domingo, 8 de febrero de 2015

Valentine's Day

Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth more. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love

William Shakespeare

Valentine's Day...

It's that time of the year when couples show their love for each other by sending cards, floweres and chocolates. But Valentine's Day is not only about public displays of affection: in recent years it has also become big business. In the UK alone, more than 20 million pounds is spent on flowers, whilst in the United States over 1 milion dollars is forked out on chocolates.

Although Valentine's Day has become a global industry with more than 80 milion roses sold worldwide, the origins of the day are unclear and hidden in the mists of time. Nobody knows exactly who St Valentine was, although some historians suggest he was a Roman martyred in the third century AD by a Roman Emperor. It is said that the first recorded Valentine's card was sent by the imprisoned Duke of Orleans in 1415. It is Known as "Black Day" and is when the unfortunate men who received nothing on Valentine's Day gather to eat noodles and commiserate with each other.

Technological developments have also played their part in keeping Valentine's Day relevant in the 21st century, Valentine's e-card have been all the rage in recent years. However, internet security experts urge web users to be wary as malicious hackers could use e-cards to spread viruses and spyware.

Valentine's cards can also be used for less than romantic purposes. Police in the UK city of Liverpool sent Valentine's cards to criminals who failed to appear in court or have not paid fines. The cards contained the verse, "Roses are red, violets are blue, you've got a warrant and we'd love to see you". Who says romance is dead? 

Now, that you have read the article, you can listen to it here: 


public displays of affection – showing your feelings of liking or love for someone in public forked out – 
forced to spend (colloquial) hidden in the mists of time – too old for anyone to remember/confirm/clarify 
martyred – killed because of his beliefs 
recorded – known, documented 
imprisoned – put in jail 
sought solace – tried to find comfort 
confinement – imprisonment 
equivalent – here, a special occasion that has the same meaning and purpose 
customary – normal, usual 
commiserate with – show sympathy for 
e-cards – short for electronic cards, i.e. virtual cards that are sent via the internet 
all the rage – very popular 
wary – here, careful malicious 
hackers – people who access other people's computers with bad intentions (e.g. to look for their personal information, like credit card details, or to stop their computers working properly) 
viruses – here, computer programs which can make copies of themselves, preventing the computer from working properly 
spyware – computer programs that reveal the identity of a computer user 
warrant – a document that gives police specific powers, e.g. the right to search or arrest somebody

In the following link you will find the exercises adapted from BBC

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