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We hope you enjoy the magazine, here are some of the reasons that I like it: • • • It teaches you REAL English and is not limited to academic language. It’s the most fun you can have reading a magazine (without taking off your pants). It’s an anagram of LONG BEEF SHIT CIJ and IL CHIE SON JET BFG.
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One of the best things about learning a foreign language is that you can do it through any subject you want. You can learn the same vocabulary and grammar from a funny story as you can from a boring newspaper article. Motivation is very important in learning and this is why we make our articles as fun as possible; if you enjoy what you read you will want to continue and you will remember more of what you learn. Students of English often complain that what they learn at school and university does not prepare them for the way people use English in real life. As an English teacher myself, I constantly hear complaints like, ‘When I went to America I could talk about European politics but I couldn’t tell a joke’, ‘The only English I understood was from other French speakers’ and many others that are similar. Objectif English teaches you English for real life, not just so you can read a newspaper in English. You will see words like ‘fuck’ used by Peter Lagueule, Master Criminal, One Eyed Simon and in Adult Only. You might like to swear, you might not (we do), but either way you need to understand these things because they are an important and authentic part of language. Of course, swearing is inappropriate in many situations so it has to be used carefully. There are also some contexts where it is completely normal; such as when you need to tell your boss or teacher to shut the fuck up because he is a fat, ugly cunt. We want to know what you think of Objectif English. What do you like? What don’t you like? It’s your magazine, tell us. You can contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send us the feedback form on page 5 and have the chance to win a subscription. We really do want to know what you think! You can subscribe by emailing us at email@example.com or by sending the coupon on page 19. Objectif English #1 is a first issue special, but from now on you can buy it every month. Enjoy!
Dictionary of Slang Jokes Let’s all laugh at... THE BRITISH Dr. Finger’s Pronunciation Grammar Clinic One Eyed Simon’s Tips... FAKING IT Plane Stories Weird Resumes Travel Stories- Wherever I may roam Birmingham Punk SUBSCRIPTIONS Adult Only British Bar Chat U.S. Bar Chat Failed Crime Stories Red Carpet Talk: Celebrity Marriages Crank Calls One Eyed Proverbs Business Dialogues
anagram n a word where the order of letters has been changed to make a new word or words swear vb use profanity, say taboo words shut the fuck up exp RUDE be quiet, stop talking cunt n RUDE! a person you hate, part of a woman’s anatomy (probably the most taboo word in English)
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Introduction Dictionary of Slang Dr. Finger’s Pronunciation Grammar Clinic Plane Stories Punk British Bar Chat U.S. Bar Chat Red Carpet Talk: This means you can listen to an article Celebrity Marriages on the audio CD. Crank Calls Business Dialogues Goodbye
Pubished by ILCEA Linguistic Ltd. Contact information: www.objectifenglish.com Objectif English ILCEA Linguistic Ltd. 43 Temple Row Birmingham B2 5LS United Kingdom Telephone: 00 44 121 237 6004 Fax: 00 44 121 237 6100 Information: firstname.lastname@example.org Feedback: email@example.com Subscriptions: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Editorial Director Luc Ciotkowski firstname.lastname@example.org Director Executive Jean-Charles Bully Cartoons & cover art Olivier Gobber Printing ISSN 1748-281X Dépôt légal 3ème trimestre 2005
We would like to thank everyone at Hot English Publishing S.L. for their collaboration and helpful advice on our first issue of Objectif English. The articles on pages 4, 8, 10, 12, 18, 22, 23, 26, 28 and 30, and the audio tracks from 2-15, are the original work of Hot English Publishing S.L. See their website: www.hotenglishmagazine.com In particular we would like to thank: Andy Coney, Andy Goodall and Thorley Russell for their comments, advice and original Hot English articles and audio; Vanesa Carosia for her technical assistance and design advice; Freddy Norberto for putting the audio CD together; Ariel Plotkin for her background designs and Nikko Hinderstein for peaches and water.
Welcome to Objectif English, the number one magazine for learning English!! I would like to thank you all out there for reading Objectif English, the first ever magazine published by a cultural exchange company, leading provider of opportunities around the world. That’s right, Objectif English is not only an amazing tool for learning English, it is a gathering of our experiences in the language instruction field. Of course the best way to learn a language will always be living in the country, but before (and after), you might want a few tips to speak better, improve faster, or keep your fluency up with excellent and funny articles… Objectif English is all that, and more. So now enough with the boring stuff, and enjoy your reading… JC
Copyright © 2005 ILCEA Linguistic Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of ILCEA Linguistic Ltd. If you are offended by anything in the magazine please write in, we will be happy to explain ‘sense of humour’, ‘jokes’ and ‘irony’ to you. ILCEA Linguistic Ltd. is a division of ILCEA Corporation.
DICTIONARY OF SLANG
Her e we’ve got some examples of how to sa y things in diffe r ent si tuations.
CD track 2
You need to start working a lot more and making more of an effort:
I need to dedicate more time to my work
I need to get going on things
I need to pull my finger out; I need to get my act together; I need to get on the case; I need to get my ass in gear They’re my mates; they’re my buddies (US)
You are with a colleague when you see some other friends on the other side of the street:
Those people are my acquaintances
Those people are my friends
It’s late at night and you are feeling very hungry:
I have such an urge to consume food
I’m feeling a bit hungry
I’ve got the munchies; I’m feeling a bit peckish; I’m starving; I could eat a horse What time does it kick off? what time does it get going? He’s a grumpy old sod; he’s a miserable old git
You ask what something starts:
What time does it commence?
What time does it start?
A friend is always angry, and is never happy:
He is of a negative disposition
He’s always in a bad mood
You want to tell a friend that something is easy and not at all complicated:
It is not of a complex nature
It isn’t hard to understand
It isn’t rocket science; it’s a piece of piss; it’s child’s play; a 4-year-old could understand it; even a monkey could do it; it’s dead easy Get lost! You’re cramping my style; beat it (US); scram (US)
You are flirting with an attractive person. Suddenly, a friend appears and tries to join the conversation. You are angry and tell your friend to go away:
Please, retire! You are interfering with my attempts at seduction
Go away! You’re getting in the way!
Please note that some of the words in this glossary box are literal translations of parts of idiomatic expressions. an ass n RUDE US the part of your body that you sit on a gear n cars have five or six gears. These help the car travel at different speeds, or backwards an urge n a desire a munchie n this comes from the verb “to munch”. Basically, if you “munch” food, you eat it slowly and steadily and by making a noise a sod; a git n RUDE an insult (not too offensive) - usually for a man cramped adj if a room or building is “cramped”, there are too many people and there is too little space
“he’s a miserable old git”
Jokes are great, they make you laugh and everyone likes to laugh. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell a good joke in a foreign language - you forget words or the tense you want to use... Each month we show you how to tell good jokes in English. I’m laughing already...
The smart tramp
A tramp walks into a bar and orders a drink. “I don’t think you can pay for that, can you?” says the barman. “OK” says the tramp. “If I promise to show you something amazing, will you give me a drink?” Reluctantly, the barman agrees, and the tramp pulls a baby chick out of his pocket and puts it on the bar. The little creature runs over to the piano and plays Imagine by John Lennon. “That was amazing,” admits the barman as he pulls the tramp’s pint. Once he has gulped it down, the tramp asks for another. “I’ll need another miracle in return,” says the barman. So this time the tramp pulls out a piglet and puts it on the bar. The piglet clears his throat and sings Bohemian Rhapsody. At this point, a man sitting in the corner of the bar comes up and gives him £100 for the piglet. When he’s gone, the barman says to the tramp, “You’re crazy to sell that pig so cheaply. You could have got much more.” “It’s OK,” replies the tramp, “The chicken’s a ventriloquist.”
A big lorry driver with a reputation for making trouble walks into a bar. Everyone pretends not to see him and hopes he will leave them alone. A little man is sitting at the bar just staring at his drink when the big lorry driver walks up to him, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig. The poor little man starts crying. The lorry driver is surprised and says, “Come on man, I was only messing about, I’ll buy you another drink. I just can’t stand to see a man crying.” “This is the worst day of my life,” says the little guy, sobbing. “I can’t do anything right. I slept-in and was late for an important meeting, so my boss fired me. “When I went to the car park, I found my car was stolen and I have no insurance. I grabbed a taxi home but, after it left, I found out my wallet was still in the taxi. “I got in the house and discovered my wife had left me for my brother… And then you turn up and drink the poison!”
grab vb take suddenly gulp vb swallow swig n a swallow of liquid smart adj intelligent, clever, well dressed tramp n somebody who has no home or job and often lives on the streets
mess about phr vb play about sob vb cry sleep-in phr vb sleep longer than intended reluctantly adv unwillingly, if you do something reluctantly you don’t want to do it to pull a pint exp to pour a drink into a 568ml glass
fire vb sack, dismiss from job find out phr vb discover turn up phr vb arrive piglet n a baby pig ventriloquist n someone who can speak without moving his lips or mouth
Put a number between 1 and 10 next to each article: 10=love it; 1=hate it. If you don’t like it say why. Send it with your name, age, profession, telephone number and full postal address to: Objectif English, ILCEA linguistic Ltd., 43 Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5LS, United Kingdom (Royaume Uni).
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___________________Wherever I may roam
____________________Let’s all laugh at...
____________________Dictionary of Slang
____________________British Bar Chat
____________________I would have got
____________________One Eyed Simon’s
____________________U.S. Bar Chat
____________________One Eyed Proverbs
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Tips... FAKING IT
away with it, too
This is the section where Peter Lagueule talks about certain groups of people and why they make him laugh. This month he has chosen a particularly easy target… the British. Hello everyone, I would like to invite you to join me in laughing at idiots from around the world. There is so much to choose from, there are mad people everywhere. I decided to start with British people, ha ha, I’m laughing already! What a shame we only have two pages to laugh at them. Who are they? The British are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the U.K. for short). This is made up of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. People from other countries often mistakenly talk about ‘the English’ when they mean the British. This makes people from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales very angry, unless they are saying bad things about the English. If this happens they will join in and explain the differences between themselves and the English. The funny thing about this is that, like me, the foreigner doesn’t give a flying fuck about their shitty little island. If you go to the U.K. you will see that the British drive on the lefthand side of the road. Brits will tell you that this is because they have always done this and that over a quarter of the world’s countries drive on the left. The real reason is that they hope this will make foreigners not want to drive on U.K. roads and bother British drivers (who like to drive nice and slowly). There are lots of roundabouts, too. This is just in case foreigners do decide to drive in the U.K., they will surely crash their cars and die if they do.
One of these three pictures is true, the other two are very silly. Can you tell which is which?
Unfortunately, some funny stereotypes of the British are no longer correct.
The British still drink lots of tea, but only the upper class have kept up the peculiar tradition of stopping everything at five o’clock to drink it. Taking refuge from the rain, they love to sip from a cup of boiled leaves and throw another child on the fire to keep warm.
Children should be seen and not heard (proverb)
Children are treated better today than ever before, parents treat them almost as well as their pets.
This is now most commonly used by Americans for breast implants, although British parents still sometimes feed their children jelly, usually at birthday parties. I suppose they do this so children learn that the world is a cruel place at an early age.
Barmaids used to tell their customers to “Drink up before it gets cold” when they bought a pint of beer. Now Brits drink cold European lager, as fast as they can.
Write to Peter Lagueule and tell him who you would like to laugh at: email@example.com The British invented some sports that are very popular today, such as: football; rugby; cricket and golf (which is good for people who can’t be bothered to play a real sport). England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales often have separate national sports teams, the British will only play together if they realise they are really bad at a sport. They only joined what is now the European Union to piss off the French. Now they’re stuck and they don’t like that at all, they are terribly suspicious of other Europeans. People in Britain are particularly frightened of the euro. They are very worried that they would forget who they are if there was no pound sterling. British women are very worried that their femininity will go unnoticed. To combat this they wear short skirts and tops that leave little to the imagination, they usually wear pink just so you don’t forget they are female. British people go to the pub to drink as quickly as possible. Conversation is sometimes what happens while they are busy trying to get drunk. Everyone drinks at the pace of the fastest drinker. Even if they have a full drink in front of them everyone rushes to buy another drink at 10:55pm when the barmaid calls ‘last orders’. At 11pm the bar staff call ‘time’ and start to wrestle drinks away from the customers. It is only now, after leaving the pub that the British remember that they need to eat. When sober, queuing is their favourite thing (all alone, a Brit will form an orderly queue of one) but it becomes a big problem for the British when they are drunk. They all attempt to buy something to eat from a kebab or other fast food restaurant and amuse themselves in the queue by fighting. Only the most motivated succeed. Those who successfully obtain food eat it as quickly as they can and reward themselves by vomiting it back up into the gutter. This gives them the energy required to fight people in the queue for a taxi. As you can see, the British really know how to party… right up until 11:30, when everything closes. Of course not all of the British are like this; it would be unfair to say so. There are British that eat a typically bland meal, put the children in their cages and go to bed with the dog hours before any of this trouble happens. British people read lots of newspapers but this has not helped them to understand people from other countries better. The reason for this is that they only contain news about the private lives of the British royal family. This is a strange bunch of people who are even uglier than most Brits. In the U.K. some people are pro-monarchy and others are anti-monarchy. Pro-monarchy means you think the royal family were dropped on their heads when they were young, so that excuses their odd behaviour. Anti-monarchy means you think the royal family should be dropped on their heads, every day. British tourists are easy to distinguish abroad. They will look a) sunburnt (even if they are black) b) embarrassed c) drunk… or sometimes all three of these things. If they meet somebody who doesn’t speak their language they will continue to speak to them in English, just LOUDER and more S-L-O-W-L-Y. Modern day Britons eat lots of food from other countries. They are beginning to realise that the idea of eating British food is as attractive as having sex with Margaret Thatcher. God Save the Queen! I hope her head is OK.
foreigner n person from a different country I don’t give a flying fuck exp RUDE I really don’t care shitty adj RUDE dirty, horrible Brit n, Briton n British person roundabout n island at a road junction that cars go round in one direction peculiar adj odd, strange, unusual to sip vb to drink (slowly or a little at a time) commonly adv often, usually, frequently breast implant n material inserted into breasts to make them bigger can’t be bothered exp If you can’t be bothered to do something you don’t have the energy to do it separate adj individual, different to piss off phr vb RUDE to really annoy suspicious adj not trusting, sceptical go unnoticed vb not seen, ignored combat vb fight drunk adj intoxicated by alcohol pace n speed rush vb go/move quickly last orders n warning that the customers can only buy drinks for another five minutes time n bar staff call ‘time’ when the bar is closed. wrestle drinks away from take drinks away by force sober adj not drunk or intoxicated to queue vb to wait in a line for something gutter n drain at the side of a street for carrying away rainwater required adj needed, necessary bland adj dull, tasteless bunch n group, gang behaviour n conduct, actions to distinguish vb to recognize, to know, to see abroad adv in a different country sunburnt adj having inflamed skin from exposure to sun Margaret Thatcher mean old British ex-prime minister who you probably don’t want to have sex with retarded adj backward in mental development caveman n prehistoric human who lived in caves arsehole n RUDE insult to a person you don’t like, idiot, anus conservative adj cautious, understated, unexaggerated
Being British means it is acceptable to get drunk and behave like a retarded caveman. There is only one legal haircut for British men at any one time. According to recent statistics, 33% of British people are complete arseholes. However, some say this is a conservative estimate.
CD track 3 - BBC English accent
Dr Fingers’ Pronunciation Course
Exercise - Part II Now let's try another activity. Look at the box below, at the bottom of the page. We've put some verbs in the appropriate boxes according to their pronunciation. Here are some more verbs in the past. Listen to the pronunciation, repeat the pronunciation then see if you can put the verbs into the correct boxes according to their pronunciation. Remember to listen carefully to the sound at the end:
PART I - PAST TENSE VERBS This month we are looking at the pronunciation of regular past tense verbs (verbs that end in "ed", such as "walked"). Most verbs are, of course, regular. We will be looking at sounds, and you have to remember that in English a letter or combination of letters can have many, many different sounds. Anyway, there are basically three different pronunciations for the endings of these verbs: the sound "t", as in "worked"; the sound "d", as in "played"; and the sound "id", as in "wanted". Notice how the “e” is often not pronounced. Exercise I Let's try an activity. Look at the list of verbs below. Listen to each verb and write "t", "d" or "id" next to them according to their pronunciation. The first one has been done for you: Walked Phoned Arrested Stopped Explained Knocked Wanted ("T") Jumped Carried Looked
Started Part II Is there a rule? Of course there is! Basically, the pronunciation depends on the final sound of the verb in the infinitive. Here is the rule, and please remember we are looking at the sounds of the letters: 1. The pronunciation of the "ed" ending in the past is "t" if the final sound of the infinitive is: a) "ch" as in "watched b) "f" (usually written "gh") as in "laughed" c) "k" as in "worked" d) "p" as in "dropped" e) "s" as in "passed" f) and "sh" as in "washed" 2. a) b) c) d) e) f) 3. a) b) The pronunciation of the "ed" ending in the past is "d" if the final sound of the infinitive is: "m" as in "informed" "n" as in "rained" "v" as in "lived" "w" as in "snowed" "z" as in "dozed" and "i" as in "carried" The pronunciation of the "ed" ending in the past is "id" if the final sound of the infinitive is:: "d" as in "faded" and "t" as in "wanted"
Watched Rained Landed Laughed Wanted Blamed Worked Rapped Arrived Bossed Snowed Rushed Realized
Accepted Added Admired Begged Blinded Blushed Cried Collected Charged Cleared Corrected Excited Explained
Flashed Grabbed Damaged Drowned Extended Existed Increased Killed Licked Mattered Promised Packed Offended
Ordered Pushed Rushed Remembered Removed Saved Shared Sinned Sniffed Sounded Stopped Talked Tested Thanked
Well, that's all for now. Bye for now and happy talking!
Information Box Pronunciation Note - Linguists Only! In English there are two types of consonant sounds: voiced and unvoiced. All the sounds in the first box (pronunciation "T") are "unvoiced consonants"; and all the sounds in the second box are "voiced consonants". Let's look at the difference: Unvoiced Consonants (box 1 - "T") The unvoiced sounds (in the first box) produce a blast of air. You should be able to feel this on your hand. Let me show you what I mean. Put your hand in front of your mouth and say the following sounds: "ch", "f", "k", "p", "s" and "sh". Voiced Consonants (box 2 - "D") Voiced consonants produce a vibration in your throat when you say them. This is a completely natural sound, and your voice will automatically produce it if you relax and don't stress the endings. You can try this for yourself. Put your finger on your throat and say the sounds "m", "n", "v", "w", "z" and "i". You should be able to feel the vibration in your throat. * Notice how the letter "y" at the end of many regular verbs often changes to an "i". For example: carry - carried; worry - worried.
1. Pronunciation: T Walked, stopped, knocked, jumped, looked, helped, missed, started,
2. Pronunciation: D Phoned, explained, carried, arrived,
3. Pronunciation: ID Arrested, wanted,
CD track 4 BBC accent
Today’s class: Whether & If
Dear Dr Fingers, I was wondering about the difference between the words “whether” and “if”. Please could you help me as my students asked about this and I didn’t know what to say? Thank you very much. Michael (by e-mail)
Dear Michael, Thank you very much for your question. Of course, I would be delighted to try and help explain the difference between “whether” and “if”. It is a little bit complicated as in many cases they are very similar and interchangeable, but in other cases only one option is possible. Let’s see. “Whether” & “If” - Similarities Both “whether” and “if” can be used in reported speech with verbs such as “ask”. For example: “I asked her if I could take her car.” “I asked her whether I could take her car.” “She asked me if I spoke French.” “She asked me whether I spoke French.” “She asked if I liked it.” “She asked whether I liked it.” However, there are many other cases when it is only possible to use “whether”. Let’s see a few examples. “Whether” We use “whether” (and an infinitive with “to”) after the verbs “know”, “ask” and “wonder” when there are two or more alternatives or options. For example:
“I don’t know whether to go to the cinema or whether to go to the theatre.” It isn’t always necessary to mention the second “whether”. So, we could say the previous sentence like this: “I don’t know whether to go to the cinema or (whether) to go to the theatre.” You can also use “or not” instead of mentioning the other option: “I don’t know whether to go to the cinema or not.” We always use “whether” if there is a preposition: “We were talking about whether we should pay more money for it.” “We were thinking about whether we should go early or late.” And we often use “whether” when it is followed by an infinitive with “to”: “I was wondering whether to tell you or Steve.” “I’ve been wondering whether to speak now or later.” “If” It is NOT possible to use “if” when there are two alternative options, particularly with expressions like “I’m not sure”, “I don’t know” and “wonder” plus an infinitive with “to”. For example: “I’m not sure whether to go to France or Italy.” It is NOT possible to say, “I’m not sure if… “I don’t know whether to tell Michael or Sam.” It is NOT possible to say, “I don’t know if… “I’ve been wondering whether to go by train or plane.” It is NOT possible to say, “I’ve been wondering if… Right, I hope that has answered your question. Just remember to use “whether” when there are alternatives, and you should be OK. Now, I must go and drink some cocoa. Bye, Dr Fingers
When you read something in English you can take as much time as you need to understand everything. However, when you speak English you have to think on your feet, sometimes it can be embarrassing or even a bit scary. Follow my advice and impress English speakers by appearing more fluent.
If an English speaker asks you a question stroke your chin and look like you were thinking about something else for a few seconds before you answer. This will give you time to decide if you understood the question or if you need to hear it again. It should help you to avoid embarrassing situations, like this: Native speaker So, where do you come from, then?
Say ‘you know what I mean’ or ‘like’ after everything you say. Many English speakers add unnecessary words like these to their sentences. It is often considered a bad habit among native speakers. However, it will make you seem really cool if English is not your first language. See how well Jeanette Foreigner does things: Native speaker Did you enjoy the film?
If you need tips on how to do something in English email One Eyed Simon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanette Foreigner Yeah. It was, like, quite good. You know what I mean? Did you like it? Native speaker I thought it was, you know, all right, like. Do you want to go to the cinema with me next week?
Johnny Foreigner Yes, I would love to. Native speaker ?
Jeanette Foreigner I’m sorry, Dave has invited me.He doesn’t,like, try to stroke my leg during the film. And he’s much better looking than you. You know what I mean? Native speaker Oh, right…
(Native speaker explains her question again and they both laugh nervously about the misunderstanding. Johnny Foreigner is ashamed and commits suicide two hours later.)
Tap your wrist when you ask, “What time is it, please?” Do not tap your crotch when you ask, “Where are the toilets, please?” If you ‘invent’ a new word (by saying a word from your own first language with an English speaking accent) don’t stop, just ignore it and continue with what you are saying. Even if it doesn’t exist, the native speaker will think it is real word and feel embarrassed that he doesn’t know it. If you make somebody repeat a question three times and you still can’t understand just say, “That’s none of your business, you ugly bastard”, look insulted and walk away. The person will think you’re mad but they will think that your English is excellent. Frown when you speak to someone in English, it makes you seem much more credible. This really works! The person in front of you will think you know exactly what you are talking about.
fake it exp make people think you are good at something when you are not think on your feet exp think and act quickly embarrass vb make someone feel bad or selfconscious fluent adj if you are fluent in a language you express yourself easily and naturally stroke vb caress, pass hand gently over something foreigner n person from another country
ashamed adj embarrassed by shame native English speaker n person whose first language is English bastard n RUDE an insult to a person you don’t like frown vb to push your eyebrows together (especially to show you don’t like something) credible adj believable, likely, convincing crotch n part of the body at the top and in between your legs
CD track 5 southern Englishman and Welshman
Find out what was wrong with a mysterious man travelling from Manchester airport, why one man sued an American airline, and what happened to a Scotsman who thought he was on his way to Glasgow.
Brian remembers a very unusual passenger on a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. I was in the airport when I suddenly noticed this guy dressed as a duck going “quack, quack”. When we got on the plane, I was amused to see that the “duck” was sitting right next to me. Halfway through the flight, I plucked up the courage to ask the man, “So, what’s the story?” “Well, I was at a fancy-dress party dressed in this duck suit,” the man explained, “and I had a bet with my friends. Well, the upshot is that I get two hundred euros if I fly to Jo’burg in the suit.”
the passenger who swore at the check-in guy. “I’m sorry you feel like that about my mother, sir; but you’ll have to stand in line.” I felt like cheering. What a hero!
John was working as ground staff in Fresno airport when he had to deal with an angry passenger. This guy came up to me all angry and said, “When I checked in with your airline in Chicago, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT,” the passenger began. “I know I’m overweight, but do you really need to classify your passengers in this humiliating way?” I took a couple of seconds to control myself, then desperately trying not to laugh, I informed the irate and rather plump passenger that the city code for Fresno is in fact FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage.
Jim had a very enjoyable flight. I was sitting on this plane headed to Bombay when this drunken guy came onto the plane. “Please, please, please don’t sit next to me,” I said to myself as I watched him stagger down the aisle. But, as luck would have it, he sat right next to me. He literally fell into his seat and fell asleep immediately. About two hours out of Heathrow, he suddenly woke up and ordered a vodka and orange. When his drink arrived, he looked over to me and asked, “So, what time are we due into Glasgow, then?” I must say, that was one of the most pleasurable flights I’ve ever had. And, oh, how I enjoyed telling him that we were actually going to Bombay.
Freddy remembers a very unusual passenger. I was working as ground staff in Manchester airport when this family turned up. They were pushing an elderly man in a wheelchair. They told me that he was their grandfather and that he was feeling unwell and was very tired. “That’s OK, if you require any further assistance, please let us know,” I told them. But when staff at the security search point went to check the man, they realised that he was in actual fact dead. It turned out that the family were trying to send their grandfather home for burial, but since the cost of sending the dead body in a coffin was so great, they’d come up with the idea of sending him as a normal passenger as the ticket was cheaper. What a way to go!
Gordon remembers a very angry passenger. I was waiting to check in when this guy rushes up to the front of the line and demands to be checked in first. To the passenger’s surprise, the check-in guy just said, “I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to stand in line like everybody else.” On hearing this, the passenger went bright red and shouted, “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” At which, the check-in guy reached for his microphone and announced to everyone, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a gentleman at the check-in desk who doesn’t appear to know who he is. If anyone can help, please come forward. Thank you.” Of course, everyone thought this was absolutely hilarious, except
Frank Brown is currently in litigation with an American airline. I spent most of my two-hour internal flight in great pain. I was headed for the west coast and my elbow was pinned to an armrest by an obese passenger who was sitting next to me. What made me really angry was the way that the cabin staff treated me. Minutes after I boarded, this flight attendant told me I had to move somewhere else, and I stupidly obeyed. My new seat was next to this obese man, who was occupying not only his own seat but half of mine too. This was a huge human being, and he was pressing down on me with his full weight for the duration of the flight. When I got to San Francisco, my elbow was hurting, and I was wet from the man’s sweat. It was a really gross situation. As part of the compensation, I asked the airline to provide me with a temporary employee to assist with my computer work while the injury healed. But they refused. And that’s why I’m going to sue them. I think they deserve to be taught a lesson.
to sue vb to start a legal process against someone dressed as exp if you are “dressed as” a duck, you are wearing a costume that makes you look like a duck quack, quack exp this is the noise that ducks make to pluck up the courage to do something exp to find the confidence to do something difficult a fancy-dress party n a party with people dressed in funny or historical clothes a bet n if you have a “bet” with someone, you play a game with someone. The winner gets a sum of money the upshot is exp the result is that… a drunken guy n a man who has drunk a lot of alcohol to stagger vb to walk from side to side and without control an aisle n a corridor in an airplane as luck would have it exp luckily; fortunately what time are we due into… exp what time are we expected to arrive at… to check in phr vb to register your bags before going on an airplane to rush up phr vb to move somewhere quickly a line n a line of people waiting to be served to swear at someone exp to say a rude or insulting word to someone to cheer vb to shout happily; to clap (hit your
hands together many times as a sign of appreciation) ground staff n airline staff who work in the airport a tag n a little piece of paper or plastic on a bag with flight information on it overweight adj fat plump adj a bit fat to turn up phr vb to arrive to turn out phr vb if something “turns out” a particular way, it happens like that in the end a burial n a ceremony in which a dead person is placed in the ground a coffin n a container for a dead body to come up with an idea exp to think of an idea in litigation exp if you are “in litigation” with someone, you are involved in a legal process against that person an elbow n the joint in the middle of your arm to pin something to another thing exp to hold something against another thing an obese passenger n a very large passenger to board vb to go on a plane huge adj very big sweat n liquid that comes out of your body when you are hot gross adj disgusting, horrible, revolting to heal vb to cure
In each issue of Objectif English we show you how to write CVs, cover and application letters, business letters and other important documents in English. Watch out for the strange characters who are looking for new jobs.
The job advertisement
The job that is advertised is for a Sunday school teacher: somebody who works for a church and teaches children and teenagers about Christianity. Dots called bullet points are used in this advertisement. It makes the ad easier to read and separates the most important points. Advertisements specify the kind of person they want, but at the same time try to make the job seem as attractive as possible.
If you… · are a high energy individual with a vision and a passion for working with children and teenagers. · would like to join a team of committed, dynamic and fun people who love serving God, · would enjoy living and working in beautiful Southern California on the Pacific Coast, then we ask you to consider applying for the position of Children’s Pastor at Hope Church in Southern California. The details of the position and how to apply are shown below...
The applicant is an ex-pornstar called Iona Dildo. Make your name stand out from the rest of the text: you want employers to remember who that excellent CV belongs to. Give your potential employer as many ways to contact you as possible; if you have a mobile phone number or email address you should put it on your CV. Another way to make your CV more recognisable and human is to add a passport-style photo of yourself. This is not essential, but more and more employers are asking for this. List your employment with dates, job title and main duties or responsibilities, starting with the most recent. Try to make your experience seem relevant to the job you are applying for. Other Information is a good place to mention skills that make you suitable for the job. Employers normally ask for two references. You should try to include names, addresses and contact numbers for referees, although some people prefer to give this information later. Address:
It depends who I go home with. Los Angeles, California Date of Birth: 25. 12. 1976 Nationality: Swedish
Telephone: 531 80 08 69 69 Marital Status: divorced (6 times)
Employment History: 2002-2005 Film actress, Horny Teens Adult Film Production Company. • Performing in high quality artistic films. • Working closely with inexperienced teenage performers. • Giving advice on venereal health problems. 2000-2002 Marketing advisor, Absinth Alcopops Ltd. • Leading an aggressive marketing campaign. • Successfully targeting young and vulnerable people. • Making it ‘cool’ to be drunk. 1998-2000 Masseuse, Mr Slippy’s Executive Sauna. • Helping businessmen to relieve stress with massage and relaxation techniques. Qualifications: B.A. Honours in Marketing, University of Stockholm (1998). Swedish High School Leaving Certificate (1995). 25 metres Swimming Badge (1984). Other Information: My birthday is the 25th December, that’s the same day as Jesus! I love kids. I babysat my friend’s five-year-old son once, we went to see The Exorcist. References: Available upon request (I’ll get my friends to write some bullshit).
BIRMINGHAM IRMINGHAM Wherever I may
WELCOME TO BIRMINGHAM, UK…the second largest city in England, and the most ambitious one!
Birmingham has come a long way, going from an industrial city to a bright new corporate and exciting environment. The major makeover that started 15 years ago is finally paying off, shedding its skin to uncover a cool, fun and exciting place where you want to be. London watch out! The Venice of the UK
The first time visitor will be surprised to discover that Birmingham is slashed with miles of canals going through a large part of the city, earning it the nickname of Venice of the UK. The canal banks have become restaurants and hip clubs, and real estate paradise for new owners who are now living in state of the art complexes and penthouses, overlooking the coolest neighbourhoods.
Can this really be Birmingham, birthplace of the industrial revolution?
Capital of gentlemen’s clubs
Another interesting side of Birmingham is the number of gentlemen’s clubs that the first time visitor will find. What is a gentlemen’s club? A strip club of course! Did you know that some of the largest strip clubs in the world are… in Birmingham? Well now you know. This exquisite tourist attraction will give a sense to a boring business trip or a lame student exchange, I am sure.
Exhibits and major events
Like other major cities, Birmingham welcomes loads of international events. The NEC is the perfect concert venue and one of the most prestigious in the country, as is the ICC, where music lovers will always find their favourite bands. Of course, some events will only attract genuine Brits, dog shows and other crap like this, but in general, the first time visitor will always find something great to do or see.
A city without students is not a city. Well, Birmingham does not have that problem since the students there are very well represented. The city hosts some of the biggest universities in the UK, with an international reputation. The students find in Birmingham everything they need, and whenever they want. They like to go out on Broad Street, where clubs and bars welcome them and their wild behaviour… if you are looking for a fun night out, you should definitely take a walk along the canals…
Like many other world class cities, Birmingham is coloured with many different people, from all around the globe. This diversity brings a nice atmosphere where everyone seems to be able to live peacefully. One of the best things that comes from such a mix is the food!!! The city is known as the curry capital of the UK. If you like Indian or Chinese food, you will love Birmingham…
Shopping at the futuristic Bullring Centre
Pretty, isn’t it? And look, it doesn’t rain all the time either
Statue takes a bath
DID YOU KNOW?
Birmingham is the city of the famous JRR TOLKIEN, writer of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Birmingham is where Aston Martin and Jaguar cars are built. The British government has invested more than 80 billion pounds in the regeneration of Birmingham over the past 15 years. In short, Birmingham is definitely a city where you should stop, or take a trip to. You will be surprised, excited, you might get laid if you are lucky, and you won’t spend as much money as you would in London for the same amount of FUN!!
shed one’s skin exp to change one’s image (normally for the better) bank n piece of land immediately next to a river, canal, etc. hip adj cool, fashionable state of the art exp best and most modern penthouse n A luxury apartment in a high rise building complex n a group of buildings strip club n a club where people dance and take their clothes off for money exquisite adj extremely beautiful lame adj inform weak, feeble, pathetic wild adj uncontrolled, unrestrained behaviour n way of acting/conducting oneself loads n a large amount dog show n event where people take their dogs and decide which is the best one crap n RUDE faeces/something bad melting pot n a mix of people from lots of different races and cultures the globe n the world get laid exp inform to have sexual intercourse with someone invest vb to put money into something in hope that it will become more valuable in the future regeneration n making something new again and improving it roam vb wander, walk aimlessly or with no destination
Next month, we will roam in another great city: SAN FRANCISCO, USA
CD - track 6 - Scotsman
Punk was a musical and social movement that started in the 1970s. You may have heard of some punk groups such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. Who were the punks? What did they want? And what did they do?
History Punk started in England during the 70s when punk music became popular. There were many groups at this time playing loud, fast, angry music, but the most famous was the Sex Pistols, who were managed by Malcolm MacLaren. Other famous punk bands include the Clash, the Damned and Siouxie and the Banshees. Clothes At first, the basic idea was to look as different as possible. Some punks were very original. As one of them remembers: “We used to wear dresses with plates covered in ketchup,” says Lora Logic, the saxophonist with the punk group, X-Ray Spex. But eventually, punks developed their own special look with spiky, dyed hair, ripped jeans with lots of safety pins, dog collars, piercings, tattoos and Mohican hairstyles. Music Punk music was hard, fast and furious. The lyrics were all about anger and destruction. The best way for punks to appreciate this music was to go to a concert. The atmosphere there was violent and the musicians often smashed their guitars during the concerts, set things on fire and kicked in their speakers. Punk concerts gave punks a chance to express themselves through violence. “During our gigs the audience would throw bottles at us and attack us,” said Hugh Cornwell, the lead singer from the punk group, The Stranglers. “Nobody who booked us wanted us to play again.” During punk concerts, punk fans used to spit on the group and each other, and throw glasses and chairs up on to the stage. They also started a new, violent dance called the “pogo”. This consisted of jumping up and down continuously to the rhythm of the music. Fights often broke out as a result of the violent atmosphere. But it was exciting too. As Steve Diggle, the guitarist for the punk group, The Buzzcocks, said: “It was liberating to see the excitement on people’s faces.” And there were also moments of humour. “Once we conned someone into booking us for the Young Conservatives,” says JeanJacques Burnel, the bassist for the group The Stranglers. As the DJ, John Peel once said, “The great thing about punk was that none of the bands took themselves too seriously.” Personality Deep down all punks were attention seekers. And many of them defined themselves by their hatred of just about everything, including the political system, the government, their parents, school, teachers, the police and even themselves. Punks had few aspirations apart from hating things and spitting. Customs & Habits Punks spent most of the time going to punk rock concerts, or hanging out in groups with other punks where they smoked, drank, swore at the public and had spitting competitions. Their favourite places to hang out included fashionable streets and shopping malls. In Boston it was Harvard Square, and in London it was the King’s Road. Intellectual punks also enjoyed writing zines, which are
magazines produced very cheaply - often photocopied. These zines were sold to friends. The Punk Legacy You may not think you are a punk, or know much about the music, but without punk, there would be no Sting, U2, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Blondie, Nirvana and thousands and thousands of other groups and singers who were inspired by the punk movement. Punks Speak Let’s see what some real punks can tell us about what it was like to be a punk in the 1970s: “In 1975 London looked like a rubbish tip, the clothes were disgusting and everybody was listening to Abba… The Sex Pistols seemed to challenge everything you thought.” Jon Savage, a British writer. “Punk was all about having a good time.” Marion Elliot, singer and song-writer. “We felt like we were changing the world.” Lora Logic, saxophonist for the group, X-Ray Spex. “After leaving school we didn’t have career opportunities… Punk was the only white soul music.” Jimmy Pursey, singer with the group Sham 69. “Our aim was to force our own working-class opinions onto the world.” Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols.
Punk Jokes And lastly, here are some punk jokes - some of them are a bit cruel, but, hey!, punks are tough guys and gals so they shouldn’t mind too much, we hope: Question: If there is a punk in the back of a car, who is in the front? Answer: A police officer. Question: Three drunk punks jump off a building. One had been drinking beer, another wine and another vodka. Which one hits the ground first? Answer: Who cares? Question: How do you get a punk out of the bathtub? Answer: Turn on the water. Question: How do you get a one-armed punk out of a tree? Answer: Throw him a beer. Question: What has eight arms and can't play the bass guitar? Answer: Squid Vicious. Question: An apartment building in California has punks living on the first floor and lawyers on the second floor. One day a big fire burns the building to the ground. Who survives? Answer: The lawyers. They were at work.
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spiky adj “spiky” hair is hair that has sharp points dyed hair n “dyed” hair has been coloured ripped jeans n “ripped” jeans have holes in them a safety pin n a metal object that is used for holding clothes together a dog collar n a leather object that goes around your neck - dogs and priests (people who work in a church) usually wear them to smash vb to completely destroy to set things on fire exp to burn something to kick in phr vb to destroy something by kicking it a gig n a rock concert to book vb if you “book” a band to play a concert, you contract them to do that to spit vb to expel liquid from your mouth to break out phr vb if a fight “breaks out”, it suddenly starts to con vb to trick someone; to do something dishonest to someone in order to get money Young Conservatives n the Conservative party in Britain is a right-wing traditional political party. The “Young Conservatives” is an association of conservative students to hang out phr vb to spend time in a place with friends just talking and not doing much to swear vb (past: swore) to say taboo words a rubbish tip n a dirty place with a lot of rubbish (old paper, etc) in it to challenge vb to question; to attack tough adj physically and mentally strong a guy n inform a man a gal n inform a woman who cares? exp who is concerned? a bathtub n an object in the bathroom. You fill it with water, sit or lie in it and wash yourself the bass guitar n a type of guitar with four, thick strings a squid n an animal that lives in the sea. It has 8 little legs. squid Vicious n this is a version of the name, “Sid Vicious”. He was the bass guitarist for the punk band, the Sex Pistols to burn a building to the ground exp to completely destroy a building with fire
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This issue: MASTURBATING. As masturbating is to sex what grammar lessons are to speaking English*, we decided to combine them. Adult Only Thesaurus
to to to to to to have a wank wank jerk off (US) jack off (US) whack off (US) toss off female masturbating to to to to flick the bean play the one string banjo feed the pony click one’s mouse
euphemisms to to to to to to to to to to spank the monkey flog the dolphin choke the chicken jerk the gherkin slap one’s granny bash the bishop rub the magic lamp polish one’s helmet crack one off have a Barclay’s Bank
The past continuous
How the fuck do you make it?
Past simple of to be + present participle
I he/ she/ it you we they
was(n’t) were(n’t) masturbating
What the fuck does that mean?
infinitive: to masturbate present participle: masturbating
What the fuck is it used for?
An event in the past which went on for a period. Example George Michael was masturbating in a public toilet when he was arrested by police. The longer of two finished actions is often in the past continuous, the shorter one is in the past simple. Example (from an Alaskan hospital) Doctor: I’m afraid it’s broken. What were you doing when you had your accident? Patient: I was masturbating… outside, at night time, when I just heard a snap.
We often use the past continuous in English when describing in stories. Let’s have a look at this in action:
A woman who was pregnant with triplets was walking down the street, when a robber ran out of the bank. In the following gunfight with police, he shot the woman three times in the stomach. At the hospital the woman was told that her babies were not hurt, and she gave birth a month later to two girls and a boy. All went well for 16 years, until one day the mother found one daughter crying. “What’s wrong, dear?” she asked, concerned. “Well, I was having a piss and a bullet came out!” “Oh …” said the woman, relieved, and proceeded to tell her daughter of that fateful day 16 years ago. A month passed and the second daughter came to her mum crying, with the same problem. “I was having a slash and a bullet came out!” “Not to worry”, said the mum. “I’ll explain it to you …” Another month passed and the boy came in very worried and close to tears. The kindly mother took the boy in her arms and asked him, “Were you doing a wee and a bullet came out, my love? Because if you did, it’s okay.” “No,” replied the son. “I was having a wank and I shot the dog!”
(*not at all the same, but better than nothing) spank vb slap, hit with open hand (usually on the bottom) flog vb beat/hit with something choke vb strangle, suffocate jerk vb pull quickly whack vb hit slap vb hit with open hand bash vb hit bishop n senior member of church polish vb make smooth or shiny by rubbing helmet n hat worn for protection Barclay’s Bank pn famous British bank. Rhyming slang – rhymes with wank flick vb move something with a quick movement banjo n musical instrument like a round guitar pony n small horse pregnant adj having baby growing inside triplet n one of three children born at the same time to the same mother give birth phr vb have a baby concerned adj worried fateful adj important, decisive to be close to tears exp to be nearly crying to have a piss, to have a slash, to do a wee inform to urinate
Exercise Take the last sentence from the joke (I was having a wank and I shot the dog). See if you can put ten other masturbating expressions in the past continuous. We have done three for you. If you can do ten reward yourself by having a wank. I was masturbating and I shot the dog! I was having a wank and I shot the dog! I was wanking and I shot the dog!
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BRITISH BAR CHAT - Monsters & Myths
Conversational crap from native speakers
This month Simon and Paul are talking about monsters and myths. Listen to their conversation and answer these two questions. Remember, you don’t have to understand every word in order to answer the questions. Just listen for the key words (the most important words in the conversation): Exercise 1. What two monsters or myths do they speak about? 2. What is the big hairy creature in the garden? Simon: Paul: Simon: Paul:
G LOS S A RY
loony adj crazy, mad, insane a yank n inform an American up to exp if someone is “up to” something, they are doing something to hire vb to pay money to use something for a limited period of time bloody adj RUDE this word is used to show you are angry or frustrated I mean exp this is often used to change the direction of your conversation, or to introduce something important that you are about to say there’ve contraction there have to turn out phr vb if something “turns out” a particular way, it happens in that way in the end to make up phr vb to invent a fake n a copy to doctor vb to alter or change something cos abbr inform because you know exp people often say this to check that the other person is understanding nah exp this is a way of saying “no” like exp people often use this word when they are thinking about what to say next. It is used to fill space in a conversation and it doesn’t mean any-thing an otter n an animal that lives next to rivers. Otters build dams across the river a tree trunk n the main column of a tree a wave n an area of high water in the sea. “Waves” often break on the beach to mumble vb to speak in a soft, quiet way that is difficult to understand proof n evidence hairy adj with a lot of hair on your body
CD - track 7
Frederick: Maurice: Frederick:
Maurice: Frederick: Maurice:
Frederick: Maurice: Frederick:
They talk about the Loch Ness Monster from Scotland, and big cats in Britain. The big hairy creature in the garden is one of the speaker’s fathers.
Maurice: Frederick: Maurice:
Have you heard what those loony yanks are up to now? No. What’s that? What are they doing? They’ve actually hired a bloody submarine, and they’re going to go to Loch Ness to look for the monster. Well, it’s not so stupid. Someone’s got to find it one day, haven’t they? Oh, no. Come on. There’s not a monster living in a lake in Scotland. Don’t be ridiculous! Oh come on, how do you know? I mean, some… hundreds of people have said they’ve seen it. There’ve even been photos. No, I mean, hundreds of people say they’ve seen it, but they all, all turned out they were drunk or they’re making up a story for the, for the papers or something like that, and all those photos, they’re all fakes, aren’t they? They’ve been doctored or something. No. They’re not all fakes. One, one of them was proved to be a fake cos someone admitted it. But, you know, generally, you know, there are two or three, you know, genuine photos. Nah, no, no, no. It turns out to be always something else, isn’t it? You know it’s always like a big otter or something like that, or a tree trunk or it’s just a big wave or some thing. No, you’re, you’re just so cynical. It’s like the same with the big cats in England. What, what big cats? There are no big cats in England. People were claiming to have seen large, very, very large cats. Dangerous, you know, large beasts in England. And no one had any photos, of course, and then no one believed it. But then in the end, it turned out to be true. There were [it’s true?] large, wild cats in England, yeah. Nah. Yeah, yeah. There, large wild cats that were going round eating other smaller, not so big cats. Yeah but any, anyway, a cat, you know, so you’ve got a big cat or a little (mumbling) but that’s one thing. But a, but a bloody great monster, well that’s something else, living in a loch in Scotland. No, that’s ridiculous! No, it’s completely true. There’s proof. There’s proof written here. There’s photos, people have said they’ve seen it. Oh, my God! What’s that big, hairy creature in the garden? Oh, don’t worry about that. That’s my dad just doing a bit of gardening.
US BAR CHAT - Golf Is Boring
More conversational crap from native speakers
CD track 8
This month we are going to listen to two young Americans, Greg and Thurston, talking about golf. Listen to all the conversation and answer these two questions: Exercise 1. What words does one of the speakers use to describe golf? 2. What arguments does the other speaker use to defend golf? Thurston: Greg: Thurston: Greg: Thurston: Greg: Thurston: Greg: Thurston: Greg: Did you see the golf tournament this past weekend? Man, I tried, but I kept falling asleep. Why was that? Ah, golf’s pretty boring to me. Are you kidding me? Did you see that birdie Tiger Woods chipped in from the sand trap? Sorry, I guess I missed that one. How about that 350-yard drive from Sergio Garcia. I guess I missed that one too. So, what did you see? Well, I saw a lack of contact, a bunch of guys in funny outfits trying to get a small ball in a small hole, and, er, pretty much a reason to fall asleep on the couch. [You’re] so ignorant, golf is one of the major spectator sports in many countries and it brings in a shit load of money, and it takes patience, skill and it’s a great way to do business. Er, seems rather frustrating and pointless to me. Frustrating and pointless? Well, I guess I could maybe see where you’re coming from. Er, well I could see you wanting to get away from the wife and kids for the weekend. Er, I guess I see what you’re saying. So, do you want to hit the links this weekend? Sounds great, man, I’ve got the in-laws coming to town this weekend.
G LOS S A RY man exp inform this is used to refer to someone in an informal way to kid vb to joke a birdie n Golf to hit the golf ball and make it go in the hole in one less than the standard number of times. Example: the hole is a par 4, you get it in 3 shots to chip in phr vb Golf to hit the golf ball gently with the club and make the ball go in a sand trap n Golf an area on a golf course with a hole with sand in it. A “bunker” in British English to guess vb to think to miss vb if you “miss”, you are unsuccessful and the ball doesn’t go in the hole a yard n a yard is about 90 centimetres a drive n Golf the first shot a golfer makes from the tee a bunch of guys exp a group of men funny outfits n funny clothes er exp this is the noise that people make while they are thinking what to say a couch n a sofa a shit load of exp RUDE a lot of pointless adj with no meaning, with no objective, with no interest I could maybe see where you’re coming from exp I think I understand what you are trying to say to hit vb inform to go to the links n Golf a golf course by the sea that is often very windy the in-laws n your wife or husband’s parents: mother-in-law; father-in-law
Greg: Thurston: Greg: Thurston: Greg: Thurston: Greg:
One of the speakers describes golf as boring, frustrating and pointless. The other speaker says that golf is a major spectator sport, it brings in lots of money, that it takes patience and skill and that it is a great way to do business.
“I would have got away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids” is a quote that is often associated with baddies from the children’s cartoon Scooby Doo. When a mystery was solved the unsuccessful villain (usually badly disguised as a ghost) blamed his failure on Scooby Doo and his friends. In each issue we tell you true stories about criminals that failed because they were unlucky, thought-out their plans badly or were just plain stupid. Look for the comments from our resident Master Criminal who explains how to commit crime properly.
You’ve made a dog’s dinner of that!
A man from Nanjing City in China spent a day at home drinking on his own. By the evening he was both drunk and hungry. He felt depressed when he realised that his meal would be a plate of fried peanuts. Through the window he saw his neighbour’s black dog in the backyard. The dog was enjoying its rich dinner, a piece of pork shank. Jealous of the meal it was eating, the man sneaked up on the dog and tried to snatch the meat. Neighbours heard the commotion and came running as the man attacked the dog, who fought back to protect its food. The neighbours rushed the man to hospital with a badly injured right hand that had been bitten by the dog. It was reported that the man complained to hospital doctors that the dog ate better than him and asked if he could have something to eat!
Comments from the Master Criminal
This man is a terrible thief, I would have done things differently: a) I always use a cricket bat when I attack dogs. You can use a knife but I find it’s too messy. b) Steal food from people, they usually have nicer food than dogs.
A slip of the tongue
A hold-up was carried out in a Los Angeles convenience store by an armed man wearing a pair of tights as a mask. The robber forced the cashier to give him all the money in the till and the safe, getting away with $4,000 in cash. Shop staff and customers gave descriptions to the police but did not see the robber’s face properly because of his disguise. However, a woman who was standing outside saw the man’s face as he was putting the tights on his head. She gave a detailed description to the police. They soon arrested a man who fitted the description and was already wanted for other crimes. The witness was asked to come to the police station to identify the suspect. The police arranged a line-up and asked each man to repeat the words, “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot”. When the robber heard this he shouted, “That’s not what I said!” Everyone stared at the man in disbelief, he later pleaded guilty to the robbery.
In the United Kingdom, like many countries, most activities surrounding prostitution are illegal. An Act of Parliament was made in 1959 to forbid prostitutes from soliciting potential customers “In a street or other public place”. This presented a big problem for advertising in the industry. However, six women from one particular red light district had an excellent idea. They knew that when a law is written it must be done very carefully so that it can be followed literally. The prostitutes started soliciting from inside a private building by calling to men from a balcony or through a window and sitting at a window tapping on the glass. When one of the prostitutes was prosecuted for breaking the law it did not seem possible that she could be found guilty. It looked certain that the defendant would win her case because she was in a private building and not a “Street or other public place”. Unfortunately for her, the judge did not agree and decided she was guilty. He said that the Act was intended to enable people to walk along the streets without being bothered or solicited by prostitutes. This case, Smith vs. Hughes 1960, became very famous and important because it meant that judges didn’t have to follow laws word for word anymore. This is called the mischief rule and can be used if the words in an Act do not stop the mischief it was intended to prevent.
To send us your funny crime stories email the Master Criminal at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m almost lost for words. A life of crime is not for morons! Anyway, here is my advice: a) Avoid letting witnesses see your face. Alternatively, you could wear a mask all the time, even when you go to bed. That way nobody will know what you really look like. Then, you can take your mask off when you commit crime and the police will never find anybody who fits your description. b) Don’t worry about line-ups. You can kill the witnesses who identified you before your trial begins.
Personally, I never go to prostitutes because I don’t like to pay for anything, but this is probably not the first nor the last time that a prostitute has been fucked by a judge. Here is my advice to: a) Prostitutes – For advertising… I don’t know, why not put an advert in Objectif English? If I were you I would change jobs; prostitution sounds rubbish and not very safe to me. b) Punters – If prostitutes don’t tap on their windows anymore why don’t you walk down the street tapping on every window and waving your money? There might be prostitutes inside…
baddy n bad person, criminal villain n bad person, criminal to think out phr vb consider carefully, plan just plain adv simply dog’s dinner n mess, error shank n leg to sneak up on someone phr vb to approach someone secretly to snatch vb take quickly or unexpectedly bitten past ptp to bite window shopping n looking at displays in shop windows without buying anything illegal adj against the law Act of Parliament n a law decided by members of parliament to solicit vb to ask for, to look for to prosecute vb to accuse, to bring to court to break the law exp to do something against the law guilty adj at fault, responsible defendant n accused person case n crime being investigated word for word adj using the exact words trial n a procedure to decide if a person has committed a crime
mischief n harm, injury, bad thing to prevent vb to stop rubbish/rubbishy adj not very good, bad punter n customer this is probably not the first nor the last time exp this probably happens quite often a slip of the tongue n when you say something accidentally hold-up n (usually armed) robbery convenience store n a shop that sells everyday goods and is near to where people live or work tights n a piece of clothing that is worn on the legs, usually under a skirt till n a drawer where money is kept in a shop safe n a (metal) box where money is kept and can be locked witness n a person who is present when something happens suspect n a person that the police think has committed a crime line-up n a selection of people who look similar assembled by police so that a witness can identify a criminal to plead guilty n to say you have committed a crime (in a court of law) lost for words exp if you are lost for words you don’t know what to say moron n an idiot, very stupid or thoughtless person
Hollywood marriages are usually short, but full of scandal. What can you expect to find at a Hollywood celebrity wedding? And why do the marriages last such a short time? By Michelle Smith
CD track 9 - American woman
Generating Interest Most Hollywood marriages start with a news story. Typical examples include photos of couples kissing on a Colorado ski slope, dancing in a New York City disco or being romantic in a Hollywood restaurant. At first, the couple denies they’re together so people will be more interested and spend ten bucks to watch their bad movies. Finally, the couple will admit to the relationship and take the walk down the aisle. Then, the fun begins. Show Me the Money! In Hollywood, preparing a marriage ceremony is expensive. When Jennifer Aniston married heart-throb Brad Pitt, the entire nation knew. The $1 million wedding ceremony was covered in every magazine and newspaper from Vogue to the New York Times. The couple paid $100,000 for security, $75,000 for flowers, and $20,000 for the fireworks. At the wedding there were two hundred guests, 50,000 flowers, 4 bands, a gospel choir and a 12year-old who impersonated Frank Sinatra. Private Airplanes One of the most expensive weddings was Catherine ZetaJones’ marriage to Michael Douglas. The entire event cost
almost $2 million, the wedding photos alone cost $60,000 and the dress nearly $100,000. Douglas hired 40 security guards to protect the guests. The seven-course meal included lobster, Welsh lamb and foie gras. Singers Tom Jones and Gladys Knight were both flown in on private airplanes to sing. Zeta Jones’ entire family, who live in Wales, also arrived in private planes. Three hundred and fifty people came to the wedding, including Steven Spielberg and Meg Ryan Coke & Swimming Pools These days no one in Hollywood gets married without a contract. These legal documents describe the “rules” of the marriage and what penalties there are for breaking the rules. For instance, if Michael Douglas cheats on Catherine Zeta-Jones, she receives $3.4 million. When actress Melanie Griffith married Miami Vice actor Don Johnson, they signed an agreement which stated that Melanie could not put on any weight. However, there was nothing in the contract about snorting coke, heavy drinking or shagging in swimming pools, which is what happened. Some say these acts were responsible for ending the marriage. Confused Women & George Clooney These days it’s hard to find a celebrity who’s only been married once. Actress Drew Barrymore is getting married for the third time. Her first marriage lasted 19 days. Her second marriage only five months. By the time magazines published photos of her first marriage, it was already over. One magazine reports that Drew Barrymore is going to marry her next husband, the drummer from the Strokes, in George Clooney’s Italian villa. Many confused women wonder why she doesn’t just marry George Clooney. Cary Grant, famous in the ‘50s and ‘60s for roles in Hollywood classics like North by Northwest , was married five times. All of his marriages were short. Hollywood insiders say one of the reasons Grant had so much trouble staying married with women is because he didn’t like them. Apparently, his longest relationship was with a man named Randolph Scott. They lived together for ten years. Actress Elizabeth Taylor is the queen of Hollywood marriages. She’s been married eight times, including two marriages to actor Richard Burton. Hollywood insiders say her ninth marriage will probably be to a roast chicken. Divorce Hollywood Style Celebrities are ugliest when they divorce. When Steven Spielberg fell in love with his second wife, he had to pay $110 million to his first wife, Amy, in order to get rid of her. “When Steven left me,” Amy explained, “I had
no reason to go on with my life. But the Malibu mansion, private Boeing jet and lifelong supply of Russian caviar helped convince me that life was worth living.” One of the most famous recent divorces was between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Tom divorced Nicole right before their ten-year anniversary. According to a prenuptial agreement, Tom would have had to give Nicole much more of his fortune if they had passed the ten-year mark. When Mick Jagger got divorced, he had to pay American model Jerry Hall $12 million. Jerry went on to continue her modeling career; and Mick went on to screw anything that moved. Zsa Zsa Gabor, one of the only film stars who married more times than Elizabeth Taylor, once described herself as a “marvelous housekeeper”: “Every time I leave a man,” she said, “I keep his house.” Heroin Hollywood is also famous for producing weird couples. Pamela Anderson, the gorgeous, blonde sex symbol is a prime example. She married Tommy Lee, the drummer of a heavy metal band and famous heroin addict. At the time many people were confused. First, there were Pam’s allegations that Tommy beat her up. He spent six months in jail. Then, Pam told the world that Tommy had given her hepatitis: “Sometimes I ask myself, what was I doing with a drug-addicted, low-class, abusive, stupid piece of trash like Tommy? But I’m different now. That’s why I’m marrying Kid Rock.”
Chimpanzees The strangest event in Hollywood history, and perhaps the history of mankind, was Michael Jackson’s marriage to Lisa Marie Presley. The King of Pop became the husband of Elvis’ daughter and the world was never the same. They got married in 1994 in the Dominican Republic. Elizabeth Taylor was there, as well as a number of chimpanzees, llamas and other wild beasts. Most people believed the marriage was just a publicity stunt. However, the couple later appeared on television to declare that they were in love and were trying to have a child. Then, they kissed (with tongues!) at an MTV awards show. Yuk! “Just think,” Jackson once said, “nobody thought this would last.” It didn’t. 20 months later they separated. Jackson went on to have a child with another woman, make terrible records and dangle children from hotel windows; and Lisa Marie went on to have an affair with actor Nicolas Cage, who she described as “actually human”. Causes & Effects So why do these marriages last such a short time? Marc Malking, the contributing editor to New York magazine explains: . “Many celebrity marriages don’t last because there’s so much media attention given to them. Everyone wants to know every single detail about that marriage, so these stars are under the spotlight the whole time and the pressure just gets to be too much.” So, if you’re famous, think hard before considering marriage.
to last vb if something “lasts” a short time, it is finished in a short period of time a ski slope n an area on a mountain where you can ski to deny vb to say that something isn’t true a buck n US inform a dollar to walk down the aisle exp to get married. The “aisle” is the corridor in a church or plane a heart-throb n an attractive man or woman that many people love to cover vb to write an article about fireworks n objects that explode in the air with lots of colour and noise to fly in phr vb if someone “flies you in” to a place, they pay for a plane to take you to that place to cheat on phr vb if you “cheat on” you partner, you have sex with someone else to snort coke exp to consume cocaine through your nose heavy drinking n drinking a lot of alcohol to shag vb inform to have sex with
a drummer n a person who plays the percussion in a band an insider n someone with confidential information ugly adj (ugliest) not attractive to get rid of someone exp to do something to make someone leave you life was worth living exp life had a purpose to screw vb inform to have sex a housekeeper n a servant who lives in a house and is responsible for the cleaning, etc weird adj strange, unusual gorgeous adj very attractive to beat up phr vb to hit many times trash n US something of no value. “Rubbish” in British English a wild beast n an animal that is not domesticated a publicity stunt n an act that is designed to create publicity for you yuk excl an expression that people use when they think something is horrible to dangle vb to hold under the spotlight exp if you are “under the spotlight”, you are the centre of attention
CD tracks 10 to 13 - Mr Bean and American accents
Telephone conversations to help improve your listening skills. Here are some crank calls - those funny telephone calls that are designed to wind people up. Have fun listening to these two. (US English spelling)
Crank Call I The Video Game
For this call we called up a video store to complain about a game we had bought there. Listen to the conversation and answer these questions: 1. What is the problem with the game? 2. Why do we keep “dying”? Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Hello, Video Games R Us. How can I help you? Hi, I recently bought a video game from you, but it doesn’t work. What seems to be the problem with the game? It just doesn’t work. Can I get a new one? I can’t authorize giving you a new game until I know what’s wrong with the one you bought. Oh, well, my character keeps dying. I see. Yeah, I’m trying to play the game, but then these ninjas keep killing me. Uh, huh. Yeah, they’re on fire, and they come from all over the place. It’s really annoying. Right. So, when can I pick up my new game? There’s nothing wrong with the game that you have. What do you mean? I keep dying. Well, sir, perhaps we can interest you in a different type of game. I tried everything. They run at me and start whacking me with their swords, and I scream at them to stop, and they just keep hitting me until I die. Mmm So, after I scream and scream, I just die. This must have happened about 20 times now. Sir, try hitting some of the buttons on the controller. What’s that? It’s the device that you plug into the game system. You know, the thing with all the buttons on it. Oh, that broke when I threw it at the ninjas. It didn’t seem to stop them though.
Crank Call II The Astronaut
For this call we phoned up the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in America with an unusual request. Listen to the conversation and answer this question: What does the caller want? Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: Hot: Victim: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, how can I help you? Oh, hello. Is that NASA? That’s right. How can I help you? Oh, good. Is the centre open for visitors? Yes. It’s open 9-5 daily. Mmm… interesting. Do I have to bring any equipment with me? This is a museum, sir. Yeah, but what about the space missions? The centre has information on all missions currently undertaken. But don’t I have to do some kind of training? Sir, this is an information centre, there are no missions. I heard you were looking for astronauts… Sir, this is a museum for visitors. But I wanted to go on one of those missions. You’ll have to apply through the correct channels. So, I can’t be an astronaut. I’ve always wanted to be one. Check out the website for more information. Have a nice day, sir.
to wind someone up phr vb to irritate someone and make them angry to keep dying exp to die many times during the game ninjas n soldiers who fight by using martial arts on fire exp burning all over the place exp everywhere annoying adj irritating to pick up phr vb to collect to whack vb to hit a sword n a long, thin piece of metal with a sharp point at the end. Used for fighting a device n a general word used to refer to an electronic apparatus to plug into phr vb to connect a device to a game system equipment n clothes and other things necessary for doing a particular activity currently undertaken exp if a mission is “currently undertaken”, it is in progress training n physical and mental preparation for an activity to apply through the correct channels exp to complete the correct selection process in the formal way to check out phr vb to see
Email One Eyed Simon at this address: email@example.com
In the past literacy levels were a lot lower than they are today. Reading and writing were professional skills that only a privileged minority possessed. Proverbs were used as a way to pass on knowledge because they are short, simplified and easy to remember. Nowadays everyone apart from American presidents can read and write, but people still use proverbs to make themselves sound wise. If you learn some proverbs you will sound fluent and wise at the same time.
It is no use crying over spilt milk.
It is useless to regret something that has already happened and cannot be changed. Example Oh no! I’ve missed the bus! I’m going to be late for work now… Oh well, no use crying over spilt milk, I’ll just have to catch the next one. One Eyed Simon says:This first appeared in written form in the middle of the 17th century when milk had just been invented. It was very precious, so people were naturally upset when they spilt some.
In the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.
If you are not very good at something, but you are better than the people around you, you have a great advantage. Example My Dutch is rusty but none of my friends could speak any at all. They all had to depend on me, I suppose in the country of the blind the one eyed man is king. One Eyed Simon says: I went to the country of the blind but they wouldn’t let me be king. They said I had to be a one eyed ‘man’, and I’m only a one eyed fish. That’s discrimination, the blind bastards… (Sorry to all our blind readers- the editor.)
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Be careful not to throw away something good when you are throwing away something bad. example AI think I’m going to buy a new stereo. BOh yeah? What’s wrong with the one you’ve already got? ASpeakers don’t work. I’m going to chuck it out. BJust get some new speakers, then! Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, that’s just a waste. One Eyed Simon says: This proverb was first found written in German in the 17th century. It was not until the 19th century that it appeared in English. This was around the same time that the British imported the idea of washing their babies.
proverb n a short saying in general use possess vb have simplified adj condensed, made easier (to understand) wise adj clever, experienced and knowing lots of things stereo n equipment used to listen to music speaker n equipment that changes electronic signals into sounds
blind adj not able to see Dutch n language spoken by people in the Netherlands discrimination n treating people unfavourably because of their race, religion, sex, being a fish, etc. bastard n offens insult to a nasty person or someone you don’t like spilt pret/past ptp spill vb let liquid fall or run out of its container
CD tracks 14 & 15
A phone conversation In this section we’ll be listening to a phone conversation. Gordon is phoning up because he is sick and can’t come into work. He talks to his boss, Mr Mathews. Listen to the conversation and answer these two questions. 1. Why is Mr Mathews angry that Gordon is sick? 2. Why does Mr Mathews want Gordon to come in quickly?
(Phone rings) Gordon : Mr Mathews: Gordon: Mr Mathews: Gordon:
Mr Mathews: Gordon: Mr Mathews: Gordon : Mr Mathews:
Gordon : Mr Mathews: Gordon: Mr Mathews: Gordon :
(34 minutes later) Gordon : Mr Mathews: Gordon : Mr Mathews:
Gordon : Mr Mathews: Gordon: Mr Mathews: Gordon: Mr Mathews: Gordon : Mr Mathews: Gordon : Mr Mathews: Gordon : Mr Mathews: Gordon :
Oh, hi, Mr Mathews? Yes, speaking. Who’s this? It’s Gordon. Oh, hello Gordon. What’s up? Sorry but I’m feeling terrible this morning and I don’t think I’ll be able to make it in. Damn! I mean, oh, erm, are you alright? No, it’s nothing serious, but I do feel really bad and I need a day in bed. Damn! Excuse me? Nothing, just talking to myself. Look, this really messes up our plans a bit. Are you sure you’re ill? I mean, it’s not that I don’t believe you, it’s just that I was really hoping to get that report finished today. Yes, I am really ill. Damn! I beg your pardon? Nothing. Look, I’ll phone you back in about five minutes, OK? Alright, but I would really like to go to bed, so please phone as soon as possible. Yes? Hello? Gordon? Is that you, Gordon? Oh, yes. Hello, Mr Mathews. Right, we need to know where the rough draft of that report is. I think it’s on my computer desktop. It’s in a Word file called “budget4” OK, and can you remember where the notes for the appendix were? Erm, I think they’re in my desk - in the bottom drawer in a file called “Appendix”, but I’m not really sure. Damn! I mean, can’t you remember, man. It’s really important. Erm, try the desk drawer, I’m fairly certain they’re there. Was there anything else because I am feeling really bad. Just a few more things. Now, those e-mails from Head Office with the revised figures, where might they be? Erm, I think I left them in the Inbox of my Outlook folder. They should be in an e-mail there. Are you sure? Yes, I think so. Oh God, this is all far too complicated. I think it would be easier to just come in. That’s my boy. I knew you wouldn’t let me down. So, we’ll be seeing you in about half-anhour then, won’t we? Yes, Mr Mathews. I’ll see you then. Good, it’s just that I’m going away for the week end, and you know how the traffic is - I’ll be leaving some time before lunch. Yes, Mr Mathews. I’ll be in as soon as I can, so you can get off for the weekend.
ANSWERS 1. Mr Mathews is angry that Gordon is sick because he needs someone to finish the report. 2. Mr Mathews wants Gordon to come in quickly because he’s going away for the weekend and the traffic is bad.
Now listen to some extracts from the conversation again. You will notice there are some missing words and a beeping sound. See if you can write the missing word. The answers are on the CD. 1. This really messes _______ our plans. 2. I’ll phone you back _____ about five minutes, OK? 3. Please phone as soon ____ possible. 4. It’s _____ my computer desktop. 5. I think I left them _______ the Inbox of my Outlook folder. 6. I knew you wouldn’t let us ______.
G LO S S A R Y
I don’t think I’ll be able to make it in exp I don’t think I’ll be able to come to work damn! exp RUDE this is an expression of anger to mess up phr vb to destroy, to ruin I mean exp this expression is often used to introduce something important that you want to say a rough draft n an early version of a document that is not finished or perfect a drawer n a box in a table that you pull out. You can put papers and things in the “drawer” a desk n a table in an office that’s my boy exp good boy to let someone down exp to do something that makes someone feel angry or sad; to disappoint someone
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