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0641 Sharing With Others

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast episode 641: Sharing With Others.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 641. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at eslpod.com. Download a Learning Guide for this episode on our website.

This episode is called “Sharing With Others.” It’s a dialogue between Benny and Julia with a lot of vocabulary related to sharing things with other people. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Benny: Mom says we’re supposed to share.

Julia: I know. I’m divvying up the candy right now. Just hold your horses.

Benny: I want to do it. I want to make sure I get my fair share.

Julia: I called dibs on dividing up the candy, remember? You snooze you lose.

Benny: That’s not fair! I wasn’t here when Mom came home.

Julia: Bummer for you. Okay, I’m done. Here’s your share and here’s mine.

Benny: Hey, the two piles aren’t equal. You definitely got the lion’s share. You do that to me every time. That’s not fair!

Julia: What are you going to do about it?

Benny: I’m going to tell!

Julia: You’re such a baby. Okay, if you don’t run to Mom, I’ll let you call shotgun the next time we go anywhere in the car.

Benny: You will? You promise?

Julia: I cross my heart and hope to die. Okay?

Benny: All right, but I still want my fair share of the candy.

Julia: Okay, I’ve evened out the piles. Satisfied?

Benny: Yeah. And can I do the divvying up next time?

Julia: Don’t push your luck!

[end of dialogue]

Benny and Julia are clearly children in our dialogue. Benny says to Julia, “Mom says we’re supposed to share.” Of course he says that Mom says, that gives him some authority. “To share” means to let someone else have or use something that belongs to you, or part of something that belongs to you.

Julia says, “I know. I’m divvying up the candy right now. Just hold your horses.” “To divvy (divvy) up” is a two-word phrasal verb meaning to divide something or group of something into two smaller groups or three smaller groups – at least two. You’re deciding how something is going to be shared or distributed. It could be money; here it’s candy. You could also talk about divvying up the work on a project: I’ll do this part, you do that part. Julia tells Benny to just hold his horses. “To hold your horses” is an informal phrase used to ask someone to be more patient, to wait. It’s sort of a thing that you would say to perhaps a friend, a family member. It’s also implying that you are being impatient. If someone keeps asking you questions over and over again, and they don’t stop, and you tell them, “Just hold your horses, will you?” you’re saying, in a way, stop bothering me so much, wait, I’ll tell you when I’m ready. That’s the idea here.

Benny says, “I want to do it (meaning I want to divvy up the candy). I want to make sure I get my fair share.” “To get your fair (fair) share” means to get everything that you should receive, that you’re supposed to receive; to get what is, we would say, coming to you – that is, what belongs to you or should belong to you.

Julia says, “I called dibs on dividing up the candy, remember? You snooze you lose.” “To call dibs” (dibs) is a very common phrase used especially by children. It means I get to use this thing, or I get to have this thing, and you cannot have it. For example, you are renting a hotel room with a friend and there are two beds. You walk into the hotel room and you say, “I call dibs on the bed near the window.” Notice the preposition “on,” which usually appears after this phrase. Julia says, “I called dibs on dividing up the candy.” “Dividing” here is the same as “divvying up.” To call dibs is something children do a lot. For example, if you are driving in a car and there are several children, as was the case when I was a child, if there were five or six, even seven of us going in the car, someone would call dibs on the front seat. They would say, “I get to go to the front seat.” This is typically done before the action is going to take place – that is, before the event. Although mostly popular among children, this expression is still heard among adults today. I’ve heard it; probably used it!

Julia says to Benny, “You snooze you lose,” you can also say “if you snooze you lose.” “To snooze” (snooze) means to fall asleep. The idea of “you snooze you lose” means that if you are late or if you wait too long you may miss the opportunity to do something or to get something. So, if the children come home and there’s a cake or a pie sitting on the table and the children immediately go and cut themselves a piece, then another child comes five minutes later and there’s no more cake or pie left, one of the children may say to the person – to the kid who arrived late, “You snooze you lose.” You were late therefore you missed the opportunity to do something, or in this case, to eat something.

Julia was the first to call dibs on divvying up the candy, and now it’s too late for Benny to say that he wants to do it. Benny says, “That’s not fair (that’s not right; that’s not reasonable)!” “Fair” (fair) has a lot of different meanings, some of those can be found in our Learning Guide. Benny says, “I wasn’t here when Mom came home.” In other words, when the candy arrived he wasn’t there to call dibs. Julia says basically that’s too bad; she says, “Bummer for you.” A “bummer” (bummer) is a popular informal word used to show disappointment. It’s the same as “too bad,” but it’s a little more informal. You still hear this expression, or this word quite a bit. I don’t think it is as popular as it was maybe 20-25 years ago, but you will still hear it quite a bit. “That’s a bummer,” you could say, or simply, “bummer.”

In this case, Julia says, “Bummer for you. Okay, I’m done. Here’s your share and here’s mine.” Benny says, “Hey, the two piles aren’t equal.” A “pile” (pile) is a group of things, one on top of the other. You could have a pile of clothing: you put a shirt and then on top of that you put some pants and then socks and then underwear and so forth. That would be a pile of clothing. You could have a pile of newspapers, or a pile of papers on your desk. This is a pile of candy, but the piles are not equal. “Pile” has a couple of other meanings as well. Once again, the Learning Guide will help you with those. “To be equal” means to be the same, and what Benny is saying is that his pile of candy is obviously not as big as Julia’s pile. Then he also complains that Julia definitely got the lion’s share. A “lion” is an animal; you’ve probably seen them on television or in a zoo. The “lion’s share,” however, means the larger part of something, the majority, more than 50 percent. Julia and Benny, in other words, did not split the candy equally – I should say Julia did not split it equally. She gave herself the lion’s share – the biggest part.

Benny says, “You do that to me every time. That’s not fair!” Julia says, “What are you going to do about it (how are you going to change the situation)?” Benny says, “I’m going to tell!” “To tell,” in this dialogue, means to let someone know about something bad the other person has done. This is typically – this meaning is typically one you would find among children. If a little child says, “I’m going to tell,” he means I’m going to tell on you; I’m going to tell Mom or Dad that you did something wrong.

Julia says, “You’re such a baby. Okay, if you don’t run to Mom (if you don’t go tell Mom what I did), I’ll let you call shotgun the next time we go anywhere in the car.” “To call shotgun” (shotgun – one word) means to say that you are going to ride in the front seat of the car – not the driver’s seat, but the other seat, which we sometimes call the shotgun seat. I’m not sure exactly why. I guess if you were going hunting or going to kill someone, the person who wasn’t driving would be holding the gun. That’s all I can think of. In any case, “to call” is the same here as “to call dibs on.” “To call shotgun” means I get to sit in the front of the car. Again, it’s something that you would find especially among children, but adults could use this expression as well. “To call” means I get to do that, and the first person who calls shotgun is the person who gets to ride in the front seat.

Julia says that she will let Benny sit in the front seat next time. Benny says, “You will? You promise?” Julia responds, “I cross my heart and hope to die.” “To cross your heart and hope to die” is a promise; it’s an informal phrase, again often used by children to show that they are being honest, that they really mean what they are saying. “I cross my heart and hope to die,” you’re saying you must believe me, I am telling you the truth.

Benny says, “All right, but I still want my fair share of the candy.” Julia says, “Okay, I’ve evened out the piles.” “To even out” is a phrasal verb meaning to make two things equal in size; in this case, the two piles of candy. Then Julia says, “Satisfied?” meaning are you happy now, are you satisfied Benny. Benny says, “Yeah. And can I do the divvying up next time?” So now he’s asking for something else; he wants to be the one to divide the candy the next time there is candy. Julia says, “Don’t push your luck!” “To push your luck” is a phrase meaning to ask for too much, to ask for too many things especially after you have already asked for something. So you go to your boss and you say, “Boss, I want a raise: a dollar an hour.” The boss says, “Okay.” And then you say, “I also want two more weeks of vacation.” Your boss may say, “Don’t push your luck,” meaning you’ve already asked for something, don’t keep asking for something else.

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

[start of dialogue]

Benny: Mom says we’re supposed to share.

Julia: I know. I’m divvying up the candy right now. Just hold your horses.

Benny: I want to do it. I want to make sure I get my fair share.

Julia: I called dibs on dividing up the candy, remember? You snooze you lose.

Benny: That’s not fair! I wasn’t here when Mom came home.

Julia: Bummer for you. Okay, I’m done. Here’s your share and here’s mine.

Benny: Hey, the two piles aren’t equal. You definitely got the lion’s share. You do that to me every time. That’s not fair!

Julia: What are you going to do about it?

Benny: I’m going to tell!

Julia: You’re such a baby. Okay, if you don’t run to Mom, I’ll let you call shotgun the next time we go anywhere in the car.

Benny: You will? You promise?

Julia: I cross my heart and hope to die. Okay?

Benny: All right, but I still want my fair share of the candy.

Julia: Okay, I’ve evened out the piles. Satisfied?

Benny: Yeah. And can I do the divvying up next time?

Julia: Don’t push your luck!

[end of dialogue]

It’s never a bummer to listen to the scripts written by our wonderful scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse.

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

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2010 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to share – to let someone else use or have part of what one has

* I accidentally left my lunch at home today. Would you please share your lunch with me?

to divvy up – to divide items into two or more groups; to decide how something will be shared or distributed among two or more people

* After their parents died, the adult children spent a lot of time arguing about how they should divvy up the house, cars, and paintings.

hold your horses – an informal phrase used to ask someone to wait or be more patient

* Hold your horses! There’s plenty of time to answer your questions, but I can answer only one at a time.

to get (one’s) fair share – to receive the full amount that one should receive; to receive the right portion

* If you’re a 50% owner of the company, you should get 50% of the profits when it is sold. You need to make sure you get your fair share.

to call dibs – to be the first person to claim something, so that one has the right to do or use it and the other person cannot, or has to wait until one has finished

* Emmy called dibs on the window office before anyone else had even seen it.

you snooze, you lose – an informal phrase meaning that one waited too long to do or say something, so it is no longer available, usually because another person has done or said it first

* - I was going to eat that piece of cheesecake for dessert!

* - You snooze, you lose. I saw it in the fridge, so I decided to eat it.

fair – right, just, and reasonable; treating people equally or in the same way, without giving preference to anyone

* The students are complaining that their teacher isn’t fair when he grades their tests.

bummer – an informal word used to show disappointment; too bad

* I spilled coffee all over my new white blouse. What a bummer!

pile – a stack; a group of things that are put on top of each other without very much order or care

* Pick up that pile of dirty laundry and put it in the washing machine!

equal – with the same size or amount

* Four quarters are equal to 10 dimes.

lion’s share – the larger part of something; the majority; more than 50%

* Even though many factors contributed to the problem, the marketing department received the lion’s share of the blame.

to tell – to let someone know about something bad that another person has done, especially when children are talking to adults

* I saw you eat all those cookies, and I’m going to tell!

to call shotgun – to be the first one to say that one will ride in the front passenger seat of a car, because most people prefer to sit in the front rather than in the back seats

* Jung always calls shotgun, because he gets carsick if he sits in the back.

to cross (one’s) heart and hope to die – to promise; an informal phrase often used by children to show that they are sincere and really mean what they are saying

* - Do you promise to go to my baseball game on Thursday?

* - Yes, of course! Cross my heart and hope to die.

to even out – to make something equal in size or amount

* My hair seems longer on the right side than on the left. Could you please cut it and even it out for me?

to push (one’s) luck – to ask for too much; to ask for too many things

* Oscar wants to ask his boss for a higher salary, but he thinks that after getting a raise six months ago, that might be pushing his luck.

Comprehension Questions
1. What is Julia doing when she divvies up the candy?
a) She’s cutting it into smaller pieces.
b) She’s counting how many pieces there are.
c) She’s putting all the pieces in two piles.

2. What does “calling shotgun” mean?
a) Aiming a toy gun at drivers.
b) Sitting in the front passenger seat.
c) Choosing which radio station to listen to.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
fair

The word “fair,” in this podcast, means right, just, and reasonable, or treating people equally or in the same way, without giving preference to anyone: “It isn’t fair to make your husband wash the dishes and sweep the floors while you sit and watch TV.” The phrase “fair enough” means okay or alright and is used to show that one agrees with something: “When I told Becky that I would work her hours this week if she would work mine next week, she said, ‘Fair enough.’” The word “fair” also describes the coloring of a person who has very light skin and usually light blonde or red hair: “Merlie is very fair, so she has to wear a lot of sunscreen whenever she goes outside.” Finally, the phrase “to give (someone) a fair shake” means to give someone an equal opportunity or equal consideration: “We try to give all the applicants a fair shake during the interview process.”

pile

In this podcast, the word “pile” means a stack, or a group of things that are put on top of each other without very much order or care: “Could you please put that pile of newspapers in the recycling bin?” The phrase “a pile of (something)” means a lot of something: “We have a pile of reports that are due at the end of each quarter.” The phrase “at the bottom of the pile” describes the least important thing, or the thing with the lowest priority: “Henrietta has a lot of things to do, and cleaning the house is at the bottom of the pile.” Finally, when talking about carpet or rugs, “pile” refers to the length of the threads on the top surface: “I love the way this carpet pile feels when I walk on it barefoot!”

Culture Note
Many young children “struggle” (have a hard time doing something) to share their toys with friends. They become very “possessive” (wanting to own something fully, without sharing it with others) of their toys and “throw tantrums” (scream, yell, kick, cry, and lose control) when other people want to touch or play with them. This is a normal part of a child’s “development” (the way a child changes as he or she grows older), but American parents tend to want to teach their children to share.

Many Americans believe that getting angry at their children for not sharing doesn’t work. So instead of punishing bad behavior, they often try to “praise” (say good things about) “positive” (good) “behavior” (actions; how someone acts). If they see their child share a toy with someone, they might say, “I really like the way you shared your toy with Jaime.” And if the child doesn’t share the toy, the parent might just use “distraction” (changing the focus of one’s attention) “techniques” (ways of doing something) to try to “defuse the situation” (make things calmer and less tense).

Parents of “toddlers” (two- and three-year-old children) sometimes use “baby steps” (in small ways, doing only part of something at once) to try to teach their children how to share. Instead of expecting their child to share a favorite toy doll, they might say, “Could you please show your doll to Meghan?” without expecting the child to let Meghan play with it.

Once children are older, parents expect them to become better at sharing. If an older child “refuses” (will not do something) to share, the parents might punish the child by taking away the thing that the child doesn’t want to share for a certain period of time.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b