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

Intro

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

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

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

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

Ben: Our next section is Say It Right, where we will talk about common mistakes people make when they use the word invent.

Danny: Then we will have Between the lines where we will talk about some modern idioms to use in your everyday conversations.

Ben: The episode will continue with Spotlight, and today we will learn about some interesting facts about Hitler not many of you know and some interesting questions to pose based on what you will learn.

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

Ben: And finally, we will wrap up the episode with Beyond Language where we 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 without further ado, let’s get cracking. But before we start, I would like to remind you that you can find a link in the description of the episode that will take you to our website where you will find the transcript of the episode and all the useful links and downloadable material that will help you get the most benefit from this episode. And now let’s get to it and start with Vocabulary Booster 7.

Vocabulary Booster

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

Ben: Well, our words for 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 start with the first word ‘authorize.’ Authorize is spelled AUTHORIZE, but note here that in British English people also spell the word AUTHORISE with an ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’. And now for the meaning, if someone in a position of authority authorizes something, they give their official permission for it to happen.

Ben: For example, we can say “It would certainly be within his power to authorize a police raid like that.” Here he has the power to give permission to a raid, but it’s not like any power, it’s official power, which makes the permission official.

Danny: We use the word authorization as a noun. For example, “The airline got authorization for four weekly cargo flights to Chicago.

Ben: We can also say authorize somebody to do something. For example, “The city council authorized staff to purchase a new computer system.”

Danny: We also have some 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 rules or laws, especially ones that are wrong and unfair. We say, ‘an authoritarian government,’ for example. We also have the adjective ‘authoritative’ which is a positive word, not like ‘authoritarian’. An authoritative book, account, etc. is respected because the person who wrote it knows a lot about the subject, and it can also mean behaving or speaking in a confident determined way that makes people respect and obey you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ben: If someone dissects the body of a dead person or animal, they carefully cut it up in order to examine it scientifically. For example, “We dissected a frog in biology class.” And the synonyms of this meaning are dismember, cut up or cut apart and anatomize.

Danny: But that’s not all, if someone dissects something such as a theory, a situation, or a piece 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 of this meaning are the words analyze, study and investigate.

Ben: And now for our next word ‘expend’. Expend is spelled EXPEND. Well, to expend something, especially energy, time, or money means to use it or spend it. For example, “Children expend a lot of energy and may need more high-energy food than adults.”

Danny: There are some interesting words in the family of expend, such as expensive and the opposite inexpensive and the word expenditure, which means the total amount of money that a government, organization or person spends during a particular period of time. It’s kind of formal, the other word that can be used every day is expense instead of expenditure. We say for example, “You should control your expenses in a better way.”

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

Danny: Now for our next word ‘fatality’. Fatality is spelled FATALITY. Fatality is a death caused by an accident or by violence. For example, “Drunk driving fatalities have declined more than 10 percent over the past 10 years.”

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

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

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

Danny: If you describe someone as gullible, you mean they are easily tricked because they are too 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 people become bad?

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

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

Danny: Now for our next word ‘illicit’. Illicit is spelled ILLICIT. An illicit activity or substance is not allowed by law or the social customs of a country. For example, “The police released information yesterday about seizing a large shipment of illicit drugs.”

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

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

Ben: Well immerse can 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 of this meaning are the words plunge, dip and submerge.

Danny: And now for our next word ‘inflammatory’. Inflammatory is spelled INFLAMMATORY. Inflammatory is obviously an adjective. If you accuse someone of saying or doing inflammatory things, you mean that what they say or do is likely to make people react very angrily. This adjective is used to show our disapproval. For example, “She described his remarks as irresponsible, inflammatory and outrageous.”

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

Danny: Now for our next word memorandum. Memorandum is spelled MEMORANDUM. A memorandum is a written report that is prepared for a person or committee in order to provide them with information about a particular matter. For example, “The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Commons on the blatant violations of basic human rights.”

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

Danny: People usually say only memo instead of the whole word memorandum, and a synonym for it that is not as formal is the word reminder.

Ben: Now for our next word ‘pathetic’. Pathetic is spelled PATHETIC. If you describe a person 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 just sorry. If you describe someone or something as pathetic, you mean that they make 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’s pathetic.”

Ben: The synonyms of pathetic are the words moving, distressing, pitiable, or heartrending, and the antonyms are funny or hilarious.

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

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

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

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

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

Ben: If someone quashes rumors, they say or do something to demonstrate that the rumors are not true. For example, “Graham attempted to quash rumors of growing discontent.”

Danny: And To quash a rebellion or protest means to stop it, often in a violent way. For example, “Troops were displaying an obvious reluctance to get involved in quashing demonstrations.”

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

Danny: Our next word is relish. Relish is spelled RELISH. If you relish something, you get a lot of enjoyment from it. For example, “I relish the challenge of doing jobs that others turn down.” And the synonyms here are the words enjoy, like or prefer.

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

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

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

Danny: The synonyms of reminisce are remember and recollect.

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

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

Ben: And now for the 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 and respect for someone. For example, “The players wore black armbands as a tribute to their late teammate.” And synonyms of this meaning are the words accolade, testimonial, eulogy, or recognition.

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

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

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

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

(Next Episode’s Program)

  1. Vocabulary Booster: Describing People’s Appearance
  2. Grammar Tip: a little, a few vs. little, few
  3. Say It Right: Common Mistakes – fun vs. funny
  4. Spotlights: Reality TV
  5. Movie School: from The Dark Knight
  6. Beyond Language: Morphy’s Dream

And now let’s get back to Grammar Tip 

Grammar Tip

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

Ben: We use adjective clauses all the time. It enables us to join sentences together to avoid repetition. For example, instead of saying, “Sarah is an excellent student. You have just met Sarah.” As two sentences, we can join the two sentences together because they have something in common, which is Sarah in this case. 

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

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

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

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

Danny: Now let’s focus on whose, when and where. If the thing in common is not a person or thing, but a person or a thing and a possession that belongs to that person or thing, we use whose. Let me explain that better in an example. Let’s say that the two sentences we have are, “I know the man. His bicycle was stolen.” The thing in common between these two sentences is not the man himself, but the man and his bicycle. So, it is a man and a possession of his, and in this case we use whose that is used to show possession. Whose carries the same meaning as other 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 two sentences. “I know the man. His bicycle was stolen.” To join these two sentences together, I will get rid of his and use whose instead, so the one sentence 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 not at the beginning of the second sentence, so we have to be flexible. Let me illustrate that in a different example. The two sentences we would like to join are, “The student writes well. I read her composition.” You see here the common thing between the two sentences is the student and her composition. The problem is that the student does not come at the end of the first sentence like the first example Danny talked about, so we have to insert the adjective clause in the middle of the first sentence. And the second sentence doesn’t start with a possessive adjective, so we have to change the order of that as well. It might sound a little complicated, but it is not.

Danny: The first sentence we have is “The student writes well.” So according to what Ben just said, 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 I have to work with the second sentence. After whose I have to mention what the possession is just as if I were using the possessive adjective ‘her’. In our example the possession is the word ‘composition’, so let’s add this to our sentence, “The student whose composition … writes well.” Now let’s add what’s left of the second sentence to complete our sentence. We have the phrase ‘I read’ left. Now to put it all together, “The student whose composition I read writes well.” It’s not that difficult, is it?

Ben: Well, much of grammar understanding depends on breaking sentences apart and putting them back together 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 two sentences 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 building and there, so we can join the two sentences together and to do that we can use where because the relation has to do with place. So, the joined sentence becomes, “The building where he lives is very old.” We did the same in splitting the first sentence because we should use the adjective clause just after the thing in common in the first sentence.

Ben: Some of you might 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 answer to that is yes. However, if we use which, we will have to use the preposition of place that we did not use with where since where refers to place and we don’t have to bring another reference to place in the sentence. So, if you want to do the same using which, you can say, “The building in which he lives is very old.” Or “The building which he lives in is very old.”

Danny: Well, in this case as well, you can use that if you like and say, “The building that he lives in 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 he lives in is very old.”

Ben: That’s interesting! So, as you can see. Never look at grammar as shackles that deter your 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 prove useful if you happen to forget one of these ways, or simply to add variety and richness 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 the two 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 see the thing in common is the day, which is a time, so we can use when to link the two sentences together. We can say, “I’ll never forget the day when I met you.”

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

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

Ben: I hope you found the grammar tip for this episode interesting and useful, and now we will move on to our next section Say It Right, and today we will talk about the common 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 start with a sentence that includes an incorrect use of invent, and Ben will explain how to fix the sentence. The sentence is, “It will not be long before scientists invent a cure for this terrible disease.”

Ben: Many people confuse 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 in 1793.” On the other hand, discover is to find or find out something for the first time. For example, “Penicillin was discovered almost by accident.”

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

Ben: Now for the next sentence: “I’m sure that your host families will invent lots of interesting things for you to do.”

Danny: Here what we really want to say is to think of or to think up. Think of means to produce a plan, idea or suggestion by thinking. For example, “Can you think of a good birthday 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 the meaning we want, not invent.

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

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

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

Danny: So instead of saying “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 and how to fix them, we can move to Between the Lines.

Between the Lines

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

Ben: Yep, let’s get to it.

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

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

Danny: I hope you don’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 for weeks, but now he seems to have fallen off the radar.” The idiom we have here is ‘fall off the radar’

Ben: to fall off the radar simply means to be forgotten

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

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

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

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

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

Ben: Well that simply 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’s kind of the opposite of “I’m cool with that.” Float someone’s boat means to seem exciting, attractive or interesting to someone, so in this sentence “It doesn’t float my boat,” it means I don’t agree with what you like or are interested in.

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

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

Danny: So that was all about our idioms for today.

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

Danny: Yeah, please. By all means.

Ben: I think we should also mention ‘end of story’, too much information’, and ‘Don’t even go there’.

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

Ben: Yeah that’s right, and if you think that someone is telling you about very personal things that you do not want to hear about, you can stop them by saying, ‘too much information’

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

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

Danny: Yes, it’s over now, isn’t it?

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

Danny: Yes, I remember you told me about that.

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

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

Ben: So, this is an example of when people use the expression, ‘too much information’. Sorry about the example, though.

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

Ben: And now for the last idiom for today, If a friend starts talking about a subject you do not want 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 after the party we had last week, when you drank too much, and…

Danny: Don’t even go there!

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

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

Spotlights

Danny: Welcome back to English Plus Podcast, and now we will move to Spotlights. Today we’re going to talk about something you may or may not know about Adolf Hitler. We all know that Hitler is one of the most hated historical figures for the devastating destruction 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 today is his ninth life.

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

Danny: Yeah you could say that, so Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889. Would that he had shared the fate of his siblings Gustav, Ida, Otto and Edmund—all of whom died before the age of six. Instead, Adolf survived his childhood, two significant injuries during World War I, and at least six assassination attempts before his rise to power in 1933. An Englishman by the name of Henry Tandey may have also unwittingly assisted the future Fuhrer when both were soldiers fighting on opposite sides during the Battle of Marcoing in World War I. An injured Hitler is said to have passed through Tandey’s line of fire. “I took aim,” Tandey recalled 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 men whom Tandey spared, the young private’s humane decision to hold fire would haunt him for the rest of his life. “If only I had known what he would turn out to be,” said Tandey. “When I saw all the people, women and children, he had killed and wounded I was sorry to God I let him go.”

Ben: Wait a minute. Is this story true?

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

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

Danny: Would you have done that if you somehow knew for sure that this man would become a monster in the future?

Ben: I can’t imagine how I would have known such a thing, but yes, I guess I would have killed him in this case.

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

Ben: Some people may 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, in spotlight, we do not pose questions to give answers to, and we don’t claim to have the answers to these questions. All these questions are just food for thought.

Ben: It’s good exercise for our brains.

Danny: Yeah, that’s right. Intentional thinking about deep and complex things does sharpen our brains.

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

Danny: Yeah, none taken. So that will be all for our Spotlight today. I hope you found the information 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, not only because he got an academy award for his role that year, but I think he really connected to the character of Maximus and he transferred the audiences there. Now for the dialogue we picked from ‘Gladiator’ is the dialogue between Commodus and his father Marcus Aurelius, Caesar. When Caesar decides to make Maximus his successor, Commodus gets mad at his father and kills him at the end of this scene. It is a very touching scene and the music that comes along by Hans Zimmer is just brilliant. So, this time, Ben and I won’t be performing the dialogue because to be honest; it’s kind of impossible to perform something Joaquin Phoenix has already performed. We simply can’t even come close to his level. So we will listen to Joaquin Phoenix who played Commodus and Richard Harris who played Marcus Aurelius in this powerful dialogue which you can find in the transcript if you like of course. After we listen for the first time, we will talk about some important words and phrases and we will let you hear the dialogue again. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Commodus in his father’s tent after his father sent for him to tell him about his decision to make 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 senate is 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 of them. But I have other virtues, father. Ambition. That can be a virtue when it drives us to excel. Resourcefulness, courage, perhaps not on the battlefield, but there are other forms of courage. Devotion to my family, to you. But none of my virtues were on you list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus, you go too far.

Commodus: I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug where you pressed me to your chest and held 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 have loved me!

Ben: Wow. It’s such a strong scene.

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

Ben: Let’s do it.

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

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

Danny: Then Commodus talked about his own virtues, at least the ones he thinks he has, and these were ambition, courage, resourcefulness and devotion. You might know ambition and courage, but what about resourcefulness and devotion. Resourceful is the adjective from resourcefulness and it means good at finding ways of dealing with practical problems. And devotion means the loyalty and love that you show towards a person, job, etc. especially by working hard.

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

Danny: And before that Caesar said to Commodus, “You go too far,” which means to do something too extreme.

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

Danny: Such a scene! And such a dialogue as well, and now armed with this new knowledge, let’s listen to the same dialogue again, and I bet you will enjoy it a lot more this time 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 senate is 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 of them. But I have other virtues, father. Ambition. That can be a virtue when it drives us to excel. Resourcefulness, courage, perhaps not on the battlefield, but there are other forms of courage. Devotion to my family, to you. But none of my virtues were on you list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.

Marcus Aurelius: Commodus, you go too far.

Commodus: I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug where you pressed me to your chest and held 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 have loved me!

Danny: I hope you’ve liked our Movie School for today. We will move now to Beyond Language and as usual, I will leave you with Ben and one of my poems from my Identity poetry collection. The poem is called ‘A Bullet’s Life’. It is a poem that tells the story of a bullet going from the factory it was made in all the way to the battlefield, all the thoughts and feelings of this single bullet until it lands in its final destination. You might find the bullet a little naïve as it doesn’t know the complex realities as we men do. But maybe we should all be as naïve as a bullet, who knows? I hope you like the poem and before I leave you to Ben, I would like to remind you one more time that you can find a link in the description of the episode that will take you to our website www.dannyballan.com to a post we made specially for this episode where you will find the full transcript of the episode and you can practice the words you have learned interactively on the website and you can also download the worksheet we made especially for the vocabulary booster in this episode, so take the link and visit the post and to support us, share the post with your friends to help us reach more and more people. Thank you very much and I will leave you now with Ben and A Bullet’s Life.

Beyond Language

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

A Bullet’s Life

I was 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.

I was 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.

Legend has 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.

I was 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.

Now for 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.

We stayed 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. That was all for today’s episode. All the best from English Plus podcast, and we will see you again next week.

Vocabulary Booster 7 Wordlist

WordsDefinition
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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