#104 – TO OPT OUT

= to choose not to be involved, or to choose to stop being involved in something.
opt + out (+ of)
“The UK might opt out of the new EU agreement”
“More and more schools are choosing to opt out of the national curriculum”

Hi listeners, you’re listening to “A phrasal verb a day”, my name’s Luke Thompson and this is number 104 and it’s the third in a short series involving the word opt and so I wonder if these are new phrases for you but here is number 104 and is to opt out, so we had to opt for meaning to choose something, to opt in meaning to choose to be in, to choose to be involved in something, now we’ve got to opt out or to opt out of something, ok? And that means to decide not to be part of something, or to decide to stop being part of something, so to decide, if someone gives you an offer to join a club and you would, you can opt in or you can opt out, so for example, I think that the last one I gave the example of a space programme which is offering people the chance to go on board a spaceship on a trip to colonize Mars and you’d say “well I thought quite a lot about it and I decided to opt out, I’m sorry but I just love earth, and I don’t really fancy living on a barren, deserted alien planet, thanks very much, I’m sure it’d be very exciting but red is not really my favourite colour so I’m just, I’m going to opt out of this one but you guys go ahead, you know, and send me an email when you get there, I’d love to know what is like, probably red and dusty but just do let me know how that goes, but, not me, you can count me out, ok, I’m going to opt out of that”, to opt out right?, the UK and the European Union, are they in or out? Now there’s going to be a referendum on this, there should be a referendum on this subject whether the UK would like to remain being a member of the European Union and if the referendum says out, then the UK will opt out of Europe, there you go, so that’s going to be interesting when that happens, so, opt out, “I said I’d do it and then it was late to opt out, I couldn’t opt out at the last minute”, “the firm opted out of the company car scheme last year”, ok, to opt out of something, opt out is actually a lot more common than opt in.

Let me have a quick look on Google news, so this is just Google, go to the news tab, click it, put “opt out” in inverted commas and click search, some American websites, we’ve got “more New Jersey students opt out of tests”, ok, so that means more and more kids in New Jersey are choosing not to take tests, which seems to be a negative story about the state of American education or certainly in New Jersey anyway, let’s see what else we’ve got, “opt out recycling plan gets nod”, all right, if something gets the nod it means that people agree to do it, what else have we got? I’m going to go to the next page, see what we’ve got here, students opt out of new Florida tests, that seems to be the big story of the moment, lots of people opting out of tests, what would you, what would you do right if your English teacher in your classroom said “ok, today we’re going to do, I’m going to give you a surprise test, and it’s a very difficult test, it’s very challenging but at the end of it, it will give you a really clear indication of your level of English, but it’s not compulsory, you know, you can opt out if you’re not interested in doing it, if you like to opt out you can go downstairs into the common room and watch a DVD with the rest of the students, but if you are really serious about learning English and you want to know your level and your strengths and weaknesses, you might want to opt into this test. It’s not going to be fun, it’s very tough, em I mean, as well as having to deal with grammar and vocabulary questions you do else have to dodge fruit, which is thrown at you by a chimpanzee, but you know, Oxford and Cambridge universities have been working on this test very hard and they’ve worked out that to get a proper and genuine assessment of your level of English it’s not enough to just simply sit there at the computer and do language exercises, you also need to multitask because it reflects the real life challenges that you might expect when you go out into the world of work, that’s why while answering the difficult questions about verb forms and things, you’ll also have to dodge rotten fruit which is being thrown at you by a chimpanzee, which has been chained up in the corner of the room. It sounds cruel but the monkey actually enjoys it so that’s fine, I know, I know, chimpanzees aren’t actually monkeys, they’re apes, but never mind that right now, so would you like to opt in or opt out of this test?” And everyone goes, “em, I really don’t know, I think I’m going to watch the DVD”, ok, and then you say “well, are sure? Because the DVD is Taken 3 and everyone goes, actually no, I’ll go for the chimpanzee test”.

Did you understand everything I’ve just said? There will probably be a transcript on teacherluke.co.uk for this and in fact the other recently recorded episodes of “A phrasal verb a day” they get transcribed by very helpful listeners who do the sort of, the legwork of, it’s not really legwork, I mean you can say legwork, but typing transcripts, is it legwork? It’s more like finger work, isn’t it? Technically speaking. Anyway I’m going to bring this episode to a close, it should be a short episode, and if I don’t bring it to a close I will end up rambling on and talking about chimpanzees and legwork and things like that and then we’ll never get anywhere, so that’s it, I’m opting out of this episode at this moment, I’m going to bring it to a close, em, teacherluke.co.uk, find a phrasal verb a day, you will eventually find transcripts for all of these episodes, and as far as I know from episode 1 to episode 101 you can find transcripts for them all, that’s useful isn’t it? Oh yes it is, and it’s a free service, you’re welcome ladies and gentlemen, you’re welcome, tell your friends about “A phrasal verb a day”, spread the knowledge, because not enough people know about this, my normal podcast, “Luke’s English podcast” gets lots of listens and downloads, and visits and all that stuff and it’s great, people are aware of it, again not enough people, but people are aware of it, “A phrasal verb a day” is more like the, like the hipsters’ podcast of podcast of choice, because not that many people know about it, so if you are a regular listener to “A phrasal verb a day” then good for you, because you’re like cool, you’re exclusive, you know, you’ve tapped into this interesting podcast that not that many people know about, so you can feel sort of a smug sense of self-satisfaction at being cooler than everyone else because you found it before it became super popular which I’m sure it’s going to become, isn’t it? Yes, can you detect a sense of irony in my voice? Maybe, maybe you can, that’s it for now, speak to you again soon, for now though goodbye.

  • Marty

    Hi, Luke,

    I thing this is nice example…. for opt in and opt out

    Scotish referendum….
    Part of comment from some news, newspapers….BBC…etc.

    …..Scotland is preparing for the referendum…. which decision will be important not only for Scottish but for every citizens living in the UK….. either opt in or opt out of The UK.