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

  • Neil: and I'm Neil. Hello.

  • Rob: I'd like to start by asking how did you get up here to the studio on to the sixth floor this morning?

  • Neil: Well, by lift, of course.

  • Rob: I thought so. That's what we're going to talk about in this programme: lifts.

  • Or elevators, as Americans call them.

  • Neil: Lifts? That's not very exciting, is it? What's there to say about lifts, Rob?

  • I mean they take you up and down and that's it really.

  • Rob: Well, you're in for a surprise, Neil.

  • But first let's see if you can answer this question: Which country has the most lifts? Is it... a) The USA?

  • b) Italy? or c) China?

  • Neil: Well, it seems obvious to me because of the massive expansion in its construction industry,

  • I'm going to say China.

  • Rob: Okay. Well, we'll find out if you're right or wrong later on.

  • But now, let's elevate or raise your knowledge about lifts.

  • This invention has had quite an effect on which floor people choose to live on.

  • Neil: Well, I suppose before the days of lifts rich people lived on the ground floor

  • and poorer people lived on the top floors and had to use the stairs.

  • Now though it's the other way round and that, in turn, has given rise to penthouses with their fantastic views.

  • Rob: And the history of lifts goes back a long way.

  • It was mathematician Archimedes who invented the first lift in 236BC.

  • In the Middle Ages there were examples of lifts being used for military purposes.

  • Then they helped to move agricultural products around.

  • They really came into their own or became very useful in the Industrial Revolution.

  • Neil: And there was a wide range of methods used to drive them, too.

  • Pulleys, water and steam power, electricity and so on.

  • Today, tall blocks of flats couldn't exist without them.

  • And you're right, Rob, there's more to lifts than meets the eye.

  • Rob: There certainly is. But have you noticed how nobody says anything in a lift?

  • Have you ever felt uneasy in a lift, Neil?

  • Neil: Actually yes, I have. Just this morning I was standing next to the big boss and

  • neither of us knew what to say to each other.

  • Rob: Yes, it's a strange one, isn't it?

  • Well, let's listen to Jason Whale, sales manager at Elevators Ltd, talking about this subject.

  • He thinks he may have found a solution to the problem.

  • He uses a word that describes the state of feeling strange or uneasy.

  • Can you tell me what it is?

  • Jason Whale: It's a very anxious experience the time you spend in a lift.

  • I think everyone behaves very differently and awkwardly in a lift.

  • If you have things around you, you take away that awkwardness.

  • We all look at our phones sometimes or look down at the floor.

  • Well, surely it's better to look at advertisements on the walls.

  • Neil: He said awkwardness, which describes the state of feeling strange or uneasy.

  • He suggests that advertisements in lifts could improve our experience of being in one.

  • I suppose that could mean moving, digital ads.

  • Rob: It could, but before we consider that further,

  • let's delve into lifts a little more.

  • Of course there's always the danger of getting stuck in one,

  • but thankfully that's rare and usually you can dial an emergency number and be rescued.

  • Neil: And did you know that most lifts mark the 13th floor as 12A or something similar

  • because 13 is considered an unlucky number?

  • By the way, have you heard of the elevator pitch?

  • Rob: Yes, I have Neil. It's something we can do when we're stuck in a lift with someone.

  • Neil: Yes, people say that if you have an idea or product to sell you should be able to sell it

  • or pitch it to someone quickly.

  • So in other words, in the time it takes for an elevator or lift to reach the top of a building.

  • Rob: It's a good idea if the lift doesn't break down!

  • Let's get back to the thought that digital advertising can make travelling by lift a more pleasant experience.

  • Let's hear from Jason Whale again.

  • He uses a word that means "thinner". Can you spot it?

  • Jason Whale: I think, with all things, as technology becomes both slimmer and also cheaper as well,

  • it becomes much more attractive to people who purchase lifts

  • and therefore there are so many different ways to enhance a lift with light boxes,

  • with moving images, with television screens, it becomes quite exciting for us,

  • and hopefully a little bit more interesting for the people who use lifts every day.

  • Neil: He said slimmer which means thinner.

  • Rob: And he said enhance, which means improve. Well, he could be on to something.

  • Looking at moving advertisements must be better than listening to Muzak,

  • that's non-stop, pre-recorded usually boring music.

  • Neil: Oh, that's terrible! I hate Muzak!

  • Rob: OK. So Neil, do you remember the question I asked you at the beginning of the programme?

  • I asked you which country has the most lifts? Is it... a) The USA?

  • b) Italy? or c) China?

  • Neil: And I said c) of course. It must be, it has to be China!

  • Rob: Really? You sound so sure... but in fact you're wrong. The answer is actually Italy.

  • Does that surprise you?

  • Neil: Yeah. It astonishes me to be honest.

  • Rob: All these old buildings that have got lifts in.

  • Neil: I wonder why.

  • Rob: Well, before we go, it's time to remind ourselves of some of the vocabulary that we've heard today. Neil.

  • Neil: came into their own

  • elevators

  • elevate

  • blocks of flats

  • there's more to lifts than meets the eye

  • awkwardness

  • delve into

  • largely

  • slimmer

  • enhance

  • Muzak

  • Rob: Thanks, Neil. Well, that brings us to the end of today's 6 Minute English.

  • We hope you enjoyed today's programme.

  • Please join us again soon. Bye bye.

  • Neil: Bye.

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

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A2 UK TOEIC rob lift slimmer jason whale

BBC 6 Minute English August 20, 2015 - Lifts

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    Adam Huang posted on 2015/08/23
Video vocabulary