What is the longest word in the English language that does not have the letters a, e, i, o, u?
When I heard that one of my students had just started a part-time job at a bakery I asked her if she is interested in the bakery’s products.
She told me that after she learns the basic skills of the job, then she will learn about the products, so she can answer any questions from the customers. I was very happy to hear it.
This is always the answer when I ask a Japanese student, “How ya doin’?” To be honest I am fed up with this answer.
Yesterday a student replied, “Not fine.” I was so happy. Of course I wasn’t happy that the student was not fine, I was happy because the student didn’t say ‘fine’ and actually told me the truth.
On July 1st in all restaurants, cafes and pubs in England there will be no smoking. This is a big change and will especially help the workers, who will not risk the danger of passive smoking. In Scotland smoking was banned a few years ago and there are some surprising results.
1. People smoke more
As people can’t smoke in pubs etc they smoke more at home. Of course they are at home for longer than they are in a pub, so they get into the habit of always smoking at home and many people actually smoke more.
2. Passive smoking for children
As more people smoke at home it means that their family do more passive smoking. And, if they have children, it means that their children do passive smoking, and there is more chance that these children will become smokers later in life.
3. More food is eaten
Since smokers can no longer hold a cigarette while they are drinking, they start to eat more snacks in pubs, and to order more side-dishes in restaurants.
4. More energy is used
If a smoker wants to smoke he or she must smoke outside the pub. In many places it can get very cold, especially in the evenings, so many pubs have put large umbrella heaters outside so their customers don’t get too cold. These heaters use up a lot of energy.
5 Less sleep
Not less sleep for the smokers, but less sleep for the people who live near a pub. With so many people smoking outside it is almost like a party and the noise can get very loud. Neighbours are sometimes not able to sleep.
6 More road accidents
With many people standing outside a pub there is often not so much space for someone who is walking past. This person might step into the road which can result in an accident with a car or bike, especially in the dark at night.
So there have been many unpredictable results from a ban on smoking, not all of them good.
There is a nice bakery cafe, called Epiciel at Shimizu station. I went to Shimizu yesterday and I decided to have lunch there.
I have been there many times before and there is a good selection of bread and pastry, and some of the products are original. I ordered a few things including a cinnamon roll. It was not like the soft bread cinnamon roll that is in many bakeries, but this one was like a thick sponge bread, and it was really delicious.
But there is one bad thing, one really bad thing, about this bakery cafe: smoking is allowed. I have had a bad experience here before.
Yesterday there were about 12 customers in the cafe and I was lucky, no-one was smoking. But just as I was finishing a man walked in and took an ashtray and put it on his table, a smoker. I could see the other customers look at him, there were six elderly people and a mother with two young children. Immediately they all started to leave.
A few weeks ago at Roggen Meyer bakery cafe I asked the waitress about one of the products. She was very polite but she knew nothing about the product. I was very disappointed that she took no interest in the bakery’s products.
But today a student made me happy again.
I saw that one of my students was reading about green tea in English. I found out that this student works in a green tea shop in Tokyo, and she was studying the products in both Japanese and English (she needs to learn the English explanation because there are a lot of foreign customers). I was so happy that she was interested in her shop’s products.
Z is the last letter in the English alphabet, and also the rarest. This letter comes from the Greek language, and is known as zeta in Greek.
There are two pronunciations, ‘zed’ and ‘zee’. Zee is the pronunciation used in the USA, and zed is the pronunciation used almost everywhere else.
Today one of my students told me something very interesting. She said that when she first learned the ‘abc’ song she pronounced the z as ‘zed’, but at about the time of junior high school she noticed that the pronunciation changed to ‘zee’.
Does anyone have a similar (or different) experience?