346. Rambling on a Friday Afternoon

Phrasal Verbs & Idioms / More NY Stories / Politics / Leicester City / Google Adverts
Welcome back to another podcast episode. It’s nice to be back in your headphones or speakers. In the last episode of this podcast I talked to you about some recent bits and pieces such as the ELTon award nomination, my recent trip to New York and some other stuff. I also gave you a language task to keep you on your toes. I’m going to continue along the same lines in this episode and I have a list of things here to talk about and we’re going to continue with the language spotting exercise.

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It’s a Friday afternoon, I’ve just seen the latest Marvel movie, the weather is mad, and I’m going to talk to you about various things again but first I’ve got to respond to a couple of comments that have arrived here on my website in just the last hour.

Phrasal Verbs & Idioms Listed Below

But first…

Some comments from listeners

Abensour • 4 minutes ago
Hello Luke, Your podcast is fantastic.
Nevertheless, could you please speak a bit faster. I guess you must lower the pace when you record your podcasts and it would be very interesting to hear you with your natural english speaking pace.

Jeremie • 1 minute ago
By the way, I am a french listener as well! :)

Wesley
Hello Luke and LEP listeners,
It’s with absolute delight that I receive the news that LEP has been nominated for the 2016 ELTons and I genuinely believe other long-term listeners share the same feeling. The British Council and Cambridge English couldn’t have a better candidate for the Digital Innovation category.
One thing that troubled me though was when Luke said it was unlikely that he could win. Luke, I don’t know if you’re being far too English or just trying to be modest but, as I see it, you shouldn’t take this defeatist attitude and underestimate yourself. As you said, LEP is a project you have been working on for over seven years and it keeps getting better as time goes on. Because you’re kind-hearted and keep LEP free, people all over the world listen to you. Your episodes have millions of downloads and are a complete success and, even though you’re up against five other great nominees, I cannot conceive why LEP might not be in the running for the award.
LEP is innovative because it allows learners to listen to genuine English – rambling included – outside a classroom environment. Everyone who has reached a proficient level knows how important being in touch with the language is in order to learn it well. LEP is great because it enables us to hear natural English for pleasure and entertainment or while doing housework, cooking and commuting to college. I am not aware of any other equivalent English teaching resource that suits our busy lives just as well as LEP. I believe any sensible judge on the panel will allow for all those reasons when they vote.
I wish you luck and I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
All the best,
Wesley

Language Task – Spot the Phrasal Verbs & Idioms

So, that language task from the previous episode was to listen out for a few phrasal verbs and idioms that I’d taken randomly from a dictionary and which I tried to insert into my speech, seamlessly. You had to identify the ones I had added. The purpose of that is to encourage you to notice lexical items – to notice vocabulary. It’s a good habit for a learner of English. On one hand just follow what I’m saying and connect with that, but also try to notice features of the language you’re listening to. That’s what I’m encouraging you to do.

I chose 5 phrasal verbs and 5 idioms and I managed to slip in just one of those phrasal verbs and two of the idioms.
Remember what they were?

There was “to come up against” something.
Also, “to be on the edge of your seat”
and “to get your knickers in a twist”

There were also plenty of other bits of vocabulary which just cropped up in the episode, including these ones:
– to listen out for something
– to watch out and look out for something (not too complicated)
– to keep your eyes peeled
– to prick up your ears

So, as we move forwards now, watch out for the 4 remaining phrasal verbs and 3 remaining idioms. I’m not telling you what they are in advance. It’s up to you to identify them. You’ll probably hear a few phrasal verbs and idioms, but which are the ones that I took from the dictionary? When we get to the end of this episode I’ll tell you the phrases, and clarify them for you, because I’m nice.

Keep reading – the phrasal verbs and idioms are listed below.

Topics in Today’s Ramble

In this one I’m going to carry on just talking about various subjects, including a couple of other anecdotes about New York, some comments about politics in the USA and in the UK at the moment, some more rambling about movies, and various other bits and pieces that will crop up as we go along.

I’ve got no idea how long this is going to take of course! I could talk the hind legs off a donkey this afternoon, but as ever I’ll just divide the whole thing into several more episodes if necessary. Ultimately – it’s all spoken English from me to you, so here we go…

Some more anecdotes about the time spent in NYC
– The hasidic jews jamming in the music store

– Jack Whitehall at the Comedy Cellar

– Billy Cobham at the Blue Note

Politics
The American presidential elections – Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton
London Mayor – Sadiq Khan is the new mayor
The EU referendum / Brexit
The Panama papers
These are very important political issues that really deserve to be covered in proper depth, and I plan to do that.
I’m particularly keen to talk about Brexit in one more special Brexit themed episodes.
Leicester City won the Premiership.
Small club, 5000-1 odds of winning. The title has been dominated by the big names. Leicester is in the East Midlands and it’s less famous than a lot of the other big cities in England but this is going to help. All in all it’s just fantastic to see a smaller club win this title. They were absolutely fantastic.

Google Adverts
I bought some new trainers online and now the internet is madly trying to get me to buy them again. WTF?

Movies
I’ve just seen the new Marvel movie and also there’s a new Star Wars film coming this Christmas, but that’s going to come in another episode soon…

The Phrasal Verbs & Idioms – Definitions and Examples

Thank you to a LEPster called Valeriya for writing these vocabulary notes in the comment section for the benefit of all listeners.

Valeriya: I wrote some notes. Hope they will be useful for the LEPstors.

to ease off/up – to gradually stop or become less
e.g. At last the rain began to ease off.
e.g. I am leaving soon, but I am just waiting for the traffic to ease off a bit.

to ease off/up – to start to work less or do things with less energy
e.g. As he got older, he started to ease up a little.

to ease off/up – to start to treat someone less severely
e.g. I wish his supervisor would ease up on him a bit.

to fork out (on something) – spend a lot of money on something, probably spend a lot of money in one go in order to buy something; to spend a bunch of money on something in one purchase
e.g. If you advertise nice guitars to me for a long enough period of time, eventually I will fork out on a new guitar.

to splash out (on something) – spend a lot of money on something; to spend a lot of money on something which you want but do not need
e.g. He splashed out on the best champagne for the party.

to go down with something – you catch an illness, you get sick; you become sick; to start to suffer from an infectious disease
e.g. Half of Martha’s class has gone down with flu.

to come down with something – to get an illness; заболеть чем-либо
I came down with the flu at Christmas.
e.g. You need to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, so you’ve got lots of vitamins, because if you don’t, you might come down with a cold.

to bring the house down – if someone or something brings the house down during a play or show, they make the people watching it laugh or clap very loudly; you make everyone laugh as part of a performance; to put on a really great performance and to be a huge hit; to make a group of people or an audience react in a very enthusiastic way, especially by laughing
e.g. I saw Jack Whitehall at the Comedy Cellar, and he absolutely brought the house down.

to go on the offensive – you begin to take strong action against people who have been attacking you
e.g. The West African forces went on the offensive in response to attacks on them.

to go on the offensive – to begin to attack or criticize someone who you think is attacking you
Under pressure from his critics, the minister decided to go on the offensive.
Luke was going on the offensive about Google’s Advertising.

to go on the defensive – in an attitude or position of defense, as in being ready to reject criticism; you start defending yourself or something
e.g. He’s so sensitive. Whenever you give him any feedback he immediately goes on the defensive.

to take/bring somebody down a peg or two – to do something to show someone that they are not as good as they thought they were; to lower someone’s high opinion of themselves
e.g. He’s one of these super-confident types who really needs to be brought down a peg or two.

to dabble in something – to try an activity but not seriously, just as an experiment to see if you like it. To do something for a short time, or not regularly, in order to see if you like it. To do something sometimes, but not in a fully serious way, only in a casual way.
e.g. He dabbled in left-wing politics at university.

  • Daniel

    Luke if you were a super hero you would be called the rambling man. And I don’t say that to offend you. :)

  • MayumiM

    Thank you for picking up my comment! I was on the edge of my seat when I was waiting for your thoughts on Marvel during the episode. (sounds so LEP-geeky!) I quite enjoyed this episode but I’m looking forward to the Marvel episode so badly… Good thing comes for those who wait, so I will!
    By the way, have you watch this before? I’m not sure if you mentioned this on your podcast… This is John Oliver’s show about Donald Trump. youtu.be/q8CzncS4w5A I quite like the previous videos, too.:)

  • Tess

    Donkey noise and google-spy voice all in one episode! Achievement unlocked ^_~

  • Yaron

    We missed you, at least, I missed you. It was fun, as usual.

    One comment about the google advert… I think that it is more sophisticated than you think. The advertisers makes you think that it is done by mistake, but by doing that, they get free advertising for Adidas in a world wide popular podcast which is nominate for ELTon awards!!! (BTW, congrats…)

    And if I recall correctly, this the second time that this is happening in the podcast. I think that in the past ,you got a trainers that you bought online during recording the podcast, and also then, you mentioned that they were keep advertising the trainers after you bought it….

    Perhaps the “big brother” has understood the potential advertising of LEP? perhaps, the “big brother” is also a LEPster? ;)

  • Valeriya Listikova

    Hi, Luke! You made my morning as always. I really enjoyed your last rambling podcasts. I’m glad to know that you have started working on a podcast about politics. I think it will be interesting and thought-provoking. By the way, could I ask you include some topics about Russian foreign policy? I wonder what opinion you have on a current situation.

    I wrote some notes. Hope they will be useful for the LEPstors.
    Luke, I just didn’t get one phrasal verb which means to experiment with something. Could you please spell it?

    to ease off/up – to gradually stop or become less
    At last the rain began to ease off.
    I am leaving soon, but I am just waiting for the traffic to ease off a bit.

    to ease off/up – to start to work less or do things with less energy
    As he got older, he started to ease up a little.

    to ease off/up – to start to treat someone less severely
    I wish his supervisor would ease up on him a bit.

    to fork out (on something) – spend a lot of money on something, probably spend a lot of money in one go in order to buy something; to spend a bunch of money on something in one purchase
    If you advertise nice guitars to me for a long enough period of time, eventually I will fork out on a new guitar.

    to splash out (on something) – spend a lot of money on something; to spend a lot of money on something which you want but do not need
    He splashed out on the best champagne for the party.

    to go down with something – you catch an illness, you get sick; you become sick; to start to suffer from an infectious disease
    Half of Martha’s class has gone down with flu.

    to come down with something – to get an illness; заболеть чем-либо
    I came down with the flu at Christmas.
    You need to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, so you’ve got lots of vitamins, because if you don’t, you might come down with a cold.

    to bring the house down – if someone or something brings the house down during a play or show, they make the people watching it laugh or clap very loudly; you make everyone laugh as part of a performance; to put on a really great performance and to be a huge hit; to make a group of people or an audience react in a very enthusiastic way, especially by laughing
    I saw Jack Whitehall at the Comedy Cellar, and he absolutely brought the house down.

    to go on the offensive – you begin to take strong action against people who have been attacking you
    The West African forces went on the offensive in response to attacks on them.

    to go on the offensive – to begin to attack or criticize someone who you think is attacking you
    Under pressure from his critics, the minister decided to go on the offensive.
    Luke was going on the offensive about Google’s Advertising.

    to go on the defensive – in an attitude or position of defense, as in being ready to reject criticism; you start defending yourself or something

    to take/bring somebody down a peg or two – to do something to show someone that they are not as good as they thought they were; to lower someone’s high opinion of themselves
    He’s one of these super-confident types who really needs to be brought down a peg or two.

    And a few words about ELTon Award Nomination. I totally agree with Wesley. You deserve it. Don’t undervalue yourself. Your podcast is more than just a podcast, you made a community, Luke. I do hope you win. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

    The best of luck, Luke! The whole world is with you on this one! ;)

    • Fantastic comment Valeriya – very useful of you to have written down all those expressions with examples, including the examples I gave in the episode. I’m going to add this comment into the main text on this page and I will add the expression ‘to dabble in’ as well.

      Yes some more episodes about politics should be on their way – there’s so much to talk about and lots of language too.

      About Russian foreign policy – I’m not that well informed on the subject, especially since I suspect that the media coverage that I get might be quite different to the version you get in Russia. I think there’s a lot of media bias (both intentional and unintentional) that clouds the issues. I’ll do some reading and will try to include some comments in an episode at some point.

      Thank you also for your comments about the award. They’re very encouraging.

      • Stop-russions

        Luke, do not replay to Russians, do not disccuss with them – it is different state of mind to be a Russian – they will never be a civilized nation.