Anglické jazykové okienko

Anglické jazykové okienko

Tricky Words in this week's OVI

Quota. This word has been taken from Latin without change, but whereas it originally meant "how great a part", now it means either the part or share which each member of a group should contribute to the whole, or the part of the whole which is given or due to each member. So in the feudal system, each local lord had to provide a quota of men to the king's army, and nowadays companies are allocated quotas (or allowances - "povolenky") which are supposed to limit the amounts of CO2 gas they release into the atmosphere. Keeping records of quotas in books led to the word "to quote", which is now more commonly used to mean repeating somebody else's statement without changing the words, but it is also used when the value of a company's shares is published by the stock exchange, so saying that a company is "quoted" is a mark of its status or significance on the market.

Andy's Wordshop

Acronyms - from Greek, acro = top or tip, like the end of your finger, and nym = name. In fact we're not interested in fingertips here, but tips of words, the first one or two letters, so sometimes it's possible to take the initial letters of words in an expression and make a new word, much shorter and more memorable, out of them. So Regulation, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals is shortened to REACH, which also sounds more positive and proactive than the original. An acronym should be a new combination of letters which is possible to pronounce as a "word", so laser, radar and UNESCO are acronyms, whereas USSK, FBI or even FYI are not acronyms but abbreviations. Please send questions about English language habits to ocelvychodu@sk.uss.com, and I will choose one to answer each week.

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