Friday, May 05, 2006

Trying to clean up Moscow...

The BBC World Service has a Learning English section, which has, amongst other subsections, something called Words in the News, which highlights and defines words and phrases in news stories. You can listen to the story, or just to the highlighted words, in addition to reading the text.

What caught my eye today was a May 2, 2006, story out of Moscow, Russia, where city authorities have declared a clean car month, imposing fines for noncompliance -- and some folks are, uhm, perhaps not cooperating in the spirit hoped for by the city officials, shall we say?

Do any young folks understand how amazing it is that Moscow radio programs are, according to James Rodgers, Moscow correspondent, "informing drivers of their rights and encouraging them to challenge officers who stop them"?

Or that a newspaper did an online poll which found (bolding in original, showing highlighted English to learn): "46 per cent agreed a car was dirty if the number plate wasn't visible. 23 per cent said it was if the car had "wash me" written on it, 22 per cent if the make or the colour of the car couldn't be determined. A stubborn nine per cent maintained that a car was dirty only if the actual driver was invisible."?

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