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This episode’s vocabulary
- Trope (noun) — a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression.
- Cliche (noun) — a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.
- Odd numbers (noun) — Any integer (not a fraction) that cannot be divided exactly by 2.
- Even numbers (noun) — Any integer (not a fraction) that can be divided exactly by 2.
- To memorize (verb) —to learn something so that you will remember it exactly.
- To have a (good/bad) head for (phrase) — to have a natural ability to do something well.
- Appalling (adj) — shocking and very bad.
- Alien (adj.) — strange and not familiar.
- To govern (the world) (verb) — to control the way that things happen.
We have also added these words to a “Quizlet” set for you to study and revise in your free time: bit.ly/quizlets03e14
Questions and Answers
Maria: Rory, do you have a favorite number?
Rory: Yes, I do. I like the number three. It seems to come up a lot, actually, I’m sure it’s not just me. It’s like a trope or a cliche. You even have, like, in the media or in writing, you have, like, the rule of three. So if you’re going to give three examples of things… Well, it’s like you almost automatically give three examples of things as opposed to four or two. It seems to make more sense this way. It’s a really strange concept, actually.
Maria: Do any numbers have special importance in your country?
Rory: No, I think they do in Russia sometimes.I think it’s if you give odd numbers or even numbers of flowers as presents, then it’s meant to be a sign of death or something. But in Scotland. No. Maybe in the form of dates, but there’s nothing particularly significant that comes to mind.
Maria: Are you good at memorizing numbers?
Rory: No, I’m not, I’m actually awful. I can’t even remember my own phone number some days. I just have a bad head for numbers, it seems.
Maria: Were are you good at maths, at school?
Rory: Well, no… I was absolutely appalling at maths as well. My maths teacher was just despairing all the time. So no, like, in line with what I said before, like, I don’t have it in me to deal with numbers.
Maria: Can you count, Rory?
Rory: I can count!
Maria: One plus two?
Rory: I can count. I can do, like, basic arithmetic but, like, things like a long division and logarithms and… Oh… No, coordinates I can do, but like really complex maths I can’t do. A lot of people can though, and it’s always disappointed me.
Maria: What numbers do people often have to memorize?
Rory: Well, normal people unlike me have probably memorized their phone number. They probably memorized their pin as well for, like, their bank. It’s like their bank code to get into their bank account… and their date of birth. And I suppose, like any security codes they might use at work, and most people probably remember their bank balance as well.
Maria: So you say normal people. You think that you are abnormal?
Rory: Well, I’m abnormal because I can’t remember my phone number. I remember all of these other things.
Maria: Date of birth?
Rory: Yeah, I can remember my date of birth.
Maria: When’s your birthday?
Rory: I’m not telling you that it’s personal.
Maria: Ohh, personal… Do you often use numbers to do things?
Rory: I use them to calculate my hours at work. I also work out how much food that I need per week, using numbers. because I do… I shop every week. So that’s helpful.
Maria: Would you like to have a job that deals with numbers?
Rory: Oh, God, no. I think I’d sooner die, to be honest with you. Anything outside of basic arithmetic is alien to me.
Maria: Would you like to be an accountant?
Rory: No, I’d hate to be an accountant or a mathematician. That’s like my idea of hell.
Maria: Are numbers important?
Rory: Well, despite the fact that I’m not good at them, I’d say they definitely are. Like, they govern the world in terms of financial transactions and the calculations your phone does to function. So they are quite essential. I’m just not very good with them.
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