Apr 4, 2016

LESSON 15 — Nicole practices her election speech

22 cards
, 24 answers
  • Nicole is running for student body president. She must give a speech next week. She discusses the speech with her mother.



    SUSAN:       What’s up, Nicole?

    NICOLE:       I pulled an all-nighter working on my election speech.

    SUSAN:       No wonder you look like a basket case! Did you finish your speech?

    NICOLE:       Yes, at 6 a.m.

    SUSAN:       That must be a load off your mind!

    NICOLE:       It’s not. I’ve got to give the speech tomorrow in front of 1,500 people. I’m a nervous wreck!

    SUSAN:       Just remember the old rule of thumb: imagine your audience naked.

    NICOLE:       That’s gross. Why would I want to do that?

    SUSAN:       According to conventional wisdom, it’ll make you less nervous.

    NICOLE:       Only practice will do the trick.

    SUSAN:       Okay, let’s hear the speech.

    NICOLE:       Good afternoon, everyone. There are four candidates running for president. You think you have several choices. In reality, you have just one choice: me!

    SUSAN:       You can’t say that. You’ll turn off your audience immediately.

    NICOLE:       It sounds like I have a big head?

    SUSAN:       I’ll say!
    1. Idiomatic vocabulary
      1. basket case (slang) — someone or something in a useless or hopeless condition

        Example
        After working a 12-hour day and then coming home and cooking dinner for her family, Tanya felt like a basket case.
        After running the marathon, Brian felt like a basket case.

        Note: You may also see the expression “economic basket case” to describe an economy that is doing very poorly. — After years of dictatorship, North Korea is an economic basket case.

        1. a big head — arrogant; too proud of oneself

          Example
          Stop bragging so much about the award you got at work! People will think you’ve got a big head.
          Jenny has such a big head. No wonder nobody wants to be friends with her!

          Synonym: to be full of oneself. — Joan is really full of herself. She’s always talking about how smart she is.

          1. conventional wisdom — a widely held belief

            Example
            According to conventional wisdom, a diet high in salt can cause high blood pressure.
            Challenging conventional wisdom, the psychologist said that sometimes it’s healthy to be in a bad mood.

            1. do the trick — to achieve the desired results

              Example
              Juan changed the light bulb and said, “That should do the trick!”
              My house is difficult to find, so I’ll put 10 large balloons on my mailbox on the day of the party. That should do the trick.

              1. I’ll say! — Yes, definitely!

                Example
                “Did you enjoy the Madonna concert?” — “I’ll say!
                “Your sister must’ve been very happy after winning $50,000 in the lottery.” — “I’ll say!

                1. in reality — in fact; actually

                  Example
                  Ted thinks it’ll be easy to become a rock star. In reality, it will take years of hard work.
                  I know you think it’ll be easy to get cheap tickets to a Broadway play. In reality, we’ll have to wait in line for hours!

                  1. load off one’s mind — a relief

                    Example
                    When Amber called Ted to tell him that she arrived home safely, it was a big load off his mind.
                    Finishing her English essay was a load off Nicole’s mind.

                    1. look like — to have the appearance of

                      Example
                      Before agreeing to go out on a date with her, Keith wanted to know what my cousin Maria looked like.
                      Please tell me what the cover of that new book looks like so it will be easier for me to find it in the bookstore.

                      Note: The expression “it looks like” can mean “it is likely that”. — It’s snowing, so it looks like the schools will be closed today.

                      1. nervous wreck — a person feeling very worried

                        Example
                        Ted was a nervous wreck before his chemistry test.
                        Whenever Nicole rides on the back of her friend’s motorcycle, Susan is a nervous wreck.

                        1. no wonder — it’s not surprising

                          Example
                          Brian’s entire body is in pain. It’s no wonder since he ran a marathon yesterday!
                          No wonder you’re cold — it’s January and you’re walking around outside without a coat!

                          Synonym: small wonder

                          1. pull an all-nighter — to stay up all night to do work

                            Example
                            Ted pulled an all-nighter to study for his chemistry test and ended up falling asleep in class the next day.
                            I’ve got a 20-page paper due tomorrow morning, and I haven’t even started writing it yet. I guess I’ll be pulling an all-nighter!

                            1. rule of thumb — a useful principle

                              Example
                              When cooking fish, a good rule of thumb is 10 minutes in the oven for each inch of thickness.
                              “Ted, as a rule of thumb, you should always plan to study for your chemistry tests for at least two hours.”

                              1. turn off — to cause to feel dislike or revulsion

                                Example
                                I used to be friends with Monica, but she gossiped all the time and it really turned me off.
                                At first, Sara really liked Jacob. But when he started talking about all his ex-girlfriends, she was really turned off.

                                Note: The noun form, turn-off, is also common and usually describes something that causes the opposite sex to respond negatively. — When Jake started talking about all his ex-girlfriends, it was a real turn-off for Sara.

                                1. What’s up? — What’s going on? What’s new?

                                  Example
                                  What’s up? I haven’t spoken to you in a long time.
                                  You never call me anymore. What’s up with that?

                                2. Practice the idioms
                                  1. Choose the best substitute for the phrase in bold.
                                    1. Ted didn’t start studying for his chemistry test until the night before. Then he had to pull an all-nighter.
                                      1. sleep late
                                      2. get plenty of rest before an exam
                                      3. stay up all night studying

                                    2. After working on it for months, I finally gave my presentation this morning. That was certainly a load off my mind!
                                      1. difficult
                                      2. easy
                                      3. a relief

                                    3. Nicole was turned off when Todd, her date, started picking his teeth with a toothpick during dinner.
                                      1. left the room
                                      2. lost all interest
                                      3. became interested

                                    4. According to conventional wisdom, you shouldn’t ask about salary on your first interview.
                                      1. outdated beliefs
                                      2. smart people
                                      3. accepted beliefs

                                    5. Ted had to perform his music before one of the most important talent agents in the country. It’s not surprising that he was a nervous wreck.
                                      1. confident
                                      2. exhausted
                                      3. very worried

                                    6. Girls cheered and blew kisses whenever Ted performed his music. Amber worried that he’d get a big head.
                                      1. find a new girlfriend
                                      2. become arrogant
                                      3. get a headache

                                    7. People keep telling Fred that he looks like a basket case. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t slept in weeks.
                                      1. angry
                                      2. really great
                                      3. terrible

                                    8. Do you have a headache? Here, take two aspirin. That should do the trick.
                                      1. perform magic
                                      2. make you feel worse
                                      3. make you feel better

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