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

  • I'm Rob and joining me today is NeilHello Neil.

  • Hi Rob, hello everybody.

  • We've got an interesting story about space exploration and its future today.

  • The company SpaceX and Nasa have been working together.

  • Astronauts have returned from the International Space Station by splashing down into the ocean

  • and that's the first time people have returned to earth from space in that manner for 45 years.

  • And don't forget you can test yourself on the vocabulary that we're talking about today

  • on our website at bbclearningenglish.com where you'll find a quiz.

  • OKnow it's time to find out what was going on in the control room

  • when the astronauts landed.

  • OK, so we heard there the control room

  • with Nasa astronauts splashing down into the ocean

  • after a trip to the International Space Station.

  • They went on a commercial operator into space

  • and normally they go up with Nasa rockets.

  • This time, they paid SpaceX, a company, to provide that rocket for them

  • and experts are saying this is a real game changer for space exploration

  • because it's the way that it's going to happen in the future.

  • Yes, an interesting story and we've got three words and expressions

  • that you can learn about to help youto help you talk about this story haven't we Neil?

  • We have. We have 'plummeting', 'star-struck' and 'prank'.

  • That's 'plummeting', 'star-struck' and 'prank'.

  • OK, should we start with your first headline?

  • Yeah, the first headline is from the Business Insider website and it reads:

  • So that's 'plummeting' – falling quickly and suddenly.

  • Yes, 'plummeting,' spelt P-L-U-M-M-E-T-I-N-G

  • Sounds like a very dramatic word, doesn't it?

  • Yes and I think that's the keyyou knowpeople might say,

  • 'Well, why can't I just say falling?' because it means falling

  • but 'plummeting' has that sense of falling rapidly and suddenly.

  • So if I was to go for a walk down the street and I'd tripped over on the pavement,

  • would I be plummeting down to the ground?

  • No, not really, unless you wanted to sound reallykind ofdramatic,

  • or you wanted to say in a kind of comedic way, a funny way,

  • that you were very very tall and you had to fall a distance

  • but actually we wouldn't use it for that. It would be more to describe something

  • like, for example, maybe you are on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

  • and you're leaning over the edge: you've got a water bottleit slips from your hand.

  • Now that water bottle is going to plummet down to Earth.

  • It's going to hit the ground hard and it's going to travel very quickly.

  • And it would have happened very suddenly and that's what plummeting is.

  • Hmmsounds very dangerous actually if you're traveling at such a speed as well.

  • Absolutelythat actually happened to me.

  • Fortunately it didn't hit me. I was standing on the ground

  • outside the Eiffel Tower and a bottle landed right next to me

  • and it could only have come from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

  • It plummeted. That bottle plummeted towards Earth and just missed me.

  • Thank goodness! So you could be here today to present this programme.

  • Thanks.

  • And this is quite a literal use to this word plummeting isn't there?

  • It is, yes, but often you hear it used in a more, sort of, figurative sense

  • and especially in connection with the world of business;

  • so we might hear about share prices, for example,

  • that fall dramatically and suddenly. We might hear share prices plummeting

  • or the value of a currency. Or, particularly at the moment with the coronavirus

  • and the fact that people aren't shopping and things like that as normal,

  • sales have plummeted. Sales have plummeted over the last few months

  • and it has really badly affected the world economy.

  • Hmm, that's right, and also I noticed – I went into London this week for the first time

  • and there weren't so many people around. There were fewer visitors because

  • visitor numbers have plummeted because people can't travel any more I suppose.

  • Absolutely. The number of tourists has plummeted

  • and it's made a very strange summer here in the Northern Hemisphere anyway.

  • Yeah, definitely. OKwell let's have a look at a summary of that word.

  • OK Neil, let's have a look at your second headline.

  • Second headline comes from the wcax.com website and the headline reads:

  • OKso that's 'star-struck': describes someone who admires famous people greatly.

  • Yes, we have a two-word expression here.

  • 'Star' is the first word: S-T-A-R.

  • The second word is 'struck': S-T-R-U-C-K.

  • Usually this has a hyphen, but it does not have a hyphen in this headline.

  • OK. Well, I was 'star-struck' today

  • when I came in and found out that I was presenting with you, Neil.

  • Oh! Yes, haha! Are you suggesting that I'm famous, Rob? Because...

  • Yes, I am.

  • Because I had exactly the same feeling and in fact I have that feeling right now.

  • You knowyou are so incredibly famous that I have this feeling of admiration for you...

  • OKso we are equally star-struck. ...slightly intimidating me.

  • We are joking of course. There are more famous people

  • who we get star-struck about, aren't there?

  • Yes, you may not believe it but there are even more famous people

  • than me and Rob in the world, and you have met

  • one of the most famous people in the world, Rob.

  • Yes, that's Paul McCartneySir Paul McCartney from The Beatles,

  • who I met a few years ago: I got a chance to interview him.

  • I was so star-struck that I almost forgot the questions

  • that I was supposed to ask him.

  • I must also say that he wasn't star-struck when he met me.

  • He would be if he met you now. Maybe!

  • But it is that admiration, isn't it, for somebody famous...

  • Yeah. ...somebody you really, kind of,

  • have a lot of admirationyou really admire the things they've done.

  • Absolutely. It's a bit weird in this title though, isn't it?

  • Yes, that's true: this headline has got nothing to do with famous people really, has it?

  • No, it hasn't and this isyou knowas people who watch News Review regularly will know,

  • headline writers love a little joke with words

  • and that's what we have here,

  • because 'star-struck', as we've been discussing,

  • is about that feeling you get

  • when you meet someone

  • or you see someone incredibly famous.

  • This story is not about meeting somebody famous,

  • but it is about space and so the word 'star' is relevant,

  • so they just put this expression in as a little joke really.

  • Hmm. We might be star-struck if we met a famous astronaut, maybe.

  • Yeah, if you met a famous astronaut or the astronauts from this space flight,

  • you might be star-struck. You might be star-struck if you met Elon Musk,

  • who is the owner of SpaceX and an incredibly famous and rich man.

  • Indeed. OKwell let's have a look at a summary of 'star-struck'

  • If you like stories about space exploration, we have a great story for you, haven't we Neil?

  • We do. We've got a story about SpaceX, which we did a while ago

  • on News Review about the time when they

  • I think the first time they put a reused or reusable rocket into space.

  • You can find the link to that programme down below.

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

  • Our next headline is from the Mail Online website and it is:

  • OKso the word is 'prank.' That's: joke, trick.

  • Yes, 'prank' spelt P-R-A-N-K.

  • Here used as an adjective – a prank call.

  • It describes the type of callwhat's a prank call, Rob?

  • Well, it's a phone call you make to somebody to make a fool of them, really,

  • and make them look stupid.

  • Yeah, so it's a call you make to someone as a joke.

  • You might, for example, pretend to be a person that you are not,

  • or you might make a claim or say something that isn't true

  • in order to make the other personto deceive the other person

  • to make a joke on the other person.

  • And I know all about prank phone calls, don't I Neil?

  • Yes, is it time to share with everyone the prank call I made about a year ago to you?

  • I think you should.

  • Yeah, so some of you may be aware that Rob does like a biscuit or two

  • and we may have mentioned that on News Review in the past once or twice.

  • And the fact is that one day I thought

  • that I would tell Rob in a prank call that we had ordered a huge pallet

  • full of biscuits to the office in order to get him to come in early,

  • because the truth is that Robhe's not really an early riser,

  • so we tried to get him into the office. But what happened when you got in, Rob?

  • Well, I mean, it worked: I did get in early and I got there and

  • there was nothingnothing to be seen.

  • No box of biscuits. You realised... you realised that we had pranked you.

  • Yeah, I had been pranked. Absolutelythere you can see we're using it as a verb.

  • So we have it in the headline there as an adjective: a prank call.

  • But we can say that you prank someone or someone has been pranked.

  • Or you can even say to 'play a prank' on someone.

  • That's the structure: to play a prank on someone.

  • And we played a prank on you, didn't we Rob?

  • Yes, and this is quite a big prank. I wasn't very happy

  • but to be honest pranks are generally quite harmless, aren't they?

  • They're a bit of fun. The intention is that they are harmless.

  • Sometimes they can go horribly wrong of course,

  • but the intention is that they are light-hearted.

  • Not this time, Neil.

  • I'm sorry. I've forgiven you now. I've forgiven you now.

  • OKlet's have a summary of the word 'prank'.

  • OK. So Neil, could you recap today's vocabulary please?

  • Absolutely. We had 'plummeting': falling quickly and suddenly.

  • 'Star-struck' describes someone who admires famous people greatly.

  • And 'prank': joke, trick.

  • And don't forget you can test yourself on today's vocabulary by going to our website

  • at bbclearningenglish.com where there is a quiz.

  • And don't forget that BBC Learning English is all over social media as well.

  • OK Neil, thanks very much for joining us today

  • and thanks to everybody for watching. Bye for now.

  • Goodbye.

Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/12
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