Jettison

A rather colourful nautical term that means to throw something overboard from a plane or ship.

jettison fuel

The emergency with the seriously ill patient meant an emergency landing was called for. To do so, the plane circled over the sea jettisoning its excess fuel.

But we use it a lot to discard plans or belongings we know longer need.

Betty and Benny jettisoned the idea of a transatlantic wedding when the costs of plane fares and accommodation became prohibitive.

jettison suite

Mark jettisoned his old lounge suite and chairs and replaced them with a futon and a low coffee table.

I like jettison as it brings a little colour to the language and especially to a word which may have negative connotations.

When the rubber meets the road

rubber-meets-road

Time spent recently with North Americans reminded me of some of the idioms they are fond of. Being such mobile societies, you find plenty of examples of driving language in everyday speech.

When the rubber meets the road (sometimes seen as where the rubber hits the road) refers to the moment when you test an idea or plan in real conditions. It is like taking a car for a test drive. It may look nice but you don’t really know how it handles the road until you get in it and take it for a drive. The rubber refers to the tyres.

We won’t know if the upgraded system works until we go online with it. That’s when the rubber meets the road.

I don’t know how the new employee will shape up yet. Once the new season starts and we are operating at full capacity, that’s when the rubber meets the road and we’ll see if she has what it takes.

Alight

The number one meaning for this word as an adjective is clearly: on fire, illuminated, lit up.

aflame

By the time the fire brigade got to the old house, it was completely alight.

 What always amused me as a child was to see this word used as a verb  to mean get off or out of transport, usually public transport. It is a rather formal almost jargon-like term often used to give a legal tone.

alight

Push button to alight.

Alighting passengers should use the rear exit.

The press are at the convention centre waiting for the President to alight.

By now you will realise that this word has to do with lighten or make less heavy, but in my young mind I started to see my fellow passengers bursting into flames.

Dry Port

dry-port-wine

Many of you may think of a dry port wine with this combination of words, but in fact there is a new concept being used here.

A dry port is also an inland port or transport terminal where cargo is handled and import/export and customs procedures are performed before the cargo actually goes to the sea port. In some cases, it is more convenient to do this in a dry port as it is nearer to a big commercial city or there is more space to store containers, etc than in the sea port zone.

Our city also has a dry port with direct connections to two maritime ports and three railway corridors so it is an excellent place to start your new export business.

dry-port

Safer too! As we say in English – Any port in a storm!