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Making friends

Part 3

This episode's vocabulary

  • To foster (verb) - to encourage the development or growth of ideas or feelings.
  • Genuine (adj.) - if something is genuine, it is real and exactly what it appears to be.
  • By and large - when everything about a situation is considered together.
  • For the sake of sth/for sth's sake - because of, or for the purpose of something.
  • Jumping-off point (noun) - an idea, example, or piece of information that is used to begin a process or activity.
  • Terminally (adverb) - if someone or something is terminally stupid, boring, etc., they are extremely stupid, boring, etc. and that will not change.
  • Off-putting (adj.) - slightly unpleasant or worrying so that you do not want to get involved in any way.
  • Novel (adj.) - new and original, not like anything seen before.
  • Locality (noun) - a particular area.
  • Inclination (noun) - a feeling that you want to do a particular thing, or the fact that you prefer or are more likely to do a particular thing.
  • Prerogative (noun) - something that certain people are able or allowed to do or have, but is not possible or allowed for everyone.


Questions and Answers

M: Rory makes some noise for us.

R: Oh, can I not make some friends for you? Sorry.

M: Funny, funny.

R: I know that people come here for quality puns.

M: Make noise, make friends. Okay. How and where do people in your country make friends these days?

R: The same places they always have, I imagine. Plus a few more modern ones. I mean, people meet at school and work like in other places. And now we have online forums and communities which also seem to foster people's friendships. I suppose, people also meet and make friends on nights out in bars and clubs as well.

M: What places are popular for meeting friends in your area?

R: You mean aside from those I just mentioned? I'm not really sure to be honest. Maybe the park, the university and large events hosted by various businesses and other organizations? I'm not an expert, though since to be honest, I haven't made a genuine connection with a new person in a long time. But if I were to guess it would be those places.

M: Would you only make friends with people who are similar to you?

R: Well, most friendships are formed between people who have at least one or two things in common. Otherwise, what's the point? I mean, having said that, I think I'm quite radically different from all my friends. But that's by design, because I like being surrounded by people who see the world differently, and then having really long discussions about that. But by and large, however, I would say that most people prefer to be around those who are similar for the, well, for the sake of harmony, if nothing else.

M: Is it important to have the same interests and hobbies when making friends?

R: Well, most of the time, yes. I mean, like I said, you need to have something to talk about that you both understand and care about. And that's easy, or sorry, an easy jumping-off point in conversations with new people. I mean, they might not know you so well, it doesn't mean that you need to know a lot. But it helps. Feeling that, just being curious about different subjects might be enough to get started though. I think most people will opt for the easy way out, though.

M: What kind of new people do people like to meet?

R: Oh, I think that comes down to what the individual is like, really. I mean, for example, most people don't like meeting people who complain all the time or who are terminally boring. That's rather off-putting. Most people probably enjoy meeting people who are engaging with people and involving them in the conversation and inspiring you to participate. To be honest, though, like one person can't carry that off by themselves, can they?

M: Do people in your country like making new friends?

R: I used to think people were pretty open to the idea of new friends and novel experiences. But as time goes by, I'm becoming less convinced about that. I'm actually quite worried our society is becoming sort of increasingly atomized and people are becoming more isolated and surrounded by unfamiliar concepts. And well, other people. It seems many people are naturally conservative and like to stick to their own locality, both mentally and physically. And I suppose that's true everywhere, though, not just in my country.

M: And why do you think some people dislike making new friends?

R: Well, like I say, people are quite naturally conservative, so they just don't have this inclination to escape their comfort zone or to get out of their comfort zone and, and make new connections. That's their prerogative, though.

M: Do you think old friends are more important to the old generation or to the young generation?

R:Well, they're probably important to both but for sort of reasonably different reasons. Young people benefit from having old friends like while they're growing up, because that provides some sense of continuity and stability, while older people are more set in their ways and they can draw on this as a source of support and comfort as they get older. But those two are very similar. And I think it's of equal importance to both categories of people.

M: Thank you Rory for your nice answers!

R: Hopefully they were delivered in a friendly manner. Ho-ho-ho.



M: So making friends. Yeah, first of all, you meet new people, you make friends. You make friendships? Can we say make friendships?

R: Make friendships, make connections.

M: And also foster people's friendships. So something Foster's people's friendships?

R: Yes, but Foster is like to support or create.

M: Yeah, for example, forums and communities foster people's friendships, they help people's friendships. So where do we usually make friends? Well, in like in the same places as always, clubs, getting drunk, clubs, nights out, bars, clubs. Yeah, online forums, but not only actually online forums like Tinder is the place, right. And then parks, university, large events, at work. And then Rory used our favorite Rory strategy. So the Rory is strategy is, I'm not an expert, but if I were to guess it would be those places.

R: But I put something in the middle this time. Hold on. That's not the only thing I did. I said... What was it? I'm not an expert, since I haven't made a genuine connection with a new person in a long time, but if I were to guess, it would be those places.

M: Yeah, Rory is getting crafty with Rory strategy.

R: Actually, there's an idea. I'm going to do this in every single episode. And the job of everyone who listens is to find out where I said it.

M: Yeah, yeah. He used to say it like, I'm not an expert. But if I were to guess it would be people meet in a park, during their nights out, in bars, but now he's squeezing something in between, yeah? I'm not an expert, though since I haven't made a genuine connection, if I were to guess, it would be... Yeah, nice. Okay.

R: It works, though. It's a band 9 structure.

M: It does.

R: I suppose it's how you would describe it.

M: Yeah, quite natural. When we talk about similar interests, right. so we usually make friends with people who we have things in common. Right, so that's a good expression to have something in common, or to have a lot of things in common.

R: Common ground?

M: How would you use it in a sentence?

R: Well, what like, we share common ground with regards to whatever the subject is. Grounds for commonality. That would be a good one for an essay.

M: Okay.

R: Although grounds for commonality is something totally different. But it's just, it's a nice phrase.

M: And then you say something, like, having said that, I think I'm quite different from all my friends.

R: Having said that is a participle clause, right?

M: Yes, correct.

R: Hooray!

M: Well done my grammar boy.

R: I am getting these particular clauses in as well, having said that.

M: So first, you say that usually people make friends with those who they have things in common with. And then you said, having said that, I think I'm different from my friends. So I don't have many things in common with my friends.

R: If you don't want to talk about yourself though you could say, having said that, I've met people who are radically different from their friends.

M: Yeah, yeah. So kind of you say usually friends have a lot of things in common. Having said that, other people might be very different from their friends. Yeah. Cool. And then you say, people like being surrounded by other people. So passive voice, right. Like, I like being surrounded by other people is kind of like I like to be surrounded by other people. What does by and large mean? And we need more examples, please.

R: It's just another way of saying in general, isn't it? By and large, I think most people like making new friends. By and large. I think most people like to eat pizza. By and large, I think most people are crazy and like bananas.

M: And raisins, which I hate. Yeah, as we know, Rory hates bananas and raisins. So pretty much I can say, in general, I'd say that most people prefer to be around those who are similar to them, yeah?

R: For the sake of harmony, if nothing else. That is such a good expression.

M: Nice.

R: For the sake of bla, if nothing else. For the sake of the friendship, if nothing else. For the sake of peace, if nothing else.

M: For the sake of love.

R: It's like saying like, just for this one thing. And everything else is not so important as this thing. But there may be other reasons.

M: Yeah. And then the examiner keeps going on about the same interests and hobbies. And you say yes, people should have things in common for them to have something to talk about. And then you said something like, it's an easy jumping off point.

R: Yes. It's just like a jumping off point is the way of talking about the start of a conversation. So our jumping off point was we were talking about our shared love or no our shared hatred of raisins.

M: Oh, okay, so we just started talking about raisins and, and then we kind of became friends.

R: Well, you could even say like my jumping off point like for the start of a heart to presentation, if you really wanted. It's just like to say where the start is.

M: And then a strange question about what kind of new people do people like to meet? So a lot of people here. People, people, people, people, people, people, people.

R: It could be what sort of new acquaintances do people like to make? Oh, I could have used the word acquaintance.

M: Yeah.

R: Acquaintance is good. Get Acquainted.

M: Like meet people or get acquainted with people. And Rory said, that okay, people usually don't like meeting those who are terminally boring. Terminally boring people.

R: To be honest, that's probably a bit informal for a part three. But terminally boring just means they're so boring you want to die. I can think of a few people like that.

M: Oh, boy. Yeah..

R: Have you met people that they were talking to, and you were like, oh, my God, if I died right now, it would be okay. And then I would be fine.

M: Yeah, yeah.

R: Why are you looking at me?

M: No, you're not boring.

R: I can be boring.

M: Yeah, I can see that you can be boring. But I don't think you're boring. Maybe we don't spend so much time together. So...

R: So maybe that's a good thing.

M: So I'm okay.

R: I'm okay. We see each other enough. It's enough. It's fine. Actually, that's a good way of describing people, though, that you, that you're just like you say this person is fine in small doses, but not for a long period of time.

M: No, but that's true, because some people could be too much.

R: Yeah. And that doesn't mean that you're a bad person. It just means like, it's a lot to deal with.

M: Yeah. No, but actually, if we take any person, and we put like two people together, even if they kind of love each other, really much. And we just keep them in the same room for like, half a year. It's just too much. Like...

R: Well, yeah. Are you thinking of any one in particular?

M: No. No, I'm just thinking like, okay, like, you need some time for yourself. Right? So you need some time with other people. You can't be like constantly, all the time only with one person. It's just too much. No? Or you can? I don't know. That's a question.

R: That's a commentary on the nature of people's relationships. To say someone is okay, in small doses is to say, like, they have a very large personality, in the opinion of the person talking. But if you wanted to extend that to everybody, then it's okay. Because some people are quite overwhelming. Overwhelmingly boring.

M: Yeah. So people could be terminally boring, overwhelmingly boring, like, too much boring.

R: I just have, I just have this idea of just looking at, you're looking at someone and saying, you are overwhelmingly boring. And I need to escape this conversation before I die. Before I kill myself, nor to escape it. I'm gonna have to use that.

M: What?

R: I'm gonna have to say that to somebody. Like, I need to escape this conversation before I kill myself from being too bored.

M: Have you actually told the person that you are terminally boring?

R: I haven't said that to somebody. What I used to say was, if someone was trying to talk to me, I'd be like, oh, I'm really sorry, but I need to go outside for a cigarette. And usually, that would be like my chance to escape. Since I don't smoke anymore, that's become a bit of an issue.

M: Oh, boy.

R: But some people I've met, people before who said like this conversation is not going very well. Or they've just said like, oh, you're a bit depressing, aren't you? Or something like that, like it's just to sort of indicate that the conversation is becoming a bit dull.

M: Oh, wow.

R: I mean, I wouldn't like to hear it. But it's better that then you accidentally torture someone with how boring you are. Surely.

M: True. True. Then we can speak about novel experiences. So new experiences. So the idea of new friends and novel experiences, new experience is pretty good. And also when you say I used to think people were pretty open to the idea of new friends. That's a nice one. So kind of I used to think that people were this but actually, they are not, right? So I used to think people were pretty open to new friends, new experiences, novel experiences, but I'm becoming less convinced about that. And people are actually not so fond of making new friends anymore, for example, and you said that our society is becoming increasingly atomized.

R: Atomized.

M: Atomized.

R: So if something becomes atomized, it just means that it gets broken up into small isolated individual parts, like atoms.

M: So people get isolated, yeah?

R: It is to do with being isolated, you could also talk about society disintegrating. And it's pretty much the same thing. Because I realized this the other day, and I don't know if you did, or if anyone else has noticed this, or if everyone else knows it, and I haven't. But this idea of when I first heard the word disintegration, I always thought of like something being destroyed. But in fact, it's dis- and integration together. So what it really means is something falling apart. And that was a real revelation for me when I was thinking about it. I don't know, do you see it that way? Or do you think of it as something being destroyed?

M: I don't know.

R: Sorry. Have I blown your mind with my grammar question?

M: Is it a grammar question?

R: It is. Sort of. Its to do with word formation. So is that not grammar?

M: It could be vocabulary, it could be word formation.

R: Isn't? Oh, sorry, aren't the rules governing, how words are created is that not a grammar thing?

M: Could be a grammar, could be vocabulary. So it's just one of these gray areas.

R: Is that a terminally boring question? Sorry.

M: Yeah. The conversation is getting a bit boring. That's rather off putting, shall we move on?

R: Yes. Let's talk about off putting. Off putting is great for talking about, well, not making new friends.

M: Yeah, and people who are terminally boring could become rather off putting. So kind of not pleasant for you.

R: Yeah, it's just like, oh, this doesn't make me interested. For example, anything with bananas in it is off putting, including people. People with bananas and them are off putting.

M: Terminally boring people are off putting. Putting like put. Putting. And yeah, back to this new friends thing. So people are becoming more isolated. And some people are naturally quite conservative. So conservative. They're kind of set in their ways. And they stick to their own locality. So people stick to their own kind of place. Locality. Locality, meaning like where they live?

R: Yes. Well, it could be where they live or like... Locality for most people is like geographic. So it's like it's little the local area. But like you can have a locality, a mental locality for people who share the same values and don't really welcome any outside influences.

M: Yeah. So people stick to their own locality, both mentally and physically. So they kind of like, stick to their own ideas. And they don't want to make new friends, to experience novel experiences. Experience experiences. This is band nine language you need, dear listener. And then when you talk about older people, you can say that older people are more set in their ways. Right? So they're... Like they stick to what they know, where they are.

R: Yes. Well, if you're set in your ways, you don't like change.

M: So it's to be set in your ways. Is it a positive or negative thing?

R: Most people think it's a negative thing. But to be honest, I mean, because so many people nowadays are really into having new experiences and doing new things and never being bored. Some people think to be set in their, in your ways is like a really bad thing. But I don't think so, like I think it's okay to have a routine and to just have your preferences and that's all. You're probably more content than people who are constantly thrill seeking.

M: Yeah, I mean, set in your ways, this expression doesn't have this negative connotation. So it's kind of neutral.

R: Depends what you're talking about.

M: Okay, it depends on the context. Okay.

R: Because I was thinking about this the other day, actually, like, it depends on how you say it. Because if you say it in like, you could have the most positive sentence in the world, and if you said it in a really sarcastic way, then obviously it means the opposite of what you meant. And that just why intonation is important.

M: Okie dokie, thank you very much dear listener! Thank you for listening and your attention!

R: But don't be set in your ways! Always learn new vocabulary for a bad nine score!

M: With us.

R: Yes, only with us. And you should be set in your ways in that regard. No, you don't need other friends, you've got us. It's fine.

M: Although we are sometimes terminally boring, and we have off putting jokes.

R: No, we don't have the best jokes and puns!

M: The bestest jokes ever. Thank you so much! And we're gonna come back with more episodes for you! Bye!

R: Bye!

M: Bye! Bye-bye-bye-bye!


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