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

  • I'm Neil. Joining me is Catherine. Hello, Catherine.

  • Hello, Neil. Hello, everybody. The story we're looking at today is of a

  • cyber attack, which has happened on an underground nuclear facility in Iran.

  • If you want to test yourself on any of the vocabulary you

  • hear in this programme, you can test yourself

  • on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Now, let's hear some more about that

  • story from this BBC News report:

  • Yes, it's a big story.

  • There has been a cyber attack on an underground nuclear facility in Iran.

  • Now, they'd just started using new, advanced machines called centrifuges

  • and now those machines no longer work. The Iranian minister...

  • the Iranian Foreign Minister has blamed Israel for the attack

  • and says his country will 'take revenge'.

  • Now, Israel hasn't commented, but Israeli public radio has said that

  • yes, this was an attack by Mossad. Now, Mossad is the...

  • the Israeliexcuse methe Israeli Intelligence Service.

  • OK. Well, you've been looking around at this story.

  • You've picked out three really useful words. What are they?

  • Yes, today we are looking at: 'sabotage', 'outage' and 'ironclad'.

  • 'Sabotage', 'outage' and 'ironclad'.

  • So, let's have a look at your first headline, please.

  • Yes, we'll start here in the UK with the BBCthe headline:

  • 'Sabotage' – deliberate destruction of something

  • to prevent a competitor's success.

  • Yes. Now, the spelling is: S-A-B-O-T-A-G-E.

  • The pronunciation:'sabotage'.

  • '-age' with that 'zjuh' sound at the end.

  • Yes, that lovely 'zjuh' sound that you get in 'television'

  • is at the end of 'sabotage'.

  • Yeah, and in this headline,

  • 'sabotage' is a noun, often used as a verb as well.

  • Frequently, we use 'sabotage' as a verb and we can often use it in

  • the passive to say somebody or something 'has been sabotaged'.

  • Yes, and there's a nice little fixed expression

  • for when it's a noun: an 'act of sabotage'.

  • Yes, an 'act of sabotage'. So, if you do something that will

  • stop somebody else performing to their required standard or ability,

  • or if you do something that makes something else stop working properly,

  • you are 'sabotaging' it or you are committing an 'act of sabotage'.

  • Now, this word is neither formal nor informal.

  • It's used for both very serious things

  • and also things which people might not think are very serious.

  • Yes, absolutely. I mean, this nuclear facilityto stop a nuclear facility

  • working deliberately is a very severe act of sabotage, but you can

  • also use it in, kind of, domestic situations or personal situations.

  • Imagine you've got two children entering a colouring competition,

  • and one of them hides the red pen so that the other one can't

  • finish his or her drawing. That's an 'act of sabotage'.

  • Not a serious onethere's not going to be any massive consequences,

  • but it's still about deliberately stopping something happening the

  • way it should be, because they're a competitor, sometimes as revenge,

  • or because you just don't want them to finish or succeed.

  • It's 'sabotage'.

  • Yeah. There is a very British word for this as well,

  • a very colloquial British word, which has a similar meaning.

  • Yes, 'to nobble'. Now, 'nobbled' means sabotage.

  • It is mostly used in British Englishand if you 'nobble' something,

  • again, you stop it being successful often in competitions or races.

  • I believe you're quite fond of betting on the horses,

  • aren't you Neil? You like a horse race and a bet.

  • Well, yes, there's a really famous horse race in the UK

  • called the Grand National that happened at the weekend.

  • My horse was completely useless, but I'm sure it must have been 'nobbled'.

  • Or just... maybe you just picked the wrong horse, Neil?

  • Maybe... I usually do.

  • OK. Let's have a summary:

  • If you are interested in stories about cyber attacks, we have the

  • perfect one for you. Where can our viewers find it, Catherine?

  • All you have to do is click that link.

  • OK. Let's have a look at our next headline.

  • Yes, we are now at arabnews.comthe headline:

  • 'Outage' – a period when a service,

  • often electricity, is not working.

  • Yes. Now, the spelling for this one is: O-U-T-A-G-E.

  • It's a noun. The pronunciation is 'outage'.

  • Yes. Interesting pronunciation again here. It ends in '-age',

  • just like 'sabotage', but we don't say 'zjuh', do we?

  • No. In fact, it's '-tage', so we say 'sabotage',

  • but we say 'outage' and... Yes.

  • It's just the way it is. People...

  • It is a kind of French pronunciation for 'sabotage',

  • but a much more English, British English, way of saying 'outage'.

  • Yeah. And the clue is in the word 'out', isn't it?

  • Yeah, if something's out, it's not available, is it? So,

  • if the power is 'out' or if there is a 'power outage', there is no power.

  • Usually something's gone wrong. So, you should have power,

  • but you haven't got it. Then you have a 'power outage'.

  • Yeah and, as you said there, 'a power outage'. It's a countable noun.

  • Yes, it is. If you're very unlucky,

  • you will have several 'power outages' during one short period of time.

  • Yeah. Now, as you've said, it's often used with power: 'power outage'.

  • It can be on its own, thoughjust an 'outage'.

  • But there are some other expressions that have the same meaning.

  • Well, I mean, there's some other uses...

  • Oh yeah, we can say 'power cut'. You can... there can be a 'power cut',

  • there can be a 'blackout', and both of those have a similar

  • meaning to an 'electrical outage' or a 'power outage'.

  • Yeah. And it's also used for...

  • not just the electricity, but things that are powered by electricity.

  • Yeah. I mean, you can have, like, a 'telephone outage':

  • the phone lines can be 'down'. And that's another word we use:

  • to say something's 'down' – to say it's not available.

  • Or there can be an 'internet outage', when you can't get online:

  • that's an 'outage' as well.

  • Absolutely. OK. Let's get a summary:

  • If you would like to hear another story about 'power outages',

  • we have one from South Africa. Where can our viewers find it, Catherine?

  • All you have to do is the same as every time: just click that link.

  • OK. Let's have a look at your next headline.

  • OK. So, we are now in the United States with Politico and the headline:

  • 'Ironclad' – impossible to change or weaken; completely definite.

  • Yes. So, we have one word here: I-R-O-N-C-L-A-D – 'ironclad'.

  • It's actually made up of two words. We've got iron: I-R-O-N,

  • which is the very, very, very strong metal.

  • And then we have the wood 'clad': C-L-A-D – 'clad'.

  • And if you're 'clad' in something, you're clothed in itit's about

  • clothingor you're wrapped in it, or you're surrounded by it,

  • or covered in it. So, a 'cladding' is a wrapping or a covering.

  • OK. So, originally an 'ironclad ship' was a ship, a wooden ship,

  • that had an iron coating or covering and it made it really, really strong.

  • Exactly that. Yeah, if you 'clad something in iron',

  • you make it super, super strong.

  • So, the world's first 'ironclad ship' was what, Neilthe name?

  • I think it's the HMS Warriorthat's the first British one anyway.

  • OK. And that was the strongest ship in the entire fleet of ships,

  • because it was 'ironclad' – it was super strong.

  • So, if you make an 'ironclad' promise, let's say, that is a really,

  • really strong promise that nobody...

  • it's not going to be broken because it's super, super strong.

  • Yeah. And we hear this word 'ironclad' with promise,

  • but also with guarantee, assurance.

  • Yes. All of them, yeah.

  • If you are using it as an adjective for a noun like 'promise',

  • or 'guarantee', or 'assurance', it means it's a super,

  • super strong promise or guarantee. So, I will give you – I know,

  • Neil, I'm sometimes late for our meetings and I do apologise,

  • but I am now publicly giving you an 'ironclad' promise that I will never

  • be late for a meeting with you for the rest of my life. How about that?

  • Brilliant. Is that a 'cast-iron' guarantee?

  • It's a 'cast-iron' guarantee, yes.

  • Another way of saying it. OK. Let's get a summary:

  • Time now then for a recap of our vocabulary, please, Catherine.

  • Yes. We had: 'sabotage' – deliberate destruction of something to prevent

  • a competitor's success. We had: 'outage' – period when a service,

  • often electrical, is not working.

  • And 'ironclad' – impossible to change or weaken; completely definite.

  • If you'd like to test yourself on the vocabulary,

  • there's a quiz you can find on our website: bbclearningenglish.com.

  • And of course we are all over social media.

  • Take care of yourselves and goodbye. Goodbye.

Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

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B1 sabotage headline power catherine noun iron

Natanz: Iran blames Israel - News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/04/13
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