Before we get to today’s word, you might have heard me use the phrasal verb “pit against.” Superheroes are often pitted against villains who themselves have supernatural powers. If you want to hear an explanation of “pit against” you can go back and listen to episode 17 of Plain English. Check out PlainEnglish.com/17 for that episode.
This week’s phrase is “staying power.” The Superman character has staying power because he was popular in 1938 and has remained popular throughout the years. You know how some things are popular for just a short period of time, and then people forget them? That’s the opposite of staying power.
Something has staying power if it endures. If it remains popular or effective or powerful over a long period of time. What else besides Superman has staying power? Some consumer brands have staying power. Think about Nike and Apple—those are brands that have been popular even as their industries have changed over the years.
Here’s another example: the tennis star Serena Williams has staying power in a number of ways. First, she has had a long and successful career as a tennis player. But she has transformed herself into a fashion icon, author, philanthropist, and has even appeared in movies and music videos. She is about to release a new documentary based on her life. She definitely has staying power, remaining in the public eye and staying active in many things beyond her tennis career.
That’s all for today’s episode of Plain English. If you enjoy listening to the episodes, you might like to be on the e-mail list. For each episode, I send out links to the English-language articles I use to prepare to show. So, if you’re interested in the main topic, you can read more about it in English by following the links I send out. If that sounds like it would be interesting to you, just go to PlainEnglish.com/mail and enter your details.
That’s all for now; see you Thursday.