Today’s English expression is “spring up.” To spring up means to suddenly appear.
A weed is a great example of “spring up.” If you have a well-manicured lawn or even a driveway or a sidewalk, you might be disappointed one day to see weeds spring up. Weeds suddenly appear. You don’t plant them. And you don’t see them slowly peek out of the ground. Nope, they spring up. They suddenly appear.
In today’s lesson, we talked about the popularity of e-mail newsletters . A lot of traditional media companies are offering them, but new companies are springing up to offer newsletters exclusively. I gave you two examples: The Skimm and Morning Brew. They’re not exactly new; the Skimm started in 2012 and Morning Brew in 2015. But when they started, they appeared out of nowhere. Who would have thought that you could create a whole media company based on free newsletters?
Here’s a great example of “spring up.” Guess what started springing up in city centers during the pandemic? If you said “testing centers,” you’re right. Walking around Chicago and some of the cities in Europe I visited, I saw COVID testing centers with long lines outside. Before, we didn’t have any testing centers. Now, they’re everywhere. Testing centers have been springing up.
If you live in a big city with a lot of small businesses, you might have noticed that coworking offices have been springing up. These are small, shared offices for freelancers and small businesses. They offer the amenities of a real office, without the commitment or hassle. It’s great for individuals or small teams. Years ago, this sort of place didn’t exist. But in the last five to ten years, coworking spaces have been springing up in cities from New York to Bali, Sao Paulo to Cairo.
We can talk about this with buildings, too. In the case of a building, it only seems sudden; it's not like a weed that grows overnight. But with “spring up,” it’s all about speed compared to your expectation. You expect the occasional building to go up now and then. But if a lot of new projects are developed in a short period of time, you can say that buildings are “springing up.”
Have you ever lived in a place where new infrastructure was announced? For example, when a new train line is planned, new buildings spring up along the rail line, usually apartments and retail shops. If a lot of people are moving to a new area, new homes might spring up too. After enough people move in, shopping centers will also spring up. They’ll appear suddenly.
Quote of the Week
It’s time for today’s quote of the week. Today it’s by the writer Cassandra Clare. She says, “Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact.” In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I read a couple of great books—well, I finished one and read two more. One night I stayed up until after 2:00 in the morning because I just couldn’t put one book down. They were all fiction. But what I like about them is that they had an element of truth about human nature and emotions in them, even if the stories were made up. And that’s what this quote is about. “Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact,” says Cassandra Clare.
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All right, coming up on Thursday, I took a test drive of a Tesla and I’m going to tell you all about it. JR came along with me, so Thursday’s lesson and next Monday’s lesson will be all about my experience behind the wheel and JR’s experience in the copilot’s seat. I can’t wait to tell you what JR said as soon as we got out of the car. That’s on Thursday here at Plain English… see you then.