Smiling
Do you like smiling? When do you usually smile? What can make you smile? Can you identify a fake smile?
Vocabulary
  • I'm not entirely sold on something - not believing that something is very good: I’m not completely sold on that idea.
  • Amusing (adj.) - entertaining, making someone laugh.
  • Flawless (adj.) - perfect or without mistakes: a flawless performance
  • Hilarious (adj.) - extremely funny and causing a lot of laughter.
  • Predatory (adj.) - a predatory animal kills and eats other animals.
  • Apparently (adverb) - used to say you have read or been told something although you are not certain it is true.
  • Conscious (adj.) - awake, thinking, and knowing what is happening around you.
  • Unconscious (adj.) - an unconscious thought or feeling is one that you do not know you have.
  • Genuine (adj.) - if something is genuine, it is real and exactly what it appears to be: genuine leather.
  • Duplicitous (adj.) - involving duplicity: a duplicitous traitor/spy/politician. Duplicity - dishonest talk or behaviour, especially by saying different things to two people.
  • Help out (phrasal verb) - if you help out, you do a part of someone's work or give someone money.
  • Squawk (verb) - to shout, scream, or cry in a loud, unpleasant way: The baby never stopped squawking all night.
  • Squabble (verb) - to argue over something that is not important:
When small children are tired they are more likely to squabble with each other.
  • Reluctant (adj.) - not willing to do something and therefore slow to do it: [ + to infinitive ] I was having such a good time I was reluctant to leave.
  • Awkward (adj.) - difficult to use, do, or deal with; causing problems, worry, or embarrassment: an awkward position/situation; embarrassed or nervous: I always feel awkward when I'm with Chris - he's so difficult to talk to.
  • Out of the corner of your eye - without looking at something directly: I was watching TV when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.
  • Dimples (noun)- a small hollow place, especially one that appears on a person's face when they smile: Bob was an angelic-looking child with blond, curly hair, blue eyes, and dimples.
  • Hold a smile (collocation) - keep a smile; continue smiling.
  • A curse (noun)- magic words that are intended to bring bad luck to someone; a cause of trouble and unhappiness: Noise is the curse of modern city life.
  • A blessing (noun)- something that is extremely lucky or makes you happy: It was a blessing that no one was killed in the accident.
Questions and answers
The #1 Writing Tool
Maria: Do you like smiling?

Rory: Does anyone not like smiling? Of course I do. And it's probably a good thing since people say I have a nice smile. I'm not entirely sold on that compliment, but I like to be happy and I like to express that fact at least.

Maria: When do you usually smile?

Rory: Probably when people do the right thing or when they say something that I find amusing. I should say it doesn't have to be something morally right, just like, something, like, whenever a student can produce a flawless error-free sentence or at least try as hard then that's a cause for a small celebration. So I'll smile. Similarly, when I say amusing, it doesn't have to be something hilarious or intentionally funny. But I think it's important and interesting to show people when you notice these things.

Maria: What can make you smile?

Rory: Well, other people smiling is good for that. Likewise, when somebody does a good job of something, like I said before. Or compliments, everybody loves compliments, don't they? And whenever I see food I like particularly pizza, though maybe that's more of a predatory smile in the case of pizza.

Maria: Can you identify a fake smile?

Rory: I think so. Apparently, people have this built in mechanism to detect fake smiles. It's not something conscious. It's like an unconscious thing. I think it's something to do with only moving your mouth and not your eyes when you smile. You'd probably have to check that, but I think that's what I remember from the thing that I was reading. It's also clear from the context, since like, if the situation is serious, then you're less likely to see a genuine smile, for example. And you could probably make an educated guess as well if someone is known to be duplicitous person, for example.

Maria: When was the last time you saw a lot of people smiling?

Rory: I think it was when I was speaking club thing last weekend. So I went to help out a friend of mine. And it was really difficult few hours with squawking and squabbling children, reluctant students, awkward moments. But by the end of the lesson, the students were happy. They had a lot of pronunciation practice and they got to speak to a foreigner. And of course, we had wine, which is always helpful for making people smile in these situations. So everyone was happy and smiling by the end. Even though it didn't start that way, it certainly finished that way.

Maria: Do you often smile when people take photos of you?
Rory: Probably almost always, unless I'm being ironic or unless I see someone out of the corner of my eye who's annoyed me. I think it's hard, though, because first of all, like, I have massive dimples. So whenever I smile, people stop to comment about them. Which leads me to the second problem, which is - while people are having these prolonged conversations, my face starts to hurt from holding a smile for ages while people pass these comments. And I'm just sort of like: "Could we hurry up and take the picture, please? Because my face is beginning to hurt." So I do smile, but it's probably... What's the word... It's probably more of a curse than a blessing.
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