Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Show 364 Wednesday 2 May

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
On Friday, in Show 359, I talked about the sentence The Watchman has spoken. And I explained the grammar, and talked about the present perfect.
Thanks to the people who left comments about that too – it’s always helpful when people add their explanations. Thaevilpimp left a useful explanation and he also said:
When the watchman says "the watchman has spoken" that to me (oops I read his quote a different way) sounds as if his word is very important and everyone was only waiting for his final say.
Yeah, I think so too.
And today I thought I’d talk a bit about the meaning of saying someone “has spoken”.
I think it can be used to announce a verdict or conclusion after some kind of trial or election. And it implies that the person or people who said that have authority and their statement perhaps shouldn’t be questioned, and their decision is final.
In 2004 George Bush got elected again as the Present of the United States and in part of his victory speech he said this: America has spoken, and I'm humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens. With that trust comes a duty to serve all Americans.
When Bush said “America has spoken” what he meant was - there was an election and he got the majority of votes. By saying has spoken it sounds like the decision has been made and it is not to be questioned and it makes it sound like everybody in America supports him being president.
Recently another politician said a similar thing.
Hilary Clinton said: The American people have spoken, the Congress has voted, as of today, to end this war. And now we can only hope that the president will listen.
Again, by saying have spoken it makes it sound really powerful – as if everybody in America supports that decision. When in fact, of course, not everyone supports it.

So when The Watchman says the watchman has spoken, it makes it sound like he is very important and what he has says is very important, as thaevilpimp said.
And this is part of the humour – because, normally this phrase is used in politics, and situations like that, which actually are important – but The Watchman is just replying to some pretty silly, inconsequential comments on YouTube.


Kia ora in Stick News today, a Hollywood movie has made people in Japan sick and the movie now comes with a warning.

Kyodo News has reported that Seven people complained of nausea and other health symptoms after watching the movie Babel.
The sickness is thought to be linked with a scene where a character dances in a club that has strobe lighting.
However, other reasons for falling ill have also been reported.
According to one internet commentator: I got sick myself having to endure the whole convoluted plotline, as well as gratuitous nudity. rjd_jr
The movie now comes with this warning: A highly agitating rendition of effects is included in the feature presentation, and some viewers have said that they felt sick watching it.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 2nd of May.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#226 Have you seen Babel?

Step 1: Repeat Marie’s lines.
Step 2: Read Marie’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Marie Have you seen Babel?

Sarah No, I haven’t seen a movie for ages. Have you?

Marie No. What does Babel mean anyway?

Sarah I don’t know. It’s probably a character’s name.

Marie Yeah, or a place name.

Sarah Yeah. Hang on. I’ll just look it up.

Marie OK.

Sarah Oh, it actually has a meaning: the sound of many voices talking at one time, especially when more than one language is being spoken. And it’s from a bible story.

Marie What story is that?

Sarah Um ... “from the Bible story in which God punished the people who were trying to build a tower to reach heaven (the tower of Babel) by making them unable to understand each others languages”.

Marie Why would God punish them for building a tower?

Sarah Dunno. I guess you’ll have to read the story to find out.


Today's news here and here.

today's qa bgm

artist: Jampy
album: Rain
track: Morphine
from: Napoli, Italy
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site