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0237 Getting Revenge

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 237: Getting Revenge.

You're listening to English as a Second Language Podcast episode 237. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in, you know where, Los Angeles, California - beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Remember to visit our website, as we often remind you, at eslpod.com. You can find there the Learning Guide for this episode that contains all of the vocabulary, definitions, sample sentences, additional definitions not found in the podcast, cultural notes and the complete transcript of this episode.

Our podcast today, “Getting Revenge,” is actually related to an earlier podcast that we did, ESL Podcast number 233, which was called “Asking for a Date.” So, you might want to listen to that, or at least look at the dialogue on our website before you listen to this, but you can understand it without having listened to 233. Now let's get started.

[Start of story]

Jaime: I don’t know what’s wrong with Liam lately. The guy is short-tempered and jumps down my throat about every little thing.

Debra: [laughs]

Jaime: What’s so funny?

Debra: I have a feeling that he’s not getting enough sleep.

Jaime: You don’t mean you and Liam...

Debra: No way! It’s just that the women in this office are paying him back for the way he's treated them, two-timing them and leading them on.

Jaime: Are you serious?

Debra: Yeah, there are quite a few women with an axe to grind and wouldn’t mind getting even with him. You’re not going to tell him, are you?

Jaime: No, I won’t, but what are you doing exactly?

Debra: We’re all taking turns keeping him up at night by calling his home phone and his cell phone, and we’re also ordering food to be delivered at all hours of the night. It’s no wonder he’s feeling a little grouchy.

Jaime: That explains it. It’s no skin off my nose, but isn’t that going overboard?

Debra: Not in the least. If you knew some of the rotten things he’s done, you’d know that it’s no more than he deserves.

Jaime: If you say so. It’s certainly a good reminder that, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

[End of story]

Our episode is called “Getting Revenge.” Revenge, “revenge,” is when you hurt someone or try to harm someone because they hurt you. We also use the expression “to get back at” someone. It means to try to do something bad to them because they did something bad to you first.

In this dialogue, Jaime is talking to Debra, and Jaime says that he doesn't “know what's wrong with Liam lately,” one of the people that he works with. He says, “The guy” - the man - “is short-tempered and jumps down my throat about every little thing.” To be short-tempered, “tempered,” mean that you get mad or angry very easily, even when there's no good reason. You might think that the opposite of short-tempered would be long-tempered, but in fact, there is no such word as long-tempered, at least as an opposite in meaning.

Jaime says that Liam “jumps down” his “throat about every little thing.” The expression, to jump down someone's throat, means to be very angry with someone - to yell at someone - to tell them that they are doing something wrong.

Debra responds by laughing a little bit. Jaime says, “What’s so funny,” in other words, why are you laughing, and Debra says, “I have a feeling,” meaning I think, “that he's not getting enough sleep.”

Jaime doesn't know quite what this means - thinks maybe that Debra and Liam are somehow romantically involved, and Debra says, “No way,” meaning absolutely not. “No way! It’s just that the women in this office,” she says, “are paying him back for the way he’s treated them.” To pay someone back is the same as to get revenge on someone - to do something bad to someone because they did something bad to you.

To treat, “treat,” someone means the way you act towards someone - the way you behave towards someone. There are several different meanings of the word to treat, and you can take a look at the Learning Guide for additional explanations.

Debra says that Liam has been “two-timing” the women in the office “and leading them on.” To two-time, “two,” like the number, (hyphen) time, “time,” means to date two or more people at the same time without letting the other person know. So, you meet a girl in a bar and you start dating her, and then you meet a woman at your office and you start dating her, and you don't tell either one that you are dating the other one.

This is very dangerous gentlemen; I don't recommend it! But in this case, that's what Liam tried to do. Not me, of course. I would have never done that, and of course, I'm married now so I don't even look at other women!

Debra says that Liam was leading the women on. To lead, “lead,” someone on means to act in a way that they'll think you are interested in them - that you want to have a romantic relationship with them, but in truth, you don't. So, you are, in some ways, lying to them or deceiving them. You can also use that expression, to lead someone on, about something else, not just about a romantic relationship.

Debra says that “there are quite a few women” in the office “with an axe to grind.” This is an idiomatic expression, which means to have negative feelings or to want to have revenge. “I have an axe to grind” - there's some problem that I have and I want to do something to solve it, usually in a negative way.

The word axe, “axe,” refers to something that you use to split or chop wood. If you are going out into the forest and you want to cut down a tree you would use, or could use, an axe. To grind means to make sharper - to make the axe, which is usually made of metal, sharper. But the expression doesn't relate to cutting down trees; it's an idiom that refers to someone who has some need for revenge or to do something negative to someone else.

Debra says that these women “wouldn’t mind,” in other words, would like to get “even with” Liam.” To get even means to take revenge - to pay someone back.

Jaime says that he won't tell Liam what Debra and the other women are doing, but he wants to know exactly what they are doing, and so Debra explains that the women have been “taking turns” - meaning one does it on one night, one does it on another night - calling Liam on “his home phone and on his cell phone” very late at night so he wakes up.

They have also been “ordering food” that will “be delivered at all hours of the night.” The expression, at all hours, means at any time or all during the time. At all hours of the night would mean very late at night - one o'clock in the morning, three o'clock in the morning. So you see, the women are trying to get back at or get revenge by doing things that would bother him.

Debra says, “It’s no wonder,” meaning it's not surprising, “he’s feeling a little grouchy,” “grouchy.” To be grouchy means to be in a bad mood - to be very easy to get - to be angered; that is to be grouchy.

Well, Jaime says, “That explains it,” meaning that makes sense - now I understand. “It’s no skin off my nose,” he says, “but isn’t that going overboard?” The expression it's no skin, “skin,” off my nose, “nose,” means it doesn't matter to me - it isn't important to me. It's not something that involves me, so I don't care what happens, even if it's a negative thing because I'm not involved.

He says, “isn't that going overboard,” meaning aren't you doing too much. To go overboard, “overboard,” means to do something - too much of something - to do it to an extreme.

So, the expression “it's no skin off my nose, but isn’t that going overboard?” means “not that it matters to me, but aren't you doing too much?,” and Debra says, “Not in the least,” meaning not at all - absolutely not. She says, “If you knew some of the rotten things he’s done, you’d know that it’s no more than he deserves.” Rotten, “rotten,” means very bad or terrible or horrible. It has some other meanings as well, this word rotten; take a look at the Learning Guide for more information.

So, Debra says Liam has done some very bad things to the women, and therefore, “it's no more then he deserves.” To deserve something, “deserve,” means to get something because of something you have done in the past. It could be a good thing or it could be bad thing. But, when someone says, “You deserve it,” that means that it is right - it is correct that you should get this thing, whatever it is, good or bad.

Jaime ends by saying that “It’s certainly a good reminder that, 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.'“ This is an old expression, which means that if you do something bad to a woman, especially if you're a man, if you treat her badly that she will get back at you. She will do something bad, much worse, to you, so you should be careful about treating women badly. Good advice for all of us men!

Now let's listen to the dialogue, this time at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

Jaime: I don’t know what’s wrong with Liam lately. The guy is short-tempered and jumps down my throat about every little thing.

Debra: [laughs]

Jaime: What’s so funny?

Debra: I have a feeling that he’s not getting enough sleep.

Jaime: You don’t mean you and Liam...

Debra: No way! It’s just that the women in this office are paying him back for the way he’s treated them, two-timing them and leading them on.

Jaime: Are you serious?

Debra: Yeah, there are quite a few women with an axe to grind and wouldn’t mind getting even with him. You’re not going to tell him, are you?

Jaime: No, I won’t, but what are you doing exactly?

Debra: We’re all taking turns keeping him up at night by calling his home phone and his cell phone, and we’re also ordering food to be delivered at all hours of the night. It’s no wonder he’s feeling a little grouchy.

Jaime: That explains it. It’s no skin off my nose, but isn’t that going overboard?

Debra: Not in the least. If you knew some of the rotten things he’s done, you’d know that it’s no more than he deserves.

Jaime: If you say so. It’s certainly a good reminder that, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

[End of story]

The script for today's podcast was written, of course, by Dr. Lucy Tse.

That's all we have time for on today's podcast. Remember, you can email us at eslpod@eslpod.com for questions or comments about this or any other episode.

From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2007.

Glossary
short-tempered – easily gets angry; gets angry for no reason

* I’m sorry I was so short-tempered this morning, but I got some bad news and was upset. Even so, I shouldn’t have yelled at you.


to jump down (one’s) throat – to be angry at someone and to yell at them or to speak to them unkindly or with anger

* Jake’s mom jumped down his throat when he came home late. She was really worried about him.


to pay (someone) back – to do something good or bad to someone because he or she did something good or bad to you

* Thank you for helping me get this job. How can I ever pay you back for your help?


to treat (someone) – to act toward someone in a certain way; to behave toward someone in a particular way

* My mother taught me that I should always treat other people the way that I want to be treated.


to two-time – to date two or more people at the same time without letting them know about the other person; to have a romantic relationship with two or more people at the same time

* Kevin and Brittany had a big fight because she heard from her friends that he was two-timing her.


to lead (someone) on – to act in a way that makes someone believe something that isn’t true; to give someone false hopes of a romantic relationship

* Are you really going to help me with my homework, or were you just leading me on?

an axe to grind – negative feelings; resentment; a need or desire for revenge (doing something bad to someone because he or she did something bad to you)

* Cesar has an axe to grind with his sister because she drove his car without asking him first.


to get even – to take revenge; to do something bad to someone because he or she did something bad to you

* When Sylvia’s brother read her private letters, she got even by telling his girlfriend embarrassing childhood stories about him.


at all hours – all the time; any time during the day or night

* Our neighbors play loud music at all hours and we’re tired of it!


grouchy – in a bad mood; irritable; easy to get angry

* Whenever Gabriella has had a bad day and feels grouchy, she likes to go home to watch an old movie until she feels better.


it's no skin off my nose – it doesn’t matter to me; it isn’t important to me

* It’s no skin off my nose if you don’t go to work today, but what will your boss think?


to go overboard – to do something to an extreme; to do too much of something

* Aaron likes to exercise, but lately he has been going overboard, running 20 miles every day.


not in the least – not at all; absolutely not

* It won’t bother me in the least if you smoke, as long as the window is open.


rotten – very bad; horrible; terrible

* This is a rotten movie. I think it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.


to deserve (something) – to have or get something because of a good or bad thing that one has done in the past

* The lawyer told the judge that because the man’s crime was so serious, he deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison.


Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. – No one is angrier than a woman who has been emotionally hurt by someone, especially in a romantic relationship

* Ricardo wants to end his 18-month relationship with Carla, but he’s scared because he knows that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Comprehension Questions
1. Why are the women ordering food to be delivered to Liam’s home?
a) Because they are trying to keep him awake at night.
b) Because they don’t think he’s eating enough.
c) Because they think it will make him like them better.

2. Why is Debra angry with Liam?
a) Because he went on a date with her only two times.
b) Because he was leading her around the office.
c) Because he wasn’t honest with her about their relationship.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to treat

The verb “to treat,” in this podcast, means to act or behave toward someone in a certain way: “If you treat your co-workers more nicely, you might start to like going to work.” The verb “to treat” can also mean to pay for something for someone: “I’d like to treat you to lunch to thank you for all of your hard work on this project.” The verb “to treat” can also mean to give someone medical attention for a problem: “The doctor said that the best way to treat the flu is to lie in bed and drink lots of hot tea.” As a noun, a “treat” is something pleasant that is given to someone to make him or her happy: “We were so happy that our daughter had good grades last semester that we took her to a nice restaurant as a special treat.”

rotten

In this podcast, the word “rotten” means very bad, horrible, or terrible: “Tamara had a rotten day: her dog died, her dad yelled at her, and she lost her favorite sweater.” The word “rotten” can also mean food that has become too old and cannot be eaten: “We forgot to clean out the refrigerator before going on vacation and when we came back, it was full of rotten vegetables.” A “rotten” piece of wood is an old piece of wood that is falling apart: “Cars can’t drive on the old wooden bridge anymore because the wood is rotten and it isn’t safe.” To “feel rotten” means to feel sick: “She felt rotten because she ate too much candy.” To “feel rotten” can also mean to feel guilty about something: “He felt rotten after he yelled at his son for no reason.” Or, “I feel rotten about getting the job that my friend Rachel wanted so badly.”

Culture Note
In the United States, husbands and wives who no longer wish to be married to each other can get a “divorce” (the legal end of a marriage). In the past, divorce was very unusual, but now it is common and some people are married and divorced several times.

The husband and wife must identify their “grounds for divorce,” or the reason(s) that they want to get a divorce. One common reason for divorce is “adultery,” when the husband or wife has a sexual relationship with another person. Another common reason is “cruelty,” when the husband or wife causes emotional pain or physical pain to the other person. Sometimes husbands and wives get a divorce because they have “irreconcilable differences,” meaning that they do not want to live together anymore because they are too different from each other.

To get a divorce, the husband and wife each get a “lawyer” or attorney who helps them through the divorce process. The lawyers help them decide what to do with the things that the “married couple” (the husband and wife) bought while they were married. In most states, anything that was bought by the couple during the marriage is known as “community property,” meaning that it is owned by both the husband and the wife, and needs to be “divided” (some given to the husband, and some given to the wife). If the husband and wife have children, the lawyers will help them determine who has “custody” or the right to live with the children. If the husband and wife cannot agree about property and custody, their divorce may go to court, where a judge will make these decisions for them.

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - c