English Plus Podcast - Episode 142: Vocabulary Booster 7 & More

What’s included in episode 142: Vocabulary Booster 7 & More

In this episode, we will learn 20 new words, learn how to use whose, where and when in adjective clauses, learn something you probably didn’t know about Adolf Hitler, learn words and phrases from Gladiator and more. Here are the details below.

  1. Vocabulary Booster 7: Learn 20 new words with real-life examples, synonyms and antonyms, interactive activities and a PDF downloadable worksheet.
  2. Grammar Tip: Learn how to use whose, where and when in adjective clauses.
  3. Say It Right: Learn about the common mistakes people make when they use the verb ‘invent’.
  4. Between the Lines: Learn about some modern idioms.
  5. Spotlight: Learn something you didn’t know about Adolf Hitler.
  6. Movie School: Learn interesting words and phrases from Gladiator.
  7. Beyond Language: Listen to the poem ‘A Bullet’s Life’.

Episode 142: Vocabulary Booster 7 & More Audio

Episode 142: Vocabulary Booster 7 & More Transcript


Ben: English Plus Podcastis brought to you by Danny Ballan. Don’t forget to visit our website www.dannyballan.com to get the transcriptof this episode, interactive exercises and more.

Danny: Welcome to anew episode from English Plus Podcast. Today we have a rich program for you. Ihope you find what we’ve prepared interesting and useful.

Ben: We will startas usual with vocabulary booster. It will be vocabulary booster 7 with 20 newwords to learn in context with examples and of course interactive activities onQuizlet and a downloadable PDF with useful and fun exercises you can use tomake the new words you learn part of your permanent active vocabulary.

Danny: After that wewill continue with grammar tip, in which we will talk about using whose, whereand when in adjective clauses or what’s known more as relative clauses.

Ben: Our nextsection is Say It Right, where we will talk about common mistakes people makewhen they use the word invent.

Danny: Then we willhave Between the lines where we will talk about some modern idioms to use inyour everyday conversations.

Ben: The episodewill continue with Spotlight, and today we will learn about some interestingfacts about Hitler not many of you know and some interesting questions to posebased on what you will learn.

Danny: After that, we will have Movie School where we will learn someinteresting words and phrases from ‘Gladiator’ the movie.

Ben: And finally, we will wrap up the episode with Beyond Language wherewe will listen to a poem called ‘A Bullet’s Life’.

Danny: As you can see, we have a lot to cover in this episode, so withoutfurther ado, let’s get cracking. But before we start, I would like to remindyou that you can find a link in the description of the episode that will takeyou to our website where you will find the transcript of the episode and allthe useful links and downloadable material that will help you get the mostbenefit from this episode. And now let’s get to it and start with VocabularyBooster 7.

Vocabulary Booster

Danny: Let’s startwith the 20 new words we will learn today. What words are we going to learntoday, Ben?

Ben: Well, our wordsfor today are ‘authorize, culprit, dawdle, dissect, expend, fatality, gullible,illicit, immerse, inflammatory, memorandum, pathetic, persevere, prevaricate,quash, relish, reminisce, scour, tribute, and writhe.’

Danny: Let’s startwith the first word ‘authorize.’ Authorize is spelled AUTHORIZE, butnote here that in British English people also spell the word AUTHORISE withan ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’. And now for the meaning, if someone in aposition of authority authorizes something, they give their official permissionfor it to happen.

Ben: For example,we can say “It would certainly be within his power to authorize a police raidlike that.” Here he has the power to give permission to a raid, but it’s notlike any power, it’s official power, which makes the permission official.

Danny: We use theword authorization as a noun. For example, “The airline got authorization forfour weekly cargo flights to Chicago.

Ben: We can alsosay authorize somebody to do something. For example, “The city council authorizedstaff to purchase a new computer system.”

Danny: We also havesome interesting words that are from the same family. We have ‘authoritarian’,which is an adjective that mean strictly forcing people to obey a set of rulesor laws, especially ones that are wrong and unfair. We say, ‘an authoritariangovernment,’ for example. We also have the adjective ‘authoritative’ which is apositive word, not like ‘authoritarian’. An authoritative book, account, etc. isrespected because the person who wrote it knows a lot about the subject, and itcan also mean behaving or speaking in a confident determined way that makespeople respect and obey you.

Ben: And now wecome to the synonyms and antonyms of ‘authorize’. Empower, permit and allow aresynonyms of ‘authorize’, and ban, forbid, prohibit and rule out are antonyms of‘authorize’.

Danny: And now let’smove on to our next word ‘culprit’. Culprit is spelled CULPRIT. When youare talking about a crime or something wrong that has been done, you can referto the person who did it as the culprit. For example, “The culprits in therobbery have not been identified.”

Ben: The wordsoffender, criminal and felon are synonyms of ‘culprit’.

Danny: All right andnow for the next word ‘dawdle’. Dawdle is spelled DAWDLE. If you dawdle,you spend more time than is necessary going somewhere. For example, “Eleanorwill be back in any moment, if she doesn’t dawdle.”

Ben: delay, loiterand waste time are synonyms of ‘dawdle’, and hurry, hasten and speed up areantonyms of ‘dawdle’.

Danny: And now forour next word ‘dissect’. Dissect is spelled DISSECT.

Ben: If someonedissects the body of a dead person or animal, they carefully cut it up in orderto examine it scientifically. For example, “We dissected a frog in biologyclass.” And the synonyms of this meaning are dismember, cut up or cut apart andanatomize.

Danny: But that’snot all, if someone dissects something such as a theory, a situation, or apiece of writing, they consider and talk about each detail of it. For example,“People want to dissect his work and question his motives.” And the synonyms ofthis meaning are the words analyze, study and investigate.

Ben: And now forour next word ‘expend’. Expend is spelled EXPEND. Well, to expendsomething, especially energy, time, or money means to use it or spend it. Forexample, “Children expend a lot of energy and may need more high-energy foodthan adults.”

Danny: There aresome interesting words in the family of expend, such as expensive and theopposite inexpensive and the word expenditure, which means the total amount ofmoney that a government, organization or person spends during a particularperiod of time. It’s kind of formal, the other word that can be used every dayis expense instead of expenditure. We say for example, “You should control yourexpenses in a better way.”

Ben: We have thewords utilize and consume as the synonyms of ‘expend’ and the words save andhoard as the antonyms.

Danny: Now for ournext word ‘fatality’. Fatality is spelled FATALITY. Fatality is a deathcaused by an accident or by violence. For example, “Drunk driving fatalitieshave declined more than 10 percent over the past 10 years.”

Ben: Fatality canhave another deeper meaning as well and in this case it is used only as anuncountable noun. Fatality is the feeling or belief that human beings cannotinfluence or control events. It’s simply that feeling we all have sometimesthat we cannot control what happens to us.

Danny: Twointeresting meanings for the same word. Now we have the words casualty andmortality as the synonyms of fatality and the word injury as the antonym.

Ben: Now for ournext word ‘gullible’. Gullible is spelled GULLIBLE.

Danny: If youdescribe someone as gullible, you mean they are easily tricked because they aretoo trusting. For example, “I’m so gullible I would have believed him.”

Ben:Unfortunately, this is considered to be a bad thing. When has trusting peoplebecome bad?

Danny: I agree withyou, but in the world today, you cannot be too trusting as there are a lot ofpeople lurking around that may take advantage of that, unfortunately.  

Ben: Unfortunately.Well, the words trusting, innocent or naïve are the synonyms of gullible andthe words suspicious and skeptical are the antonyms.

Danny: Now for ournext word ‘illicit’. Illicit is spelled ILLICIT. An illicit activity orsubstance is not allowed by law or the social customs of a country. Forexample, “The police released information yesterday about seizing a largeshipment of illicit drugs.”

Ben: The synonymsare the words illegal, criminal, prohibited or unauthorized, and legal, lawfuland permissible are the antonyms.

Danny: Now our nextword is ‘immerse’. Immerse is spelled IMMERSE. If you immerse yourselfin something that you are doing, you become completely involved by it. Forexample, “Since then I’ve lived alone and immersed myself in my career.” Thesynonyms of this meaning are the words engross and involve.

Ben: Well immersecan also be used in a different context. If something is immersed in a liquid,someone puts it into the liquid so that it is completely covered. For example,“If you immerse the mushrooms in water, they’ll become soggy.” The synonyms ofthis meaning are the words plunge, dip and submerge.

Danny: And now forour next word ‘inflammatory’. Inflammatory is spelled INFLAMMATORY. Inflammatoryis obviously an adjective. If you accuse someone of saying or doinginflammatory things, you mean that what they say or do is likely to make peoplereact very angrily. This adjective is used to show our disapproval. Forexample, “She described his remarks as irresponsible, inflammatory andoutrageous.”

Ben: Provoking,incendiary, or provocative are the synonyms of ‘inflammatory’, while calming,soothing, lulling, or quieting are the antonyms.

Danny: Now for ournext word memorandum. Memorandum is spelled MEMORANDUM. A memorandum isa written report that is prepared for a person or committee in order to providethem with information about a particular matter. For example, “The delegationsubmitted a memorandum to the Commons on the blatant violations of basic humanrights.”

Ben: Or it can alittle less formal than that. A memorandum is a short official note that issent by one person to another within the same company or organization, but itis still a formal word I have to say.

Danny: Peopleusually say only memo instead of the whole word memorandum, and a synonym forit that is not as formal is the word reminder.

Ben: Now for ournext word ‘pathetic’. Pathetic is spelled PATHETIC. If you describe aperson or animal as pathetic, you mean that they are sad and weak or helpless,and they make you feel very sorry for them.

Danny: However,‘pathetic’ can also be used to show our disapproval rather our feeling justsorry. If you describe someone or something as pathetic, you mean that theymake you feel impatient or angry, often because they are weak, not very good,unsuccessful or useless. For example, “She’s clever, but as a teacher she’spathetic.”

Ben: The synonymsof pathetic are the words moving, distressing, pitiable, or heartrending, andthe antonyms are funny or hilarious.

Danny: Now for ournext word ‘persevere’. Persevere is spelled PERSEVERE. If you perseverewith something, you keep trying to do it and do not give up, even though it isdifficult. For example, “She persevered in her idea despite obvious objectionsraised by friends.”

Ben: Remember thatwe say persevere with or persevere in something or in doing something. Now forthe synonyms and antonyms; plug away, pursue, or stick to it are the synonymsof persevere and give up, despair, throw in the towel or quit are the antonyms.

Danny: Our next wordis ‘prevaricate’. Prevaricate is spelled PREVARICATE. If youprevaricate, you avoid giving a direct answer or making a firm decision. Forexample, “Without a text to assist them they may prevaricate too long beforefacing the brutal truth.”

Ben: lie, stretch thetruth are synonyms of prevaricate the antonym is tell the truth.

Danny: The next wordis ‘quash’. Quash is spelled QUASH. If a court or someone in authorityquashes a decision or judgment, they officially reject it. For example, “TheAppeal Court has quashed the convictions of all eleven people.”

Ben: If someonequashes rumors, they say or do something to demonstrate that the rumors are nottrue. For example, “Graham attempted to quash rumors of growing discontent.”

Danny: And To quasha rebellion or protest means to stop it, often in a violent way. For example, “Troopswere displaying an obvious reluctance to get involved in quashingdemonstrations.”

Ben: Suppress isthe synonym of quash and the words start, ignite, kindle and encourage are theantonyms.

Danny: Our next wordis relish. Relish is spelled RELISH. If you relish something, you get alot of enjoyment from it. For example, “I relish the challenge of doing jobsthat others turn down.” And the synonyms here are the words enjoy, like orprefer.

Ben: If you relishthe idea, thought, or prospect of something, you are looking forward to it verymuch. For example, “Jacqueline is not relishing the prospect of another spellin prison.” And the synonyms for this meaning of relish are look forward to,fancy, or long for.

Danny: Our next wordis reminisce. Reminisce is spelled REMINISCE. If you reminisce aboutsomething from your past, you write or talk about it, often with pleasure. Forexample, “I don’t like reminiscing because it makes me feel old.” I will haveto say that this word is considered formal.

Ben: We use aboutwith reminisce. For example, “They were a group of former students reminiscingabout their college days.”

Danny: The synonymsof reminisce are remember and recollect.

Ben: And now forour next word ‘scour’. Sour is spelled SCOUR. If you scour somethingsuch as a place or a book, you make a thorough search of it to try to find whatyou are looking for. For example, “Rescue crews had scoured an area of 30square miles.” And synonyms of this meaning of scour are the words search,hunt, comb, or ransack.

Danny: If you scoursomething such as a sink, floor, or pan, you clean its surface by rubbing ithard with something rough. For example, “He decided to scour the sink.” Andsynonyms of scour in this sense are the words scrub, clean, or polish.

Ben: And now forthe last two words for today. We have the word tribute. Tribute is spelled TRIBUTE.A tribute is something that you say, do, or make to show your admiration andrespect for someone. For example, “The players wore black armbands as a tributeto their late teammate.” And synonyms of this meaning are the words accolade,testimonial, eulogy, or recognition.

Danny: If one thingis a tribute to another, the first thing is the result of the second and showshow good it is. For example, “His success has been a tribute to hard work, toprofessionalism.” And synonyms of this meaning of tribute are the wordstestimony of, evidence of, indication of, or proof of.

Ben: And now forour last word for this week’s vocabulary booster section ‘writhe’. Writhe isspelled WRITHE. If you writhe, your body twists and turns violentlybackwards and forwards, usually because you are in great pain or discomfort.For example, “He was writhing in agony.” And the synonyms of writhe are thewords squirm, struggle, twist or toss.

Danny: So that willbe all for vocabulary booster 7 for this week. Don’t forget to use the link inthe description of this episode to see the whole transcript of this episode andmore importantly, get the links to the interactive activities and PDFdownloadable activities based on the words you have just learned about inVocabulary Booster 7. Now before we move on to the Grammar Tip section of thisepisode, Ben will give you a sneak peak of what’s coming your way in our nextepisode, just to get you excited and because we do want you to come back formore next week.

Ben: I guess after you hear about what we have in store for you nextweek, you will want to do that and learn more English with our English Pluspodcast. So, we will start with:

(Next Episode’sProgram)

  1. VocabularyBooster: DescribingPeople’s Appearance
  2. GrammarTip: alittle, a few vs. little, few
  3. SayIt Right: CommonMistakes – fun vs. funny
  4. Spotlights: Reality TV
  5. MovieSchool: fromThe Dark Knight
  6. BeyondLanguage: Morphy’sDream

And now let’s get back to Grammar Tip 

Grammar Tip

Danny: We will talknow about some grammar, and today we will focus on an area related to adjectiveclauses or what you might know as relative clauses.

Ben: We useadjective clauses all the time. It enables us to join sentences together toavoid repetition. For example, instead of saying, “Sarah is an excellentstudent. You have just met Sarah.” As two sentences, we can join the twosentences together because they have something in common, which is Sarah inthis case. 

Danny: And becausethe thing in common is a person, we use the relative pronoun who for thismatter. Instead of saying or writing two sentences, we can say, “Sarah, who youhave just met, is an excellent student.” Or “You have just met Sarah, who is anexcellent student.”

Ben: Joining twosentences when we can is much better because this makes our style stronger andwe avoid repetition at the same time.

Danny: However,today we are not going to talk about relative clauses in general. We are goingto focus on using whose, where and when in adjective clauses.

Ben: But before wedo that, let’s quickly remind you of the other adjective clause pronouns. Whenthe thing in common between the two sentences is a person, we use who, as wedid in the example I gave you earlier about Sarah, but when the thing in commonis a thing, the adjective clause pronoun is which instead of who. We can alsouse that for people or things, but it cannot be used in all cases, so you haveto be careful. Maybe, we will talk about that in another episode.

Danny: Now let’sfocus on whose, when and where. If the thing in common is not a person orthing, but a person or a thing and a possession that belongs to that person orthing, we use whose. Let me explain that better in an example. Let’s say thatthe two sentences we have are, “I know the man. His bicycle was stolen.” Thething in common between these two sentences is not the man himself, but the manand his bicycle. So, it is a man and a possession of his, and in this case weuse whose that is used to show possession. Whose carries the same meaning asother possessive pronouns used as adjectives, such as his, her, its, and their,and like his, her, its and their, whose is connected to a noun. In our example,instead of saying his bicycle, we say whose bicycle. I’ll go back to the twosentences. “I know the man. His bicycle was stolen.” To join these twosentences together, I will get rid of his and use whose instead, so the onesentence becomes, “I know the man whose bicycle was stolen.” Much better, no?Shorter and stronger.

Ben: Sometimes,the order is a little more complicated because his, her, its or their are notat the beginning of the second sentence, so we have to be flexible. Let meillustrate that in a different example. The two sentences we would like to joinare, “The student writes well. I read her composition.” You see here the commonthing between the two sentences is the student and her composition. The problemis that the student does not come at the end of the first sentence like thefirst example Danny talked about, so we have to insert the adjective clause inthe middle of the first sentence. And the second sentence doesn’t start with apossessive adjective, so we have to change the order of that as well. It mightsound a little complicated, but it is not.

Danny: The firstsentence we have is “The student writes well.” So according to what Ben justsaid, we will insert the adjective clause after the student and before writes.Very well, let’s start with just that. “The student whose … writes well.” Now Ihave to work with the second sentence. After whose I have to mention what thepossession is just as if I were using the possessive adjective ‘her’. In ourexample the possession is the word ‘composition’, so let’s add this to oursentence, “The student whose composition … writes well.” Now let’s add what’sleft of the second sentence to complete our sentence. We have the phrase ‘Iread’ left. Now to put it all together, “The student whose composition I readwrites well.” It’s not that difficult, is it?

Ben: Well, much ofgrammar understanding depends on breaking sentences apart and putting them backtogether to understand how grammatical structures are formed.

Danny: That’s right.Now, if the thing in common is a place, we can use where to join the twosentences together. The two sentences we have are, “The building is very old.He lives there (in that building).” The thing we have in common is the buildingand there, so we can join the two sentences together and to do that we can usewhere because the relation has to do with place. So, the joined sentencebecomes, “The building where he lives is very old.” We did the same insplitting the first sentence because we should use the adjective clause justafter the thing in common in the first sentence.

Ben: Some of youmight say that yes the thing in common between these two sentences is a place,but it is a thing, too, so can’t we use which instead of where, and the answerto that is yes. However, if we use which, we will have to use the prepositionof place that we did not use with where since where refers to place and wedon’t have to bring another reference to place in the sentence. So, if you wantto do the same using which, you can say, “The building in which he lives isvery old.” Or “The building which he lives in is very old.”

Danny: Well, in thiscase as well, you can use that if you like and say, “The building that he livesin is very old.” Or because the building is the object of the second sentence,you can omit the adjective clause pronoun altogether and say, “The building helives in is very old.”

Ben: That’sinteresting! So, as you can see. Never look at grammar as shackles that deteryour progress in English, but as many different keys that open the same door.You are learning different ways to say or write the same thing, which can proveuseful if you happen to forget one of these ways, or simply to add variety andrichness to your speaking and writing.

Danny: That’s right.And now let’s move to when which is used when the thing in common between thetwo sentences has to do with time. Let’s listen to the two sentences we have,“I’ll never forget the day. I met you then (on that day).” So as you can seethe thing in common is the day, which is a time, so we can use when to link thetwo sentences together. We can say, “I’ll never forget the day when I met you.”

Ben: And becausetime is also a thing, we can use which or that instead of when. We can say, “I’llnever forget the day on which I met you.” Or “I’ll never forget the day that Imet you.”

Danny: And againbecause the day in the second sentence is in the place of an object, we canjoin the two sentences together without using any adjective clause pronouns; wecan say, “I’ll never forget the day I met you.”

Ben: I hope youfound the grammar tip for this episode interesting and useful, and now we willmove on to our next section Say It Right, and today we will talk about thecommon mistakes people usually make when they use the word ‘invent’. So,without further ado, let’s get to it.

Say It Right

Danny: I’ll startwith a sentence that includes an incorrect use of invent, and Ben will explainhow to fix the sentence. The sentence is, “It will not be long beforescientists invent a cure for this terrible disease.”

Ben: Many peopleconfuse the word invent with discover. Invent means to create a machine,instrument, system or process which has never existed before, like when we say,“Who invented the telephone?” or “The cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in1793.” On the other hand, discover is to find or find out something for thefirst time. For example, “Penicillin was discovered almost by accident.”

Danny: So hereinstead of saying, “It will not be long before scientists invent a cure forthis terrible disease.” We should say, “It will not be long before scientistsdiscover a cure for this terrible disease.”

Ben: Now for thenext sentence: “I’m sure that your host families will invent lots ofinteresting things for you to do.”

Danny: Here what wereally want to say is to think of or to think up. Think of means to produce aplan, idea or suggestion by thinking. For example, “Can you think of a goodbirthday present for David? Think up means to produce a completely new plan,idea or suggestion by thinking hard about something. So in our case this is themeaning we want, not invent.

Ben: So instead ofsaying, “I’m sure that your host families will invent lots of interestingthings for you to do.” We should say, “I’m sure that your host families willthink of/up lots of interesting things for you to do.”

Danny: Now for thethird and last sentence in this section, “The word ‘workaholic’ was invented inAmerica.”

Ben: If you thinkabout it, you might find nothing wrong with it, but there is a word for thisspecific use especially when we join two words to make one, and this word iscoin not invent.

Danny: So instead ofsaying “The word ‘workaholic’ was invented in America.” We should say “The word‘workaholic’ was coined in America.”

Ben: That’s right.And now that we have pointed out the common mistakes using the verb invent andhow to fix them, we can move to Between the Lines.

Between the Lines

Danny: We will learnsome common modern idioms in Between the Lines today. I will give you theexamples with the idioms in them and Ben is going to explain what these idiomsmean. Shall we, Ben?

Ben: Yep, let’sget to it.

Danny: So, our firstsentence is “This program looks at one couple’s experience of living next toneighbors from hell.” The idiom here is ‘from hell’

Ben: Peoplefrequently refer to difficult people or unpopular things as being the … fromhell. For example, the neighbors from hell or the airport from hell. But I haveto say that neighbors from hell is the most common use for this idiom.

Danny: I hope youdon’t have neighbors from hell as there aren’t many things you can do about it.Now for our next sentence, “That young politician was in the news every day forweeks, but now he seems to have fallen off the radar.” The idiom we have hereis ‘fall off the radar’

Ben: to fall offthe radar simply means to be forgotten

Danny: our nextsentence is “Sofia is a wonderful nurse. She’ll always go the extra mile forher patients.” The idiom here is ‘go the extra mile’.

Ben: To go theextra mile is to make an extra big effort or do things that are more thanstrictly necessary.

Danny: That’s right.Sometimes we all need to go the extra mile in order to achieve anything big inour lives. Now for our next idiom, “The website www.cheapholidays.org doesexactly what it says on the tin.” The idiom is ‘do exactly what it says on thetin”

Ben: This idiom isa British English idiom that means to do exactly what it claims to do or whatis expected of it to do.

Danny: That’s it.Now our next idiom is “I’m cool with that.” What does it mean when someonesuggests something and you say to him or her, “I’m cool with that?”

Ben: Well thatsimply means I’m happy with the suggestion.

Danny: All right.Nor for another idiom, “It doesn’t float my boat.” What does that mean?

Ben: Well, that’skind of the opposite of “I’m cool with that.” Float someone’s boat means toseem exciting, attractive or interesting to someone, so in this sentence “Itdoesn’t float my boat,” it means I don’t agree with what you like or areinterested in.

Danny: I have onemore sentence for you, “I’m fed up with him big time.” Or “He’s into judo bigtime.” What does big time mean?

Ben: Well, we hearpeople say that all the time, and it simply means extremely.

Danny: So that wasall about our idioms for today.

Ben: Well, I wouldlike to add a couple more idioms to this list since we’re talking about modernidioms.

Danny: Yeah, please.By all means.

Ben: I think weshould also mention ‘end of story’, too much information’, and ‘Don’t even gothere’.

Danny: Excellentexamples! Well if you do not want to discuss anything further, you can say“That’s it! End of story!”

Ben: Yeah that’sright, and if you think that someone is telling you about very personal thingsthat you do not want to hear about, you can stop them by saying, ‘too muchinformation’

Danny: Let’s givethem an example of when people usually use this idiom.

Ben: Yeah. Do youremember when I got food poisoning the other day?

Danny: Yes, it’sover now, isn’t it?

Ben: Yes, but whenI came back home, I had diarrhea.

Danny: Yes, Iremember you told me about that.

Ben: Yes, but Ididn’t tell you that I had to use the toilet like ten times that night, and thecolor of my…

Danny: Stop, stop,stop… too much information. I don’t think our listeners, or I would want toknow about that.

Ben: So, this isan example of when people use the expression, ‘too much information’. Sorryabout the example, though.

Danny: Yeah, thatwasn’t our best example ever, but you got the point.

Ben: And now forthe last idiom for today, If a friend starts talking about a subject you do notwant to discuss, maybe because it is too personal, embarrassing or even confidential,you could respond “Don’t even go there!” So Danny tell us what you did afterthe party we had last week, when you drank too much, and…

Danny: Don’t even gothere!

Ben: See, anotherexample of when you might want to use this idiom.

Danny: That will be allfor Between the lines for today. I hope you can put the idioms you learned todayto good use and start using them in your conversations. Now we will take ashort break and we’ll be back. Don’t go away!


Danny: Welcome backto English Plus Podcast, and now we will move to Spotlights. Today we’re goingto talk about something you may or may not know about Adolf Hitler. We all knowthat Hitler is one of the most hated historical figures for the devastatingdestruction he brought upon the world and the gruesome massacres he ordered,but that is something you might all know about. What we will talk about todayis his ninth life.

Ben: Ninth life?You mean to say his regrettable ninth life.

Danny: Yeah youcould say that, so Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889. Would that he hadshared the fate of his siblings Gustav, Ida, Otto and Edmund—all of whom diedbefore the age of six. Instead, Adolf survived his childhood, two significantinjuries during World War I, and at least six assassination attempts before hisrise to power in 1933. An Englishman by the name of Henry Tandey may have alsounwittingly assisted the future Fuhrer when both were soldiers fighting onopposite sides during the Battle of Marcoing in World War I. An injured Hitleris said to have passed through Tandey’s line of fire. “I took aim,” Tandeyrecalled years later, “but couldn’t shoot a wounded man, so let him go.”Although some historians cast doubt on Hitler’s claim that he was among the menwhom Tandey spared, the young private’s humane decision to hold fire wouldhaunt him for the rest of his life. “If only I had known what he would turn outto be,” said Tandey. “When I saw all the people, women and children, he hadkilled and wounded I was sorry to God I let him go.”

Ben: Wait aminute. Is this story true?

Danny: Well no onecan tell for sure if Hitler was among the men Tandey spared although Hitlerclaimed to be to foster the belief that God had always protected him, and so. Butthat doesn’t matter, assume this story is true. Would you want Tandey to killyoung Hitler? Would you have killed young Hitler if you were Tandey?

Ben: Well, I mightsay yes because I know now who Hitler grew to become, but back then, I mighthave made the same humane decision just like Tandey.

Danny: Would youhave done that if you somehow knew for sure that this man would become amonster in the future?

Ben: I can’timagine how I would have known such a thing, but yes, I guess I would havekilled him in this case.

Danny: But now comesthe big question, do you really believe that if you had killed Hitler beforehis rise to power, you would have stopped the monstrosities of World War II, orwould it have happened, anyway? Would killing one man or sparing the life of anotherchange the course of history or is human history like a river bound to reachthe sea, and unfortunately in our case, it is a sea of sins?

Ben: Some peoplemay answer these questions from a religious point of view.

Danny: That’s right,but let’s not go there because that will be so controversial. Now as usual, inspotlight, we do not pose questions to give answers to, and we don’t claim tohave the answers to these questions. All these questions are just food forthought.

Ben: It’s goodexercise for our brains.

Danny: Yeah, that’sright. Intentional thinking about deep and complex things does sharpen ourbrains.

Ben: It will bemuch better than taking the same time to finish the next level in Candy Crush,no offense to Candy Crush people.

Danny: Yeah, nonetaken. So that will be all for our Spotlight today. I hope you found theinformation and questions we shared with you interesting enough to think about.And now for our next section Movie School and our movie for today is‘Gladiator’

Movie School

Ben: I love‘Gladiator’ and I think it was one of Russel Crowe’s best roles ever.

Danny: I agree, notonly because he got an academy award for his role that year, but I think hereally connected to the character of Maximus and he transferred the audiencesthere. Now for the dialogue we picked from ‘Gladiator’ is the dialogue betweenCommodus and his father Marcus Aurelius, Caesar. When Caesar decides to makeMaximus his successor, Commodus gets mad at his father and kills him at the endof this scene. It is a very touching scene and the music that comes along byHans Zimmer is just brilliant. So, this time, Ben and I won’t be performing thedialogue because to be honest; it’s kind of impossible to perform somethingJoaquin Phoenix has already performed. We simply can’t even come close to hislevel. So we will listen to Joaquin Phoenix who played Commodus and RichardHarris who played Marcus Aurelius in this powerful dialogue which you can findin the transcript if you like of course. After we listen for the first time, wewill talk about some important words and phrases and we will let you hear thedialogue again. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Commodus in hisfather’s tent after his father sent for him to tell him about his decision tomake Maximus his successor. Enjoy!

Marcus Aurelius: Are you ready to do your duty for Rome?

Commodus: Yes, father.

Marcus Aurelius: You will not be emperor.

Commodus: Which wiser, older man is to take my place?

Marcus Aurelius: My powers will pass to Maximus, to hold in trust until the senateis ready to rule once more. Rome is to be a republic again.

Commodus: Maximus.

Marcus Aurelius: Yes. My decision disappoints you?

Commodus: You wrote to me once listing the four chief virtues. Wisdom,justice, fortitude and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none ofthem. But I have other virtues, father. Ambition. That can be a virtue when itdrives us to excel. Resourcefulness, courage, perhaps not on the battlefield,but there are other forms of courage. Devotion to my family, to you. But noneof my virtues were on you list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me foryour son.

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus, you go too far.

Commodus: I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to makeyou proud. One kind word, one full hug where you pressed me to your chest andheld me tight, would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years.What is it in me you hate so much?

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus.

Commodus: All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. Father.

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus, your fault as a son is my failure as a father. Come.

Commodus: Father. I would butcher the whole world if you would only haveloved me!

Ben: Wow. It’ssuch a strong scene.

Danny: Yes, it is. Amoving one, too. Now let’s shed some light on some of the important words andphrases in it before listening to it again armed with this knowledge.

Ben: Let’s do it.

Danny: First we havewhen Caesar said, “My powers will pass to Maximus.” Power can pass from oneperson to another. There are no new words here, but it is not always new wordsthat we want to learn, but collocations or words that go together like powerand pass in this example.

Ben: Then we havethe four chief virtues, you might know wisdom and justice, but what aboutfortitude and temperance. Fortitude is courage shown when you are in great painor experiencing a lot of trouble. And Temperance means sensible control of thethings you say and do especially the amount of alcohol you drink.

Danny: Then Commodustalked about his own virtues, at least the ones he thinks he has, and thesewere ambition, courage, resourcefulness and devotion. You might know ambitionand courage, but what about resourcefulness and devotion. Resourceful is theadjective from resourcefulness and it means good at finding ways of dealingwith practical problems. And devotion means the loyalty and love that you showtowards a person, job, etc. especially by working hard.

Ben: Commodussaid, “All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. What does it mean tolive up to someone? To live up to someone is to live or act in accordance withcertain ideals, promises or expectations that person might have. You live up tosomeone because you admire that person so much and you want to be like him orher, or you want to please this person and make him or her proud.

Danny: And beforethat Caesar said to Commodus, “You go too far,” which means to do something tooextreme.

Ben: And in theend even though Caesar blamed himself for what their relationship came to be bysaying “Your fault as a son is my failure as a father,” that did not stopCommodus from killing his own father.

Danny: Such a scene!And such a dialogue as well, and now armed with this new knowledge, let’slisten to the same dialogue again, and I bet you will enjoy it a lot more thistime because you understand it now much better than the first time. Enjoy!

Marcus Aurelius: Are you ready to do your duty for Rome?

Commodus: Yes, father.

Marcus Aurelius: You will not be emperor.

Commodus: Which wiser, older man is to take my place?

Marcus Aurelius: My powers will pass to Maximus, to hold in trust until the senateis ready to rule once more. Rome is to be a republic again.

Commodus: Maximus.

Marcus Aurelius: Yes. My decision disappoints you?

Commodus: You wrote to me once listing the four chief virtues. Wisdom,justice, fortitude and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none ofthem. But I have other virtues, father. Ambition. That can be a virtue when itdrives us to excel. Resourcefulness, courage, perhaps not on the battlefield,but there are other forms of courage. Devotion to my family, to you. But noneof my virtues were on you list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me foryour son.

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus, you go too far.

Commodus: I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to makeyou proud. One kind word, one full hug where you pressed me to your chest andheld me tight, would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years.What is it in me you hate so much?

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus.

Commodus: All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. Father.

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus, your fault as a son is my failure as a father. Come.

Commodus: Father. I would butcher the whole world if you would only haveloved me!

Danny: I hope you’veliked our Movie School for today. We will move now to Beyond Language and asusual, I will leave you with Ben and one of my poems from my Identity poetrycollection. The poem is called ‘A Bullet’s Life’. It is a poem that tells thestory of a bullet going from the factory it was made in all the way to thebattlefield, all the thoughts and feelings of this single bullet until it landsin its final destination. You might find the bullet a little naïve as itdoesn’t know the complex realities as we men do. But maybe we should all be asnaïve as a bullet, who knows? I hope you like the poem and before I leave youto Ben, I would like to remind you one more time that you can find a link inthe description of the episode that will take you to our website www.dannyballan.comto a post we made specially for this episode where you will find the fulltranscript of the episode and you can practice the words you have learnedinteractively on the website and you can also download the worksheet we madeespecially for the vocabulary booster in this episode, so take the link andvisit the post and to support us, share the post with your friends to help usreach more and more people. Thank you very much and I will leave you now withBen and A Bullet’s Life.

Beyond Language

Ben: Let’s get toit and start our final section for today’s episode, beyond language.

A Bullet’s Life

Iwas born yesterday
in a hustle-free factory,
a man was smoking carelessly
on top of the gunpowder
around the cases and me;
fitting me inside is never an easy task
yet it is never done manually anymore,
nor does anyone tend to save on me—
I am abundant like the sun,
yet I mostly shine at night.

Iwas loaded in a box,
I looked around in shock
I thought I was unique—
thousands of brothers and sisters
lining up to be loaded and wasted
for fear or joy, we’re viciously shot.

Legendhas it, a bullet tells the truth,
a bullet that knows the righteous way to go,
a bullet controlling its primer;
the road was long and stories were longer,
none will ever see a son,
how could they ever claim a father?
Where do these stories come from?
Wait, the truck has stopped;
in the distance you hear a familiar sound—
our kin being wasted, again,
yet the sound alone was not enough
to tell whether it was to kill or just for fun.

Iwas in such a big company,
now in a magazine, it feels too tight—
loaded not with so many—
brothers in arms, are we not?
for we will probably spill the same blood;
alas, in vain, like these poor soldiers,
some of us are sent to die
some are sent to kill—
we’re all younger than those,
but sometimes, it feels they’re younger still—
lasting for a couple of seconds
shorter than memory
on the battlefield, but we stay
in the memory of those who mourn the ones we kill.
Who’s more memorable now,
a soldier or a bullet?
every soldier gets one
today or in fifty years,
in the head, in the heart or in memory—
oh! there are a lot;
every successful shot
that killed a friend
has become a legend.

Nowfor wrath, stand fast brothers—
enemies are whizzing everywhere;
prepare to die, to kill and conquer—
I had the best view in the house,
the first sneaky shot to come out—
my man was moving slowly
trying to get a vantage point
but wait, isn’t that a child
I can see from the barrel?
I held myself tight;
click, I stood still withstanding the urge to fly,
too late for my pal,
I gave him away—
he did receive us from the other side
so many there was no one left of us
for any special memory;
oh yes, those were also brothers—
like these fools we were all the same.

Westayed for a whole day
in the loaded magazine,
all intact, except for me—
I thought I was saving someone,
but I killed a friend;
take me back to a factory
before I harden like life,
I wish I’d been molded into something else,
but wait, here comes the very boy I tried to save
salvaging and desecrating bodies,
why did you shoot young man? 
my friend is already dead
stop wasting my brothers—
I had to take revenge,
it was time;
I jammed and now I can simply unjam,
but wait for the perfect angle,
here I go, I am inside his little skull—
It’s dark in here,
am I dead?
the boy’s about to be,
well, let me look
for I may see
a trace of cocaine—
not too young to take it now that I have been in his head—
a memory flashes here and there,
his family on a wall lined up and killed
like lambs no one did understand
what their blood for, was spilled,
but that was a long time,
I doubt the boy still recollects;
Oh no! I saw what I came here in for, at last—
the reason behind my being and all,
I saw the purpose in his little mind—
like all these soldiers who died in vain,
and all my brothers who died in shame,
the boy’s mind was all thinking of one thing—
like all of us, the boy was only playing a game.Thatwas all for today’s episode. All the best from English Plus podcast, and wewill see you again next week.

Vocabulary Booster 7 Wordlist

authorize (v.) to approve or permit; to give power or authority to
culprit (n.) a person who has committed a crime or is guilty of some misconduct; an offender
dawdle (v.) to waste time; to be idle; to spend more time in doing something than is necessary
dissect (v.) to cut apart in preparation for scientific study; to analyze with great care
expend (v.) to pay out, spend; to use up
fatality (n.) an event resulting in death; an accidental death
gullible (adj.) easily fooled, tricked, or cheated
illicit (adj.) not permitted, unlawful, improper
immerse (v.) to plunge or dip into a fluid; to involve deeply
inflammatory (adj.) causing excitement or anger; leading to violence or disorder
memorandum (n.) a note to aid one’s memory; an informal note or report
pathetic (adj.) marked by strong emotion, especially pity and sorrow; able to move people emotionally; worthy of pity; woefully inadequate
persevere (v.) to keep doing something in spite of difficulties; to refuse to quit even when the going is tough
prevaricate (v.) to lie, tell an untruth; to mislead on purpose
quash (v.) to crush, put down completely
relish (n.) enjoyment or satisfaction; something that adds a pleasing flavor; (v.) to enjoy greatly
reminisce (v.) to recall one’s past thoughts, feelings, or experiences
scour (v.) to clean or polish by hard rubbing; to examine with great care; to move about quickly in search of
tribute (n.) something done or given to show thanks or respect; a payment
writhe (v.) to make twisting or turning movements in a way that suggests pain or struggle

Vocabulary Booster 7 PDF Worksheet

Vocabulary Booster 7 Quizlet Interactive Activities


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