Monday, October 09, 2006

Show 159 Monday 9 October

Watch today's show at YouTube.


Hi, I’m Sarah welcome to The Daily English Show.
There are some words in English which are commonly misused. Which is interesting I think because if a word is misused enough, then that use of the word eventually becomes correct.
Which is one of the ways languages evolve.

So one word that is commonly “misused” is “hypocrisy”. This is an example of what people might call hypocrisy. If an adult is smoking tobacco and says to a child: you shouldn’t smoke, it’s bad for your health. Apparently, that’s not hypocrisy after all, that should be called a double standard.

In my dictionary it says hypocrisy is: behaviour in which sb pretends to have moral standards or opinions that they do not actually have.

I read the discussion page of hypocrisy in Wikipedia and people are arguing about whether or not to have example of hypocrisy on the page.
There are no examples of hypocrisy there now, because apparently, it’s impossible to prove.
These are some of the comments:
We can't say "XYZ acted hypocritically", we have to say "ABC said that XYZ acted hypocritically."
Proving hypocrisy involves proving that a person's professed beliefs are insincere.

So, in today’s conversation, I’ve used the word hypocrisy in a way that I think is an official “misuse” of the word, but I think it is a common way that people use the word.

So, when you’re studying English, I think it is a good idea to study the common “misuses” of words. Because even if it’s officially wrong – if a lot of people use the word in that way then it does help if you understand what they mean when they use it.


Kia Ora, in Stick News today, North Korea said it tested a nuclear weapon.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in Asia with a population of 23 million. It’s well-known for being shy, having a powerful leader, impressive gymnastic displays, and a lack of food.
The US president isn’t a fan of the country. In 2002 he said it was part of an “axis of evil”. In Wikipedia’s list of countries by size of armed forces North Korea is in 4th place.
Today it tested one of its weapons.
The country said the tests were carried out “under scientific consideration and careful calculation”. And would “contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula”. But many countries aren’t happy about the tests.

An NGO called Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said that all nuclear weapon states were irresponsible, and said North Korea and other nuclear states should eliminate their nuclear weapons.
And that was Stick News for Monday the 9th of October.
Kia Ora.

* Mistake: I should have said “test” not “tests”

conversations with sarah
# 105 It’s scary, isn’t it!

Miwako and Sarah talk about North Korea’s nuclear tests.
Step 1: Repeat Miwako’s lines.
Step 2: Read Miwako’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

North Korea did the test, didn’t they.

Miwako Yeah. It’s scary, isn’t it!

Sarah Is it, though? They’ve tested them, but it doesn’t mean they’re actually going to use them.

Miwako True. But Kim Jong-il seems crazy. No-one knows what he will do.

Sarah Mmm. I’m more worried about the United States president ... he has a lot of weapons of mass destruction and seems to enjoy invading countries willy-nilly.

Miwako Yeah, I guess it is hypocritical for a country to say it’s OK for us to have them, but not you.

Sarah Definitely. It would be a good idea if all countries got rid of all their weapons.

Miwako That’s a great idea.


And that was The Daily English Show. So, after reading about the “correct” and “incorrect” uses of the word hypocrisy. I’m still a bit confused about how to use it correctly ... but I’ll give it a go.
So if hypocrisy is “the act of pretending or claiming to have beliefs, feelings, morals or virtues that one does not truly possess or practise.”
Then if my co-worker got a promotion that I really wanted and I am not happy at all – but I say to her: “congratulations, I’m really happy for you”.
Then that would be hypocrisy. I think.


Music on the show used with permission from
Artist: Saelynh
Album: Sensation electronique
Track: When we comming
music at jamendo

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