma is not just a problem in industrial countries. It says the disease affects people in developing nations, too. However, the incidence of the disease differs greatly from area to area. W.H.O. officials say as many as twenty million people suffer from the disease in India.
The officials say an estimated fifteen percent of Indian children suffer from the disease. They also say almost twenty percent of children in Kenya show signs of asthma. Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Uruguay also have a high rate of childhood asthma. The W.H.O. says as many as thirty percent of children in those countries show signs of asthma.
Asthma kills about one hundred eighty thousand people a year. The W.H.O. says the disease also has huge economic costs. The costs linked to asthma are believed to be higher than those of tuberculosis and AIDS combined. The W.H.O. says the United States spends six thousand million dollars a year on health care and other economic costs of asthma. It says Britain spends almost a third of that on health care for the disease and lost productivity of workers.The World Health Organization says greater international action is needed to deal with asthma. It says asthma sufferers, healthcare providers and the general public must learn more about the disease and the problems linked to it. The W.H.O. says a worldwide system should be put into effect to observe and record asthma rates around the world. And, it says more research is needed to find the cause of asthma and develop new ways to treat it.
Medical experts have suspected for some time that there was a genetic link to asthma. A child has a greater chance of developing asthma if his or her parent is asthmatic. British and American scientists say they may have found a gene involved in the disease.
Three groups of researchers took part in the study. One group worked for Genome Therapeutics, a drug company in Waltham, Massachusetts. The other scientists were from the drug maker Schering-Plough and the University of Southampton in Britain.
The gene is called ADAM thirty-three. The scientists identified it through genetic testing of more than four-hundred families in the United States and Britain whose members have the disease. The scientists say the gene alone does not cause asthma. But, they say its presence appears to increase a person’s chances of developing the disease.
They say the gene may be involved in the main condition of asthma — the narrowing of airway passages. However, the scientists say it is too early to say what percentage of asthma sufferers may have an abnormal gene.
Scientists say the finding could lead to new research about the causes of asthma and new drugs to treat the disease. It could also lead to methods to identify people most at risk for asthma and early treatment to help prevent the development of the disease.
This SCIENCE IN THE NEWS program was written by Caty Weaver. It was produced by Jill Moss. Dwayne Collins was our engineer. I’m Bob Doughty. And this is Sarah Long. Join us again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America.
Cardiovascular Disease / Women
This is the VOA Special English HEALTH REPORT.
The World Health Organization says that each year almost seventeen-million people die of heart disease and stroke. More than eight-million of them are women. In fact, heart attacks and strokes cause two times as many deaths in women as all kinds of cancer combined.
September twenty-eighth was World Heart Day. The W-H-O used the event to release a report on a major worldwide study. The project was called Monitoring Cardiovascular Disease, or MONICA. The study took place from the middle of the nineteen-eighties to the middle of the nineties. Teams in twenty-one countries measured levels of heart disease, stroke and the risk factors that can lead to them in different populations. The W-H-O says the information is important for developing prevention policies and for demonstrating the value of new treatments.
The World Heart Day observance this year centered on women. A non-governmental organization in Geneva, the World Heart Federation, says heart disease is the most serious health threat to women. The federation represents more than one-hundred heart organizations in ninety-seven countries.
It says many people believe that mainly men have heart attacks and strokes. Executive Director Janet Voute (pronounced voot) says this is only one of the false ideas people have. Another is that heart attacks and strokes are diseases of rich countries. Mizz Voute says eighty percent of heart attack and stroke deaths are in low and middle income countries.
A third idea is that it is simply an old person’s disease. The director says this too is false. But she says people are increasingly at risk of heart disease when they are older because of how they lived when they were young. The federation says the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease are smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and high body weight.
The group says eighteen times more women die from heart disease and strokes than from breast cancer. It says more than half of female deaths and disability from heart disease and stroke could be cut.
It says women would need to do things like quit smoking, lose weight and get thirty minutes of exercise a day. The federation says it is also important to avoid breathing other people’s tobacco smoke.
This VOA Special English HEALTH REPORT was written by Nancy Steinbach.
Stress and Illness
This is Sarah Long. And this is Steve Ember with SCIENCE IN THE NEWS, a VOA Special English program about recent developments in science. Stress is a condition of mental or emotional tension. Today, we tell about the effects of stress on people’s health.
Many people suffered mental and emotional problems after the September Eleventh terrorist attacks in the United States last year. Terrorism creates fear and fear often leads to severe stress. Studies suggest that stress can reduce the body’s ability to fight disease and can lead to serious health problems.
Stress affects everybody every day. It is your body’s reaction to physical, chemical, emotional or environmental influences. Some stress is unavoidable and may even be good for us. Stress can keep our bodies and minds strong. It gives us the push we need to react to an urgent situation. Some people say it makes them more productive at work and gives them more energy.
Too much stress, however, can be harmful. It may make an existing health problem worse. Or it can lead to illness if a person is at risk for the condition. For example, your body reacts to stressful situations by raising your blood pressure and making your heart work harder. This is especially dangerous is you already have heart or artery disease or high blood pressure. Stress is more likely to be harmful if you feel helpless to deal with the problem or situation that causes the stress.
Anything you see as a problem can cause stress. It can be caused by everyday situations or by major problems. Stress results when something causes your body to act as if it were under attack. Sources of stress can be physical, such as injury or illness. Or they can be mental, such as problems with your family, job, health or finances. Many visits to doctors are for conditions related to stress.
The tension of stress can interfere with sleep or cause uncontrollable anger or sadness. A person may become more forgetful or find it harder to concentrate. Losing one’s sense of humor is another sign of an unhealthy amount of stress.
Stress can lead to many other health problems if people try to ease it by smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or by eating more or less than normal.
Chronic stress lasts a long time or happens often. Chronic stress causes the body to produce too much of the hormones cortisol and adrenalin. Cortisol is called the “worry” hormone. It is produced when we are afraid. Adrenalin is known as the “fight or flight” hormone. It prepares the body to react physically to a threat.
People under chronic stress produce too much of these hormones for too long. Too much cortisol and adrenalin can result in physical problems and even changes that lead to stress-related illnesses.
Cortisol provides high levels of energy during important periods. However, scientists have become concerned about the hormone’s long-term effects on our health. Evidence shows that extended periods of cortisol in the body weakens bones, damages nerve cells in the brain and weakens the body’s defense system against disease. This makes it easier to get viral and bacterial infections.
Chronic stress has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Research suggests that people who are easily stressed develop blockages in their arteries faster than other people who are more calm. A recent study of women was carried out in Japan. It found that women who reported high levels of stress were more than two times as likely to die from stroke and heart disease as other women.
High stress levels have been found to cause asthma attacks that make it difficult to breathe. Stress is also linked to mental conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders.
Research also shows that chronic stress reduces the levels of the hormone estrogen in women. This might put some women at greater risk for heart disease or the bone-thinning disease, osteoporosis.
Experts say long-term stress also can weaken your resistance to infections such as colds and influenza, as well as your ability to recover from these diseases. Extended periods of stress are also linked to headaches, difficulty sleeping, stomach problems and skin problems.
Mental and health experts believe personality is an important part in how we experience stress. Personality is the way a person acts, feels and thinks. Many things influence the development of a person’s personality, including genetics and experience.
Some people, for example, are aggressive and always in a hurry. They often become angry when things do not happen the way they planned. They are called “Type A” personalities. Studies suggest that these people often get stress-related illnesses.
The “Type B” personality is a much more calm person. These people are able to deal with all kinds of situations more easily. As a result, they are less affected by stress.
Studies show that men and women deal with stress differently. Women usually have stronger social support systems to help them in times of trouble. These social supports may help explain why many women seem to be better able to deal with stress than men are. However, experts say women are three times more likely to develop depression in reaction to the stress in their lives.
Chronic stress is most common among people in the workplace, especially among women. Scientists studying stress in the workplace say many working women are under severe stress because of the pressures of work, marriage and children. Some experts say that pressure can cause a chemical imbalance in the brain that can lead to depression. More than thirty-million American women suffer from depression. These problems are linked to their stress-filled lives and constant hurrying.
People who care for family members who are old or sick also suffer from high levels of stress. Most caregivers in the United States are women. Several studies have been done on people who care for family members with Alzheimer’s disease. The studies showed that the caregivers had high cortisol levels in their bodies. This greatly weakened their immune systems against disease.
For example, one study in the United States found that women who cared for family members with Alzheimer’s took an average of nine days longer to heal a small wound. The researchers found that the blood cells from the caregivers produced lower amounts of substances that are important for healing and for fighting disease.
Experts say there are several ways to deal with stress. They include deep breathing and a method of guided thought called meditation. They also include exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough rest and balancing the time spent working and playing. Doctors say people should limit the amounts of alcohol and caffeine in their diets. People who have many drinks with caffeine, like coffee, experience more stress and produce more stress hormones.
Experts say exercise is one of the most effective stress-reduction measures. Running, walking or playing sports causes physical changes that make you feel better. Exercise also improves the body’s defense system against disease. And a recent study has found that it helps protect against a decrease in mental ability.
Doctors say deep, slow breathing is also helpful. And many medical studies have shown that clearing the mind through quiet meditation helps you become calm. This causes lower blood pressure, reduced muscle tension and decreased heart rate.
Experts also say keeping stress to yourself can make problems worse. Researchers have linked the inability to identify and express emotions to many health conditions. These include eating disorders, fear disorders and high blood pressure. They say expressing emotions to friends or family members or writing down your feelings can help reduce stress. Experts say people should try to accept or change stressful situations whenever possible. Reducing stress may help you feel better and live longer.
This SCIENCE IN THE NEWS program was written and produced by Cynthia Kirk. This is Sarah Long. And this is Steve Ember. Join us again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America.
Melanoma and the Sun
By Nancy Steinbach
This is the VOA Special English Science Report.
When the weather is warm and sunny, people around the world spend more time outside. However, doctors have been warning for years that being in the sun for too long can burn the skin. It can also cause more serious health problems, including skin cancer.
The World Health Organization says two-hundred-thousand cases of the most serious kind of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, develop each year. More than fifty-thousand Americans are expected to develop melanoma this year. The American Cancer Society says almost eight-thousand Americans will die from the disease this year.
Malignant melanoma begins in body cells that produce a brown color. It usually first grows in a small dark area of skin called a mole. Melanoma most often is recognized as a dark area with an unusual shape.
An operation to remove the cancerous cells can cure melanoma if the cancer has not spread. Doctors treat melanoma that has spread with chemotherapy. The drugs kill any cancer cells that were not removed in the operation. Radiation also may be used to kill cancerous cells and reduce the size of any cancerous growths.
The five-year survival rate for melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes is thirty to forty percent. It is only twelve percent if the cancer has spread to other organs.
Doctors say too much sunlight can cause melanoma. This is especially true for people who have light skin and were burned by the sun when they were young. Some people are more likely than others to develop melanoma. These include people whose family members had the disease. They also include people who have a large number of moles on their bodies.
Doctors say people should always protect their skin from sunlight. They should wear a hat and protective clothing. They should use a sun protection liquid. Doctors also say everyone should examine their bodies often for any changes in moles or the presence of new ones. They should go to a doctor if any mole has an unusual shape or if it has several different colors. Another warning sign of melanoma is a mole that is larger than six millimeters across.