Brazil is having yo-yo temperatures this winter with almost daily temperature fluctuations caused by climate change. It seems that winter simply can’t stand firm and the variability of temperatures have resulted in people frequently putting blankets on their beds and then removing them the next day. We need to know the names of the removable things we use to stay warm because many of them are being sold using their English or French names instead of Portuguese names.
A large piece of material that keeps a person warm and covered when in bed, most often made from wool, woven acrylic, polyester, cotton, microfleece, microfiber or fleece. Small children often have favorite blankets that they keep close for comfort as well as warmth, and they call them blankies.
A large, soft, fluffy, blanket-like bed covering filled with either feathers or some synthetic fiber for extra warmth. The filling is stitched into place to keep it evenly distributed. Comforters are usually used on top of a set of sheets, like a blanket, and they are light and bring you comfort, as the name implies.
A large bed covering in the form of a flat envelope, much like a giant pillowcase. Inside, there is a fluffy removable filling of feathers, wool, or a synthetic alternative. The word duvet comes from the French word for down, which is the soft under-plumage of birds; duvets come in different weights, which you might want to keep in your linen closet to fit the seasons. Duvets are usually white, and almost always plain. They are used on top of the bottom bed sheet, and no top sheet is used; they are usually sold with pillowcases. The duvet cover is changed and washed along with the bottom sheet. Interestingly, couples usually share a bottom sheet, but each person has his or her own duvet. Duvets are a European style, and greatly simplify bed-making.
The name comes from the Eider Duck, a sea duck that is mostly found on the coasts of Siberia, Iceland, Europe and North America. Eider down has no feathers or quills, making it exceptionally soft. It is resistant to repeated compression and insulates much better than goose down, wool or any synthetic fiber. The down is taken from the female Eider duck, and because it is rare, it is also costly. But its durability is unequaled by any other down. And it has an amazing ability to adjust to temperature, so it keeps you warm when it’s cold and cooler when it’s warm.
Quilts are generally much flatter than comforters, duvets and eiderdowns. But they are multilayered, with the middle padding held in place by stitched designs. Generally, they are not fluffy. However, their patterns make up for their lack of fluffiness; the stitching can be the decorative element, or the top layer can be pieced together with a patchwork of smaller fabric pieces, forming a design.
In British English, a rug is a small blanket used to keep shoulders or laps warm. Sometimes they are called lap rugs. They are not usually used on beds, but instead for napping or reading in a chair.
Throws, like rugs, are used for partial-body warmth. They also keep your shoulders and laps warm, but they are also commonly used as accessories for decorating. Throws are usually draped over an easy chair or a couch.
FYI is an acronym, and an acronym is a word formed by combining the first letters of each word of a name, such as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) that is frequently seen in the news. Another one you probably know is AIDS, which is an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Sometimes acronyms are pronounced as a word as in NATO and AIDS, and sometimes the letters are pronounced individually, such as FYI (for your information). And most of the time they are not even pronounced, as they are used mostly in social media, business communication and Internet. But we do hear CNN (Cable News Network) reporters saying ASAP frequently, which means As Soon As Possible and is hard to pronounce.
Sometimes acronyms become words, such as the word scuba. Everybody knows that word, but few know it started out as an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
Another acronym that became a word is laser, which began as the acronym Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Most of us are very pleased that these two words became acronyms.
For now, try to incorporate FYI and ASAP into your daily communications, and don’t spend too much time remembering what AIDS and LASER and SCUBA really mean. But you should be able to recognize NATO as it has become a big issue in North America and Europe.
Here are six business acronyms that you should know if you are a businessperson, and maybe aspire to if you are in middle management. Which one would be the lowest stress and the highest salary?