Archive for the ‘10. Talk, don’t Talk’ Category

What if…?

May 16, 2010 1 comment

The conditional sentences are back for revision purposes but perhaps we could learn a few mores advanced uses.

As for the traditional types you could  refresh your knowledge by clicking here

And for the more sophisticated types

1.-If with would and should for polite purposes

If you wouldn´t mind waiting for a moment, the doctor will see you shortly

Should you want to contact me, I will be in the office from 9 till 5 (More common in        written English)

2.-There are also rhetorical conditional sentences which need to be interpreted as they mean the opposite of their literal meanings

If you believe that, you´ll believe anything (you can´t believe that)

She is nothing if not tough ( She is really tough)

If they are Irish, I am the Pope (they are certainly not Irish)

3.-If formulas for expresing politeness, ideal in oral exams

If you don´t mind me saying so,……

If I may interrupt …

If I may change  the subject…

If you can keep a secret…

If you see what I mean…

If I understand you correctly…

There is a very popular BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs in which famous guests are asked which 8 music records, which book and which luxury they would take if they were cast away in a desert island. It has had some very famous guests and it has proven a very popular programme. You can listen to the most recent programmes from their webpage

So popular it has become that you can buy  a compilation CD with famous castaways choices.

Now it is your turn to answer to choose. If you were cast away in a desert island, which 8 pieces of music, one book and one luxury would you take?


Talk Shows

May 12, 2010 1 comment

A talk show (American and Australian English) or chat show (British) is a television or radio programme where one person (or group of people) will discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host. Sometimes, talk shows feature a panel of guests, usually consisting of a group of people who are learned or who have great experience in relation to whatever issue is being discussed on the show for that episode. Other times, a single guest discusses their work or area of expertise with a host or co-hosts. A call-in show takes live phone calls from callers listening at home, in their cars, etc.

Television talk shows often feature celebrity guests who talk about their work and personal lives as well as their latest films, TV shows, music recordings or other projects they’d like to promote to the public. The hosts are often comedians who open the shows with comedy monologues and have become a brand in many TV channels. Find below a list of the most popular shows around the world, if you click on the different links, you’ll be taken to the programme’s web.


The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is more than just an hour-long talk show featuring some of Hollywood’s hottest stars and some of the funniest hometown humor on the airwaves. The Tonight Show is the talk show – practically a national treasure – hosted by such greats as Jack Paar and Johnny Carson and is considered to be the longest currently-running regularly scheduled entertainment program in the United States.


Good Morning America

Nearly always second in the ratings among morning talk shows, Good Morning America – or GMA- is nowadays hosted by Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, the morning news and talk show has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. It includes a floksy and down-to-earth approach to news and features sections such as news, weather, recipes, health and special-interest stories.


Describing The Oprah Winfrey Show is fairly simple. Describing its global impact and the world-wide appeal of its host is not. Let’s just say it, “Oprah is all-powerful.” The way the one-time local Chicago newswoman has developed a career and television show that influences and inspires millions of people around the world is just amazing to behold.

Oprah welcomes guests onto an airy set consisting of a few pieces of comfortable, modern furniture. The audience envelopes Oprah and her guest in a semi-circle. Shows may feature a theme, usually a social issue or topical event, and guests who complement the theme or they may feature celebrity guests. Occasionally the show will devote the hour to one guest or one subject. Spanish newspaper El País offered a leading article about her.


The Ellen DeGeneres Show follows a very particular format. It opens with a topical monologue. Ellen traditionally ends her monologue with a jazzy dance through the audience and to her set. It follows with banter and a comedy bit from the setand interviews complete the programme together with games up to a comedic final act.

Since the show’s debut in 2003, Ellen has kept the program light and happy.Ellen’s guests are often A-listers either hawking a project or just sitting down to visit.


Saturday Night Live (SNL) is a live late-night television sketch comedy and variety show. The show’s sketches often parody contemporary American popular culture and politics. Each week, the show features a host who delivers an opening monologue and performs in sketches with the cast. A musical guest is also invited to perform. A failed version of it was tried in Spain; 5 comedians, Eva Hache among them, led the programme together with the celebrity that acted as a guest and co-hosted the show.


From New York comes the The Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman, the late night heir to Johnny Carson, hosts one of the longest running late night talk shows in history – 25 years. After a series of shots of New York City as the CBS Orchestra performs the Late Show theme, Letterman walks out on the show stage to perform his stand-up monologue based on pop culture, current events, and politics. He then introduces one or two video jokes such as a running gag or fake commercial/public service announcement. Letterman reads the Top Ten List at this point before turning to guest interviews with a celebrity, politician, or public figure.



The Graham Norton Show is a comedy late night chat show that is broadcast on BBC One. The show includes strong adult humour along with Graham’s monologue at the beginning of the show and often a musical guest to play out over the credits. Some celebrities have been hesitant of being a guest because of the nature of the show.


The Paul O’Grady Show was a BAFTA award-winning British comedy chat show hosted by Birkenhead-born comedian Paul O’Grady. The format was a teatime chat show that consists of a mixture of celebrity guests, comic stunts, musical performances, and occasionally viewer competitions.Also a stalwart of the show was O’Grady’s Shih Tzu/bichon frise cross dog, Buster, who appeared for a full five minutes at the start of each programme.


The Jeremy Kyle Show is a British daytime television talk show presented by Jeremy Kyle that has been broadcast on ITV since 4 July 2005. The show is distinctive for its confrontational style, which sees guests attempt to resolve issues with others that are significant in their lives, such as family, relationship, sex, drug, alcohol and other issues. Frequently, guests display strong emotions such as anger and distress on the show, and Kyle is often harsh towards those that he feels have acted in morally dubious or irresponsible ways, whilst strongly emphasising the importance of traditional family values. This has led to both criticism and parody of the show in newspapers and on television, and even led to the show being described as “human bear-baiting” by a Manchester District Judge, during a prosecution after guests had been involved in a violent incident on the show.


Richard & Judy (later known as Richard & Judy’s New Position) is a British magazine/ chat show which was presented by married couple Richars Madeley and Judy Finnigan. It featured the world’s most famous stars, along with their Book Club. In July 2009, the show aired its final episode due to low ratings.


Speak out!leave a comment on it!

Categories: 10. Talk, don't Talk


May 12, 2010 2 comments

Exam markers have expressed concerns over the use of text messaging language in exam answers.

The proof of its increased usage came when a 13-year-old Scottish schoolgirl handed in an essay written completely in text message shorthand, much to the bemusement of her teacher.

One extract said: “My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kids FTF. ILNY, it’s a gr8 plc.”

Can you translate the above passage? check if you understood:

In translation from text messaging shorthand it would read: “My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York. It’s a great place.”

Because of the instantaneous nature of texting and the tiny keypads and screens on a cell phone, an entire language has developed around text messaging. For those cell phone owners who do not make use of text messaging, the intricacies of this language can make messages almost incomprehensible.

This language is abbreviated for speed and ease of use. It is a rather phonetic language where single letters or numbers may stand for entire words, such as “Y” for “why” or “8″ for “ate”. Vowels may be omitted to further reduce keystrokes, such as “btwn” for “between” and capitalization and punctuation are rare. Acronyms are used for phrases and whole sentences such as “ADBB” for “all done, bye, bye”. Symbols are also common in text messaging language. Texting allows the user to create “emoticons” or “smileys” to add the tone to a comment. For instance, “thts gr8t :)” would give the statement a positive meaning while typing “THTS GR8T” would indicate a shout for excitement.

There are a number of ways to dive into the world of cell phone texting. One method is to consult a child/teenager who is a habitual user of text messaging. However, for those on their own in the endeavor there are many resources to consult. Online, provides references to assist cell phone owners in learning the vocabulary of text messaging. Another site, offers a translator to assist cell phone owners in composing a text message or to translate a text message they receive into plain English.

As listened to in class the world record guinness was held by 16-year-old Ang Chuang Yang of Singapore who tapped  ”The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human” in just 41.52 seconds. Nowadays, American-boy Ben Cook has unofficially set the fastest texter world record by tapping it on his 31st attempt in 40.72

R U a txt addict? Do you think txting is killing off the English language? R is it jst gr8 4 tkn 2 m8s?

Suggest a couple of sentences using txt lge and we’ll try to figure out what you mean!!

Categories: 10. Talk, don't Talk

Choose your words wisely

May 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Have you felt words failed you at times when you wanted to get across a delicate point or just when you wanted to make a good impression? It happens to us all. In stressful situations it is better to be honest and clear. It is better to be honest than to boast about things you do not know. Check this famous example from the Miss Teen USA  2007, Miss South Carolina became an instant celebrity when she confirmed universally held prejudices about this type of show and its contestants. Judge for yourself

Others gave some edited versions of the truth that they soon regretted.  Do you remember this one?

It pays off being honest and telling the truth. It seems to be contagious amongst  American democrats…anyway those who came after Bill Clinton

Here are a few good quotes about speaking

“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”Oscar Wilde

To speak and to speak well are two things.  A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.  ~Ben Jonson

If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it.  ~Earl Wilson

Two monologues do not make a dialogue.  ~Jeff Daly

Of those who say nothing, few are silent.  ~Thomas Neiel

Do you know any others?


Adverbs tell manner (how), time (when), place (where), degree (how much), and sometimes cause (why).
Adverbs of manner: politely, carefully, not, equally, tenderly
Adverbs of time: now, then soon, later, early, often
Adverbs of place: here, there, near, forward, far
Adverbs of degree: very, so, much, too, extremely, rather
Adverbs of cause: why, therefore, hence

We usually form an adverb by adding –ly to the adjective. serious-seriously
  • careful with spelling changes
  • gentle-gently
  • happy-happily
  • awful-awfully
  • dramatic-dramatically
  • polite-politely But: true-truly
  • careful with elderly, cowardly, friendly, likely, deadly, lively,
  • lonely, silly, ugly, lovely… they are ADJECTIVES!

The adverbs loud (ly), cheap(ly), quick(ly), tight(ly), fair(ly) and slow(ly) are often used without –ly in everyday English. Come here quick/quickly

Some adverbs have the same form as adjectives. These include: hard, fast, free, high, low, deep, early, late, long, near, straight, right, wrong, monthly, yearly, etc

The adverbs below have two forms, each with a different meaning:
  • The treasure was buried deep underground (= a long way down)
  • He is deeply in love with her (=very)
  • The hotel guests can use the swimming pool free (=without payment)
  • The animals in the safari park can roam freely (= without limit/restriction
  • The kite flew high in the sky (= at a high level)
  • He is a highly respected doctor (= very much)
  • She arrived late for the meeting (=not early)
  • He hasn’t been feeling well lately (=lately)
  • Which of his songs do  you like most? (=superlative of much)
  • I’m mostly interestes in modern art (=mainly)
  • As he came near, I realised that something was wrong (=close)
  • She nearly fainted when she heard the news (=almost)
  • He is a pretty strange man (=rather)
  • The bridesmaids were prettily dressed in pink (= in a pretty way)
  • He is working hard these days (= with a lot of effort)
  • They hardly* go anywhere now that they have children (=almost never)

* As ‘hardly’ is a negative word, it turns the sentence negative

Now, it’s your turn:

Underline the correct choice:

  1. This is a pretty/prettily complicated situation.
  2. They had hard/hardly been home for a minute when the phone rang.
  3. My friends are most/mostly vegetarians.
  4. Her loose outfit allowed her to move free/freely.
  5. The shelf was so high/highly that he couldn’t reach it.
  6. John may be late/lately home tonight, as he has a lot of work to do.
  7. The room was pretty/prettily decorated.
  8. Children under 5 travel free /freely.
  9. Sue has near/nearly finished her homework.
  10. They have been going out a lot late/lately.
  11. This college is high/highly recommended for its range of courses.
  12. The miners dug deep/deeply to find a coat.
  13. The new supermarket is very near/nearly our house.
  14. He is deep/deeply involved in the scandal.
  15. We found it hard/hardly to get used to living in a foreign country.
  16. Which of Mel Gibson’s films do you like most/mostly?

Check the key if in doubt

Categories: 10. Talk, don't Talk