Posted by: Idioma Extra | February 2, 2010

Tuesday’s News

Thursday is the final day
for political advertising


The 2010 election season is coming to a close. The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones has decreed that Thursday will be the last day for political advertisements.

The last day for public assemblies was Sunday, so both Laura Chinchilla of the Partido Liberación Nacional and Otto Guevara of Movimiento Libertario held rallies. Ms. Chinchilla assembled her supporters on Paseo Colón, and Guevara was in Desamparados.

The rallies are big production numbers that include entertainment and a speech by the candidate.

Ms. Chinchilla and Guevara are considered to be in the first and second position in the public mind, but Ottón Solís of Acción Ciudadana has taken again to the television with last-minute ads. His support might be underrated.

Guevara has conducted an aggressive campaign. Ms. Chinchilla, as the administration favorite, has had to be more moderate, defending what has taken place in the last four years while she was associated with the Óscar Arias Sánchez administration.

The Tribunal enforces some unusual rules at election time. For example, the sitting president is not allowed to make an endorsement, and Arias has been criticized every time he says or does something positive. Among these events are the inauguration of the San José-Caldera highway and a tour he took through the nearly completed new Hospital de Heredia last week.

The irony of the Tribunal restricting free speech and the right to assemble and promote candidates on behalf of democratic elections has never been addressed.

But alcohol became a topic Monday. A Tribunal spokesman said that anyone who shows up at the polls intoxicated will not be allowed to vote. This is the first year that a dry law has not been put into effect during the days around the election. But the legal grounds for preventing someone from voting because election workers think he or she is intoxicated has not been made clear. Nor has the amount of alcohol that would bar someone from exercising their rights been discussed.

Expats are happy because every four years the first round of elections falls on the same day as the U.S. football Superbowl, and bars and restaurants had to scurry to sidestep the dry law.

In the event that a candidate does not obtain 40 percent of the vote, a second round of voting between the top two finishers will be held in April.

Word of the Day

Main Entry: bar
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): barred; bar·ring
Date: 13th century
1 a : to fasten with a bar
b : to place bars across to prevent ingress or egress <bar the door>
2 : to mark with bars : stripe
3 a : to confine or shut in by or as if by bars
b : to set aside : rule out <did not bar the possibility of further measures>
c : to keep out : exclude <barring him from the club>
4 a : to interpose legal objection to or to the claim of
b : prevent, forbid <a decision barring his participation>

More Vocabulary

Decree: v. to determine or order judicially
Endorsement: n. the act of expressing support or approval of publicly and definitely
Rally: n. a mass meeting intended to arouse group enthusiasm
Scurry: v. to go or move quickly or in haste
Sidestep: v. to evade or avoid a decision, problem, or the like
Underrated: adj. undervalued or underestimated

Love those Phrasal Verbs!

show up: to appear

     We couldn’t believe it when our boss showed up 40 minutes late to the meeting.

Emailing Phrases

Below are some phrases used in business emails in English. To learn more phrases and expressions, consider Idioma Internacional’s AFD 450 Emailing and Business Communication Course!


Dear Jim,
Dear Mr. Smith, (more formal)
Hey there, (very informal)
Hi Jim, (informal)


Best regards,
Talk to you soon, (slightly informal)
Cheers, (informal)

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