This episode's vocabulary
- Brick (noun) - an early mobile phone that was thick and heavy compared to newer phones.
- Model (noun) - a particular type of machine, especially a car, that is slightly different from machines of the same type.
- To sync (verb) - to connect two electronic devices so that they both have the latest information or files. (informal for synchronize)
- Function (noun) - a process that a computer or a computer program uses to complete a task.
- Handheld (adj.) - a handheld object has been designed so that it can be held and used easily with one or two hands.
- Screen (noun) - a flat surface on a television or computer, or in a cinema, on which pictures or words are shown.
- Hassle (noun) - (a situation causing) difficulty or trouble.
- Sentimental (adj.) - related to feelings rather than reason.
- Limb (noun) - an arm or leg of a person or animal.
- To communicate (verb) - to share information with others by speaking, writing, moving your body, or using other signals.
Questions and Answers
M: What was your first mobile phone?
R: I think it was this brick-like Nokia. I mean, we are talking about 20 years ago. So I can't remember the exact model. But the make was definitely a Nokia.
M: How often do you use your mobile phone?
R: Well, I think it's on an everyday basis now, since it's a smartphone, so it's like synced to my email, calendar, everything I need to work. Oh, I even use it to record the podcast or sorry, I even used it to record the podcast.
M: Do you use it for texting or calls?
R: I honestly can't remember the last time I sent a real text or made an actual call. But I use those functions on various messenger services and social media sites that I'm signed up to pretty much all the time.
M: Can you describe your mobile phone?
R: I suppose it looks like a black mirror to borrow an expression. It's just a handheld screen most of the time. And when I try to keep it in my pocket, so it's darkened most of the time as well. I don't it's much different from any other smartphone you've come across, to be honest.
M: Will you buy a new smartphone soon?
R: Well, I have no plans to. My current one does the job and it's always such a hassle to buy a new one and transfer everything over. And this one has some sentimental value too, since it was a gift, maybe for my next birthday. But certainly, I've nothing solid planned just yet.
M: How has your mobile phone changed your life?
R: I often find myself thinking about that, actually. It would be like I was missing a limb if I had to give it up now. I think it's changed everything from how often I communicate to who I communicate with. Maybe even how I communicate, to be honest. I can't imagine life without it. Well, I can, but it isn't a very pleasant thought.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your nice answers!
M: So, mobile phones or smartphones or just phones? So this is a huge discussion.
R: Oh, it doesn't matter. Well, here the questions were mostly about mobile phones, weren't they? So mobile phones and smartphones are used interchangeably with phone. But if we think about a phone with like a connection, a landline connection? Do you have, do you have a phone with a landline connection?
M: I don't.
R: Our hoose does, but that's because my parents are of an older generation. So they're used to this.
M: Yeah, my parents also have a phone with a landline. But now whenever you say a phone, give me your phone, it means like, okay, a smartphone, right?
M: And if it's not a smartphone, it's this button phone without any internet. So nothing. But again, like how many people still use these button phones? I know, I know, one person who does.
R: Well, when I lived in Russia, no one did. But when I lived in Africa and Timor, everybody did. Because they were very cheap and easy to run.
M: But that was like how much time ago? Like many years ago? Well, five years ago?
R: Almost eight years ago, I think. Anyway, the point is that we're usually talking about smartphones when we talk about mobile phones.
M: Yeah, yeah. So mobile phones, smartphones, dear listener, it's fine, or just my phone. Okay? And Rory used to have this brick-like Nokia. Remember, this Nokia which was like huge, like a brick?
R: So that's a good thing for comparing something. You could say it's brick-like, or it's block-like.
M: Yeah, it was huge.
R: Well, it wasn't huge. It's just the shape. It's so weird.
M: It's like a brick, you're talking to a brick.
R: Whereas now we have these flats. Well, they're just screens, they look like compact mirrors.
M: And you've mentioned the words model and the make. So the model of my phone is what?
R: Well, the model, it's maybe easier to talk about the make first. So the make is like the brand, or like the specific company that makes the phone basically. And the model is the kind of phone made by the company. So for example, I think my phone right now is a Samsung S10, maybe. So the make is Samsung, but the model is S10.
R: And that's a good point for thinking about like adjectives and nouns because I said it's a Nokia. But you could say like, it's a Nokia phone, or it was a Nokia phone. Do they still make Nokias? I don't know.
M: I have no idea. For me a phone is like either Samsung or Apple. So it's just like two makes.
R: That's really bad, isn't it? Yeah, we've just turned into advertisers for phone companies.
M: And what do you call the phones, which you can flip them. So they consist of two parts. So just like you flip, flip the parts or...
R: A flip phone?
M: A flip phone.
R: A flip the phone. Yeah.
M: And then we have our smartphones and everything we have is synced to our email, calendar, to something else we may not even know about. So it's synced to something.
R: Yes, but that just means whenever you update it in one place, it becomes updated somewhere else. So if I add something to my calendar on my computer, because it synced to my phone, it updates on the phone as well.
M: Yeah, it's crazy. Sometimes Vanya used to make some appointments, and he used some programs, and then I have them on my phone. You know, okay, so we have a meeting on Saturday, and I didn't do anything, but it's just there, you know. Like what? Vanya, are you inside my phone?
R: I also had the same problem, and then Vanya stopped doing it. He's looking at us now, smiling. But he knows.
M: Yeah. So dear listener, you know that your mobile phone leaves their own life, its own life. And you may not even know about certain things that are happening inside your own mobile phone.
R: Do you know what's happening inside your phone?
M: Oh, no, I have no idea. Seriously. No idea. I can't control my mobile phone, my smartphone, my phone. So we use it for texting and making calls.
R: Well, do we?
M: I think we do.
R: Let's think about, let's think about texting and calls. Like, for me, when I make a call from a phone, it's like I put the number in, and I press the call button. Or when I text I type the message into the message part. And it sends a message via text, but, or SMS. But nowadays, most of the messages I send are on Instagram. But that's Instagram messenger, WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook Messenger.
M: What about if you use WhatsApp messenger? Do you still send a text or what do you call this?
R: I call that messaging.
M: Okay. Okay. So if you text, you write a text, like an SMS, but if you message somebody you use WhatsApp, Viber or some local messengers.
R: I think so. But I don't know what the difference is. Maybe, like we could talk about text messages like you pay a price per message. Whereas with Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, you don't pay for this.
M: But do you think that nowadays people use it interchangeably? The same as mobile phones, smartphones? So okay, I'll write you a text meaning I'm going to WhatsApp you.
R: I was thinking about this because I have never heard someone say I'll text you. Or text me. It's always message me message me.
M: Message me? Really?
R: Yeah. It's always message me or send me message or I messaged him the other day. That's really weird, isn't it? It's the language has changed, and we didn't even know.
M: So texting and write a text and a text is gone. Or it's like it's dying out. Now. Message me. I messaged you.
R: Yeah, that's why I said in my answer. I was like, a real text, like, using the text messaging like function on the phone. An actual call using the call function on the phone, not like, open Facebook Messenger and call my friend or example.
M: Yeah, yeah, so an actual call like. The call. Like the actual call. Right. Cool. What about this black mirror? You said like, oh, it looks like a black mirror. My phone looks like a black mirror.
R: I stole that, because of course there's this British television show by Charlie somebody. Charlie Brooker. That's it. And he made this TV series called Black Mirror, which was like, you look at your phone, and you hold it up, and you can see yourself but it's black. So it's like a black mirror. And it doesn't look like a black mirror, doesn't it? You look at it, and you see your reflection in the dark. And it's all about, well, the TV series is about how technology has a dark side. And it does, doesn't it?
M: So Black Mirror, yeah. Five seasons. Annabelle Jones, Charlie Brooker available on N. Netflix.
R: The N-word?
M: The N-word. Netflix people if you're listening, you are free to sponsor our podcast. So our mobile phone is just a handheld screen. Handheld.
R: Yeah. Handheld is an adjective to describe something that you hold in your hand when you use it. That's the most important thing. It's like holding in a hand and using at the same time. So, for example, you couldn't say that a glass is handheld, even though you hold it in your hand. In order to use it, you have to have it next to your face. Whereas for phone, it's handheld, because you hold it in your hand and you use your thumb to send a message, for example.
M: If you read ebooks, and you have this special device, so it could be like a handheld reader. Yeah, reader is this how you call it? Right. Then buying cell phones, cell phones, mobile phones, smartphones, oh, yeah, it's such a hassle to buy a new phone. Oh, you should do the research, then look for bargains, then compare different models and makes. Off, off.
R: And try not to die of boredom. So it's a lot of work.
M: Yeah. So it's such a hassle. And also, if you've always used Samsung, and then you've decided to oh, I'm going to go Apple. Oh, so this switch from Samsung to Apple.
R: Yeah, and you have to learn how to use it again.
R: This was, because when I switched from Apple to Samsung, I had to learn because that you have this thing called muscle memory in your, well, in your muscles. And it means they react without your brain processing the information. So it's like when you get used to using your Apple phone, and then you switch over to Samsung, which has a very different interface or way of using it. And you have to relearn how to do it automatically again. You have to physically think about what you do to work the machinery.
M: Why did you do that? So you didn't like Apple and then decided to go Samsung?
R: No, it was a decision that was made for me actually, I had an iPhone 7. And then my ex worked for Samsung, and I got a new one. He bought me one for my Christmas present. This was two years ago.
M: That's why this phone has some sentimental value for Rory. It's just like important for him.
R: Yes. So it reminds you of like something in the past, which was nice. And it is nice when someone buys you a phone.
M: So if I give you this button phone, like the cheapest button phone on your birthday, would you use it?
R: No! How am I supposed to work?
M: You know, yeah, take a break from the internet and all social media.
M: Yeah. So you see, Rory will not be able to function without his phone because it would be like he was missing a part of his body.
R: Or missing a limb.
M: A limb. Yeah, a limb is like a leg or an arm. So if Rory had to give it up, meaning had to throw his phone away, it would be like missing a limb. That's a very nice way to say that, that we are dependent on our phone. Our phone is like my third hand. It's my third, I don't know, eye or ear. Yeah. It's like a part of me now. So it would be like I was missing a limb if I had to give it up. That's a very nice way of saying that.
R: There's some nice grammar. I even used to use it for recording the podcast. Used to is nice.
M: Oh, used to use it. We did record the podcast on the phone. Gosh. Yeah.
R: Yeah, like when we got started.
M: Oh, yeah.
R: And you could tell because the quality was awful.
M: Yeah, it was horrible. Well, not that horrible, but still.
R: There was passive voice. The screen is darkened, or it's darkened. Which means it's not lit up, which is also passive voice.
M: It's dark.
R: It's dark.
M: And to make sure to use the present perfect. Like, it's changed everything. It has changed everything. My phone has changed my life. It has changed everything. It has become part of me, my BFF, best friend forever. My phone.
R: And we have a nice phrase that you can use for any answer. I often find myself thinking about that, actually. So that's just another way of saying I think about it all the time, or usually.
M: Yeah, like, let's talk about shoes. Maria, will you buy new shoes soon?
R: Oh, I often find myself thinking about that actually.
M: Do people go into planetariums?
R: I often find myself thinking about that actually. Do they? Does that happen? That is a normal question.
M: Oh god. Yeah. Be careful, be careful, it should sound natural. Okay, dear listener?
R: Yeah, you use it once and then you just keep going.
M: Anyway, thank you very much for listening! Hopefully, we've given you vocabulary and super-duper grammar! And if your phone goes off for example, we made a joke about my phone going off. So it just starts ringing. Yeah? Somebody is calling me and the phone is making noises. Yeah? It goes off?
R: Yes. Speaking of going off, we should go off to the next episode.
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