Monday, 17 October 2011

Objective Proficiency p 17. Living In the Lap of Luxury Vs Living Rough in One Snapshot. Extra Speaking

Discuss the photograph in groups. Try to include as many of the words and expressions below as possible.

Using these words and expressions or others from the unit try to think of a newspaper headline for this picture. Your group will then ask other groups to predict your headline. You will give them clues: jumbled/missing letters/ words, drawings, pictures from google,...

 in One... 

Answer: Living In the Lap of Luxury Vs Living Rough in One Snapshot


in the lap of luxury 

in easy, comfortable conditions, and enjoying the advantages of being rich. E.g. We spent two weeks in the hotel living in the lap of luxury. Men in white clothes are living in the lap of luxury.

live/sleep rough

(British English) to live or sleep outdoors, usually because you have no home and no money. E.g. young people sleeping rough on the streets. A group of migrants who sleep rough


(also snap) [countable] a photograph, especially one taken quickly. E.g. holiday snaps. We can see the contrast between the haves and have nots in one snapshot.

give rise to something  



(formal) to cause something to happen or exist. E.g. The novel's success gave rise to a number of sequels. The poor living conditions have given rise to their migration.



a situation or place in which violence or anger starts and cannot be controlled. Sp detonante. E.g. . Potential flashpoints in the south of the country. The conflict reached a flashpoint last year. Tension at the border is rapidly reaching flashpoint

bite your lip

to stop yourself from saying something or from showing an emotion. I bite my lip in order not to express my sense of frustration.

mar something 

 to damage or spoil something good. E.g. The game was marred by the behaviour of drunken fans. Their game is not marred by the sight of these men.


 /ˌriːpəˈkʌʃn/ consequence. An indirect and usually bad result of an action or event that may happen some time afterwards. The sight doesn't seem to have any repercussions for their game.


 to spread over an area of land. Extend. E.g. Fields and hills stretched out as far as we could see. Beyond the fence stretches a vast desert.  

whopping (also whopping great

/ˈwɒpɪŋ/ very big. E.g. The company made a whopping 75 million dollar loss. Did you know a whopping number of student loans may never even get repaid? A whopping great lie. A whopping 200 migrants tried to climb the fence.

a heavy price

Migrants have to pay a heavy price sometimes even with their lives

Carve out a living.

Eke out a living: 

 to manage to live with very little money. E.g. For years he eked out a miserable existence in a dreary (/ˈdrɪəri/ depressing) bedsit (a room for both living and sleeping in) in Bristol. 
They eke out a precarious
/prɪˈkeəriəs/ existence (= they have hardly enough money to live on).   

on the breadline 

the lowest level of income on which it is possible to live. E.g. Many people without jobs are living on the breadline (= are very poor). Economic migrants are forced to live their homes because they are living on the breadline.

on a shoestring 

(informal) using very little money. E.g. In the early years, the business was run on a shoestring. Some people get by on a shoestring budget. The players are not living on a shoestring budget.

live (from) hand to mouth 

to spend all the money you earn on basic needs such as food without being able to save any money. The people who sleep rough live from hand to mouth.


 a way of living especially when this is difficult or boring. E.g.  E.g. The farmer worked in poor soil and lived a poor existence. The family endured a miserable existence in a cramped apartment. We led a poor but happy enough existence as children. The peasants depend on a good harvest for their very existence (= in order to continue to live). They eke out a precarious existence (= they have hardly enough money to live on).

to make a good/decent/meagre living

meagre: /ˈmiːɡə(r)/  small in quantity and poor in quality. Sp. escaso. E.g. She supplements her meagre income by cleaning at night.  Families eke out a meagre living. Gradually I was able to make a meagre living. 
The golfers seem to make a good living

make (both) ends meet  

to earn just enough money to be able to buy the things you need. E.g. In their part of the world many families struggle to make ends meet

pose a threat

The players seem indifferent to the men climbing the fence. They don't seem to pose a threat.


conflict. E.g. Some migrants and police officers were injured during clashes. 

flare (up)

(especially of anger and violence) to suddenly start or become much stronger. Erupt. E.g.
Violence flared when the police moved in. Tempers flared towards the end of the meeting. Anger flares up at the fence from time to time.

rid somebody/something of somebody/something

(formal) to remove something that is causing a problem from a place, group, etc. E.g. Further measures will be taken to rid our streets of crime. Some politicians want to rid their countries of refugees.

ostracize somebody 

(formal) /ˈɒstrəsaɪz/ to refuse to let somebody be a member of a social group; to refuse to meet or talk to somebody. E.g. He was ostracized by his colleagues for refusing to support the strike. She was declared a witch and ostracized by the villagers.

bear/give witness (to something) 

to provide evidence of the truth of something. E.g. The crowd of mourners at his funeral bore witness to the great affection in which he was held. This landscape bears silent witness to one of the greatest tragedies in history. Little is left to bear witness to the past greatness of the city.


/ˈsaɪzmɪk/ 1 connected with or caused by earthquakes. E.g. seismic waves. Seismic activity 2 having a very great effect; of very great size. Causing a very great change in a situation. E.g. a seismic shift in the political process. A seismic shift in people's attitudes. 


to cause you trouble for a long time. E.g. He had been dogged by bad health all his life. Her career was dogged by misfortune. 


/əbˈsiːn/ Offending against moral principles; repugnant. So unfair or immoral that you feel angry. E.g. using animals' skins for fur coats is obscene.  The amount of money that top-class footballers earn is positively obscene.     






causing or showing sadness. Miserable. Sp. Deprimente. E.g. dismal conditions/surroundings/weather. Christmas will be dismal without presents. Low-income families whose economic stability continues to be threatened by a dismal economic climate.






a situation that is difficult and unpleasant because you do not have enough money, food, clothes, etc. E.g. suffer economic/ financial hardship. People suffered many hardships during that long winter. The two men endured great hardship during their trek across Antarctica. It was no hardship to walk home on such a lovely evening.






/dɪˈstres/  suffering and problems caused by not having enough money, food, etc.
Synonym:  hardship. E.g. economic/ financial distress. The charity aims to relieve poverty and distress caused by natural disasters.


/ˈwɪəri/ very tired, especially after you have been working hard or doing something for a long time. E.g. a weary traveller. She suddenly felt old and weary. A weary sigh. This airport is facilitated with good runways, waiting rooms, refreshment and cargo handling so that a weary traveller is never disappointed. 


/dɪsˈkɒnsələt/ very unhappy and disappointed. Dejected. E.g. The disconsolate players left for home without a trophy.


Set your heart on something/ have your heart set on something: 




to want something very much. E.g. They've set their heart on a house in the country. I have set my heart on an exotic foreign holiday. 

white-clad golfers

Clad: dressed. E.g. leather-clad motorcyclists. African migrants look down on white-clad golfers in viral photo.


Splash out (on something) / splash something out (on/ for something) 




 (British English, informal) to spend a lot of money on something. E.g. We're going to splash out and buy a new car. He splashed out hundreds of pounds on designer clothes.






 (N) a person who spends too much money or who wastes money. E.g. Putt was a spendthrift and a heavy gambler.  





(adj) A spendthrift uncle. Spendthrift governments.

asylum seekers:  

people who have left their country because they were in danger and ask for protection from another country.

razor wire fence 

razor wire: strong wire with sharp blades sticking out, placed on top of walls and around areas of land to keep people out.



barbed wire:  



strong wire with short sharp points on it, used especially for fences a barbed wire fence.






 to sit or to make somebody sit on something, especially on the edge of it. E.g. many migrants remained perched on top of the fence for several hours.


overlook the golf course


The photo reflects the situation really well 


Each year thousands of Africans try to reach Europe by making it past the fortified fence that separates Morocco from the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta.

make it past: 

 If we say "make it past" something, it usually means something difficult. It can be used in many situations. For example, if you make it past the guards before the main gate you will be able to sneak inside ( if you are able to pass the guards without them seeing you). If someone has a busy week ahead of them at work with much work, many meetings, etc., they may say, "if I can make it past this week (and get all my work done), I'll be okay". If you had to do something that would make you nervous or scared, you'd say, "if I can make it past this.....(then I'll feel better) 





an area of a country or city where the people have a different religion, culture or nationality from those who live in the country or city that surrounds it.


Many of them spend months living in makeshift camps on the Moroccan side, waiting for the opportunity to rush the fence.  





 used temporarily for a particular purpose because the real thing is not available. Provisional. Improvised. E.g. The hall had been turned into a makeshift hospital. 


rush somebody/something 



 to try to attack or capture somebody/something suddenly. E.g. A group of prisoners rushed an officer and managed to break out. Fans rushed the stage after the concert. 



This image is a metaphor for




Related stories

African migrants look down on white-clad golfers in viral photo  

Golfers and asylum seekers: a clash of realities

No comments:

Post a Comment