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Words in the News
Wednesday 12 September 2001
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  World Trade Center
America attacked
Summary: America tries to come to terms with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. This report from Jon Leyne:
   
The News Listen  
  It could become the day that changed America. Perhaps when the casualty numbers finally come in, some terrible record will have been set. The immediate choices are for President Bush and his security team. This is his first and possibly biggest test. Some act of military retaliation is almost inevitable. Then there will be the inquiries into how this huge, well co-ordinated plot escaped unnoticed. Security will become even more ubiquitous. But then there are another series of questions. From the President downwards, officials have been quick to stress that it is literally business as usual. The fear is that this blow to American self-confidence could finally knock an uncertain economy into recession.

On the international stage, a lively debate was already raging between those who support American engagement in world institutions and those who believe the United States should use its strength to work unilaterally. These attacks will play into that debate but it's not clear how. And for the American people, after the initial shock and outrage, will there be some deeper scar on the way of thinking of this usually irrepressibly optimistic nation? All of this will only become clear as Americans fully realise what has happened because, for all the times the pictures have been replayed, it is still hard to comprehend the events of this day - a day that could change America and the world.

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  military retaliation
the use of military force against those responsible for the attacks

 
   
  ubiquitous
if something is ubiquitous it is everywhere

 
   
  business as usual
this phrase means that a situation is normal, especially after an emergency. Here it also refers to business as commerce and banking

 
   
  on the international stage
here, stage refers to a particular area of activity - America's international dealings

 
   
  engagement
willingly being involved with organisations such as the United Nations

 
   
  work unilaterally
work on its own

 
   
  play into that debate
contribute to these discussions

 
   
  scar
a scar is a mark of damage. If an unpleasant experience scars you, it has a permanent effect on you

 
   
  irrepressibly optimistic
continually hopeful about the future despite setbacks

 
   
  for all the times
no matter how often you look at the TV pictures of Manhattan

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

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