Won’t break the bank?

中国日报网 2013-10-22 11:28



Won’t break the bank?

Reader question:

Please explain this headline: Ten travel destinations that won’t break the bank.

My comments:

That’s ten places to visit for you.

Ten places you can easily afford to go to, that is, without having to break into a bank and steal some money.

That’s exaggerating it quite a bit, I know. Perhaps more likely, you don’t even have to break your piggy bank – I’ll explain that in a minute – in order to pay for the tickets.

I read some tourist complaints online over costly travel during the October holidays. One of the bitterest gripes is over gate ticket prices at some of the better known sites. Total price for tickets (including for the main gate and smaller gates within – housing and displaying smaller shows and exhibitions) at one such site amounted to just a little less than 2,000 yuan, according to one report. That’s US300, almost enough for one of these bargain trips abroad.

Indeed, as domestic destinations are more expensive to go to, not to mention that they’re overcrowded, more and more people are finding a better deal going abroad.

Oh, the piggy bank. The piggy bank is the little ceramic container that serves as a savings bank for children (or adults when times are extremely hard). For children, they put their dimes and nickels into the tiny box to save for a rainy day, i.e. for buying an ice cream or a new school bag.

If they do use their savings in the piggy bank, though, they have to break the darn thing to do it, because there is no key to unlock a piggy bank. You have to literally break it to pieces in order to have your money back.

Hence the idea that if you have to break your piggy bank to buy something, then it is perhaps too expensive. Perhaps you should not buy it or you’d be left penniless and broke.

Now you’ll be able to remember the expression “break the bank”, I’m sure.

Piggy bank, though, is not the bank originally referred to in the expression “break the bank”. Originally, you see, “break the bank” is a gambling term, bank referring to the gambling table or, precisely, all the money the host has on it. The host is the dealer, sometimes called the banker. He puts on the table an amount of money for punters to bet against. Breaking the bank refers to the situation where a gambler get such a high winning number that the dealer doesn’t have enough money on the table to pay him. So he’ll have to dig into the casino house reserve in order to pay up.

Hence, from there, “breaking a bank” creeps into everyday language and is now used to describe any situation that’s financially ruinous.

Here are more examples:

1. Teresa Medina’s search to find an affordable outlet for her children this summer ended at Tyler’s P.T. Cole Park.

“We have fun, too, with them you know,” says Medina. Five playgrounds, five days a week, two Tyler recreation leaders strong wear the kids out with fun from 9 in the morning to 3.

“I just tell her let’s go to the park,” says Teresita, Medina’s daughter. The climbing and sliding will give parents a break, but it won’t break the bank... it’s free.

“It’s a whole bunch of exercise and stuff so kids can enjoy themselves instead of staying in the house,” says Brandon Johnson, 13-years old.

- Kids’ Summer Programs that Don’t Break the Bank, KLTV.com, June 12, 2002.

2. Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to have joined Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in monitoring the Serbia international’s progress with a view to a move this summer.

The 21-year-old centre-back is regarded as one of the best young defenders in world football.

But Dortmund have warned United and all of the Premier League’s finest that they will have to break the bank to land the Bundesliga club’s prize asset.

Executive Director Jans Joachim Watzke said: “Selling Neven Subotic is a non-issue.

“If Manchester United is wanting him they would need to sign over a property of two oil fields to us.

“Or at least two big trucks full of packaged pound notes.”

- Man United told they will have to break the bank to land Dortmund target, MirrorFootball.com, April 29, 2010.

3. Researchers from the University of Mississippi analyzed chicken nuggets from 2 national food chains and discovered the truth behind what we feed our children. The majority of the nugget is not chicken meat, but is composed of fat, skin tissue, bone, nerve and blood vessels.

Dr. Richard deShazo of the University is quoted “While all edible, the ingredients don’t add up to a good choice.” Dr. deShazo was “astonished” to see what was actually under the microscope. This is a picture of the microscopic findings. The study was published online in the American Journal of Medicine.

My stomach turned just reading about it! And to think this is often the most popular item on children’s menus in restaurants.

When I talk to my families about nutrition, I actually talk about nuggets. I understand the advantage of ordering off the kids’ menu. The portion sizes are appropriate and the price is right.

I suggest that families ask the waiter for a similar sized portion of grilled chicken, and instead of fries, ask for the vegetable of the day. There is almost always a vegetable of the day or side of fruit available as an alternative.

The team from the University of Mississippi found that chicken nuggets are often “a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat.” This is a not a healthy choice. Unfortunately, these nuggets are tasty and they are marketed to children and families.

I talk about nutrition at every patient visit. I start these discussions when the baby is first born and I discuss the diet that mom will need for a healthy supply of breastmilk. I am always reminding families that we are what we eat.

During office visits, I have been known to share recipes, shopping tips, and “working mom” shortcuts. There are healthy options that are time savers and do not have to break the bank. Beans, meat, fish, whole grains, vegetables and fruits can provide the nutrients your children need to grow and thrive.

- Shocking news about your kid’s favorite food, By Dr. Lisa Dana, Blogs.BabyCenter.com, October 6, 2013.




About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.



Can’t shoot straight?

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(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑:陈丹妮)




















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