Wednesday, October 29, 2008

#870 How Do You Do?, Forvo, Prince Charles, Wall

Show 870 Wednesday 29 October
Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

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

The mistake I’d like to talk about today is the use of the phrase: How do you do?

As I understand it, how do you do, is a phrase used when meeting somebody, like: Nice to meet you. So it doesn’t mean How are you? or How do you do something?

So some people might get those two things mixed up – How do you do? and How are you?
But I also think just using the phrase How do you do? when you meet someone can be a mistake.

But perhaps it depends on the country. As for me – I’m from New Zealand in case you didn’t know – in my life I’ve met thousands of people and no one has ever said how do you do.
So I don’t think it’s very common in New Zealand, if anyone uses it at all. Most people say: Nice to meet you, or a variation on that.

It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Lovely to meet you.
Fabulous to meet you, darling.
It’s so great to finally meet you!
Hey, bro.

When I think of How do you do? I think of the Queen in England, or very posh people in the UK.

I had a look online to see what people were saying about this and I found a post by Jonathan an English teacher from England who teaches in France. He says: Stop saying "How do you do" ! … virtually nobody says it anymore.

But someone replied in a comment: I just want to mention that when you enter the world of academia and business in the UK - you go to a conference in London - every third person you meet says "How do you do?"

But then Jonathon replies: You must be posh! - on the estate where I grew up in Redditch you'd get beaten up for saying "how do you do?"

I don’t think you’d get beaten up in New Zealand, but people might look at you funny or laugh.

So, tell me, do you use How do you do? when you meet someone. Is in common in your part of the world? Is it only posh people in the UK and characters in Japanese textbooks or do people actually use it in other parts of the world?

click here

Today I recommend a site called Forvo – which I think is brilliant.

It’s a site where you can listen to words being pronounced. I found it last week when I was talking about Stanley Kubrick and I realized I didn’t know how to pronounce his name. I was looking over my notes before filming and I was thinking is it “coo-brick” or “q-brick” and so I checked online and that’s when I found Forvo – and my problem was solved, just like that.

This kind of site is really useful for me, because I don’t work in an office full of people I can’t just turn to the person at the next desk to check. And also because I live in Japan, I’m not surrounded by English so I often forget how to pronounce things.

And I think you’ll find this site is useful for language study too.

Word of the Day

Today’s word is: estate.

This word has many meanings. One of them is this: a large area of land, usually in the country, that is owned by one person or family.

In New Zealand I think people use this word to sound posh or classy. And a lot of wineries use it in their name: like Villa Maria Estate. And also, luxury accommodation, like: Stoneridge Estate.

So, at first I thought Jonathon’s comment sounded very strange. Because he’s accusing someone of being posh and then he’s saying he grew up on an estate … which makes him sound posh.

But then I looked it up and in British English estate also means housing estate or council estate – which is a kind of public housing system in the UK.

In New Zealand this is called state housing – the government, or the state, owns some houses and they rent them to people who don’t have much money.


Kia Ora in Stick News today for the first time in almost two decades, Prince Charles is visiting Japan.

Charles Philip Arthur George is a 59-year-old English prince.
He’s the eldest son of the Queen of England.
Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Japan on Monday night. They are in Japan for five days to celebrate the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Britain.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 29th of October.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#540 I’m sure you made a great wall

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

Dave Did you really play the part of a wall?

Sarah Yeah.

Dave And the wall speaks?

Sarah Yeah. It’s a play within a play. Have you seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

Dave Maybe … ages go. But I can’t remember the story.

Sarah In the play some characters put on a play … so the part of the wall is actually a character playing the part of a wall in a play.

Dave Oh, OK. How many shows did you put on?

Sarah Oh, it wasn’t a proper show. Actually it was just in class.

Dave Oh, so it wasn’t a performance, you just read the lines?

Sarah No, it was a performance. And we rehearsed a few times and had to remember lines and stuff. It was in a lecture theatre actually - it was for a second year Shakespeare paper I think. The professor asked if anyone was interested in doing it and then a group of us got together and did the performance … just in the lecture … and that was it.

Dave How many lines did the wall have?

Sarah A couple. And a gesture too … which was crucial to the play.

Dave I’m sure you made a great wall.

Sarah Don’t knock it. Walls are very useful things.


today's news
today's STICK NEWS pictures


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

click here start
artist: #NarNaoud#
album: Green Vision
track: Oriental Standing
from: Gironde, France
artist at Jamendo
album at Jamendo
artist site

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: Zeropage
album: Ambient Pills Update
track: Is It Real
from: Switzerland
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

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