English In Use – Mortar Worry About

A selection of headlines from stories in the news. They use English in a way that you might think is intended to confuse but it’s all perfectly clear to the native speaker.

We are a bit health and safety mad in the UK, and this is well illustrated in the news story that the University of East Anglia has banned graduates from throwing their caps in the air during their graduation ceremony, citing it as an unacceptable risk. (Seemingly a number of people had been hurt by falling hats in recent years.)

However, they have come up with a unique solution to the disappointment students might feel at being unable to partake in this ancient tradtion.  They are offering to photoshop the hats in at a later date: they simply have to mime the act when the photographs are being taken.

The traditional black caps worn are called mortarboards, hence the headline “Mortar worry about”, which can be made to sound like “More to worry about”.

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I am a director of the Learn English Network. A non-profit organisation registered in the UK dedicated to helping people learning English and people who teach English online.

Learn English 2019