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0525 Falling in Love

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 525: Falling in Love.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 525. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is at eslpod.com. Go there to download a Learning Guide for this episode that contains all of the vocabulary, definitions, sample sentences, additional definitions, comprehension questions, cultural notes, and, did I mention, a complete transcript of this episode.

This episode is called “Falling in Love.” It is a dialogue between Maya and Jorge about that old story, a boy and a girl. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Maya: What are those?

Jorge: They’re pictures from our ski trip last weekend.

Maya: Is there any reason you’re staring at the ones with Jessica in them? I think you’ve got a crush on her.

Jorge: I’m not 10 years old. I don’t get crushes.

Maya: Then, I think you’re falling head over heels for her.

Jorge: Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve only just met her.

Maya: I knew it was love at first sight when I introduced you at Yannick’s party. I could see the sparks fly. I couldn’t miss her blush or your silly grin. There was certainly a lot of chemistry between the two of you, that’s for sure.

Jorge: I hardly talked to her at the party.

Maya: Yes, but I could see her stealing glances at you all night.

Jorge: That must have been a figment of your imagination.

Maya: Oh, really?

Jorge: Okay, I won’t deny that I’m attracted to Jessica, but I can’t speak for her.

Maya: Yes, but I can.

Jorge: What?

Maya: She asked me about you.

Jorge: When?

Maya: Yesterday, at lunch.

Jorge: What did she say? What did you say?

Maya: That’s for me to know and for you to find out!

[end of dialogue]

Maya asks Jorge, “What are those?” Jorge is looking at some pictures; he says, “They’re pictures from our ski trip last weekend.” Apparently, he and some friends went skiing. Maya says, “Is there any reason you’re staring at the ones with Jessica in them?” “To stare” (stare) means to look at something for a long time, without looking at anything else. Normally, it’s considered impolite or rude to stare at someone, even if you find that person attractive. Jorge is staring at the picture, however, not at an actual person. In particular, he’s staring at a woman by the name of Jessica.

Maya says, “I think you’ve got a crush on her.” A “crush” (crush) is a feeling of liking someone romantically. Usually we use this word in talking about children or teenagers; when they say they like someone, we say they have a crush on them – someone they’re interested in romantically to the extent that children have actual romantic feelings, that is the word we would use, a crush. So, Maya’s using it sort of as a joke here, because Jorge is obviously not a child. Jorge says, “I’m not 10 years old. I don’t get crushes.” The word “crush” actually has a couple of different meanings, so take a look at the Learning Guide – you know, for some additional explanations.

Maya says, “Then, I think you’re falling head over heels for her.” This expression, “to fall head over heels” (heels), is one to describe someone falling in love with another person, to have very strong feelings of love and affection, especially at the very beginning when you first start to like someone. Someone who falls head over heels is someone who falls in love somewhat quickly. Your “heels” are the bottom of your feet, so to fall head over heels would mean sort of like falling down because you’re so much in love with this person. Which can be kind of painful, both the falling down and the love part!

Jorge says, “Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve only just met her.” Maya says, “I knew it was love at first sight when I introduced you at Yannick’s party.” The expression “love at first sight” (sight) means you fall in love with someone the first time you see them. You see a beautiful woman on the other side of the room and you fall in love with her, that’s love at first sight. That’s what happened with me and my wife actually. It was love at first sight – well, for me. She didn’t even notice I was in the room, but from my perspective, it was love at first sight!

Well, Maya introduced Jorge and Jessica at a party recently. Maya says that she could see the sparks fly. The expression “sparks (sparks) fly” means that there was an obvious romantic connection between the two. A “spark,” technically, is what happens, for example, if you were to take a match and strike it against a stone; it might create a spark. You’ll see a small particle flying off, usually with a bright light. That’s a spark. A spark can also mean, as in this case, a connection between two people – a romantic connection.

So, Maya says she could see sparks fly, she could see that they were falling in love with each other. Maya says, “I couldn’t miss her blush or your silly grin.” “To miss” means not to notice, not to see. So when Maya says, “I couldn’t miss,” she means it was obvious to me that she was blushing and you had a silly grin. “To blush” means that your cheeks change color, usually to pink or red, either because you’re embarrassed or perhaps because you’re angry. A woman might blush if you give her a compliment, if she’s embarrassed by it. Perhaps she thinks it’s too much; perhaps she knows you’re trying to express your romantic interest. A “grin” (grin) is a small smile of happiness, usually without showing your teeth.

So, Jorge was happy and Jessica was blushing because, perhaps, of something that Jorge said. Maya insists that there was certainly a lot of chemistry between the two of you. “Chemistry,” in this context, means a romantic attraction between two people, where each person is interested in the other. He likes her, and she likes him. Sometimes if you’re watching a movie, and you see that there’s a couple in a movie who are supposed to be in love with each other, but it doesn’t really seem by their acting that they’re in love with each other, we might say they don’t have any chemistry. There’s no obvious romantic connection with their characters – with their acting, in this case.

Jorge says, “I hardly talked to her at the party.” “I hardly” means very little; I didn’t talk to her very much. Maya says, “Yes, but I could see her stealing glances at you all night.” A “glance” (glance) is a quick look at someone. We use the expression, “to steal a glance,” meaning that you look at someone quickly without them noticing that you are looking at them. This usually indicates that perhaps they’re interested in you. “To steal,” here, means to do it without the other person noticing.

Jorge says, “That must have been a figment of your imagination.” The expression “to be a figment (figment) of your imagination” means that it’s something that you made up, something that you invented, something you imagined that’s not real – not true. Maya says, “Oh, really?” Jorge says, “Okay (now he confesses), I won’t deny that I’m attracted to Jessica, but I can’t speak for her.” He says, “I won’t deny,” meaning I will tell you the truth – I won’t say it isn’t true; I am attracted to Jessica. “Attracted to” means that you like someone, you think you’re interested in them in a romantic way. You haven’t necessarily fallen in love with them yet, but you’re attracted to them. You can be attracted to someone who isn’t your romantic interest, someone you see in the movie or someone you see walking down the street. Many times you’ll feel some sort of physical attraction for that person, and if you’re single, you may then go up and talk to that person – probably not, if you’re like me. But I’m not single so it’s not a concern for me, is it?

Jorge says that he can’t speak for her, meaning for Jessica. “To speak for (someone)” means to speak on behalf of another person, to give the other person’s ideas or opinions. This is often necessary if the person isn’t there; you may talk to them and you agree on some things, and then you go to a meeting and you say, “Well, I’m going to speak for Billy,” “I’m going to speak for Laura,” these are her ideas – her opinions. Hopefully, she’s given you permission to speak for her. Of course, you don’t want to speak for someone who didn’t give you permission to do so.

Well, Jorge says he can’t speak for Jessica, meaning he doesn’t know if Jessica is attracted to him. Maya says, “Yes, but I can,” meaning I can speak for Jessica, and Jorge, surprised, says, “What?” Maya says, “Jessica asked me about you.” Jorge asks, “When?” Maya says, “Yesterday, at lunch.” Perhaps Jessica works in the same office. Jorge says, “What did she say?” He, of course, is now very interested. He also asks, “What did you say (Maya)?” Maya says, somewhat jokingly, “That’s for me to know and for you to find out!” This phrase is used when you have some secret information, but you don’t want to share it – you don’t want to give it to another person. You want to sort of tease that person. That is, make them uncomfortable by telling them that you’re not going to tell them the information. “That’s for me to know and for you to find out,” meaning I’m not going to tell you, and you’re sort of making not exactly fun of the other person, but you are exercising a certain control – a certain power over the situation because you have this secret information.

So that’s the story of Jorge and Jessica. Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Maya: What are those?

Jorge: They’re pictures from our ski trip last weekend.

Maya: Is there any reason you’re staring at the ones with Jessica in them? I think you’ve got a crush on her.

Jorge: I’m not 10 years old. I don’t get crushes.

Maya: Then, I think you’re falling head over heels for her.

Jorge: Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve only just met her.

Maya: I knew it was love at first sight when I introduced you at Yannick’s party. I could see the sparks fly. I couldn’t miss her blush or your silly grin. There was certainly a lot of chemistry between the two of you, that’s for sure.

Jorge: I hardly talked to her at the party.

Maya: Yes, but I could see her stealing glances at you all night.

Jorge: That must have been a figment of your imagination.

Maya: Oh, really?

Jorge: Okay, I won’t deny that I’m attracted to Jessica, but I can’t speak for her.

Maya: Yes, but I can.

Jorge: What?

Maya: She asked me about you.

Jorge: When?

Maya: Yesterday, at lunch.

Jorge: What did she say? What did you say?

Maya: That’s for me to know and for you to find out!

[end of dialogue]

It’s no figment of my imagination. This script was actually was written by Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2009 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to stare – to look at something without turning away to look at anything else; to look at something with a lot of concentration

* Why is that man staring at me? Do I have something in my teeth?


crush – a feeling of liking someone romantically, usually used to describe the feelings of children

* I had a crush on Aaron in high school, but he was dating someone else.


to fall head over heels – to fall in love with someone; to have very strong feelings of love and affection; to begin to have a strong romantic interest in someone

* Yoshida fell head over heels for Noemi and they were married within nine months!


love at first sight – the feeling of loving someone immediately after meeting him or her, and knowing one wants to spend the rest of one’s life with that person

* Was it love at first sight, or were you friends for a long time before you started dating?


sparks fly – when there is an obvious romantic attraction between two people

* Everyone saw the sparks fly when Davis met Tamar.


to miss – to not see or notice something

* How could I have missed that stop sign? I can’t believe I didn’t stop before driving through the intersection!


blush – a pink or red color on one’s cheeks, usually caused by feelings of embarrassment or anger

* She never shouts, but if you see a blush on her cheek, then you know she’s angry.


grin – a small smile of happiness and satisfaction, usually without showing one’s teeth

* The scientist grinned when he learned that his article would be published in the journal.


chemistry – a romantic attraction between two people, where each person is interested in the other person

* He’s smart, funny, hard-working, and kind, but I just don’t feel any chemistry with him.


to steal a glance – to look at someone or something very quickly, trying not to let other people notice that one is interested in that person or thing

* That man is pretending to read the newspaper, but he keeps stealing glances at you. I think he likes you!


figment of (one’s) imagination – something that one has imagined; something that one thinks is real, but isn’t

* Diego thought he heard someone knock at the door, but nobody was there. It must have been a figment of his imagination.


attracted to (someone) – liking someone; thinking that someone is interesting in a romantic way, usually because one is interested in that person’s personality or physical appearance

* Are you more attracted to tall or short women?


to speak for (someone) – to speak on behalf of another person; to present another person’s opinions or ideas

* Are you speaking for yourself, or for your employer?


that’s for me to know and for you to find out – a phrase used when one has secret information that one doesn’t want to share with another person and wants to tease that person about it

* I asked the director who the new choreographer would be, but she just said, “That’s for me to know and for you to find out.”

Comprehension Questions
1. According to Maya, what did Jorge do when he first met Jessica?
a) He smiled.
b) His cheeks turned red.
c) He stared at her.

2. What does Maya mean when she says that Jessica was stealing glances at Jorge all night?
a) She was trying to get information about him.
b) She was taking his food off his plate.
c) She was secretly looking at him.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
crush

The word “crush,” in this podcast, means a feeling of liking someone romantically, usually used to describe the feelings of children: “Maxim had a crush on his first-grade teacher.” As a verb, “to crush” means to squeeze something in one’s hand, or press down on something very hard, so that its shape changes and it is destroyed: “He’s very strong, and can crush metal cans in one hand.” Or, “The car was crushed during the windstorm when a tree fell on top of it.” When cooking, sometimes herbs and other foods are crushed to release their smell or flavor: “Add two tablespoons of crushed garlic.” Finally, the verb “to crush” can mean to end someone’s happiness or hurt someone’s feelings: “Crowley was crushed when his girlfriend broke up with him.”

to speak for

In this podcast, the phrase “to speak for (someone)” means to speak on behalf of another person, or to present another person’s opinions or ideas: “Will you please speak for me at the meeting? I won’t be able to go today.” The phrase “speak for yourself” is used when someone makes a general statement, but one doesn’t believe that idea applies to oneself: “He said, ‘We all need to go on a diet,’ but his wife said, ‘Speak for yourself!’” The phrase “to speak up” means to speak more loudly: “Speak up, please. They can’t hear you in the back of the room.” The phrase “to speak up for (someone)” means to support and defend someone, especially if that person is not present: “Everyone was saying bad things about Teran, but Lamar spoke up for him, saying that it wasn’t his fault the project failed.”

Culture Note
Falling in love “affects” (changes) people in many ways. Let’s “take a look at” (consider) some of the “stereotypical behaviors,” or things that people are generally expected to do when they fall in love.

When people have a crush, they become “preoccupied with” (always thinking about) the person they’re falling in love with. Young girls might “doodle” (make small drawings on a piece of paper) hearts and the “initials” (the first letter in one’s first, middle, and last name) of the person they like. Other people might find themselves “staring into space” (looking into the distance, not aware of what is happening around oneself) while thinking about that “special someone” (the person whom one loves). Some people become so “distracted” (always thinking about something else) when they fall in love that they “lose their appetite” (no longer want to eat) and/or have trouble sleeping at night.

Other people become very creative and “expressive” (able to share one’s thoughts and feelings) when they fall in love. These people “light up” (become very excited and animated) when they are around their special someone, or even when they think about that person. They might write love letters or romantic poetry. Some people send them to the person they’re in love with, but they do it secretly, signing “from a secret admirer” instead of putting their name on it. Other people write songs and “serenade” (sing a romantic song outside a bedroom window) the person they’re falling in love with. People who aren’t as musical and don’t know how to “compose” (write music) might make a “mixed tape,” or make a recording of many of their favorite romantic songs, and give it to their special someone as a gift.

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - c