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Aug 19, 2016

I found myself in Seattle for the third or fourth time this summer on Monday. It was time to take my cousin to the airport for his flight back to Mallorca. He had asked to go to the Boeing plant to see the planes being made. "Sounds like a good idea," I replied, remembering that, years ago, I had visited the second, smaller Boeing plant in the south of Seattle. We arrived at 4pm, early enough to look around the Museum of Flight. It is an impressive, modern display of the science behind flight, and how it is continually developing and improving. There were displays that people could interact with which demonstrated the physics of flying. Airplanes hung from the ceiling. A part of one plane was sliced open to show all the components of a typical plane. There was even a Lamborghini, yes a Lambourghini. It was there to demonstrate the need for aerodynamics in cars as well as planes. It also showed the advances in materials like carbon fiber. My cousin, my daughter, and her friend climbed into a flight simulator which was like an enclosed room that was elevated. Inside were the kind of seats you find on a plane, and in front of them was a large screen. The door was locked and suddenly the room started to move. I was watching from the outside. It went up and down, side to side, and then it started bumping and jerking forwards and suddenly dropping. I could hear noises coming from inside the room, like little squeals. From the outside, it didn't look like it was a very exciting ride. However, the employee who was manning the display turned on a screen so I could see what the people inside were watching. Their screen showed jet planes flying fast all over the world, and making drastic maneuvers. "Oh," I thought to myself. "That is why they are squealing!" Even though we had an hour before the tour started, we weren't able to do and see everything that the museum offered. The tour was about to start. We were going to be placed on a bus and driven to the biggest building in the world. 

1. 'Display' is both a noun and a verb. It means 'a show' or 'to show'.

a. The peacock gave a glorious display of its feathers.

b. The science competition in school will require the children to make displays about recycling.

2. 'Jerk' is also a verb and a noun. A 'jerk' is an insult for a person who is difficult and silly, and who makes life difficult for people. 'To jerk' is actually very different in meaning. It means to move sharply, in a choppy way.

a. That man is a real jerk; when he was in line at the bank, he started shouting, and then he cut to the front!

b. The brakes on my bicycle froze when I was riding, so it suddenly jerked forward and I fell off.

3. 'To man' is a very basic verb that means a person is employed to physically be somewhere, especially a vehicle or a place of work.

a. He will man the fishing boat because he is the most experienced.

b. The telephones are manned by volunteers who will take your donations for the charity.

italki for practice with native English teachers!