I used the word crush in the recent text about leopards, when referring to the stronger jaguars that inhabit the Americas. I wrote that jaguars, unlike leopards, can crush the skull of an animal. And I explained that to crush means to press or squeeze with a force strong enough to destroy.
Elephants used to be used as executioners in many Asian countries until the beginning of the 1900s. And even before that, the Romans used elephants as executioners also. Elephants were trained to execute prisoners in a curious variety of ways, but the simplest form was to place the condemned person’s head on a pedestal, and then the elephant would simply crush the head of the victim with one foot. The takeover of the British Empire resulted in the decline and eventual end of death by elephants in most of the world.
We crush garlic with the flat side of a knife to release more flavor.
We recycle our bottles so they can be crushed and reused for all kinds of things such as concrete, cement and even sand.
We save our cans, and crushers in recycling plants flatten them. Then they are made into new cans, bicycles, and airplane parts, among other things.
We avoid getting crushed in elevators by using our elbows.
Concrete is commonly recycled with impact crushers, reducing construction costs and eliminating rubble.
Used asphalt, when crushed, is 100% recyclable and a serious investment in sustainable development.
Some of us still like Orange Crush, a soft drink that was launched in 1911, and was originally bottled with a bit of crushed orange pulp.
While in South Africa, we learned that elephants, although they look like they’re always smiling, occasionally crush cars. Our vehicle was chased by a young elephant once, but he did not seem to want to crush us.
Crushing seems to be a much-practiced verb all over Africa. Snakes crush lions.
Hippopotamuses (or hippopotami) can crush the spinal vein of a crocodile in just one bite. We learned that hippos kill more people than any other animal in South Africa. But they are vegetarians and never eat the tourists they kill.
Mother rhinoceroses have to be very careful not to crush their calves when they are nursing.
A Kruger Park leopard trying to figure out which part of a porcupine to crush in order to stop it from crossing the road and become a meal.
But none of the above examples illustrate the way crush has recently been incorporated into the Portuguese language. Young people are using crush as a noun to describe a kind of infatuation, just the same as it has always been used in English. So and so has a crush on that boy or girl. To have a crush is to be infatuated with someone, and usually that person doesn’t even know. To have a crush on someone is to have a strong desire to be with someone who you feel is very special and/ or very attractive. It could be a classmate, a movie star, a sports star, a singer, or just the person who serves you in your favorite smoothie bar. Young people used to get crushes on their teachers, but nowadays they have replaced teachers by finding beautiful celebrities in their cell phone to have crushes on. But it’s not only a teenage thing. Grown women get crushes on their doctors and priests, and grown men get crushes on their personal trainers and young trainees in their workplaces. But nothing ever comes of these crushes, which is the good thing about crushes. They’re innocent, they’re intense, and they’re short-lived.
A Betsy é muito mais que uma professora de inglês. É uma conselheira, humorista, terapeuta, amiga! Tem uma qualidade que me encanta: a Curiosidade. Se interessa por tudo! E mais do que isso, procura se inteirar daquilo de novo que aprendeu e acaba te ensinando outro ponto de vista mais interessante sobre aquilo. Está sempre antenada ao que ocorre no Mundo e no Brasil. O melhor de tudo, é que passa todo o seu conhecimento com uma leveza e um humor fora do comum. Estar com a Betsy é muito bom. Acompanhar suas publicações online, vai ser melhor ainda!
Betsy is the best english teacher I’ve ever had! Her classes are always an amazing experience. She guides our conversation with different and interesting topics each day, what allows us not only to improve the vocabulary but also learn/ discuss about other cultures and subjects. I know I’m going to be totally addicted to this blog!
Meu compromisso semanal com a Betsy não pode ser considerado uma aula, e sim um momento onde dois amigos conversam, em inglês, sobre assuntos variado do dia a dia. Ela é uma pessoa muito atualizada, antenada no que acontece no mundo e em nossa cidade, e sempre traz seu ponto de vista sobre algum tema que debatemos. O que mais me impressiona é que a Betsy nunca vai para uma aula sem prepara-la, sem que tenha pesquisado e buscado textos e informações que muito acrescentam, tanto no idioma quanto no conhecimento geral. É um grande prazer poder usufruir de uma companhia tão agradável, e que não está preocupa somente em ensinar o idioma, mas que procura debater temas e assuntos do nosso cotidiano. Considero um privilégio este momento com ela, e somente tenho a agradecer sua dedicação e seu comprometimento.
I have known Betsy for a long time, and in all these years I have learned so much from her… not just English, but from her vast experience as a teacher and as a person. Being an excellent teacher is not just about knowing your subject perfectly (which is of course the case since English is her first language) but also about loving to learn and to relate to people from all kinds of backgrounds and ages. I had as much fun in her classes as a nerdy Star Wars / Elvis teen fan as I do now as busy working grown up!