Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- a pretty penny / ə ˈprɪt i ˈpɛn i / (idiom) – a big amount of money
My mother was able to start a business because she inherited a pretty penny from my grandparents.
- pay stub / ˈpeɪˌstʌb / (n.) – a document given to employees that shows how much they earned and how much, if any, was taken away for taxes, insurance, etc.
The employees receive their pay stubs via email.
- explicit language / ɪkˈsplɪs ɪt ˈlæŋ gwɪdʒ / (n.) – language that describes violence or sexual content
The radio station doesn’t play songs with explicit language.
- cash (something) in / kæʃ ɪn / (phrasal v.) – to exchange something that one owns for money
It can take a long time to cash your pension in, so if you need money right now, I don’t recommend it.
- shed light on (something) / ʃɛd laɪt ɒn / (idiom) – to make something clearer or to add information about something
The new study sheds light on the cause of the rare disease.
Read the text below.
A Georgia man said his former employer owed him a pretty penny — $915 (¥100,000) to be exact, after he left his job in November.
But Andreas Flaten said he was shocked to see his final payment: 90,000 oil- or grease-covered pennies, at the end of his driveway, news outlets reported. On top was an envelope with Flaten’s final pay stub and a parting message that used explicit language.
“This is a childish thing to do,” Flaten said.
Flaten said he left his job at Peachtree City’s A OK Walker Autoworks in November. He said he was owed the final check and had difficulty getting it, even turning to the Georgia Department of Labor to receive help.
In mid-March, Flaten said he and his girlfriend were leaving his house when they saw the pile at the end of his driveway. The pennies were covered with some sort of oily substance.
Now his nightly routine consists of cleaning the pennies so he can cash them in. It took him about an hour and a half to clean off several hundred, he said.
Flaten’s girlfriend said she hopes her boyfriend’s story sheds light on how people “are treated so poorly by their employers.” (AP)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
- Flaten’s final payment came in the form of 90,000 oil- or grease-covered pennies at the end of his driveway. What would you do if your employer paid you this way? Why? Discuss.
- Flaten had trouble getting his last paycheck, even turning to the Department of Labor to receive help. What would you do if you didn’t receive your last paycheck after leaving a job? Why? Discuss.
- Flaten said the parting message from his former employer used explicit language. How do you feel about that (ex. unprofessional, maybe okay depending on how Flaten quit)? Why? Discuss.
- Flaten’s girlfriend said she hopes his story sheds light on how people “are treated so poorly by their employers.” Do you think most people are treated poorly by their employers? Why or why not? Discuss.
- In your country, do you think employees or employers are more protected by the law? Why? Discuss.
- Flaten said he left the company late last year. In your opinion, what are good and bad reasons to quit your job? Why? Discuss.