This episode's vocabulary
- Flight attendant (noun) - someone who serves passengers on an aircraft.
- Frivolous (adj.) - behaving in a silly way and not taking anything seriously.
- Air steward (noun) - a person who serves passengers on a ship or aircraft.
- Ought to (modal verb) - used to show when it is necessary or would be a good thing to perform the activity referred to by the following verb.
- Engaged (adj.) - involved in something.
- Frustrating (adj) - making you feel annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want.
Questions and Answers
M: Now Rory is going to describe a time when he had to listen to someone talking. But he didn't enjoy it and he wasn't interested. Okay? He's gonna say who was talking, what this person was talking about. Rory is gonna say why he had to listen to this person and say why he wasn't very interested and what this person was talking about. Rory, over to you now.
R: Well, I hate to say it, but I really can't be bothered listening to flight attendants whenever they do the safety briefing. I know, it's really important to understand what to do if a plane is crashing. But there are only so many times you can listen to these presentations before you completely lose any interest in them. Especially if it's one of the automated recordings, which is like, well, like, well, they're prerecorded, they always say the same thing. And they always speak by where the lifejackets are, how to fasten your seat belt, as if that was necessary in a plane that's crashing it like 300 miles an hour, what to do if the plane lands on the water or if it's going to crash on land. And like other frivolous and obvious things that really need no explanation after you've heard them so many times, even if it's your first time hearing it, to be honest with you, it might not even be worth it. Because, you know, you have the safety cards in front of you, all the briefing information is on there, and it's very easy to find. And then if something actually does happen, then staff will be telling you what to do, the air stewards will tell you ought to do. So I'm pretty sure the only reason that you need to listen is that it's a legal requirement, or it's some way to like demonstrate professionalism, but there must be a less boring way of doing it. There was one time Turkish Airlines, for example, has a good safety briefing with different Lego figures. And that made me laugh. But, you know, if you watch that 15 times, you almost wish that they've made a series of them to like keep you engaged. But even with that in mind, like let's say they made a series with it, and they change the wording, even with new wording, the information would still be the same. And I don't think it could get me engaged in the process any more than, well, I already am, to be honest with you. It might be worth the effort, but I'm not terribly sure about that. But yeah, that really does cover it quite nicely, I think. Sorry, if you're an airline steward or an air stewardess and you're listening to this, that must be quite frustrating for you. But, I mean, hopefully you'll understand where I'm coming from.
M: Thank you very much, Rory. Does it often happen that you're not interested in what other people are telling you?
R: No, usually if they're telling me something new, but this is something that you hear every time you board a plane.
M: Right. So, oh, interesting that you talked about flight attendants. Yeah, we call them flight attendants, or we can call them air stewards. And an air steward is either a woman or man, right?
R: Yes, although you could talk about the flight attendant, an air steward, an air stewardess, there are different ways of talking about that.
M: Oh, yes, stewards and stewardess, but if you want to be more politically correct, you can use flight attendant.
R: They're also called cabin crew.
M: Oh, cabin crew, but cabin crew includes pilots as well, and like the first pilot, the second pilot.
R: No, no, that's the flight crew.
M: Oh, the flight crew. Okay, wow, interesting. And the expression is like, I hate to say it, but I really can't be bothered listening to... That's nice. I can't be bothered.
R: I've altered the task slightly because I had to describe a time when I had to listen to someone but this is every time.
M: Yeah, I think actually, it's okay here, because you are talking about an occasion when you have to listen to somebody, right? So, so I can't be bothered. Like, I don't want to do this, right. You can also say I can't be asked, but not in the IELTS exam, because it's too informal.
R: There's a great comedian I was watching called Ashling B, I think, and she has this great this great part of her performance where she's like, I have the serious, serious illness where I just can't be arsed and she like goes on about how much she can't be asked. But don't say that to your examiner because they won't be very happy with it.
M: Yeah, and then Rory has used specific vocabulary such as where the life jackets are, how to fasten a seatbelt. You fasten your seat belt, and yeah, you should know where the life jackets are. And other frivolous things.
R: Frivolous - not interesting, not terribly important.
M: And then a nice phrase is I'm pretty sure the only reason you need to listen is that... or is because... it's a legal requirement.
R: Yes. And this phrase legal requirement is a good collocation as well.
M: You're talking about something that you're not interested in. So you can use some synonyms. It's boring, it's dull, right? I can't be bothered listening to this, there must be a less boring way of saying this.
R: Or at least a better way to keep you engaged.
M: Right. So to keep you engaged, to keep you active, to keep you like listening to this, right. Again, dear listener, you can talk about a conversation you had with your colleagues or with your friends, or when your friends like rambled on something, to ramble is bla bla bla bla bla. Yeah, to talk like non stop in a kind of disorganized way, so to ramble. Or you can describe a situation when your colleagues complained to you so they were moaning about something, complaining about something or whinging about something. So whinge is to complain, it is an informal word, more informal than complain. Whinge, is it British, or American, or is both?
R: Whinge is British.
M: British, yeah. So, that's a nice word. I'm gonna describe a time when a couple friends were whinging, and I wasn't really interested, I wasn't into this. Can I say I wasn't into their conversation.
R: Yeah, I'm not really into that.
M: I wasn't into this conversation.
R: We weren't really into that conversation, but hopefully you're into all of the useful grammar and vocabulary we provided.
M: Yay. Make sure that you do have an example of a situation when somebody was talking to you, but you weren't interested. Somebody was talking, so past continuous. Okay? Yeah. How about how did you feel? So how do you usually feel when the flight attendants talk to you? Do you feel bored or you feel frustrated?
M: Disinterested, yes.
R: Well, no, it's important to point out that's only for the safety briefing, any other time the cabin crew talk to you like it's quite pleasant. They're nice people. It's just for this boring part, which isn't even their fault.
M: Thank you very much for listening. We'll see you in the next episode speaking part three, where we're going to be talking about talking to people, being a good listener, and changes in communication. Yay. See you there.
M: Bye! Boo, boo, boo, boo boo boo.
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