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Podcast

Episode 45 • Body parts

45

Lend someone a hand

Nosy

Get out of hand

Watch your mouth

Clear your throat

Story

Tommy: Hey mom.
Mom: Hey sweetie, what’s going on?
Tommy: It’s just… mom. I can’t stand my neighbor.
Mom: Why?!
Tommy: [Clears throat] Well… She’s a nice old lady and everything but…
Mom: But what? I thought she was super helpful. Didn’t she even lend you a hand when you had to leave town and needed someone to feed your cat?
Tommy: [Clears throat] Yeah, but ever since then she’s been so annoying… She’s incredibly nosy
Mom: I’m sure it’s not that bad.
Tommy: No seriously… She looks in my mailbox. She talks to my friends when they come visit…and now things are just getting out of hand.
Mom: What do you mean?
Tommy: [Clears throat] The other day I came home and she was in my house! I swear… it’s getting so f*** annoying.
Mom: Tommy! Watch your mouth!
Tommy: Sorry, mom… It’s just. Ugh! [Clears throat]
Mom: Also… why do you keep clearing your throat?
Tommy: What? I’m not… What are y- Wait a second…
Neighbor: [Clears throat] Well, hello, neighbor.

Questions

All right. I'm not sure it was very clear, but it was the neighbor at the end. So, she had been listening to the whole conversation. I just wanted to make that clear because I wasn't sure if that was actually clear.

Lend someone a hand

'Didn’t she even lend you a hand when you had to leave town?'

• Why would you need to lend someone a hand? When they are doing something easily or when they're experiencing some difficulties?

If you lend someone a hand, it's because they are experiencing some difficulties. They're trying to do something, but they can't on their own. They need someone's help.

• If you lend someone a hand, do you usually expect something in return or not?

Well, no. That's the thing about lending someone a hand, is that it's a favor, so you don't expect anything in return.

• When was the last time someone lent you a hand or the last time you lent someone a hand?

Well, it's not like I've got the chance with the quarantine to do lots of favors, but my boyfriend and I work together, we work in the same office, I should say. He's Spanish and sometimes he has to prepare a presentation or send an email in English. Whenever he needs my help, I will gladly lend him a hand and maybe correct the email or help him work through his presentation. Oh, and careful, 'lend' is irregular. The past is 'lent', with a 'T'

Nosy

'She’s incredibly nosy.'

• If someone is nosy or is being nosy, do they mind their business or not?

If someone is being nosy that means that they want to know about your life or about your things.

• Are they doing it because they're worried or because they're curious?

If someone is being nosy, it's just because they're curious. They're not doing that because they're worried about you.

• Is being nosy considered a good thing or a bad thing?

I'm afraid, being nosey is considered a bad thing. It's not like being curious, because being curious can actually be something positive. You know, you can say, "Oh, he's such a curious child. He wants to know about the world." But, being nosy, that just means they want to know about your life or about your stuff, just because they're interested, but not in a good way.

• Do you consider yourself nosy?

I am pretty nosey, I think, but I also try to be discreet. So, I try to not be too obvious, unlike my neighbor. My next-door neighbor, she's an old lady. I think where this story comes from. I didn't notice until I finished writing the story, and I was like, "This sounds familiar." We just moved into a new apartment and the neighbor, she's a sweet old lady, but our balcony is right next to her balcony and a lot of times we've caught her looking our way, but not just like, "Oh, I'm looking at the birds." No, she was looking inside. She was trying to look through the window to see what we were doing. Whenever we catch her, we wave and she waves back. It's really uncomfortable and I don't know what to do about it. That's a great example of a very nosey person.

Get out of hand

'Things are just getting out of hand.'

• If a situation is getting out of hand, is it easy or difficult to control?

If a situation is getting out of hand, it's getting difficult to control.

• Can you still do something about it?

Yes. The good thing about a situation that's getting out of hand, it means it's still salvageable. You can still do something about it and fix it.

• Can you think of a time when things in your life started to get out of hand? When and what did you do?

I think the best example would be when I first started teaching kids here in Spain. I had a class of eight- and nine-year-olds, and they were very sweet, but during the first class I realized things were starting to get out of hand, because they started making jokes and they started talking. I was like, "Okay, if I don't do something about this now, I'm going to regret it." So, I noticed things were getting out of hand, and I immediately said, "Hey, listen. You have points. If you do something good, you get points. If you do something bad, you lose points." That helped me get the situation back under control. But yes, things were getting out of hand there.

Watch your mouth

'Tommy! Watch your mouth!'

• When would you tell someone to 'watch your mouth'? When they're saying something rude or when they're saying something stupid?

The expression 'watch your mouth' is used to say that you shouldn't say something rude. Often, a bad word, okay?

• Who tends to use the expression 'watch your mouth', adults or kids?

It's usually an adult that tells a kid to 'watch your mouth'. Especially younger kids, if they're being rude or if they say something inappropriate, or, like I said, a bad word. The parent or the teacher would say, "Hey, watch your mouth." Be careful about what you're saying.

• Have your parents ever told you to watch your mouth?

Oh boy. Obviously, my mom, she'is Italian so she's never used this expression, but my mom was very strict about what we could and could not say. She was really against using bad words. So, yes, I've heard this expression a lot. My mom definitely told me many, many times to watch my mouth.

Clear your throat

'Why do you keeping clearing your throat?'

• What sound do you make when clearing your throat?

Something like [clears throat]

• What are the reasons for clearing your throat?

There could be several reasons. One of them is maybe you're nervous and you have to talk in public, and you just want to make sure that your voice is steady before you start talking, so you clear your throat [clears throat]. Or, maybe, just like in the story, you want to get someone's attention, and so you go," "Hey, look at me," or, "No, don't say that," and you clear your throat. Or simply, which is why I usually do it, is because you've got something stuck in your throat. Maybe you just swallowed something and it didn't go down all the way or it's bothering you in your throat, and so you [clears throat], you try to swallow it and get rid of it.

• Do you clear your throat before a speech?

I don't. I think it's because I don't get super nervous before talking in public, so no. The only reason why I would clear my throat, I think, would be if I got literally something in my throat.

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