Tuesday, September 30, 2008

#841 Home Alone: I'll Give It A Whirl, Prisoner Escapes Using Sheets

Show 841 Tuesday 30 September
Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah, welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today we’re doing a scene from the movie Home Alone which is a comedy that came out in 1990.

I used a few scenes from this movie when I was teaching at a junior high school – it’s a good one to use for younger teenagers because a lot of good movies aren’t really appropriate.

If you haven’t seen Home Alone, it’s about a young boy who accidentally gets left at home by himself when his family goes on holiday. And so the boy, his name is Kevin, has to look after himself until his family gets back.

The scene we’re doing today is when Kevin is at the supermarket. He’s doing some grocery shopping, but he’s only 8, so the checkout woman is suspicious asks him some questions, like:

Where's your mum? Where's your father? What about your brothers and your sisters?

A few points about the language in this scene.

The checkout woman says to the boy: Are you here all by yourself?
All by yourself means the same thing as by yourself – the all is just emphasizing the fact that he’s alone.

And he replies: Mam, I'm eight years old. You think I'd be here alone? I don't think so.

Mam is a word that’s used in the US. It’s a term of respectful address, used for women. It’s like the female equivalent of sir.

I’m not really sure how common it is, or in what situations it’s used … it’s not used in New Zealand – except for in the military - so I’ve only really heard it in American movies.


Kia Ora in Stick News today, a prison in New Zealand has introduced sheet counts during cell checks after a prisoner escaped by collecting enough sheets to make a rope.

In May this year a 26-year-old man escaped from Mt Eden prison by climbing over a wall using a rope made of sheets. Today the Department of Corrections released a report about the escape. The report said the escape was "not a simple escape" and very few people would have had the dexterity the man showed. They said that since the escape they’ve changed some of their systems – including the sheet system. Before the classic sheet escape, the prison didn’t do checks on sheet numbers. The sheets are now swapped one for one and guards also do sheet counts when they’re checking the cells.

And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 30th of September.
Kia Ora.

Word of the Day

Today’s word is whirl.

Whirl means: move or cause to move rapidly round and round.

Give sth a whirl is an idiom which means: to try sth to see if you like it or can do it.

I found an example online using this idiom.

This is someone writing a blog entry about hummus:

Earlier in the summer I tried replacing the mint in my hummus recipe with sage, and this time around I thought I’d give rosemary a whirl.

conversations with sarah
#519 Are you here all by yourself?

* On my DVD, this is in chapter 12 (0:50:36)

Step 1: Repeat the checkout woman's lines.
Step 2: Read the checkout woman's lines and talk to Kevin.

Kevin Are those microwave dinners any good?

Woman I don't know.

Kevin I'll give 'em a whirl.
For the kids.
Hold on, I got a coupon for that. It was in the paper this morning.

Woman Nineteen eighty three.

Kevin OK.

Woman Are you here all by yourself?

Kevin Mam, I'm eight years old. You think I'd be here alone? I don't think so.

Woman Where's your Mum?

Kevin My Mum's in the car.

Woman Where's your father?

Kevin He's at work.

Woman What about your brothers and your sisters?

Kevin I'm an only child.

Woman Where do you live?

Kevin Ah, I can't tell you that.

Woman Why not?

Kevin 'Cos you're a stranger.


today's news
today's STICK NEWS pictures


show start
artist: Boom Tschak
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: More Chocolate, Please
from: Former Yugoslavia

cws start
artist: Wolfgang S.
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: Dynamite
from: Belgrade, Serbia, Former Yugoslavia
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: Ensono
album: Night Culture
track: Wild Mind
from: Vigo, Spain
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo

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