Episode 132 • Words & Phrases
Louie: Yo, dude! Long time no see! What up, man?
Ben: Hey! ‘Sup, bro? Life’s good, life’s good. How about you?
Louie: Oh, you know. Always the same. So are you ready to get this tattoo?
Ben: Absolutely. I can’t wait.
Louie: What are you going to get?
Ben: Oh, I don’t know yet. I just know I want it here on my chest.
Louie: Don’t you- Don’t you want to wait until you know for sure what you’re going to get?
Ben: No, I’ve waited long enough. I want a tattoo, I just turned 18 and… I want to get it, like, today.
Louie: Okay, well, let’s see… I think you should go for something epic but funny at the same time.
Ben: Like what?
Louie: Like uh… Ooh! Like Barney Stinson’s catchphrase.
Louie: The guy from the show How I Met Your Mother.
Ben: What’s his catchphrase?
Ben: Uhm… I don’t know… I don’t know if I want to have the word Legendary tattooed on my chest forever, you know? I want something more personal. Maybe I could get my motto tattooed?
Louie: You have a motto? What’s your motto?
Ben: Never back down.
Louie: Oh, come on, don’t you want to pick something a little more original? Pretty much every guy I know has that tattoo.
Ben: Yeah, you’re right.
Louie: Oh, I got it. Just do it.
Ben: Just do what?
Louie: No, the tattoo should say “Just do it”.
Ben: Isn’t that Nike’s slogan?
Louie: Yeah, so what? It sounds cool.
Ben: I don’t want to be a walking commercial.
Louie: Fair enough. What about a mantra?
Ben: What’s a mantra?
Louie: Well, I went to this yoga class once and they said mantras are like these super powerful sentences that can literally change your life.
Ben: Give me an example.
Louie: Like, uhm, I am enough or I am loved.
Ben: I mean, I don’t know…
Tattoo artist: Ben. You ready?
Ben: Oh, man. Yeah, uhm. I’m coming. I’ll- I’ll think of something.
Ben: Alright, all done!
Louie: Come on let me see! Oh, wow.
Ben: You like it?
Louie: So in the end you went for-
Ben: Live, laugh, love. You like it? It’s a quote. I like quotes so I thought “Why not?” I think Obama said it in one of his speeches or something.
Louie: Obama said “live, laugh, love”?
Ben: Yeah, I’m pretty sure. I think it looks cool.
Louie: Uh, yeah. Sh- sure! You are definitely not gonna regret this.
'What’s his catchphrase?'
• Is a catchphrase a sentence or a word that was made popular by someone famous or by a regular person?
Although a catchphrase can be associated with just like, I don't know, maybe a friend of yours has a catchphrase or something, it's usually something that like a sentence or a word that was made popular by someone famous. I'm thinking especially TV shows, because you have, you know, catchphrases that belong to certain actors that are repeated throughout the show multiple times.
• Is a catchphrase usually a long sentence or a short sentence?
It's usually pretty short. It's very quick. So I would say just one word sometimes, or just a very, very short sentence. A few words at most.
• Does a catchphrase always have a deep meaning?
No, not at all. You know, just like, you know, the catch phrase that I mentioned in the story, Barney Stinson's catch phrase is "Legendary" but doesn't have, you know, a deep meaning, but it's just something funny that is repeated, you know, multiple times in the show.
• What’s an example of an actor’s catchphrase that you can think of?
So even though I wasn't a huge fan of this show, I don't know why, but when I was writing the questions, the first catchphrase that came to my mind was the catch phrase that the character of Steve Urkel from the show Family Matters always repeats. And again, I didn't love Family Matters, but I used to watch it from time to time in Italian because everything was dubbed at the time back then, but yeah, and then I watched it again a few times in English after that. And Steve Urkel's catchphrase is, "Did I do that?" or something along these lines? I don't know how good my impression is, but yeah, he said it I would say at least once every episode, if not more.
'Maybe I could get my motto tattooed?'
• Is a motto usually a long sentence or a short sentence?
Once again, a motto is usually pretty short. We want to encapsulate a big thought into just a few words.
• What is the purpose of a motto? To tell you how to behave or to make people remember you?
The purpose of a motto is to kind of tell you how to behave. It's more about what type of philosophy you should follow and embrace in your life. So it gives you like a little bit of wisdom in within a sentence.
• What's a famous motto that you like and try to live by? What about one that you don’t believe in?
Okay, so the first motto that comes to mind for some reason is a hakuna matata from The Lion King. I don't know if it's from The Lion King, but that's where I heard it from. Pretty sure it's like, you know, from Africa or something. I don't know. I'm really ignorant. I apologize if I'm saying something stupid, but I did learn it from The Lion King, as I think most people. But I'm pretty sure that means "No worries"s o and that's like the opposite of my philosophy. My philosophy is more like, well, you know, you should worry. And if you're not worried, you should be worried because really, there's probably something to be worried about. So I think Hakuna matata doesn't really represent me, but it's cool. I wish I could live by that motto. I know though that there's a motto that I absolutely despise. I don't like it at all. And that is live every day as if it were your last. Because I know what it's supposed to mean, right? Because what this motto is supposed to say is kind of like, make the most of your time. Don't waste your time. But when you, like, take it literally, then I mean, live every day as if it were your last. To be honest with you, if they told me that I was going to die tomorrow, I would probably just, like, sit on a couch, eat as much as I could, probably as much ice cream as I could. I would have my whole family around, that would be for sure, but I would still binge watch a bunch of shows on Netflix while eating with my family around me. That's what I would do on my last day. So I don't know if I want to do that every day. I don't think I would be that productive. So I don't know. I'm just not a big fan of this motto. But if you know, if it inspires you, then good for you, you know?
'Isn’t that Nike’s slogan?'
• Who uses slogans? Politicians, advertisers, companies or all of them?
Slogans can be used by all of these entities. So politicians, advertisers, companies, whatever. I guess the most famous slogans are associated with brands. But yeah, even politicians, they if there's an election, they will come up with their own slogan so that people will associate them with a specific idea.
• Are slogans easy to remember?
Yes, they need to be easy to remember because that is the purpose of a slogan. You want people to associate your person or your brand to a certain slogan, so they need to be very short. They need to be easy to remember. Sometimes they're very catchy. So yeah, absolutely. That is the purpose of a slogan.
• Can you think of any famous slogans?
Well, we did mention one in the story. It was Nike's Just Do It, which I think is super popular. Nike also came up with the slogan Impossible is nothing, if I'm not mistaken. And I mean, Nike is us pretty good at coming up with slogans. I'll give them that. But then we also... Let's see. Oh, and then we have McDonald's. I'm loving it. Again, super quick, easy to remember. And it's got a nice ring to it. And and then we have EnBooo, I mean EnBooo has got its slogan. It's Boost your English. Again, short, sweet. And it gets to the point. So yeah I guess we're comparing EnBooo to McDonalds and Nike now. Well, it's my podcast so I guess I can do it.
'Fair enough. What about a mantra?'
Okay, so before we get to the questions, just a little disclaimer. A mantra is actually, I believe, like a word or a sound that's used while praying in certain religions and in certain cultures. Okay? But over the years, and I think especially lately, the word mantra has also been connected with something that's a little bit different, something that's not quite as deep. So I'm not talking about that mantra. I'm talking about the way Westerners use the word mantra right now, which is, I guess, a bit more of a shallow way. All right? But if you're watching like YouTube or yeah, you're following any like inspirational speakers or anything like that, they will use mantra in the way that we're about to see, okay? So just know that there is a deeper meaning to this word, something that's a little bit more spiritual. We're going to talk about how a lot of people are using it nowadays.
• What do mantras represent? A particular strong belief or the rule of what to do in a specific situation?
A mantra represents a particular strong belief. So once again, it's something a bit more philosophical. It tells you about life.
• What is the difference between a motto and a mantra?
I think that a motto, just like, you know, we said before, I think is just a bit of wisdom. Even a proverb can become a motto, if you will. It has to do more about how you're supposed to live your life. Whereas a mantra is maybe a bit more spiritual, and it is more about how you feel and how you want to feel in the future. So a mantra would be something like "I am loved" or "I am worthy of great things", or "I am powerful". So I think it's strongly connected to your self-image, how you see yourself and how you want to portray yourself to the world.
• How often are mantras repeated? Very often or just once in a while?
So I guess people say that if you repeat these kinds of mantras, there's people that do that. They have like this routine every day. They go to the bathroom, they look at themselves in the mirror and they repeat a mantra or a series of mantras. And they do that because they think that by repeating them, you're going to kind of, I guess, trick your brain into thinking that they're true. So say that you don't feel like you're, I don't know, loved or that you're beautiful. You're looking in the mirror and you don't like what you see. By kind of repeating to yourself every day "I am beautiful", I guess people say that your brain supposed to believe it at some point. Does that work? I don't know. I would need to really do it to see if it works.
• Have you ever tried to use mantras for self-growth?
I have, because, again, I'm all about self-growth. I am, I think, constantly trying to become a better person. And so I read a lot of, like, self-help books. And then I watch a lot of like self-help videos on YouTube. And so this, you know, mantra thing came up and I was intrigued by it. But I am terrible with consistency, as you might already know by now. And so I did do it for, I think, two days where I was just like I had this list of mantras that I wanted to repeat every day in front of a mirror. And to be honest with you, I think by the second day, like, I did in one day and then the second day, I was just like, first of all, I don't want to do it. And secondly, I just I don't know. I feel silly for doing this. I don't believe what I'm saying. And I don't I guess I was expecting to already see some kind of result, which is, you know, obviously not possible. But yeah, I did give it a shot. It's just it wasn't. It isn't for me, I guess.
'Live, laugh, love. You like it? It’s a quote.'
• Is a quote something you said or something someone else has said?
A quote is usually something that someone else has said and usually someone that's pretty famous.
• Where do quotes come from?
Well, they can come from movies a lot of times, from shows, from books.
• Are quotes short sentences or long sentences?
You got a little bit of everything, honestly. You've got short quotes and then sometimes you have longer quotes, like a whole passage can be a quote. I find those have a little bit less of an impact on me just because they're longer. I prefer like shorter quotes that are a bit more powerful.
• Do you have any favorite quotes?
I prefer like shorter quotes that are a bit more powerful. Do you have any favorite quotes? I. So I had to do a bit of research because I couldn't think of a quote that really resonated with me and as I was going through this whole list of quotes, I came across this one by Oscar Wilde that says, Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. And I thought that was really interesting because I am usually someone that, especially when I'm in a group or even with someone that I don't know that well, I always feel like I'm always trying to change how I act to kind of make them feel better. So but at the same time, I'm not being my full self. I think like unless I know you super duper well, I'm never like 100% myself. And that's something that I don't even notice. I do it automatically. I just adjust to kind of please the person that I'm with, which is terrible when you think about it. But I, I guess I do it because I want to be accepted and I want to be liked by the other person. So when I read this quote, I was like, That is really cool because it makes you realize that, you know, everybody is unique in their own way and we should celebrate that and we should accept that and embrace that and that is something that I think I don't do nearly enough and that I want to do more. So, yeah, I think it's a pretty cool quote.
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