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Quick Write 092411 “Learning from Mark 1”

Mark Shields is an American political columnist and commentator who has provided weekly political analysis and commentary for PBS NewsHour since 1988. (Source: Wikipedia). My friend let me know about PBS NewsHour earlier this year, and I started watching its news programs since then. Practice listening and learning new vocabulary with an updated video of “the analysis of Shields and Brooks” has already been my Saturday morning routine. When I listen to the anchor Jim Lehrer’s comment of “And to the analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks”, I realize that my weekend has just started. In this week’s Mark’s comment, I found a couple of phrases that I’d never be able to think of, but would like to use someday.

1) Rick Perry is at an enormous disadvantage.
I’d probably write something like “Rick Perry is in a very disadvantageous position.” or “Rick Perry has a huge disadvantage.” What Mark says is brief and cogent. “be at an enormous disadvantage” is the phrase I’d love to use, but well, I don’t really want to use it to describe my own situation, though.

2) And optimism is in short supply right now.
“be in short supply” itself is a common phrase that frequently appears on TOEIC prep books or the actual TOEIC tests, but in those cases, it doesn’t usually take abstract nouns as “optimism”. If I were going to express what Mark says here, I’d probably go like “There’s only little optimism among people.” or “People are far less optimistic than before.” However, “Optimism is in short supply right now.” smartly represents the current situation that American people are less hopeful about their country’s future and need more optimistic perspectives presented by the government. When trying to use this phrase, we have to be careful about what kind of subject can be taken in order that the subject selected goes along with its predicate phrase “in short supply”. In other words, the subject has to be something that is to be “supplied”, “provided” or “stored”. For instance, “And information is in short supply right now.” may seem okay.

(25 minutes / 357 words)

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Mark is on the right.
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Aya

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