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  • Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

  • I'm Neiljoining me is Catherine. Hi Catherine!

  • Hello Neil, hello everybody!

  • And today's story comes from Beirut in Lebanon,

  • where people have been protesting

  • following the huge explosion that happened recently.

  • If you would like to test yourself on the vocabulary,

  • there's a quiz on our website at bbclearningenglish.com

  • but now let's hear more about that story from Beirut

  • with this report from BBC News:

  • Yes, people have been protesting on the streets in Beirut

  • after the huge explosion that killed over 200 people

  • and injured thousands.

  • People are angry that nobody in the government

  • has taken responsibility:

  • they're asking for people to quit.

  • OK. Well, the media has been covering

  • this story extensively.

  • What are the words that are being used?

  • Yes, we're looking at: 'the fall of', 'rage' and 'to topple'.

  • 'The fall of', 'rage' and 'to topple'.

  • So, let's hear your first headline please

  • with that expression 'the fall of' something.

  • Of course. So, we're in the UK to start off with

  • and the Guardian Newspaperthe headline is:

  • The fall of something: the end of a position of power.

  • That's rightthe fall of.

  • Now, that's a three word expression.

  • 'The' – T-H-E.

  • 'Fall' – F-A-L-L.

  • And the preposition 'of', spelt O-F – single 'F' there.

  • Now, in the headline the word 'the' is missing.

  • This is normal. Headline writers do this all the time:

  • they drop articleswords like 'a', 'an' and 'the'.

  • But the full expression is a fixed phrase: the fall of.

  • Now, people will probably know

  • be familiar with the word 'fall' as a verb, meaning:

  • go from being in an upright position,

  • so standing for a person,

  • and then not standingbeing on the floor.

  • Yes, it often happens by accident, doesn't it Neil?

  • You're walking along

  • and then you step on a banana skin,

  • the comedy banana skin,

  • and suddenly you're lying on the floor: you fell over.

  • We often used 'to fall over' or just 'to fall'.

  • So, from upright to flat on the groundthat's a fall.

  • We're using this verbwe're using it here

  • in an idiomatic sense: the fall of a person

  • or organisation from a position of power

  • means that they were powerful, they were strong,

  • they were influential, but now they're not.

  • They lost that position of power.

  • Often, they didn't want to but something happened

  • and now they're no longer powerful

  • or influentialexcuse me!

  • We call that 'the fall of' whoeverthe government,

  • the leader, the politician, the sportsperson.

  • We can talk about 'the fall of' meaning a loss of power

  • or position.

  • Often seen and used when referring to historical events

  • and regimes: you can hear about the fall of Rome,

  • for example.

  • Yes, that's right.

  • We talked about the fall of communist regimes

  • back in 1989. More recently, we've had

  • the fall of lots of governments and leaders

  • in the Middle East.

  • But, as you said, it's not just about

  • governments and politicians: we can refer to this

  • you can use this expression to refer to people

  • who've got great authority in an area,

  • or successlike sportspeople.

  • Yeah, that's right.

  • Yeah, it's not just about... well it could be power,

  • but power in the sense of: people respect you,

  • people admire you, you're very successful in what you do.

  • So in the sporting world we can talk about

  • the fall of, for example, Tiger Woods the golfer,

  • who was very successful and respected.

  • Then there was some scandal around his personal life

  • and he lost a lot of respect. He lost...

  • Also, he started performing badly.

  • So he was at the top of his game

  • and then we saw the fall of Tiger Woods.

  • And then the rise again.

  • Yes! We have the fall, the rise...

  • No, the rise, the fall and the rise of Tiger Woods.

  • He's back on top at the moment.

  • OK. Let's have a summary of that:

  • OK. Before our next headline

  • we have a pronunciation tip.

  • That's rightwe do, yes.

  • Now if you're interested in pronunciation of the 'F' sound

  • that we have at the beginning of 'fall',

  • if you click the link below you can go to a programme

  • that's all about the 'F' sound.

  • OK. Your next headline:

  • So, we're still in the UK with our second headline.

  • This one from The Times:

  • 'Rage' – continue in an angry or violent way.

  • That's right. Now, 'rage' can be a verb

  • and it can also be a noun. It's spelt the same way:

  • four letters – R-A-G-E – rage.

  • And this is a word that describes great anger, doesn't it?

  • Great anger and great anger that's being expressed.

  • So, if you see somebody raging they're likely

  • to be shouting. They'll be probably moving their arms.

  • There'll be the clenched fist. There'll be lots of,

  • you know, maybe a red face or a white face or,

  • you know, lots of screaming and anger and violence

  • maybe, so it's a really extreme word for

  • a lot – a lot of anger and fury.

  • Yeah, and I think it's really important there,

  • what you said: it can be physical violence involved.

  • You could talk about a raging crowd rioting...

  • Yes. They might be breaking things and hurting people...

  • Yes, yes. But we could also say that people at a meeting

  • for the local council were raging.

  • Now, it doesn't mean that they were behaving violently

  • but they would be very angry.

  • Not always.

  • Yeah, the violence is, kind of, optional in raging.

  • I mean, I think in this, you know, some of these protests,

  • it does involve, you know, throwing things

  • and setting things on fire

  • but it could just be raised voices:

  • very, very angry people.

  • It doesn't always have to involve violence,

  • but it does always involve anger.

  • Yeah. A time when people often seem to get

  • really angry, at least in this country, is around driving,

  • so parking fines and speeding tickets

  • really get people into a rage.

  • Yes, and when other people are driving badly

  • or one driver A thinks driver B drove badly,

  • then driver A then starts behaving really badly

  • and shouting and making threats and aggressive

  • gestures. Well, there's a word for it actually:

  • we call it 'road rage'. Road rage.

  • Do you get road rage, Neil?

  • I can feel the anger rising but I don't go on a full rage,

  • I must say! I'm too scared.

  • Actuallywell yes, you never know:

  • the other driver might be bigger than you.

  • Absolutely.

  • ...or angrier!

  • Let's have a summary:

  • Well, we've been talking about anger and raging.

  • We've got a related expression, haven't we Catherine?

  • Yes. If you're not quite raging

  • but you do have a lot to say about the subject,

  • we can say that you are 'banging on about it'.

  • Now, to find out more about the expression

  • 'bang on about' there's a link right there.

  • Click on that and you'll find out more.

  • And your next headline, please.

  • And yes, we're in the United States now.

  • Sunday TODAYthe headline:

  • 'To topple' – to force a loss of power.

  • That's right. Two words now. First word: 'to' – T-O.

  • And the second word: 'topple' – T-O-P-P-L-E. 'To topple'.

  • There's a nice way of remembering what this means.

  • It's kind of in the word: the word 'top'.

  • Yes. Yes, 'top' meaning the opposite to the bottom.

  • It's up there. If something wobbles and falls

  • from the top, it 'topples',

  • so when something actually leaves the top

  • and falls to the floor it has been 'toppled'.

  • Yeah and we use this again to describe

  • the removal from power of someone or something.

  • That's right, yes. If a politician is forced out of power

  • by either events within his own organisation

  • or external events or protests we can say

  • that person has been 'toppled'.

  • It can – a person can be toppled,

  • or an organisation can be toppled,

  • but it's about being in the highest position

  • and then being forced to a lower position:

  • you are 'toppled'.

  • Yeah and we can also use this to talk about

  • non-political events, competitions,

  • sporting competitionsfootball matches, for example.

  • Again! Yes, the language of sporting, kind of, excellence

  • in sporting competitions is quite similar often

  • to the language of politics, interestingly.

  • So, we can talk about a football team

  • toppling another football team from its position

  • at the top of the league, which we saw recently

  • within the English Premier League.

  • Liverpoolthe team Liverpool

  • toppled Manchester United from their position

  • as the Premier League champions.

  • Man City.

  • Man City! Sorry everyone – I'm not a football fan.

  • You know what I really like about this word, Catherine,

  • is, as I said, it's got 'top' in it, so we have this sense of

  • something at the top and then

  • no longer being at the top.

  • But it also sounds a bit like 'wobble',

  • so it's like a 'top wobble' – a 'topple'.

  • 'Toppled' – yes, it's a lovely word to say, actually,

  • the word 'topple'. It makes you think of kind of

  • a wobbling, wobbling movementdoesn't it?

  • I'm doing one now – I'm toppling.

  • I hope you don't fall over.

  • I'll try not to.

  • OK. Let's have a summary:

  • And time now for a recap of the vocabulary, please.

  • Yes, so we had 'the fall of (something)' –

  • the end of a position of power.

  • We had 'rage' – continue in an angry or violent way.

  • And finally 'to topple' to force a loss of power.

  • We are all over social media if you want more of us,

  • so check us out: BBC Learning English.

  • Until next week, stay safe and goodbye.

  • Stay safe everyone.

Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

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Beirut explosion protest - News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/29
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