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English Pronunciation News: The Debt Ceiling

Watch the video and read the news for 7/5/2011. This news report focuses on vowel sounds and idioms. Learn the news and study American English pronunciation. Read other English pronunciation news reports.

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This news report discusses the definition of the debt ceiling. Every day, the federal government spends more money than it takes in. It makes up the difference by borrowing money. Every day, the government debt increases. In August, the federal debt will rise above 14.3 trillion dollars. A law from 1917, which has been updated many times since, caps the debt at 14.3 trillion. This number is not set in stone, however. This August, the government will  have to decide between raising the debt ceiling and crunching the numbers or balancing the budget.

Study the Words

Noun Form
debt ceiling (DET SEE-ling)
limit of acceptable debt
law (LAH)
rules of society
August (AH-gust)
the month
caps (CAPS)
sets the limit
set in stone (SE-din-stone)
decided, permanent
say also, "not set in stone," meaning "can change"
crunch the numbers
do the accounting or financial calculations
take in (TA-kin) pronounce a common phrase as one word
1) receive as proceeds
2) reduce in size, i.e. "take in pants"
3) understand, i.e. "I was able to take in everything."
4) being deceived, i.e. "I was taken in by that guy."
make up (MA-kup) pronounce a common phrase as one word 1) to compensate for, to provide for a lack
2) to change one's appearance, "i.e. the actor made himself up to look old."
3) to repeat a class, "i.e. she is making up her algebra class."
4) to resolve a conflict, i.e. "we were arguing--then we decided to make up."

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