BBC 6 minute English-What your lunch says about you

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BBC 6 minute English-What your lunch says about you

 

 

Transcript of the podcast

Note: This is not a word for word transcript

Dan: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English– the show that brings you an interesting topic, authentic listening practice and six items of incredibly useful vocabulary. I’m Dan

Neil: And I’m Neil. In this programme we’ll be discussing the lovely topic of lunch – and what our lunch choices say about us. So, Dan, what are you doing for lunch today

Dan: Ah Neil, are you asking me to join you? I’d love to, thanks. There’s this great little Vietnamese place we have to check out, right next to the office if you just

Neil: Ah, actually – I was just asking to… open up today’s topic. Sorry. You see, I’ve brought a sandwich

Dan: Oh, a sandwich. Again! How dull. Well, you’re not the only one – a survey from 2012 showed a third of Britons eat exactly the same thing for lunch – every day! And yes, it’s mostly sandwiches

Neil: I had a curry yesterday

Dan: Well, it’s almost lunchtime so we’d better get on with our question, which is: how long is the average lunch break in the UK? Is it

a) An hour and a half

b) 45 minutes

c) 25 minutes

Neil: Oh, I wish it was an hour and a half, but I’m pretty sure it must be c) 25 minutes

Dan: Well, we’ll find out if you’re right… just before lunch! All this talk of lunch is actually making me feel a bit peckish

Neil: Peckish is a great word isn’t it – it’s a slang word for being a bit hungry. Feeling peckish, Dan

Dan: I am now. Now, about you and your sandwiches Neil. Two slices of bread with filling might be the most popular British lunch choice, but it didn’t use to be that way. Listen to food writer Bee Wilson. Which adjective does she use to describe sandwiches

INSERT
Bee Wilson, Author

They were what you had in an emergency. They were what you had on a long train journey. It was a kind of makeshift lunch when you couldn’t get anything better

Dan: So – sandwiches had humble origins as makeshift meals. Makeshift describes something temporary and low quality – a solution you create when you can’t do anything better

Neil: I can’t help feel this is all getting a little personal, Dan

Dan: There’s a sometimes very practical reason to eat a sandwich – like on a train. On a weekday in the office though, there’s no excuse

Neil: If you worked as hard as I did, Dan – you’d only have time for a sandwich

Dan: Which is just what Bee Wilson was saying – we treat lunchtime as if it were an emergency. It says something about our attitude to work and food in the UK. Next, let’s hear from philosopher Julian Baggini with his view on eating the same thing every day

Neil: And let’s teach one more word first – utilitarian. It describes something practical and useful, rather than attractive

INSERT
Julian Baggini, Philosopher

What lunch says about us is that we’re still very much stuck in this kind of quite functional, you know, efficient, utilitarian attitude of how we should construct our daily lives; and that for all our embrace of this great food culture and everything, we haven’t managed to make that an everyday thing – it remains something for the special occasions

Neil: So – he thinks we live in a world where we value being efficient – where we have a functional, utilitarian attitude to life

Dan: Exactly, we’re aware of a great food culture, we embrace this culture – but only for special occasions

Neil: Yes – let’s look at that word embrace. It normally means this… let me just

Dan: Oh Neil, I didn’t know you cared. Neil just hugged me, wrapped his arms around me, embraced me

Neil: Just as we can embrace physical things and people – we can also embrace ideas

Dan: Here’s an idea I embrace, Neil. We should all embrace new foods. Broaden our horizons

Neil: To broaden our horizons means to open our minds and experience new things

Dan: Let me broaden your horizons right now. Experts from Cornell University say it leads to better team spirit if colleagues eat together

Neil: OK, I get the picture. I should ditch my sandwich and eat with you. In the name of team spirit – that is – getting on well with team members – having a feeling of belonging

Dan: Finally. Vietnamese

Neil: Oh yes, but not before you tell me the answer to today’s question. How long do Brits take for lunch

Dan: Well the answer was c) 25 minutes. That comes from a survey done by the BBC this year to find out about our modern dining habits

Neil: 25 minutes? It’s a crying shame, Dan. But before we have lunch ourselves, let’s run over the vocab one more time

Dan: First up we had peckish. It means ‘hungry – just a little hungry’. I’m feeling rather peckish at the moment, you

Neil: I think I’ve gone beyond peckish, Dan. Roll on lunch. Next

Dan: We had makeshift – which describes a temporary or low quality solution. For example, last week my team’s goalkeeper was sick, so I had to replace him as a makeshift goalie

Neil: Or, another example – when I was a student I used the steel bin in my room as a makeshift drum

Dan: I’m sure the neighbours loved that. Now what about this word utilitarian? In the context we used it, it means simple and functional, rather than beautiful

Neil: Do you think it would be fair to describe your polo shirt as utilitarian

Dan: I prefer classic and timeless. Please

Neil: But enough of all this banter. You know, I believe we should all just get along

Dan: Oh, are you going to hug me again? To embrace me

Neil: Not this time, let’s stick with the metaphorical meaning – to accept a new belief or idea

Dan: For example, I wasn’t sure about the new website design, but now I fully embrace it

Neil: Very nice. And I embrace your suggestion that colleagues should eat together

Dan: It looks like you’ve broadened your horizons

Neil: Well, when I taught English in Spain, Japan, Poland and the Czech Republic, it really broadened my horizons and taught me about new ways of life. How about you

Dan: Yes, they say travel broadens the mind – it certainly broadened my horizons too

Neil: Even better – why don’t we go travelling together – with the whole Learning English team

Dan: Yeah! That would be wonderful for team spirit –the good feeling of being together. Maybe to Cambodia

Neil: It certainly would. And that’s the end of today’s 6 Minute English. Please join us again soon, after our delicious lunch

Dan: And we are on social media too. Make sure to visit our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages

Both: Bye

BBC 6 minute English-What your lunch says about you
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