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An iPhone – up-to-date technology. Picture by Niels van Eck/flickr.

today’s podcast, I am going to talk about the English word
“up-to-date”. Well, it is really three words – “up”, “to” and “date” –
normally we spell it with hyphens in between – but we can think of
“up-to-date” as a single word. “Up-to-date” is an adjective. It means
“having the latest information or ideas”. We can say that something, or
someone, is “up-to-date”.

I will give you some examples in
a minute. But first, you need to know that the opposite of “up-to-date”
is “out-of-date”. If something is out-of-date, it does not contain the
latest information or ideas. Sometimes it means “old fashioned” or “no
longer valid”.

Lets look at some examples.

as you know, is mad keen about football. Often on Saturday he goes to
see his team play. But he also want to know what is happening in the
other football matches that are taking place at the same time. So he
gets text messages on his mobile phone, to give him the latest scores
in the other matches. Kevin likes to be up-to-date. The text messages
keep Kevin up-to-date with the other football matches.

is planning to go on a picnic with some friends. Will the weather by
OK, or will it rain? The weather forecast yesterday was that the
weather today would be cloudy but dry. but perhaps that weather
forecast is now out-of-date. So Joanne listens to the weather forecast
on the radio to get up-to-date information about the weather. The
weather forecast still says that the weather will be cloudy but dry, so
Joanne and her friends set off for their picnic. However, they get
lost, because they are using an out-of-date map, which does not show
some roads which have been built in the last ten years.

John loves technology, or – rather – he loves technological gadgets
which do clever things. Not all of these gadgets are useful, but John
loves them anyway. He has just bought the latest, the most up-to-date
iPhone. Is an iPhone useful, or is it just a gadget? I don’t know!

has some important exams at the end of the year. She also has to
complete a project to show to the examiners. Her teacher asks her, “Are
you up-to-date with your project?” That means, have you done everything
you should have done by now? If Mary’s work is not up-to-date, we say
that she is “behind” with her work. She will have to work hard all
weekend in order to catch up.

thinks that it would be a great idea to go to Paris for the weekend
with some friends. But he can’t. His passport is out-of-date. That
means, it is no longer valid. He will need to get his passport renewed.

Kevin sees an advertisement for a job in the newspaper. It
looks attractive. It is closer to home, and it would pay more. The
advertisement says that he should send an up-to-date CV (CV stands for
curriculum vitae, which is Latin and means an list of the things that
you have done in your life – what school you went to, what you studied
at university, what jobs you have done – things like that.) The last
time that Kevin looked at his CV was three years ago, so the CV is
out-of-date. He needs to update his CV, by adding information for the
last three years. He needs to bring his CV up-to-date.

grandmother is 92 years old. Despite her age, she likes the latest pop
music, and she always watches the news on television, because she likes
to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world. Joanne’s
grandfather, however, has some very out-of-date attitudes – he wants to
bring back compulsory military service, for example, and thinks that
too many married women go out to work.

And finally, I looked
in my fridge a few minutes ago. There was some yoghurt at the back of
the fridge. The label on the yoghurt pot says “Best before 28 August”.
Today is 6 October. The yoghurt is out-of-date. Shall I eat the yoghurt
anyway? Maybe not.