Friday, August 31, 2012


It's time for another presidential election and as usual some people have already decided who they are going to vote for, and others have not.  Those who have not yet decided whom they are going to vote for have a special name: THE UNDECIDED.

As the New York Times has written,

Meet the Undecided,

a reference to those who have not yet decided whether to vote for President Barak Obama or for Mitt Romney.

Where does this adjective come from? We have "the poor" or "the hungry" or "the early risers" or other nouns that derive from adjectives. But from "the hungry" we don't say "the hungries" or from "the confused" we don't say"the confuseds" and yet these and other headlines were written:

Deciding the undecideds: Tough for Obama, Romney

The Undecideds

This article above has the following quote:  They have already made up their minds, leaving the outcome to a slim margin of those identified as either “undecideds” or “independents.”

Here we see the article straight out using the past participle adjective form of the verb "(to) decide" as a plural noun: (to be) independent --> (an) independent --> the independent --> now a plural count noun: (the) independents.

Another strange nots is that I have never heard the positive version: "the decided".

Searching for the Undecided Voter

In the next few months we shall see what happens to "the undecided." Will they make a choice? Or will they remain undecided, and not vote for a candidate for President?

Read the following article,

Poll finds swath of voters undecided, unexcited

and then let's discuss this again in November, comparing data.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

(to) bear down on (something or someone)

Here's important news for many people:

Isaac Gains Hurricane Strength, Bears Down on Gulf Coast

Anybody who is in the hurricane's path had better beware, and prepare.  Most of the time when this term is used, it's in reference to a hurricane or severe storm.

Isaac grows stronger as it bears down on Florida Keys, hurricane watch extended to New Orleans

Here's another example:

Typhoon Tembin Bears Down On Taiwan 

But not always.

Currency crisis, economic weakness bear down on Europe's car industry

But the effect is the same:  Watch out, European car industry, because it's going to be feeling the full weight of the currency crisis and the weak economy for a while.***

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

(to) hold up under pressure

The 2012 Olympics are here, and the excitement is on, and so is the pressure. Some athletes say they don't feel the pressure; they're just having fun. But not all athletes react the same on the big stage.  Here's a headline about the U.S.A.'s female gymnasts:

Olympics 2012: U.S. women hold up under the pressure and  win team gymnastics gold for first time since ‘96 in Atlanta


Here we see this phrase again:



In this article, notice the word "adversity".

If you were being interviewed for a job, how would you answer the following question:

This expression, of course, applies not only to holding up mentally and psychologically.  See the following website:

Bridge Construction Set

If you have difficulty holding up under pressure, read this piece of advice:

5 Tips for Holding Up Under Pressure

How do you rate holding up under pressure?  Do you have any special tricks or strategies for holding up under pressure?