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0599 Shopping for Warm-Weather Clothes

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 599: Shopping for Warm-Weather Clothes.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 599. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. Download this episode’s Learning Guide, an 8- to 10-page guide that contains the complete transcript, as well as the vocabulary, definitions, sample sentences, cultural notes, comprehension questions, and more. All of that is found in the Learning Guide that we have for all of our current episodes.

This episode is a dialogue between Spencer and Lauren. We’ll find Spencer and Lauren using a lot of vocabulary that would be related to hot or warm weather, things that you might wear in the summertime for example. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Spencer: I would love to see you in this outfit: a tank top and a miniskirt.

Lauren: No way! I wouldn’t look anything like that mannequin. I’m too shy and I’d make a fool of myself wearing such revealing clothes.

Spencer: That’s where you’re wrong. You would look great on the beach in that outfit with a bikini underneath.

Lauren: I haven’t worn a bikini in years. I always wear a one-piece now. In fact, I’d feel more comfortable in a T-shirt, cut-offs, and flip-flops.

Spencer: Why would you want to hide that figure? If you want to do that, why don’t you just wear this Hawaiian shirt and these board-shorts. Then no one will know you’re a woman!

Lauren: Don’t get mad. Okay, you can pick out an outfit for me and I promise to wear it for you. Okay?

Spencer: Fine, but I’m warning you: I want to see some skin!

[end of dialogue]

We start off our dialogue immediately not liking Spencer. Spencer says to his girlfriend or wife, Lauren, “I would love to see you in this outfit: a tank top and a miniskirt.” An “outfit” here means all the pieces of clothing that you wear at one time. You may have a shirt, you may have pants on, you may have a tie; that would be your outfit. “Outfit” has some other meanings as well, but here it means the clothing that you wear together. What Spencer wants Lauren to wear is a tank top and a miniskirt. A “tank top” is a shirt that doesn’t have any sleeves; it doesn’t have anything covering the arms. A “miniskirt” is a very short skirt, a skirt that ends high above the knees. You see, of course, Spencer is really only interested in one thing here, and he’s certainly not interested very much in the way his girlfriend might think.

Lauren says, “No way (meaning absolutely not)! I wouldn’t look anything like that mannequin.” A “mannequin” (mannequin) is basically a statue of a human being, either a man or a woman, that is used in stores to show clothing. So, you go to the store and they have these mannequins that have clothes on so you can see what the clothes look like, rather than having an actual person there, although some stores perhaps do that as well, but a mannequin is the more common way. What Lauren is saying is that she isn’t going to look the same as this mannequin if she wore the tank top and miniskirt. She says, “I’m too shy and I’d make a fool of myself wearing such revealing clothes.” “To be shy” means that you are a little afraid of doing things or you don’t like other people to be looking at you or finding out about you. She says that she’d make a fool of herself wearing such revealing clothes. “To make a fool of yourself” is to do something or to say something that other people would laugh at; people would make fun of you. “Revealing” means showing things that are normally not shown. In this case the parts of the body of Lauren that you could see if she wore this clothing.

So clearly Lauren is not happy; she doesn’t want to wear that kind of clothing. Spencer says, “That’s where you’re wrong.” The expression “that’s where you (or someone) is wrong” means that what the person just said is incorrect. It’s sort of a way of emphasizing that the other person disagrees with you. He says, “You would look great on the beach in that outfit with a bikini underneath.” A “bikini” is a woman’s swimsuit that has two pieces. One goes on the bottom, and the other goes on the top, and you don’t have anything in between the two.

Lauren says, “I haven’t worn a bikini in years. I always wear a one-piece now.” “One-piece” is a woman’s swimsuit that is not separated. In other words, the suit starts at the shoulders and goes down to the legs. It’s one piece, there’s no break like there is with a bikini. That is, you can’t see the woman’s stomach or her back in a one-piece swimsuit. Lauren says, “In fact, I’d feel more comfortable in a T-shirt, cut-offs, and flip-flops.” “Cut-offs,” “cut- (offs),” are very casual shorts that are usually created by taking an old pair of pants, such as an old pair of jeans – of Levi’s, and cutting the legs so that you have shorts instead of pants. “Flip-flops” are very casual shoes; you often find people wearing them at the beach. They have a bottom, but they don’t have hardly anything on the top. They just have a V-shaped piece of plastic or cloth that keeps your foot on the shoe. That’s a flip-flop. “Flip-flop” can also mean to change your position on something, especially if you are a politician. But that meaning is very different; here it is a kind of casual, informal shoe.

Spencer says, “Why would you want to hide that figure?” Notice how Spencer is not really listening to Lauren. “Figure,” here, means the shape of your body, especially a woman’s body. “Figure” has other meanings in English, and those can be found in the Learning Guide. So, Spencer doesn’t understand why Lauren wants to hide her figure – hide her body from other people looking at it. He says, “If you want to do that, why don’t you just wear this Hawaiian shirt and these board-shorts. Then no one will know you’re a woman!” A “Hawaiian shirt” is a large shirt covered with flowers, very bright colors, that is usually worn by a man. “Board-shorts” – “board (hyphen) shorts” are very long shorts – we would say they are “baggy,” they’re very roomy, they have a lot of room in them – that are, again, typically worn by men often as a swimsuit, especially for riding a “surfboard,” which is a long board that you can stand on out in the ocean and try to ride on top of the water.

Spencer, of course, is upset that Lauren won’t do what he wants her to do, so he’s making fun of her. He’s saying, well, why don’t you just wear this big shirt – this Hawaiian shirt and these board-shorts that are both for men, then no one will know you’re a woman. Lauren, stupidly, says, “Don’t get mad. Okay, you can pick out an outfit for me and I promise to wear it for you. Okay?” So basically after Spencer makes fun of Lauren and pressures her – tries to make her wear this clothing that she doesn’t want to wear, she turns around and says, “Oh, okay, I’ll do it.” So we learn that Lauren is basically a weak, pathetic woman who will do whatever her boyfriend tells her to do. Not a very nice couple, this Lauren and Spencer!

Spencer ends by saying, “Fine, but I’m warning you: I want to see some skin!” “To see some skin” means to be able to see skin on your body that is normally covered by clothing, usually because someone is wearing clothing they think is sexier and shows more of their body. And, Spencer, of course, is a creep! A “creep” is usually a man who we find easy to hate because of his behavior, especially towards women.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Spencer: I would love to see you in this outfit: a tank top and a miniskirt.

Lauren: No way! I wouldn’t look anything like that mannequin. I’m too shy and I’d make a fool of myself wearing such revealing clothes.

Spencer: That’s where you’re wrong. You would look great on the beach in that outfit with a bikini underneath.

Lauren: I haven’t worn a bikini in years. I always wear a one-piece now. In fact, I’d feel more comfortable in a T-shirt, cut-offs, and flip-flops.

Spencer: Why would you want to hide that figure? If you want to do that, why don’t you just wear this Hawaiian shirt and these board-shorts. Then no one will know you’re a woman!

Lauren: Don’t get mad. Okay, you can pick out an outfit for me and I promise to wear it for you. Okay?

Spencer: Fine, but I’m warning you: I want to see some skin!

[end of dialogue]

The script for this episode was written by someone who would never make a fool of herself, 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.

Glossary
outfit – all the pieces of clothing worn at one time; pieces of clothing that are worn together

* Which outfit would be better for the interview: a skirt and blouse, or pants with a nice sweater?


tank top – a shirt with no sleeves; a shirt with a small piece of fabric over each shoulder and no fabric covering the arms

* Rachelle doesn’t like to wear tank tops because her arms are too thin.


miniskirt – a very short skirt that ends high above the knee

* Miniskirts were very popular in the 1960s, but today, knee-length skirts are more common.


mannequin – a statue that is the shape and size of a human body, most often used in stores to display clothing that is for sale

* The dress looked great on the mannequin, but when I tried it on, it just wasn’t the same.


to make a fool of (oneself) – to do or say something that makes other people laugh at oneself; to do or say something that is foolish or embarrassing

* Hillary made a fool of herself when she got drunk and started singing at the office Christmas party.


revealing – showing or displaying things that are normally hidden

* Why do actresses choose to wear such revealing dresses when they attend award ceremonies?


that’s where (one is) wrong – a phrase used to emphasize that what someone just said is incorrect

* I agreed with most of his speech, but toward the end he started saying that we need more military spending, and that’s where he’s wrong.


bikini – a two-piece woman’s swimsuit that leaves the stomach and back exposed, much like a bra and underwear

* Edna refuses to wear a bikini, because she doesn’t like to show that much of her body to strangers.


one-piece – a woman’s swimsuit that has only one piece, covering all of the stomach area

* Fast swimmers prefer to wear a one-piece, because they stay in place better than bikinis do.


cut-offs – very casual shorts created by cutting the legs off an old pair of pants

* When Crystal discovered there were holes in the knees of her favorite jeans, she got out her scissors and made them into cut-offs.


flip-flops – very casual shoes that are totally flat on the bottom and have a thin, v-shaped piece of cloth or plastic that connects to the bottom on each side of the foot and between the big toe and the second toe

* As he walked, his flip-flops make a loud sound each time they hit the bottom of his foot.


figure – the shape of one’s body, especially referring to a woman’s curves

* Ximena has never been pleased with her figure, always wishing she had smaller hips.


Hawaiian shirt – a large, shapeless shirt covered with large flowers and other designs in very bright colors, usually worn by men

* During the week, Kyle wears conservative colors, but on the weekends he prefers to wear big, bright Hawaiian shirts.


board-shorts – very long, baggy (roomy; shapeless) shorts worn by men as a swimsuit, especially for riding a surfboard

* Do most men wear board-shorts or swim trunks on the beach?


to see some skin – to be able to see skin that is normally covered by clothing, because a person is wearing sexier clothing than usual

* Do you think an actress is more likely to get an acting job if she lets the director see some skin during her audition?

Comprehension Questions
1. Which type of swimsuit is most revealing?
a) A bikini.
b) A one-piece.
c) Board-shorts.

2. What does Spencer mean when he says, “I want to see some skin”?
a) He’s going to get her some revealing clothing.
b) He’s going to buy her the most expensive outfit available.
c) He’s not going to wear a shirt.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
skirt

The phrase “miniskirt,” in this podcast, means a very short skirt that ends high above the knee: “Her miniskirt was so short that everyone could see her underwear when she walked.” A “pencil skirt” is a long, very straight skirt: “She couldn’t take very big steps, because she was wearing a narrow pencil skirt.” The phrase “to skirt around (something)” means to avoid giving a direct answer or to avoid talking about a particular subject, usually because it is uncomfortable or embarrassing: “The reporter criticized the spokesperson for skirting the answer to her question.” Or, “Cooper’s speech skirted around all the important issues and didn’t really provide any new information.” Finally, the word “outskirts” refers to the parts of a town or city that are very far from the center: “Housing prices fall as you move toward the outskirts of town.”

figure

In this podcast, the word “figure” means the shape of one’s body, especially referring to a woman’s curves: “If I want to keep my good figure, I need to exercise and be careful about what I eat.” The phrase “to watch (one’s) figure” means to try not to gain weight: “Do you exercise to watch your figure, or to have better health?” A “father figure” is a person who acts like one’s father, even though he is not related: “Her father left the family when she was just a baby, but her uncle became a father figure as she was growing up.” Finally, “figure skating” is a sport where people dance or move beautifully on the ice while wearing ice skates: “Figure skating is her favorite Olympic sport.”

Culture Note
Most American “public” (owned by the government, not by a private business) schools do not make students wear “uniforms” (a type and color of clothing worn by all people in a group). However, most schools do have “dress codes,” or rules about what students can and cannot wear while they are at school.

Many dress codes were created to “prevent” (not let something happen) students from dressing too “provocatively” (in sexually exciting ways) or from dressing in ways that “distract” (take away the attention of) other students from their studies. Other dress codes were created to prevent students from wearing clothing associated with membership in a “gang” (a group of young people who are violent and participate in illegal activities).

Dress codes for female students might “specify” (say in detail) that skirts be at least a minimum length. They might also “prohibit” (not allow) tank tops. A dress code could say that “bra straps” (the elastic part of a bra that goes over a woman’s shoulder) must not be seen. Some dress codes also limit the amount and type of jewelry and makeup that can be worn.

Dress codes for male students might specify that “baggy” (very large and shapeless) pants are not allowed, or at least not if they “reveal” (allow to be seen) the boy’s underwear. The dress code might also prohibit T-shirts that have “foul language” (bad, impolite words) or inappropriate “images” (pictures, photos, drawings).

Some people argue that dress codes “inhibit” (limit) students’ self-expression. Other people argue that dress codes are necessary to create a safe, “inviting” (welcoming) learning environment.

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - a