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There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

November by Walter de la Mare
Learn English in November

Monday Night Owls - 24 September 2018 - Learning when to cut your losses

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,255 Teacher
We read an article about when it's better to stop doing something, even though you might be losing:


Vocabulary Top 10:

cut your losses - to stop an activity, business, etc., that is failing in order to prevent more losses or damage

pop down - to go to or from a place quickly, suddenly, or briefly

aversion - a strong feeling of not liking something

loath - not wanting or willing to do something

U-turn - a complete change of ideas, plans, etc.

haemorrhage (money) - to lose (people, money, etc.) in a very fast and uncontrolled way

curtail - to reduce or limit (something)

pervasive - existing in every part of something : spreading to all parts of something

fallacy - a wrong belief : a false or mistaken idea

ramification - something that is the result of an action, decision, etc.

In these types of situations, do you find it easy to cut your losses? Or do you keep going?


  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    A verb "to dismantle" makes the sentence illogical to me. Did they mean that lawmakers have to struggle even with the wealth of evidence in their hands?
    Post edited by [Ex Member] on
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    "Yet despite the wealth of evidence that focusing on supply has done little to curtail drug abuse (and caused a host of terrible side effects) lawmakers would now struggle to dismantle this pervasive system."

  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Looks like lawmakers are good guys :) in some countries
    Post edited by [Ex Member] on
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,255 Teacher
    @Bobmendez It means that even though there is a lot of evidence showing that the system doesn't work, the lawmakers would have a lot of difficulty trying to end or change this system.

    Dismantle = to take something apart so that it is in separate pieces; to destroy (something) in an orderly way : to gradually cause (something) to come to an end
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    I read it yesterday before the session to get involved :smile:, but I overslept :neutral:
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,255 Teacher
    You must have needed that extra sleep @aladdin ! Why don't you share your thoughts about it here instead? ;)
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    edited September 2018
    Okay @NatashaT you know that my ability of writing is 1 out 10, but argumentative speaking, I think it crossed the 7. But I'm gonna try :smile: to write something here :dizzy:
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,072 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Whatever questions be asked, there will always be at disposal, some saying, appropriately drawn from the folk wisdom.

    In this case you could opt for the following for instance: failing is a human prerogative, while perseverance is an attitude more appropriate for a demon, is diabolic.

    Nevertheless, we could also choose this other one, which stands in contrast to the former: no pain, no gain: if you don't risk anything, you're going to come back emptyhanded.

    We have an attitude to stick to an activity, even when all clues, evidences are there waving and shouting to us that we had better giving up, quit straightaway.

    But it turns out it isn't that easy, though: maybe we have already poured into it plenty of money, efforts and yourself with all your heart as well.

    So it's difficult to pull the plug on the engagement sometimes; you don't want to seem stupid for having wasted time, efforts, money into something which eventually burst out and vanished as a soap bubble.

    Neither want you to be held a loser in front of your friends, colleagues, relatives or just your partner. So you put even more fresh energies and resources into a project which inexorably gets all the odds of being doomed.

    I believe, though, that is some fields, such as biological research, you need people dogged, stubborn, who never loosen their grip on their experiments until they succeed to get a step beyond for the progress of our current knowledge.

    You want people who keep fighting despite a probable and likely prolonged failing streak: nothing revolutionary has ever come easy, I suppose, unless it came as an exception which confirms the rule.

    So the research hystory is probably full of people who spent all days bent on their microscopes, trying to get a magnified visualization of a specific virus or bacterium killer.

    In doing so, these people hold theirs a mission, they probably damage their social life, relationships, family too; besides they were made fun of by their skeptical and snobbish colleagues for sticking to just the route they all already dismissed.

    These discoverers of new ways of medicines, as well as the great sailors discoverers of new lands, both had a clear vision and a sixth-sense which keep whispering them not to give up and keep going on, regardless of any however painful losses along the way.

    Many advancements in science were possible by the fact none of them got persuaded to cut their losses midway through.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,255 Teacher
    I think that's what makes this so difficult, @filauzio - how do we know when it's the right time to say 'enough is enough' and stop something? How do we know that we won't discover a new cure if we just keep going for a little longer? We also idolise those stories about the people who don't give up, who keep going even after they have lost nearly everything - but only if the story has a happy ending, of course. But how do we know whether there will be a happy ending or not?

    This is where a crystal ball that sees into the future would come in handy :D
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,255 Teacher
    @aladdin you haven't given up on sharing your thoughts here, have you? ;) This is one case where I think you should keep going!
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,072 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're right @NatashaT, it's difficult to predict an happy ending, unless you were a celebrities in an Holliwood movie, or an anthropomorphised character in a Disney cartoon movie.
    In real life, you always have to find your bearings, be sure you have a sustainable financial situation, and never bite off more than you can chew.
    Even so, though, life belongs to whoever dare to taste it and give it a try, whatever the final cost. Advancement and progress in any fields, don't fit shy people, I'm afraid.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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