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“Nail House” Is A Neologism

Nail house

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • neologism: a newly coined word or expression
  • hold out: refuse to reach an agreement until certain terms are met
  • die out: to disappear or fall out of use over time
  • stubborn: unwilling to change one’s mind
  • seizure: the act of forcefully removing someone’s property 
  • isolated: alone
  • compensation: payment to cover one’s losses
  • uninhabitable: not suitable for living in

“Nail House” Is A Neologism

A neologism is a new word or that is not in common use. Some newly coined words end up in the dictionary while others die out. The term “nail house” is one example of a neologism. In , a nail house belongs to a stubborn homeowner who refuses to give up his home for a development project. The homes are called “nail houses” because they stick out of the ground like a nail out of a piece of wood. Nail houses are becoming more popular due to a property law that was passed in China in 2007. The law prohibits land seizures by the government unless it is in the interest. There are several reasons why Chinese home owners may hold out on selling. Some home owners are simply resistant to development. Others disagree with the of compensation a developer offers. There may also be sentimental value if a home has been in a family for many generations. These isolated homes often become uninhabitable. Utilities, including water and electricity, are cut off, and surrounding roads are removed.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is a neologism?
  2. Where did the term “nail house” come from?
  3. What often happens to occupants in China who hold out on selling to developers?

Discussion Questions: Should people be forced to give up their homes for development projects? Would you hold out if a developer tried to force you out of your home right now?

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