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  • Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob...

  • Neil: ... and I'm Neil. Hello.

  • Rob: Hi there, Neil! Now, Neil... what's that on your face?

  • Neil: What... this? It's a beard, Rob.

  • Have you never seen one before?

  • Rob: I have. But I've never seen one on you before...

  • and I'm surprised to say, it looks good on you!

  • Neil: Well, thank you!

  • I thought I'd get on the beard bandwagon, you know.

  • Beards are all the rage at the moment

  • that means 'very fashionable'.

  • Rob: And to get on a bandwagon

  • is when you join other people in doing something

  • that has become popularperhaps because you hope to become popular yourself!

  • Neil: Well, that doesn't apply to me, Rob,

  • because, as you know, I'm very popular already.

  • Rob: Yes. Yes, I know that, of course... Anyway,

  • beards are such a talking point

  • a subject that a lot of people are discussing

  • that we decided to talk about them on today's programme!

  • So are you ready for today's question, Neil?

  • What's the name for someone who loves beards? Is it...

  • a) barbophile?

  • b) pogonophile?

  • or c) pelophile?

  • Neil: Hmm. All the answers sound tempting.

  • But I'm going to go for a) barbophile.

  • Rob: Right. OK, well we'll find out if you're right or wrong later on.

  • But this is interesting

  • a new scientific study suggests that the more beards there are in a population,

  • the less attractive they become

  • and this currently gives clean-shaven men a competitive advantage.

  • Neil: Oh, no! That's bad news for me, then!

  • Competitive advantage means when a condition or circumstance puts you in a favourable position

  • in this case, being clean-shaven or having no facial hair.

  • Rob: That's right. We've reached 'peak beard' apparently.

  • Beard popularity has peaked

  • or reached its highest point

  • and will decline in popularity from this point.

  • Neil: OK. Let's listen to writer, Lucinda Hawksley,

  • talking about beards through history.

  • And listen out for a word that means women's struggle

  • to achieve the same rights and opportunities as men.

  • Lucinda Hawksley: It's interesting,

  • while I was writing the book

  • I came to realize that the most heavily bearded times in Britain are either when women are in power,

  • such as Elizabeth I or Queen Victoria, or when there's a big discussion of feminism

  • and it is really interesting that in the last few years there's been so much more discussion of feminism.

  • You get a woman on the throne and men

  • go, 'Oh, got to have a beard.'

  • It's really strange.

  • Or in the 60s or 70s with all the kind of, you know, big thing about women's lib,

  • suddenly the beard becomes huge here.

  • Rob: Well, needless to say Lucinda doesn't have a beard,

  • but she certainly knows a lot about them.

  • She's the great great granddaughter of famous writer Charles Dickens,

  • who sportedor wore ─ a very flamboyant beard.

  • Flamboyant means eye-catching and different.

  • Neil: Now, did you spot the word for women's struggle to achieve the same rights as men?

  • Rob: Yes. It's feminism.

  • She also talks about women's lib, which is short for women's liberation.

  • And this has a similar meaning to feminism.

  • So, what do you think, Neil?

  • Are beards a show of testosterone in reaction to powerful women?

  • Is that why you've grown your beard?

  • Neil: I don't think it's testosterone

  • that's the main male hormone.

  • For me, it's laziness.

  • I'm flying the flag for men's liberation from the razor.

  • Rob: Right. Well, I'm not sure whether that's a worthy cause or not, Neil.

  • Let's hear from Brock Elbank, the photographer behind the exhibition 'Beard'.

  • He's talking about one of the people he photographed.

  • Brock Elbank: I found Jimmy on a friend's Facebook page whilst I was in Sydney.

  • Invited him to come to my home studio for a portrait and I posted it

  • and it got reblogged over half a million times in four hours.

  • I mean I think when Jimmy and I...

  • when I met Jimmy he told me about his 'beard season' melanoma charity

  • and I was kind of on board from the get go.

  • Neil: So Jimmy must have a pretty awesome beard!

  • Rob: Indeed. We should check out the Beard exhibition and find out.

  • But Jimmy has a beard for a special reason, right Neil?

  • Neil: That's right.

  • Yes. Brock mentions Jimmy's melanoma charity.

  • Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer

  • and Jimmy is raising money and awareness to help people who suffer from it.

  • Rob: And Brock says he was on board from the get go

  • meaning he wanted to be involved with the charity right from the start.

  • Neil: We should also mention 'Movember' and 'Decembeard'

  • both campaigns invite men to get hairy for good causes.

  • Rob: That's right, good causes

  • moustaches in November and beards in December.

  • Now, let's have the answer to the quiz question.

  • I asked: what's the name for someone who loves beards.

  • Was it: a) barbophile b) pogonopile or c) pelophile?

  • Neil: And I said a) barbophile.

  • Rob: Wrong, I'm afraid.

  • The answer is actually b) pogonophile.

  • Neil: Oh, well, you can't win them all.

  • Now then, Rob, can we hear today's words again?

  • Rob: Sure. We heard:

  • all the rage

  • get on a bandwagon

  • talking point

  • competitive advantage

  • clean shaven

  • peaked

  • sport

  • flamboyant

  • feminism

  • women's lib

  • testosterone

  • melanoma

  • on board from the get go

  • Neil: Well, that's the end of today's 6 Minute English.

  • We hope it wasn't too hair-raising for you.

  • Please join us again soon.

  • Both: Bye.

Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob...

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B1 UK TOEIC rob beard jimmy feminism brock

BBC 6 Minute English May 28, 2015 - Are Breads Back to Stay?

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    Adam Huang posted on 2015/05/30
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