Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's madness!

If something is madness, it’s preposterous, absurd, ridiculous, foolish, insane, stupid, irrational or outrageous. We say this when we want to express how appalled we are with something.

1. This comic strip is a rip-off (parody) of a scene from the movie, “300”, where Leonidas, the king of Sparta, refuses to submit to Xerxes, the King of Persia. Leonidas draws his sword on the Persian messenger, to which the messenger exclaims: “No man, Persian or Greek… no man threatens a messenger! This is blasphemy! This is madness!” Leonidas responds, “THIS… IS… SPARTA!!” and at that kicks the messenger into a deep well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyIhxxvvy1Y

2. In Syria the government is cracking down harshly on any public protests and gatherings. As of January 7th, UNICEF reports that 384 children have been killed in 10 months of violence, and just as many detained. More than 5,000 civilians have lost their lives so far in the Syrian uprising. It’s simply madness!

3. The United Nations Environment Program claims "An area of rainforest the size of a football field is being destroyed each second". Unbelievably, over 69,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day in the world. Experts estimate that at the current rate of destruction, the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. Experts also estimate that we are losing 130 species of plants, animals and insects every single day as they become extinct from the loss of rainforest habitats. Now that’s madness!

4. Worldhunger.org estimates that there are 925 million undernourished people in the world at the moment, which is 13.6 percent of the estimated world population of 6.8 billion. It’s absolute madness considering how many obese people there are in the world today. Surely there is enough for everyone to be well-fed!

5. It is utter madness that in this day and age, slavery still exists. It is believed there are nearly nine million children around the world today who are trapped in various forms of slavery from prostitution to industry: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/this_world/6458377.stm


  1. This idiom seems more difficult for me as I didn't quite get what cases I might use it in. But let me give it a try.

    The whole world has already heard about those two legislations in the USA, sopa and pipa, that could dramatically affect the internet worldwide. Basically, they set up presumption of guilt of any website's owner, because he/she may publish copyrighted materials. Internet users made the government to repeal the laws for now, when another threat has come, this time from the USE, with their acta draft law. This Is Utter MADNESS!

  2. Exactly Eugene...
    perfect context... especially when you are frustrated about something. Many people think that SOPA is absurd for a number of reasons. I haven't heard about the USE yet... what is it?

  3. At this moment of my learning journey, the post above is out of my reach.

  4. Well, Marcos... when you say that something is madness... it's the same as saying that it's crazy... "É uma loucura!"

  5. The main expression is Ok, but the examples are full of words I don't know! =]

    But all try reading it again in a few months. Thank you!

  6. Yes... I agree... there are more difficult words this time 'round. I actually use this material in my English classes... so it's actually good that my students won't know all the words... because therein lies the opportunity for us to discuss and learn these new words. I guess many of these words you'll find on channels like CNN etc.
    Don't be intimidated... it's just vocabulary!
    For example, "crack down" is a word that you will hear a dozen times if you sit down and watch international news in English at any given time. By the way... "crack down" is a phrasal verb, which is used when the ruling government of any country responds to/ opposes any form of demonstration/ manifestation in a forceful/ violent way, trying to get the public gatherings to disperse as soon as possible. They use tear gas, rubber bullets etc... and in the case of Syria, live ammunition. The Syrian government is cracking down on people who are trying to start a revolution.

  7. Frank, the USE is the United States of Europe

  8. Wow... first time I've heard of the USE... is it exactly the same as the European Union?

  9. Well, today was a really busy day. But now I've got some time to read a bit.

    Thank you Frank for the explanation. Maybe subscribing to the CNN on iTunes and start listening to these news would help me with this kind of vocabulary, right?

    See you!

  10. "Today was a busy day" is correct. You can also say, "Today has been a busy day". In the 2nd case, your day is not over yet. Both are good.

    Yep, I think Listening to CNN via iTunes (although I have no idea how to do it) sounds great. You might want to combine that with BBC to get a more balanced view of things though.

  11. Nice, Thank you.

    About the CNN podcast, I've just found it. Go to iTunes Store on iTunes, and search for "CNN podcast". Then, pick up the one and click on Subscribe. The same for BBC.

    There are audio and video podcasts. Nice! =]

  12. Yeah, the USE == the EU. I didn't invent it on my own, but heard it in the NoAgenda podcast: http://www.noagendashow.com/ I recommend you to listen to it, quite compelling.

  13. Every year salaries decrease in my country by the government, it's madness!!