Open Menu
 
Phonetics with M-E

Try mSpy Phone Tracker for Your Kid's Safety

Amy Robinson (Sozo Exchange)
Touch a word or the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the red <play> button for sound

Today, we are going to learn more useful English expressions. Let’s start by meeting our featured guest, Amy Robinson. Amy is a creatively-skilled visual artists from the Los Angeles area of California. You’ll see from her interview footage that Amy is a fun and whimsical person, and these playful qualities are evident in her artwork also.

We’ll start with her interview footage, and then we’ll move on to our body language, American slang and pronunciation segments. We’ll then cap off the day’s lesson with a flash card review exercise.

Introduction

Welcome back to Sozo Exchange, the place where professional adults can learn practical English for free. My name is Sarah MacKay, and I am your host.

Today, we are going to learn more useful English expressions. Let’s start by meeting our featured guest, Amy Robinson. Amy is a creatively skilled visual artist from the Los Angeles area of California. You’ll see from her interview footage that Amy is a fun and whimsical person, and these playful qualities are evident in her artwork also.

We’ll start with her interview footage, and then we’ll move on to our body language, American slang and pronunciation segments. We’ll then cap off the day’s lesson with a flash card review exercise. Along our way through today’s program, we’ll learn a lot of neat English expressions, so let’s get started.

Interview

- Here is the first question we asked Amy.
“What is your favorite slang word?”
- My favorite slang word is a new one. It’s uhm…a purple state which describes, uhm…a state in our country that’s politically divided half and half between Republican, which is seen as a red state and Democrat, which is seen as a blue state. So, now it’s a purple state.



- California, where Amy lives, is probably considered the most liberal state in our country, and has historically been a blue state. Blue is the color used to indicate the majority of California voters are Democrat. Many of the southern states such as Texas, Alabama and Mississippi are viewed as red states. Generally speaking, red states tend to have more conservative values and cultures than blue states.



The adjective “conservative” means preferring traditional views, and tending to oppose changes in society. The word “liberal” is the opposite of conservative. It means not limited by established and traditional values in a political sense. Let’s take a look at a map of the United States that delineates which states are red and which are blue. Since the slang term, purple state is relatively new, as Amy pointed out, we won’t beable to see any purple states on the map.
Let’s ask Amy another question now.
“What is your favourite gesture?”



- One of my favourite gestures is the thinking, plotting face. That’s when you are trying to think about something that’s difficult; it goes like this: Hmmm…



- That’s a good one. The thinking or plotting face is more of a symbolic or cartoon-like gesture. What I mean by that is people don’t usually make this thinking face unless they are exaggerating their gesture to indicate they are thinking or plotting. That’s why you see this pose often in cartoons, since it’s difficult to show cartoon characters are thinking about something without giving them some kind of symbolic gesture. The verb “plot” means to map out every step of a plan carefully. It is also used quite often to describe an illegal or unethical plan against someone. All right, we have one final question for Amy.
“What was your favorite tongue twister as a child?”



- My favorite tongue twister was about a bear and it goes like this: Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he?



- I remember that one! Tongue twisters are sometimes called nursery rhymes. These rhymes are taught to children to help them improve their pronunciation and vocabulary skills in a fun way. It’s a great idea for you adult viewers to practice with some tongue twisters; these will help you develop your facial muscles so you can correctly pronounce difficult English words.



A rhyme occurs when words that sound similar, especially in their last syllables, are put together to create a rhythm in poems, songs or other types of writing. The word can also be used in its verb form, which is also pronounced as rhyme. For example, bunny rhymes with funny.



Before Amy recited the tongue twister, she said, “It goes like this.” You can use this expression when you can’t remember the name of a song but you want to tell your friends about it. You can sing the song to let your friends know what the song is about or to help them identify the song. In this situation, you can use this expression “it goes like this” to indicate you are about to sing a bit of the song.

Body Language

Now, let’s switch gears and move on to today’s body language lesson. Today’s lesson is not about a gesture used in the U.S., but rather one used in Japan: the Japanese pondering gesture. Sometimes Japanese people close their eyes with their arms crossed on their chest with a stern face in business meetings like this. This gesture shows they are pondering or thinking about something, and is usually done by a senior member of the group. This gesture may confuse Americans in a meeting, as it gives off a strong impression of defensiveness, rejection or even anger.

This pondering gesture is common in Japan, and it simply means the person is thinking or pondering about the business at hand. Since there is no eye contact or verbal communication used during this gesture, business people in the U.S. may view it as offensive. Perhaps next time you are in a meeting and thinking about something, I suggest you go like this. (Pondering gesture) I bet people in the meeting will either find it funny or insulting! Now, I’m just being facetious here so don’t actually do it. Facetious is an adjective which means playfully humorous.

Slang of the Day

Our slang of the day lesson is up next. The term for today is “elephant in the room” which is an idiom for an obvious truth or problem that people are ignoring for various reasons.

The phrase comes from the fact that an elephant in a small room would be impossible to ignore. But nobody wants to talk about the elephant because nobody knows what to do or say about it.

By the way, the elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party while the donkey is the symbol for the Democratic party. On its own, the word “elephant” doesn’t have any negative associations; in fact, it is perceived as an intelligent and powerful animal.

How to Pronounce It

Now, for our How to Pronounce It segment, we are going to use the word “fuzzy.” The word fuzzy has this “z” sound which isn’t easy for many non-native speakers to pronounce. Some Asian and European speakers have trouble with the difference between a “G” sound as in “genius” and the “Z” sound that occurs in “fuzzy.” In this case, non-native speakers may mispronounce the word “fuzzy” as “fuh-gee.” I’ll pronounce the word correctly now, so watch carefully how I use my lips, teeth, jaw, tongue and facial muscles to make this “Z” sound.

Flash Cards

Let’s wrap up today’s lesson with a flash card exercise. Do you remember this from last time? We’ll show you a bunch of flash cards with definitions on them. You should then say your answer, the word or phrase that fits that definition, out loud. Let’s begin.
1:
Q: A U.S. sate that is politically divided as half Republican and half Democrat.
A: A purple state.
2:
Q: Not limited politically by established and traditional values.
A: Liberals.
3:
Q: Preferring traditional views and values.
A: Conservatives.
4:
Q: When similar sounding words are used in a poem or song.
A: A rhyme.
5:
Q: To think deeply or devise a plan for something.
A: To plot.
6:
Q: Indicates that you are about to recite a bit of something.
A: It goes like this.
7:
Q: An obvious problem that everyone is ignoring for various reasons.
A: The elephant in the room.

Fantastic job with those answers! Amy Robinson, our featured guest, created the artwork pictures we displayed between each of the flash cards.

Before we leave you today, I have a tongue twister for you to practice. It goes like this, “She sells seashells on the seashore. The shells that she sells are seashells, I’m sure. So, if she sells seashells on the seashore, I’m sure that the shells are shore shells.” Whew! That’s a good one.

Don’t forget to check out our website at www.sozoexchange.com. Download a complete transcript of today’s show there, as well as a study guide and audio exercises. You should also complete our online survey there.

We’re all done for today. I can’t wait to see you again next time. Have fun practicing those expressions!

10:34            
 
 

 

© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more