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    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #1

    Re: Gordon Brown's US visit

    Gordon Brown flies into Washington today, still an unknown quantity to most people in the U.S. despite his bizarre appearance on American Idol last week. If he runs true to form, he'll probably arrive at the White House via the back door, get lost in the corridors on his way to the Oval Office, refuse to have his picture taken with George W. Bush and then fly out - having signed over Bermuda to the Americans without holding a referendum of the colony's inhabitants.
    Once back home, he'll deny ever having been there.

    In advance of the trip, profiles of the Prime Minister have been appearing in the U.S. This column tuned in by satellite to Eye-Witness News, Palm Beach, for a preview of the visit:
    Hi, I am reading an article written by a British columnist for Daily Mail. I'm all greek to what his wrote but I hope to learn. Could you please help? Thanks.


    Here is the URL link for the more context.


    So who's this President Norman Brown guy? | the Daily Mail


    Q1. an unknown quantity =?

    Q2. American Idol= a website named "American Idol" ?

    I just searched it from the Internet. Is it very well-known in U.K. ? I think the columnist just jeers Mr. Gorden Brown, right? He is American Idol but not British idol, right?


    Q3. I can not understand the following sentence. Why by satellite? Is " Eye-Witness News" a name for a live TV programme in U.K.?

    This column tuned in by satellite to Eye-Witness News, Palm Beach,

    Q4. I just searched the info. via Google and learned Bermuda is British colony. Why has Mr. Brown signed over the Americans.

    Q5. Why did Brown refuse to take picture with Bush?


    Q6. Why will Brown go to White House via back door? Did the columnist hint Brown will have a closed-door deal with Bush?

  1. heidita's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Gordon Brown's US visit

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow402 View Post
    Hi, I am reading an article written by a British columnist for Daily Mail. I'm all greek to what his wrote but I hope to learn. Could you please help? Thanks.


    Here is the URL link for the more context.


    So who's this President Norman Brown guy? | the Daily Mail


    Q1. an unknown quantity = somebody unknown

    Q2. American Idol= a TV programme, where the best singer is chosen

    I just searched it from the Internet. Is it very well-known in U.K. ? I think the columnist just jeers Mr. Gorden Brown, right? He is American Idol but not British idol, right?

    I think the programme is well known, we have one here in Spain too, another one in Germany...

    No, he actually appeared on the programme:

    Gordon Brown has made a guest appearance on US talent show American Idol to urge people to support the fight against malaria
    Q3. I can not understand the following sentence. Why by satellite? Is " Eye-Witness News" a name for a live TV programme in U.K.? I don't know.

    This column tuned in by satellite to Eye-Witness News, Palm Beach,


    You missed out the "probably"

    If he runs true to form, he'll probably
    So, all this , the signing over of the Bermudas, the picture with _Bush....didn't actually happen.
    To sign over: to sign the papers to pass over the Bermudas to the American government (but this didn't happen)


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: Gordon Brown's US visit

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow402 View Post
    Hi, I am reading an article written by a British columnist for Daily Mail. I'm all greek to what his wrote What he wrote is all Greek to me but I hope to learn. Could you please help? Thanks.


    Here is the URL link for the more context.


    So who's this President Norman Brown guy? | the Daily Mail


    Q1. an unknown quantity =? Brown is not well known in the USA, so the Americans do not yet know what he is like, either as a person or as a politician, or indeed as an ally.

    Q2. American Idol= a website named "American Idol" ? Television reality show, looking for a new popstar.

    I just searched it from the Internet. Is it very well-known in U.K. ? I think the columnist just jeers Mr. Gorden Brown, right? He is American Idol but not British idol, right? Nothing to do with his image, but with the odd fact that a leading British politician took part in this kind of populist TV show. His publicists are trying to raise his personal profile with the ordinary Americans. This kind of thing was something that Tony Blair was good at [but then he always wanted to be an actor] but that Gordon Brown is definitely not good at.


    Q3. I can not understand the following sentence. Why by satellite? Is " Eye-Witness News" a name for a live TV programme in U.K.? Via a paid-for TV channel which is received by satellite link. The news programme cited is American, based in Florida.

    This column tuned in by satellite to Eye-Witness News, Palm Beach,

    Q4. I just searched the info. via Google and learned Bermuda is British colony. Why has Mr. Brown signed over the Americans. He hasn't. This is a joke. It is a reflection of the author's complete lack of trust in Brown's ability to negotiate.

    Q5. Why did Brown refuse to take picture with Bush? He didn't. Again this is the author using Brown's behaviour to point up his gaucheness in public matters.


    Q6. Why will Brown go to White House via back door? Did the columnist hint Brown will have a closed-door deal with Bush? He won't. But during a recent much publicized event, when HM the Queen was giving a banquet in honour of the French President, Gordon Brown managed to get lost in Windsor Castle.


    This piece is a cynical view of Brown as an international figure or indeed as Britain's Prime Minister.


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    #4

    Re: Gordon Brown's US visit

    Hi Heitida & Anglika, thank you very much for your kind help.

    Heitida, your English is very good if it is not your mother tongue.

    Anglika, I think the cynical writing style is not only interesting but also bitter sweet, even for me -a non-Brit to read. This style won't probably be allowed in Chinese media. Well, I'm a bit of an innocent abroad. I hardly read ours. I hope to beef up my knowledge of English language, backgrounds of events and culture step by step so that I can understand Westerners' emotions better. In addition, I took notice you also corrected my misappropriate usage of the English idiom. Thank you so much.

    Last edited by rainbow402; 15-Apr-2008 at 15:09.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Gordon Brown's US visit

    Coming late to the party: I don't think the bit about the back door is a reference to any sort of clandestine dealings, but to the convention (in the UK) that esteemed guests enter through the front door, and tradesmen through the back; in fact, some back doors were marked 'tradesman's entrance'). It's a social dig at GB (the sort of thing the Daily Mail has been doing for over ten years with Gordon Brown - as for example when, as Chancellor of the Exchequer [Finance Minster] he went to a banquet wearing a lounge suit rather than a tuxedo).

    b


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #6

    Re: Gordon Brown's US visit

    Warmly welcome Johnny-come-lately to the party! Bobk, thank you for your answer!

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