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  • Former president Donald Trump has announced plans

  • to launch his own social media network.

  • Hello, I'm Rob and welcome to BBC News Review.

  • And joining me today is Neil. Hello Neil.

  • Hi Rob. Hello everybody.

  • If you would like to test yourself on the vocabulary

  • you learn in this programme, there's a quiz on our website

  • at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • But now, let's hear more about that story from this BBC News report:

  • So, Donald Trump, the former president,

  • has decided to launch his own social media network called Truth Social.

  • Now, as we know, social media was crucial

  • to Donald Trump's campaign to become president and then,

  • whilst he was president, Twitter was his favourite way

  • of getting his messages out to his followers.

  • But, he was banned from Twitter and other social media platforms

  • after the events on Capitol Hill in Washington

  • after the last election earlier on this year.

  • Now, he says he's going to launch a new network

  • so that he can get his voice out there

  • and so he can challenge the big technology companies.

  • Yes, and we've got three words and expressions that you can use

  • to talk about this story, haven't we?

  • We have. They are: 'silenced', 'big tech' and 'take on'.

  • That's 'silenced', 'big tech' and 'take on'.

  • OK. Well, one of those words appears in your first headline.

  • What is that headline please, Neil?

  • Yes, it does. So, the headline is from Sky News

  • in the UK and it reads:

  • 'Silenced' – that's prevented from speaking.

  • Yes. 'Silenced', spelt S-I-L-E-N-C-E-D.

  • Now, people probably recognise the word in the middle there,

  • which is a noun: 'silence'. What's 'silence'?

  • Well, 'silence' is when there's no noise.

  • Sometimes it's a beautiful sound, absolute 'silence'.

  • Yeah, 'silence' is the absence of any sound

  • and the adjective... adjective there is 'silent', but...

  • A bit like the Christmas carol, 'Silent Night'.

  • That's right, yes. But, we can also use this as a verb:

  • to 'silence' someone.

  • 'To silence someone': that means to make someone silent

  • to stop them from making noise or speaking

  • or expressing their opinion.

  • So, here you don't have any choice in being silent;

  • you're... you're being made to be silent.

  • That's right, yes. So, clearly in this headline

  • Donald Trump is saying that he wants to say things

  • and the networks aren't letting him,

  • so he feels as if he has been 'silenced' –

  • that they have made him silent.

  • And it's quite a formal word to use, isn't it, when you're 'silenced'?

  • Yeah, we use this to talk about serious things, really.

  • So, opinions that are being prevented from being expressed

  • and that type of thing.

  • We don't use it, for example

  • you've got children haven't you, Rob?

  • Yeah.

  • Yeah, and probably they make noise from time to time.

  • You wouldn't say that you 'silenced' them;

  • you would say that you 'asked them to be quiet'

  • or somethingsomething a bit harsher if you were bit angry.

  • I'd say: 'Keep the noise down,' yes – 'be quiet.'

  • But, yes, I wouldn't say: 'I am silencing you!'

  • Yeah and we wouldn't say they you 'silenced' your children;

  • we'd just say you asked them to be quiet.

  • So, 'silenced' – quite... quite formal and serious sounding.

  • OK. Well, let's have a summary of that word:

  • OK. We've talked a lot about Donald Trump here on News Review

  • and earlier this year we did a story about when he was acquitted.

  • Now, the former president, of course,

  • had been found not guilty of inciting insurrection

  • at the US Capitol back in January.

  • If you want a reminder of that story, where can people find it, Neil?

  • All our audience has to do is click on the link below.

  • Down below. Brilliant. OK.

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

  • The next headline is from the Mail Online,

  • again in the UK, and it reads:

  • So, this is: 'big tech' – large technology companies.

  • That's right. Made up of two words: 'big', B-I-G, and 'tech', T-E-C-H.

  • OK. So, 'big tech': we're talking about big TVs, aren't we?

  • Big game consoles? Big technology...?

  • Well, I understand why you think that Rob, but you are not correct.

  • I know you like to have a big TV to watch football matches

  • but this is not about the size of gadgets

  • or individual pieces of technology;

  • it's about the technology companies and their size,

  • and by size we mean their economic power,

  • the number of employees they have, their influencethat type of thing,

  • which of course is 'big'.

  • And is this all technology companies we're talking about?

  • We're talking about the big four or...

  • big four or five.

  • So, we're talking about Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter

  • companies like these.

  • These are well known brands, aren't they, around the world?

  • That's right, yeah. Also known as the 'tech giants',

  • or the 'big four' or 'big five',

  • and all of those expressions have 'big' or 'giant',

  • again referring to the size of these companies.

  • And we use the word 'tech', not 'technology'.

  • That's right. 'Tech' is a common short form of the word 'technology'.

  • Technology is a big word, so we shorten it just to 'tech'

  • and it refers to these companies but also,

  • as you were saying at the beginning there, Rob,

  • individual gadgetspieces of technology.

  • And I know somebody who does like their technology:

  • that's Roy, isn't it? He loves 'tech'.

  • 'He loves his tech,' as we say.

  • Would you describe him as 'a techie'?

  • Possibly. He could be a bit 'techie', in that he loves the technology,

  • he likes to know how it works and he likes to use it as well.

  • Yeah. So, that is an expression

  • that's a word that we use to describe somebody

  • who really likes their technology or who works in technology.

  • So, if somebody is an engineer of some kind, involved in technology,

  • we can call them 'a techie'.

  • They like the small details, don't they, sometimes in the technology?

  • That's another way, perhaps a bit negative,

  • that we might call somebody 'a techie'.

  • Yes, it's not always a nice thing to say about someone

  • to describe them as 'a techie' – slightly, kind of, nerdy feel to it.

  • Mmm. But we're being nice about Roy here of course.

  • Always.

  • Great. Well, let's have a summary of that word:

  • So, there we were talking about 'big tech' – big companies

  • and we have a series of videos on our website and on YouTube now,

  • all about big business and multinationals and international law,

  • and the most recent video is about the future of companies.

  • Multinational companies are getting bigger and bigger.

  • What does the future hold?

  • Well, how can we find out the answer to that question, Neil?

  • Well, to watch this fascinating video and series,

  • you just need to click on the link below.

  • Yeah, down below. Thank you.

  • Right, let's have a look at your next headline please.

  • Next headline comes from the Bloomberg website and it reads:

  •   'Take on' – compete against someone.

  • 'Take on' – spelt T-A-K-E and then a separate word 'on' –

  • is a phrasal verb. Now, as we know with phrasal verbs,

  • they can have many different meanings that aren't really connected,

  • or don't seem to be connected to each other obviously.

  • For example, if you run a company and you want to hire somebody

  • we 'take them on'.

  • How else is 'take on' used, Rob?

  • Some people 'take on' the characteristics of someone else.

  • So, when they start looking like somebody else

  • or acting like somebody else, we say:

  • 'They're taking on the appearance of somebody else.'

  • So, they're just a couple of examples,

  • but here, in this headline, 'take on' has a different meaning:

  • it means challenge, compete with someone.

  • Is it about fighting? I don't... I like a good fight.

  • I'm going to 'take on' someone.

  • It is about fighting, both...

  • both literally and also figuratively. So...

  • So, is Donald Trump... is Donald Trump going to have a fight then?

  • I don't think he'll be having a physical fight,

  • but he is going to have a challenge, a struggle,

  • a competition with these companies that already exist,

  • in order to try and defeat them.

  • And so we see this use of 'take on' very often in the sporting world.

  • We can talk about, for example,

  • Manchester United are going to 'take on' Real Madrid in the Champions League,

  • or you mentioned you like fighting

  • can be used to describe boxing matches.

  • Yes, like Tyson Fury 'took on' Deontay Wilder a few weeks ago.

  • So, yes, thatthat meaning of 'take on' is connected to competition.

  • Yeah. So, there's an element of competition,

  • but it's quite a big competition: we wouldn't use it

  • on a, kind of, small-scale fight or challenge, would we?

  • No, unless we were being, kind of, slightly jokey

  • having... having a laugh.

  • For example, we know, Rob, we know that you are undoubtedly

  • the biscuit-eating champion at BBC Learning English,

  • but Roy has decided that he's going to 'take you on' and try to...

  • try to eat more than you.

  • Do you think he can do it?

  • He won't win. I mean, I know where I hide the biscuits of course,

  • so he's going to lose, I think.

  • But, yeah, come on. Come on, Roy – 'take me on'!

  • OK. Great.

  • Well, let's have a summary of that expression:

  • OK. It's time now to have a recap of those three words and expressions

  • that we discussed today. What are they please, Neil?

  • We have 'silenced' – prevented from speaking.

  • 'Big tech' – large technology companies.

  • 'Take on' – compete against someone.

  • Great. And just a reminderyou can test yourself on the understanding

  • of this vocabulary in a quiz that's on our website

  • at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • And don't forgetyou can check us out on all the big social media websites,

  • but not Donald Trump's one yet, I don't think. OK.

  • That's all we have time for today.

  • Do join us again next week. Bye for now.

  • Goodbye.

Former president Donald Trump has announced plans

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BBC News Review: Trump to launch new social media platform

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/10/26
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