Monday, February 27, 2012

cut back, (to) cut back on, (to) cut down on

Today's CNN poll was this:

Quick vote

Are rising gas prices making you cut back on driving?
There is a noun that derives from this verb, "(a) cut back", and this word is very common in political and economic circles:

Government Cutbacks Spur More Layoffs

The verb is - (to) cut back on (something).  Very similar to this is the verb (to) cut down on (something).  Here are some other examples of these verbs from news headlines:

Americans Cut Down On Checking For Colon Cancer During Recession 

 Chelsea Handler: Why I've Cut Back on My Drinking

India says it won't cut back on Iran oil imports, in defiance of stiffer US and EU sanctions

These two verbs, (to) cut down on (something) and (to) cut back on (something) are fairly interchangeable.  They both imply to reduce the level of whatever it is that's being done!!

So can you think of a few things in your own life that you'd like to cut down on?
Send us your thoughts in the comment box below.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

(to) weigh in on (an issue)

In the world of politics, everybody has an opinion. And many people want to add their opinion to the public record. When somebody adds their opinion to the pool of opinions, we use the verb (to) weigh in (on) ~


Below you can see in our first headline, an entertainer-turned-politician adding his voice to the debate over the economy.


'Dirty Harry' weighs in on deficit

 Here's one that might include you...

Passengers weigh in on carry-on-bag hassles

Here's an athlete from the Boston Bruins hockey team adding his opinion about a current political question:*

Bruins goalie weighs in on Obama contraception decision

Is there a current events issue that you would like to weigh in on?

Many weigh in on current events that are of importance to them by writing to their representatives and lawmakers.  If you are a citizen of the United States, you may want to visit, or email or write to you your local, State, or Federal representatives.

In a democracy, it seems like everybody wants to - and have an avenue - to weigh in on issues that are of importance to them.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

(to be) in it for THE LONG HAUL

Here's a colorful idiomatic expression for you that is featured prominently in the news as the Republican Party electoral races heat up; it seems like, as of this blog, all the remaining candidates are claiming to be IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL:

...Ron Paul Gears Up for the Long Haul

Newt Gingrich called an unorthodox post-caucus press conference Saturday night to assure the press that not only was he in the race for the long haul, but that he had only begun to go negative against Mitt Romney. 


Rick Santorum Says He’s Going Nowhere, in It for ‘Long Haul’

There was one news story that I found that actually used this expression in the context of its original meaning:

Air France says over 85 percent of long-haul flights maintained despite strike Monday

The word "haul" is both a noun, haul, and a verb, (to) haul. Its most common meaning is as a verb, and refers to carrying something over a long distance, usually something very heavy.  

Oddly, many married or engaged couples refer to themselves as being "in it for the long haul." I find this strange because of course marriage is this, by definition, intrinsically.  If you do not intend to be with somebody for the rest of your life, why would you get married? That's what marriage is!  Do you have any comments about using this expression in this context? Please share your comments with us.

Its most commercial face can be seen on the trucks and vans that are so ubiquitous: U-Haul.

At any rate,  see how you can find this colorful expression that functions as an adjective phrase ("He is in it for the long haul") used in print media and online.