On Dec 21, 2006, at 12:07 PM, Hana Viansová wrote:
> Yes, pageant! :-) Thank you, Valerie and Jamie. If you can spare a
> minute, Jamie, why don't state schools have them any more?
Well, they can have Christmas pageants -- or more likely they'll be
"holiday pageants" -- but they probably can't have nativity plays.
That's because of an imaginary separation of state and religion,
which some groups with lawyers claim is in the constitution but
isn't. The constitution says that the government is forbidden to
establish a state church, and some people who can cause a lot of
legal trouble think that it means that no display of anything
religious can exist in a public school. It's so weird that some kids
have been suspended for reading the Bible to themselves in school
during their spare time. There's no law forbidding that, but some
teachers think there is, and so the kid gets into trouble.
The most obvious effect of this that I saw when I was a child was
that in kindergarten, when we received a treat or some food, the
teacher led us in a simple prayer that would not offend people from
any religion, but by the time I was in first grade it was illegal.
Now it gets so extreme that in some states the American history books
don't even mention anywhere that the Pilgrims, the Puritans and
others came to North America for religious freedom.
> And another term I've just remembered: kauce. Obviously you'd need
> to pay bail to get out of prison, but what about when you pay, say
> a deposit when you're moving into a new apartment? I suppose
> deposit or first/last rent would do, but my students often argue
> that dictionaries say "caution" or "caution money" (without
> context, of course). Would you ever use "caution" to mean money? In
> what contexts?
In the US we call the money provided before moving into an apartment
a "security deposit". It's not the same as the first or last month's
rent, because a lot of property owners require that the renter come
up with both the security deposit and the first month's rent before
"Kauce" in court for a criminal is "bail" or "bond" in the US. I see
no American definition anywhere for "caution money", and I thought it
was Czenglish until I googled it and found that it is some kind of
security deposit when entering some kind of educational institution
in the UK. The term is not understandable internationally, though,
and I'd recommend students not use it unless they are talking about
schools in the UK to residents of the UK.