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  • Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • Joining me today is Tom. Hi, Tom.

  • Hi, Neil. Good morning and hello to our audience.

  • Did you know that 745,000 people are killed each year

  • by working for too long. That's according to a new study

  • released by the World Health Organization.

  • That's a really terrible statistic.

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

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

  • Now, let's find out some more about the story from this BBC News report:

  • So, the World Health Organization has released a report about

  • working hours. The study says that working for too long can kill you.

  • Around 745,000 deaths each year can come from working too long.

  • Working 55 hours or more can increase your chance of having a

  • heart attack or having a stroke. This is particularly true for

  • men and the study says that the worst affected region for this

  • problem is the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Japan and Australia.

  • OK. Well, you've been looking at this story, at the various news websites,

  • and picking out really useful vocabulary for our viewers to learn.

  • What have you got?

  • Today's vocabulary, Neil. We have: 'killer', 'burden' and 'detrimental'.

  • 'Killer', 'burden' and 'detrimental'.

  • So, let's hear your first headline, please.

  • Of course. My first headline is from Reutersit says:

  • 'A killer' – something or someone who kills.

  • Now, that's pretty straightforward, isn't it? Why are we learning this?

  • Everyone knows what a 'killer' is.

  • Probably a lot of our audience do know what a 'killer' is, Neil,

  • but we're going to look at some sort of wider uses of this expression.

  • It has more than one meaning. To begin with,

  • let's look at the headline. 'A killer' – this is a noun.

  • It's a singular noun and it's something or someone that kills.

  • Note that long working hours is plural, but 'a killer' with

  • the article remains a sort of fixed piece of language.

  • This is the same with cigarettes, for example. 'Cigarettesplural

  • are a killer' means cigarettes are a cause of death. They can kill you.

  • Now, all of these examples you've giventhis is

  • all really negative stuff. But our audience may be

  • surprised to learn that we can use 'killer' in a positive way.

  • Yeah, and that's why we've chosen itbecause that's why we're here:

  • to look at different ways we can use this language.

  • So, for example, how would you feel if I said

  • I watched 'a killer movie' last night

  • and I ate 'a killer sandwich' while I did that?

  • Well, I would hope that the sandwich was not badit

  • didn't affect your health. To me, it would mean that it was

  • a really great sandwich or the film was really, really good.

  • Yeah, or I had a very strong emotional reaction, you could say.

  • So, if I watched 'a killer movie',

  • that could mean that I watched a really great movie.

  • And I ate 'a killer sandwich' – that means I had a

  • strong emotional reaction, because it was so delicious.

  • Yes. Now, I think what we can tell from this

  • is that context is really key.

  • Context is everything. So, let's take that movie example.

  • If I watched a really funny film and I said,

  • 'Oh, it was a killer!'

  • that might mean it's hilarious. It's really funny.

  • But if I watch a sad film, like Titanic, and I say,

  • 'Oh, it was a killer,'

  • that could mean it was very sad.

  • As you say, context is everything with this expression.

  • Yeah. And we could also say that someone 'kills someone' and it

  • doesn't mean that they kill them; it means that it makes that...

  • they make that person laugh a lot.

  • Yeah, I could say, 'So, Neil kills me with his jokes on News Review!'

  •   It means they make me laugh a lot.

  • I have a strong emotional reaction and that is hilarity.

  • It's really funny.

  • I try my best, Tom. OK. Let's get a summary:

  • If you would like to watch another story about work,

  • we have the perfect one for you, don't we Tom?

  • Yeah, we do. Are you work... do you want to work for free?

  • This is our story: it's about young people being expected to work for free.

  • It's 6 Minute English and you can find it

  • by clicking the link in the video description.

  • OK. Let's take a look at your second headline.

  • Cool. Yeah, my second headline is from stuff.co.nz,

  • which is a website from New Zealand.

  • It's not actually a headline; it's from the body of the article.

  • It says:

  • And that word is 'detrimental'.

  •   'Detrimental' – likely to cause harm.

  • Yeah, so 'detrimental' is an adjective and it's got an

  • interesting pronunciation as well. Four syllables: 'de-tri-men-tal'.

  • And it's that third... that third syllable:

  • 'de-tri-MEN-tal' is the pronunciation of the adjective.

  • And it means it is likely to cause harm or be damaging.

  • Yeah. So, when we talk about harmful things,

  • we can say that they are 'detrimental to' something.

  • Definitely, yeah. You could say: 'Cigarettes are detrimental.'

  • Or you could say: 'Cigarettes are detrimental to your health.'

  • 'Detrimental to' is a kind of common construct

  • and it's followed by a noun.

  • Cigarettes are 'detrimental to your health'.

  • Working long hoursalso 'detrimental to your health',

  • as the headlines are telling us.

  • Yeah. So, 'detrimental' is an adjective,

  • but there's also a noun version: 'detriment'.

  • We have to use that in a special kind of way, though.

  • Yeah, 'detriment' – and again, it's quite high register.

  • It comes in the expression 'to the detriment of'.

  • It means kind of, like, at the expense of.

  • So, I could say, 'Neil worked too long.

  • Neil works too many hours, to the detriment of his friendships.'

  • Yes... it's not true at all, but good example.

  • It means that you spend all your time doing News Review,

  • so you don't have time for your mates.

  • Yeah. Now, as you said there's quite a high register.

  • That means it's quite formal, both 'detrimental' and 'detriment'.

  • In our ordinary spoken English, what sort of thing do we say instead?

  • I'd probably just say, like,

  • 'it's bad for you,' or something. Or, 'it's harmful.'

  • Yeah, we wouldn't normally use 'detriment'... Normally,

  • 'detrimental' is quite formal and you'd see it in the context of,

  • like, thislike reports on health or something like that.

  • OK. Let's get a summary:

  • Now, a lot of people these days are saying that red meat is

  • 'detrimental' to our health. Others disagree,

  • but we have a programme on that topic, don't we Tom?

  • Yeah. Is red meat harmful? That's what we're talking about.

  • You can find it by clicking the link in the video description down here.

  • Let's have a look then at our next headline, please.

  • Perfect. Again, we're not looking at the headline;

  • we're looking at the body of the article.

  • This is from the World Health Organization website

  • from the release. It says:

  • And that word is 'burden'.

  • 'Burden' – something that causes difficulty or hard work.

  • Now, Tom, I know what a 'burden' is. If you have to carry a

  • huge weight on your back, that is a 'burden', literally.

  • That is... yeah, that is a 'burden', Neil. So, 'burden' can be literal

  • or 'burden' can be, kind of, figurative or metaphorical.

  • So, let's look at this piece of text from the WHO.

  • The 'burden' that they're talking aboutthe thing that's causing

  • difficulty or hard workis work-related disease and death coming

  • from work-related disease and it said that this is causing particular...

  • excuse me, particular difficulty for men, who are most affected.

  • Yeah. And it's alsowe talk about 'carrying a burden',

  • 'having a burden'. It's also a verb, though.

  • Yeah, it is. It is also a... excuse me, it is also a verb.

  • Before I look at the verb, let me just...

  • let's look at that, kind of, literal/figurative meaning. So,

  • we were talking about a figurative 'burden', like a problem...

  • work-related disease causing a problem.

  • And 'burden' could also be the stuff that we actually carry, like the ship

  • that got stuck in the Suez canal recently: its 'burden' was too heavy.

  • The stuff it was carrying was too much.

  • Yeah. So, we're talking about figurative, heavy loads.

  • Yeah, exactly. And 'burden' can be a verb. So, you're talking

  • about the stuff you put on: this heavy load – a 'burden' on a ship.

  • You could say that 'we burden the ship' with this weight.

  • Yeah. If I asked you to do loads of work, loads of extra work,

  • we could say that 'I was burdening you' with a load of work.

  • Yeah! So, we'd use the figurative meaning because you wouldn't

  • literally be placing microphones and computers on top of me... hopefully!

  • But you would be giving me more responsibilities:

  • I'd have to carry more responsibilities, we could say.

  • OK. Let's get a summary of that:

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

  • Today's vocabulary: we had 'killer' – something or someone that kills.

  • 'Detrimental' – likely to cause harm.

  • And 'burden' – something that causes hard work or difficulty.

  • If you want to test yourself on the vocabulary,

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

  • and we are also all over social media.

  • Thanks for joining us and we will see you next time. Goodbye.

  • See you next time and see you on the website. It's a 'killer'.

Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

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B1 burden detrimental killer headline vocabulary health

Long working hours 'kills 745,000people a year': BBC News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/05/18
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