Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- so far / soʊ fɑr / (idiom) – up to this time
So far, we haven’t received any updates about our new project.
- nowhere to be seen / ˈnoʊˌʰwɛər tʊ bi sin / (idiom) – impossible to find
My cat’s been missing for days. We’ve searched the whole neighborhood, but he’s nowhere to be seen.
- clear things up / klɪər θɪŋz ʌp / (idiom) – to resolve a misunderstanding or problem, usually by talking about it
I heard that Nancy wasn’t happy with me, so I called her to clear things up.
- adverse / ˈæd vɜrs / (adj.) – having a negative or harmful effect on someone or something
The game was canceled due to adverse weather.
- nominal / ˈnɒm ə nl / (adj.) – very small; a lot less compared to the usual cost or value
No, it wasn’t expensive at all! We only paid a nominal fee.
Read the text below.
Continued from Part 1…
A lot of trust is involved since Audrey pays for everyone first. Also, her neighbours collect the eggs on their own. So far, no one has taken more eggs than they’ve ordered. Only once did someone say that the large eggs she’d ordered were nowhere to be seen. A quick message in the group chat cleared things up. Another neighbor had sent her son to collect the eggs, and he had taken the wrong ones.
In many neighbourhoods throughout Singapore, such group buys have become increasingly common as the pandemic drags on. Containment measures have had an adverse effect on many businesses, especially when there was a ban on dining in. So many shops and eateries which never used to offer deliveries have started to take on group orders.
Every group buy is slightly different. Some hosts charge a nominal fee for the administrative work involved. However, Audrey and her neighbours have been doing it for free. “Our community spirit is pretty strong, and group buys have brought us closer together. Even after the pandemic is over, we hope to continue this regularly.” (Tan Ying Zhen)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
- A lot of trust is involved since Audrey pays for everyone first. In your opinion, what should happen if someone breaks the group’s trust (ex. the person should be kicked out, the group buys should end)? Do you think it’s easy to know who isn’t being honest? Why or why not? Discuss.
- Audrey says that their community spirit is pretty strong, and group buys have brought them closer together. Do you think it’s important to be close to your neighbors? What are other ways to bring neighbors closer together (ex. neighborhood festivals, official introductions when new people move in)? Why? Discuss.
- Some hosts charge a nominal fee for the administrative work involved. Do you think this is fair? If you were a host and decided to charge a nominal fee, how often would you ask people to pay it (ex. once every three months, once per order)? Why? Discuss.
- Audrey said that she and her neighbors hope to continue group buys regularly even after the pandemic is over. Do you think they’ll really continue them, or will most people slowly go back to their previous shopping habits? Why? Discuss.