January 24, 2018
Monday, March 3, 2014

Loose lips sink ships

By Pablo Toledo
For the Herald

Teen's Facebook post costs her dad $80,000

So Dana Snay, a Miami teen-ager, is probably in big trouble right now. As the Miami Herald reports, an appeals court (1) just tossed out (2) her father's US$80,000 age discrimination settlement because she violated the confidentiality agreement by bragging (3) about it on Facebook (full report in The offending post:

Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.

"TMI (*) (4)," cried Gulliver's lawyers. Patrick Snay had served as headmaster for the Gulliver Preparatory School for years when they chose not to renew his contract. He sued (5) and settled (5), but only on the condition that he and his wife keep the "terms and existence" of the agreement private. So the infractions here were two-fold: Snay divulging the deal to his daughter and his daughter broadcasting it to all her "friends."

What can we learn from their misfortune, fellow millennials? Do not boast. Do not mess with attorneys. Do not over-share on social media, especially when you're not even going on a European vacation. (Snay was joking.) In fairness, secrets, especially happy ones, have always been difficult to keep — throwing Facebook into the mix just raises the stakes. (Something about that hypnotically soothing (6) blue banner and gentle invitation — what's on your mind? — wreaks havoc (7) on your inhibitions.) Maybe, in fact, it's not Dana's fault, but Facebook's fault. Facebook: You should pay up. What's US$3,478 per word to Mark Zuckerberg?

By Katy Waldman, Slate.


Appeal(s) court (1)
In most legal systems, there are three levels: a trial court that first determines the facts of the case and issues a ruling, an appelas court (or appeal court in the UK, also court of appeals or appellate court) that can reevaluate the case, and a supreme court that reviews the decisions of the appeals court.

To toss out (2)
To toss means to throw carelessly (without much consideration). To toss out means to discard something – in this case, the appeals court did not file in favour of the Snays. In UK English, you don't give a toss about something when you don't care about it (slang, slightly rude).

To brag / To boast (3)
Both verbs mean to talk too proudly about something you have done or that you have.

TMI (4)
In social networks and texting, the acronym TMI stands for “Too Much Information”, used when somebody shares more information than you needed (or, indeed, wanted) to know.

To sue / To settle (5)
To sue is to accuse someone of doing something against them a case to court of law. This would normally end in a verdict from the judge, but the two parties can decide to settle the case out of court, agreeing on a resolution without the judge getting involved.

To soothe is to make a nervous or anxious person feel calmer. The adjective “soothing” describes something that soothes you.

Havoc (7)
Havoc is a situation of general chaos and destruction – but you will find it mostly in the expressions: something can play havoc with or wreak havoc on something else.


(*) TMI? OMG!

If “TMI” baffled you, then you're probably too old! Texting, chatting and social networks are full of acronyms and shortened/adapted words. When you are chatting on a computer there is no time to type a full phrase, and if you are using a cellphone the keypad is too uncomfortable to use even full words, so the key to texting is finding shorter ways of writing.

One of the ways to do this is to use the sound of letters like C, R or U and numbers like 2, 4 and 8 to shorten words: “R U busy @nite?” (Are you busy tonight), “C U 2morro” (see you tomorrow), “B4” (before), “Gr8” (great), “C U L8r” (See you later).

Another is to use acronyms – lots of them, sometimes very complex ones. Some favourites are “BTW”(by the way), “IMHO” (in my humble opinion), “AFAIK” (as far as I know), “LOL” (laughing out loud, also LMAO for laughing my a** off), OMG (oh my God), TTYL (talk to you later) or TYVM (thank you very much), but new ones are created every day and you can make up your own too – as long as whoever is reading understands, it's all fair game!

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