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ESL Student Blog
Language points (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciaton) that are worth noticing for ESL students around the world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ESL Student Blog: Thanksgiving Traditions- Wishing Upon A Wishbone

It’s just past Thanksgiving in Canada and the end of the long (three-day) weekend. The thanks are said and the turkey dinner is over. But the fun is just beginning!

Any birds we eat (chicken, duck, goose or turkey) have the so called ‘wishbone’. This is a Y-shaped bone located between a bird’s neck and breast. When a holiday bird (traditionally a turkey) is roasted and then carved, the wishbone is carefully pulled out and placed (on a window sill, for example) to dry. After some time (a couple of hours, days or even months for some people) it’s brittle enough to be used in a special contest of breaking the turkey wishbone for good luck.

This is a two people per one wishbone contest. Each person takes hold of one end of the bone and pulls it while making a wish until the bone breaks. Whoever gets a bigger part of the wishbone, will have his/her wish come true.

What if everyone wants to break a wishbone? There is no need to fight. Today many stores sell breakable plastic wishbones so that everyone, icluding the vegetarians, get a chance to test their luck. Be sure not to tell your wish to other people or it won’t come true!


POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:18 AM   0 Comments  Add Comment

Saturday, October 03, 2009

ESL Student Blog: Custom or Customs?

Custom is a way of doing things that has been established for a long time. The plural of ‘custom’ is ‘customs’. Cultural groups share common customs that have been passed down from one generation to another.
Decorating Easter eggs is a popular custom in many countries.
Many western customs are different form those in the east.
Custom can also be an adjective, meaning ‘being made by the buyer specifications, not standard’:
This is a custom-made suit.
Customs is a place at the airport or any border crossing where tavelers are checked for illegal goods or asked to pay taxes on items imported from other countries. This noun is always used in plural:
When I went through the customs, I was pulled aside for a thorough check of my luggage.

An immigration and customs officer took my laptop to a back room and said he wanted to check it for illegal software.
In general, customs are duties (tax money) imposed by a government on imported goods:
The government announced that the customs duty on importing musical instruments will soon be reduced.
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 10:31 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment


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