[64] Virgin Galactic and other space tourism operators plan to start sub-orbital tourist flights


Virgin Galactic and other space tourism operators plan to start sub-orbital tourist flights from the years 2013 and 2014. Travellers should expect to pay several hundreds of thousands of dollars for a two-hour journey that includes only a few minutes of actual sub-orbital flight.


sandwich generation

Donna: This weekend I have to take my mother to the hospital for her checkup, and I also have to take my kids to the dentist. Sometimes I feel like a taxi driver for my family.

Antonio: That situation is typical for people in their thirties and forties. Get used to it. You’re part of the sandwich generation.

Explanation: The sandwich generation is a phrase that describes people who are in the middle of the “sandwich” and have to take care of the parents above them and also the children below them. We can say that they are “sandwiched” between two other generations.



Nurse: I’m sorry, doctor, but we need you to come back to the Emergency Room immediately. One of your patients came in again.

Doctor Stevens: What happened?

Nurse: The patient said they felt better after treatment, but now they bounced back. They’re complaining of severe stomach pains again.

Explanation: A bounceback is a patient who left the hospital after treatment, but then returned again. We say “the patient bounced back” or “we have a bounceback in the ER.” It may be the result of improper treatment, or a psychological problem with the patient. Some patients go to the emergency room for even minor problems.


top-drawer brand

Dear Elena:

Let’s try to meet with Hossein this week. The company he works for is a top-drawer brand in the audio industry.

Explanation: If we say that a company or brand is “top-drawer,” we mean that it is top-quality with a good product and a good reputation.