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  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Catherine.

  • Thanks for making it on time today, Catherine!

  • What do you mean, Neil? Are you implying I'm always late?

  • Well, punctuality – I mean being on timeis not your strong point.

  • But I do always turn up and I never miss the programme

  • I just don't want to be early Neil and then wait around for you!

  • Hmmpeople's attitude to being on time certainly varies,

  • and that's what we're discussing in this programme:

  • how important is punctuality?

  • Anyway, Catherine, as you're here on time, you're not going to miss

  • our quiz question!

  • Oh no, I certainly don't want to miss out on that. So what is it?

  • Well in 2011, Researchers said that an atomic clock at

  • the UK's National Physical Laboratory would have the best

  • long-term accuracy of any in the world.

  • But how many years would it take, approximately, for it to lose or gain

  • a second? Is it a) 138 years,

  • b) 138,000 years, or c) 138 million years?

  • Umm well now, atomic clocks are very accurate, but

  • 138 million years is a bit extreme, so I'll say b) 138,000 years.

  • OK, Catherine, we'll find out the answer before the end of the programme -

  • which has to be six minutes long! So, let's talk more about people's

  • timekeepingthat's their ability to do things on time.

  • Now, I know Neil doesn't like to be latehe thinks it's rude.

  • But I might be late because the traffic was bad, or I had extra things to do.

  • And I know most appointments we make start late!

  • Well, Catherine, it sounds like you might be a time bender.

  • It's something author Grace Pacie talked about on BBC Woman's Hour

  • programme. Let's hear her definition of a time bender.

  • Well [Jenny], a time bender is actually somebody we all know very well.

  • They are the people who arrive last at any meeting or class, or the mums

  • whose children have to run into school at the last minute.

  • They're the people who don't want to be late but

  • they have a strange resistance to being early [like you]

  • and they don't allow enough time.

  • OK, so I might be a time bendersomeone who doesn't allow enough

  • time to get somewherebut, of

  • course, I always think I will have enough time!

  • One thing that is guaranteed is you'll never be early.

  • You have a resistance toyou fight against or are opposed to -

  • being on time. Isn't it best to leave home just a little bit earlier?

  • Well, Neil, it's about deadlinesyou know, a fixed time when something

  • must be completed by. If a deadline really matters, I'll make it,

  • but for less important things, it's not worth getting too stressed.

  • Umm if you say so, Catherine. Being late makes me anxious, which is

  • why I always arrive early.

  • But therapist Philippa Perry might be able to explain your more relaxed

  • attitude to timekeeping. She also spoke about this on the

  • BBC's Woman's Hour programme.

  • See if you can hear what her reasons are.

  • Underlying it all, there is this fear of being early, and the fear could

  • be a fear of being conspicuous, a fear of standing out in a strange place,

  • having no one to talk to, feeling a bit alone and awkward

  • the other reason people are always late isthat all the traffic lights

  • will be green, and they generally sort of stretch the time

  • somehow in their minds and just think there's time to do absolutely

  • everything they've packed in.

  • So, she thinks being late is to do with social awkwardnessif you arrive

  • too soon you feel awkwardthat's uncomfortable or nervous,

  • waiting for others to arrive.

  • There's also the fear of being conspicuouseasily noticed or

  • standing out in a crowd. It's a very uncomfortable feeling,

  • but that's not why I might be late.

  • It's the other reason Philippa Perry mentioned.

  • I just think there's time to pack everything in!

  • But if it makes you happy, I will try to be on time next time.

  • Well, according to experts on the Woman's Hour programme,

  • you shouldn't 'try' to be on time, you should 'decide' to be on time.  

  • OK, Neil! But before we run out of time, why don't you tell me if I had the

  • right answer to the quiz. Was I correct?

  • Yes, I asked you how many years it would take, approximately,  

  • for the UK's National Physical Laboratory's atomic clock

  • to lose or gain a second? Is it...a) 138 years,

  • b) 138,000 years, or c) 138 million years?

  • And I said b) 138,000 years.

  • And you are wrong! You are too early for a change

  • the answer is c) 138 million years.

  • Maybe I should buy you an atomic watch, Catherine

  • Ha ha. Right, let's not waste any more timehere's a recap

  • of the vocabulary we've discussed today, starting with punctuality.

  • This is about doing something at an agreed time and being on time.

  • When we talk about someone's timekeeping, we mean their ability

  • to achieve things on time.

  • And we heard about time bendersnot really people who bend time

  • but people who are always late because they don't allow enough time

  • to get somewhere.

  • Like you, Catherine, maybe? It's because you have a resistance to

  • being on timeyou are against being on time, you fight against it.

  • That's because I hate deadlines - fixed times when things must

  • be completed by. And some people also feel conspicuous, easily noticed,

  • and they feel awkward - uncomfortable or nervous.

  • Thanks for joining us, and don't forget to check out all our other

  • programmes on our websiteat bblearningenglish.com. Bye for now.

  • Bye.

Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

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Is punctuality important? 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/19
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