A red light for scofflaws
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A Red Light for Scofflaws . Language points . let alone : used after a negative statement to indicate that a particular situation is extremely unlikely or impossible , because sth. much less difficult or unusual has never happened. (=never mind, still less)

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Language points

let alone: used after a negative statement to indicate that a particular situation is extremely unlikely or impossible , because sth. much less difficult or unusual has never happened. (=never mind, still less)

  • No one was sure exactly what had happened, let alone how.

  • She had scarcely ever talked to a policeman, let alone gone out with one.

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Language points

take liberties with: behave in a bold or impolite way towards

  • She would never have taken a liberty with anyone.

  • He was not the sort of man with whom one took liberties.

    supposedly: allegedly

  • a robot supposedly capable of understanding spoken commands

  • a supposedly inferior form of life such as the reptile

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Language points

ethic: idea or moral belief that influences the behavior, attitudes, and philosophy of life of a group of people (=principle)

  • the American ‘frontier ethic of expansion and opportunity’

  • the Protestant work ethic

    ethics: moral beliefs and rules about right and wrong

  • a conscious, rational, scientific code of ethics

  • the basic ethics which any religion sets forward

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Language points

a matter of course: If sth. is done as a matter of course, it is done as part of a normal situation and is not regarded as unusual or exceptional. (=automatically)

  • The father does his share of the housework as a matter of course when at home.

    abound: contain very large numbers of

  • Rumors abounded.

  • Its hills abound with/in streams and waterfalls. (+with/in: =teem with)

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Language points

exempt from: not affected or bound by (=excused)

  • These houses are exempt from paying rates.

  • convert: change into a different form (=transform)

  • A solar cell takes radiation from the sun and converts it into electricity.

  • Energy is converted from one form to another.

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Language points

flurry: a small amount (as of snow or wind) that suddenly appears for a short time and moves in a rushed, swirling way (=whirl)

  • Snow flurries had been predicted.

  • Their front runners collided, sending up a flurry of sparks.

    ordinance: (formal) official rule or order; regulation

  • In 1972 the city passed an ordinance compelling all outdoor lighting to be switched off at 9:00 p.m.

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Language points

plague: keep happening and cause a great deal of trouble, difficulty, or suffering

  • The system is still plagued by technical faults.

  • He suffered severe back injuries, which plague him to this day.

  • I don’t know why we have been plagued with such ill luck.

  • duck out of: avoid doing, esp. by making an excuse (=back out)

  • It was too late to duck out of going with them.

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Language points

fester: (a difficult or unpleasant situation, feeling, or thought) grow worse and be characterized by increasing bitterness, anger, and hatred.

  • His memories festered into hate.

  • an anger that must find outlet or fester inwardly

  • hazardous: dangerous, esp. to people’s health or safety

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Language points

  • flout: deliberately disobey or do not follow (a law, an order, or an accepted way of behaving) (=disregard)

  • Be prepared to flout convention.

  • Our rulers know now that we’re prepared to flout their laws if forced.

  • wane: (a condition, attitude, emotion, etc.) become weaker or smaller, often disappearing comp9letely in the end (=lessen, fade)

  • Her enthusiasm for Harold was beginning to wane.

  • The bond of friendship has not waned but has survived the passage of time.

  • be on the wane: diminishing

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Language points

make a dent in: reduce considerably

  • The operation had made a major dent in the trade of protected wildlife.

    brazen: shameless

  • a brazen whore

  • a brazen accusation

  • brazenly: No industry is more brazenly oriented towards quick, easy profits.

    foretaste: sample

  • The episode was a foretaste of the bitter struggle that was to come.

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Language points

stereotype: a fixed general image, characteristic, etc that a lot of people believe to represent a particular type of person or thing

  • The song perpetuates two racist stereotypes.

    skirt: go around the edge or outside of

  • As I walked through the lobby, I had to skirt a group of ladies.

  • They skirted round a bus.

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Language points

prospect: possibility, chance, likelihood

  • There was little prospect of significant military aid.

  • The prospects for revolution are remote.

  • someone’s prospects: their chances of being successful in their career, esp. by being promoted quickly to a high position in an organization

  • I tried to give a rosy picture of his prospects.

  • Success or failure here would be crucial to his future prospects.

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Language points

undermine: make the authority less secure, often by indirect methods

  • Many of them sought to undermine his position.

  • The landowners resented government measures which undermined their authority.

    mandate: 1)the authority that a government has to carry out particular policies as a result of winning an election. 2) (formal) a particular task that sb. is instructed to carry out; a job

  • Peter’s mandate was to find the best available investment.

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subvert: destroy the power and influence; undermine

  • Conflict and division subvert the foundations of society.

  • The best intentions can be subverted by an overpowering commercial atmosphere.

    comply: conform with

  • New vehicles must comply with certain standards.

  • If you want to run a playgroup you must comply with the conditions laid down by the authorities.

    compliance: (formal) willingness to do what is required; agreement (+ with)

  • There are ways of ensuring compliance.

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Language points

nullify: make ineffective; cancel out; invalidate

  • This had the effect of nullifying our original advantage.

  • The whole team’s effectiveness can be nullified.

  • Each state had the right to nullify the federal government’s law.

    disquiet: n. & v. a feeling of worry or anxiety (=uneasiness)

  • Many physicists expressed extreme disquiet about the proposal.

  • The intensity of his anger disquieted me.

  • There was a disquieting moment as I got up to return to my office.

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Language points

unwittingly: unintentionally

  • I had to be grateful to her for having, however unwittingly, saved my life.

    terminally: fatally

  • a hospice (收容所)for the terminally ill

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plead: (formal) give as an excuse; protest

  • The Government might find it convenient to plead ignorance.

  • Whenever she invites him to dinner, he pleads a prior engagement.

  • I pleaded that I fell ill.

  • incriminate: suggest that someone is the person responsible for a crime

  • Williams had been forced to incriminate himself in cross-examinations.

  • incriminating evidence

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Text II: Language points

honor: If you honor sth. that you have arranged, agreed, or promised, you keep to it and do not change your mind.

  • The government has solemn commitments and must honor them.

  • The policy of wage restraint was honored by the union.

    apt: likely; prone

  • Babies who are small at birth are apt to grow faster.

  • I was able to fidget a good deal during a long performance.

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Text II: Language points

restrain: hold back

  • She was raising a cautionary finger as if to restrain Morris from speaking.

  • The young girls had difficulty in restraining themselves from laughter.

    inclination: a feeling that makes someone act or want to act in a particular way without thinking or reasoning; disposition; tendency

  • People decide on their aims in life according to their inclinations.

  • She says her large family happened partly from inclination and partly from chance.

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skeptical: having a lot of doubt about (+ about)

deviation: a difference or change in behavior from what people consider to be normal or acceptable; deviance

  • A crime is a deviation from generally accepted standards of behavior.

  • deviate: He has not deviated from his view that war can never be justified.

    in good faith: If you do sth. in good faith, your reasons for doing it are honest and sincere and you do not intend to harm anyone

  • The two doctors were acting in good faith, the law insisted.

  • Accusations were made as to the good faith of many involved.

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Text II: Language points

swindle: deceive in order to get sth., esp. money; fiddle, diddle

  • I’m sure they swindled you out of that money.

  • He tried to swindle the railway company.

    make out: (inf) do reasonably well in work or life

  • No matter what happens, he’ll always make out.

  • How are you making out these days?

Text II: Language points

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Text II: Language points

inasmuch: (formal) also spelled in as much. Inasmuch as is used to introduce a clause in which you say sth. that explains the preceding or following statement, or that limits it in some way; insofar as

  • The outcome of this was important inasmuch as it showed just what human beings were capable of.

  • His duty is to assist the aggrieved person inasmuch as he is able.