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0794 Getting Over a Fight

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 794: Getting Over a Fight.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 794. 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. Go there, become a member, support this podcast, keep us going.

This episode is a dialogue about two people who got into an argument, what we might call a “fight.” Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Alisa: Don’t be mad.

Sabir: I’m not mad.

Alisa: Yes, you are. I’m sorry. I admit it was my fault. Will you stop moping now?

Sabir: I’m not moping. I’m giving you the silent treatment.

Alisa: I knew it! You’re still peeved at me. What can I do to make it up to you?

Sabir: You can leave me alone.

Alisa: If I leave you alone to stew, you’ll replay the whole incident in your head and the next thing I know, you’ll hold a grudge against me. Won’t you just forgive me so we can move on?

Sabir: What you said wasn’t just a slight. It was an out-and-out insult.

Alisa: I know it was and I’m truly sorry. I’ll buy you lunch at your favorite restaurant to show you how contrite I am.

Sabir: And you won’t say it again?

Alisa: I promise I’ll never tell you again in front of your friends how much you look like Elvis – in his later years.

[end of dialogue]

Alisa says to Sabir, “Don’t be mad.” Don’t be angry; don’t be upset. Sabir says, “I’m not mad.” Alisa says, “Yes, you are. I’m sorry. I admit it was my fault.” “To admit” (admit) means to say something is true even though you don’t want to say it’s true, because it’s embarrassing or perhaps you did something wrong and you don’t want to say you did something wrong, but you have to – you admit it. “To admit” can also be to say something that perhaps you’re not proud of, you’re embarrassed about. “Admit” has a couple of other meanings in English as well; take a look at our Learning Guide for those.

Alisa admits that something was her fault (fault). “Fault” is responsibility for something bad that has happened. “Whose fault was it?” “It was his fault,” he is the person who caused the problem. Alisa says, “Will you stop moping now?” “To mope” (mope) is to be sad, to be depressed; it’s also something that a child might do after the child has been yelled at and then the child is angry, and he’ll go around with a big, sad face and let everyone know that he’s sad – that he’s angry. It’s a negative thing, “to mope,” it means to continue to show how upset or depressed you are to everyone else, even though you should hide that or perhaps simply get over it – stop worrying about it.

Sabir says, “I’m not moping. I’m giving you the silent treatment.” “To give (someone) the silent treatment” means not to speak to someone, to refuse to talk to someone as a way of punishing them, as a way of expressing your anger or your disappointment in them.

Alisa says, “I knew it! You’re still peeved at me.” “To be peeved” (peeved) means to be angry, to be upset, to be mad. Alisa says, “What can I do to make it up to you?” “To make (something) up to (someone)” is to do something nice for another person after you have done something wrong or after you have hurt them or made them angry or upset. We might use this expression, for example, in the case of a father who is supposed to go to his daughter’s softball game, and the daughter is very upset when the father can’t make it – doesn’t go to the game. The father then says to the daughter, “Let me make it up to you. Let’s go get some ice cream.” Or, “Let’s go to McDonald’s and eat some terrible food. Let me make it up to you.” Let me do something nice for you that will somehow make you forgive me and forget what I did.

Sabir says to Alisa, “You can leave me alone.” “To leave (someone) alone” means not to talk to them, not to be with them. Alisa says, “If I leave you alone to stew, you’ll replay the whole incident in your head.” “To stew” (stew) here means to think about something over and over again in your mind, something that’s negative, something that makes you angry or upset. We usually use this when someone is angry: “He was stewing in his anger.” He was thinking about it and getting more and more angry. Alisa says that Sabir will stew and replay the whole incident in his head. “To replay” means to play again. Normally we use this in talking about listening to a piece of music or maybe watching a DVD, you’re going to replay a section. Or if you’re watching sports on television and someone makes a good play in a soccer game or a baseball game, they will replay that part of the game; you will see it again. We usually call this “instant replay,” they play it over right away, instantly. Here, “to replay” something means to think about it again and again. It’s as though you had a DVD player in your head. Actually, that would be kind of cool, to have a DVD player! You could just put the DVD on top of your head and then…yeah, I like that! Somebody work on that!

Anyway, Alisa says that Sabir will stew and replay the whole incident. An “incident” (incident) is an event, usually something bad or unpleasant that happens, something that perhaps is embarrassing. So, it’s a negative thing, an “incident.” Don’t confuse this word with “accident” (accident); an accident is something bad that happens that you didn’t want to happen, that happened not on purpose. So, an accident could also be an incident, but they’re two different ideas.

Well, Alisa says that Sabir will replay the whole, or entire, or complete incident in his head. “And the next thing I know,” Alisa says, “you’ll hold a grudge against me.” A “grudge” (grudge) is when you are angry at someone for a long time; you don’t forget about it. It could go for days or weeks or months or even years, where you continue to be angry about something that someone did to you. Notice the verb we use with this word is “hold,” “to hold a grudge.” “Don’t hold a grudge against me.” Alisa says, “Won’t you just forgive me so we can move on?” “To forgive (someone)” is to no longer be angry at someone who did something bad to you. You hurt me some way, but I forgive you. It’s always better to forgive, otherwise that person continues to hurt you because you continue to be bothered by it. At least that’s what I try to do, but that’s not easy to do. “To forgive and forget,” we sometimes say. Well, Alisa asks Sabir to forgive her, “so we can move on.” “To move on” here means to forget about something bad that happened in the past and continue forward – continue without thinking about the bad things that happened in the past

Sabir says, “What you said wasn’t just a slight.” A “slight” (slight) is when you insult someone, but it’s not a big insult; when you say something negative or criticize someone, but it’s not a major criticism, it’s not like you’re saying they’re the ugliest person in the world. You might say, “Well, you’re not the best looking person in the world,” that would be a slight. I guess some people would say that’s an insult – a serious insult. But a slight is less serious. Sabir says this was not a slight, what Alisa said, “It was an out-and-out insult.” An “insult” is when you say something negative, something critical about someone else, saying that they’re stupid or they’re ugly or whatever. “Out-and-out” here means completely, absolutely, without any question. We might use this expression to talk about someone who is a liar: “He’s and out-and-out liar.” Or, “That’s an out-and-out lie,” it’s a complete lie. Why do we say “out-and-out”? I don’t know, but that’s the expression we use.

Alisa says, “I know it was (I know it was an insult) and I’m truly sorry.” She says, “I’ll buy you lunch at your favorite restaurant to show you how contrite I am.” “To be contrite” (contrite) means to be sorry for something you have done, to feel sorry for something bad you did. Sabir says, “And you won’t say it again?” Alisa says, “I promise I’ll never tell you again in front of your friends how much you look like Elvis (Elvis the singer) – in his later years.” Well of course, Elvis, as he got older, got fatter and uglier, and to say someone looks like Elvis in his later years, when he was older, is certainly an insult. Now, if you said someone looked like Elvis in his younger years, when he was considered a good-looking man back in the 50s and 60s – early 60s, well, that would be different. “In front of” means when your friends are present or when someone is there in the room. So Alisa said something in front of Sabir’s friends, meaning his friends were there and they could hear what she was saying.

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

[start of dialogue]

Alisa: Don’t be mad.

Sabir: I’m not mad.

Alisa: Yes, you are. I’m sorry. I admit it was my fault. Will you stop moping now?

Sabir: I’m not moping. I’m giving you the silent treatment.

Alisa: I knew it! You’re still peeved at me. What can I do to make it up to you?

Sabir: You can leave me alone.

Alisa: If I leave you alone to stew, you’ll replay the whole incident in your head and the next thing I know, you’ll hold a grudge against me. Won’t you just forgive me so we can move on?

Sabir: What you said wasn’t just a slight. It was an out-and-out insult.

Alisa: I know it was and I’m truly sorry. I’ll buy you lunch at your favorite restaurant to show you how contrite I am.

Sabir: And you won’t say it again?

Alisa: I promise I’ll never tell you again in front of your friends how much you look like Elvis – in his later years.

[end of dialogue]

If there are any problems with this episode, it’s all my fault, not the fault of 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 here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2012 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
mad – angry; upset

* Yuhiko is very mad that you lied to him about how the car got damaged.

to admit – to confess; to say that something is true when one would prefer not to have to say that, especially when it is shameful or embarrassing

* Why can’t you just admit that you were responsible for the project’s failure?

fault – responsibility for something that did not happen as it should have; carrying the blame or shame associated with some failure or other problem

* It’s not my fault the game was canceled. Nobody knew it was going to rain.

to mope – to be sad, depressed, or despondent; to feel many negative emotions for a long time and not be able to be happy

* Shanaya has been moping ever since her boyfriend broke up with her last month.

silent treatment – a period of time when one refuses to speak to another person as a punishment, usually because one is very angry at that person

* My husband is giving me the silent treatment because I threw away his soccer magazines by mistake.

peeved – upset; angry; mad

* Mariah was really peeved when she found out her brother had read her diary.

to make it up to (someone) – to make amends; to do something nice for another person so that he or she will no longer be angry or upset about something bad that one did in the past

* I know that what I did was wrong, but I promise I’ll make it up to you somehow.

to stew – to think about something negative for a long period of time; to dwell on

* Tashaki is still stewing over the fact that he didn’t get the promotion last year.

to replay – to think about something over and over again, visualizing it in one’s head; to reenact in one’s imagination

* That was so embarrassing, and now it keeps replaying in my mind!

incident – an event, especially something bad, unpleasant, dangerous, negative, or embarrassing

* There was one small incident on the first day of the conference, but everything else went smoothly.

grudge – a feeling of resentment or anger over something that happened in the past but that one cannot or will not forget or forgive

* How can you still hold a grudge against Marcos for what happened? It was an accident and he has apologized.

to forgive – to stop feeling angry or offended; to agree to not continue to be mad about something that happened in the past

* Luciano finally forgave his father for leaving his family when Luciano was just a child.

to move on – to be able to forget or forgive something bad that happened in the past and be able to live one’s life normally again

* It is taking Helena a long time to move on after the death of her cat.

slight – a minor insult, usually caused by someone not showing another person enough respect

* Some people take it as a slight when Makiko doesn’t make eye contact with them. They don’t realize it’s a cultural difference.

out-and-out insult – something that is said or done disrespectfully, deliberately, and intentionally to hurt another person’s feelings

* He looked her in the eyes and said, “You’re ugly.” That was an out-and-out insult!

contrite – sorry for what one has done; feeling ashamed and guilty for one’s actions or words; wanting to receive forgiveness

* If the defendant seems contrite, the judge would probably consider a lighter prison sentence.

in front of – at a place and time where other people can see or hear what happens; in the presence of other people

* Shawn is going to propose to his girlfriend in front of his entire family.

Comprehension Questions
1. Why does Alisa think Sabir is mad at her?
a) Because he is shouting at her.
b) Because he is complaining about her to his friends.
c) Because he won’t talk to her.

2. Why is Alisa offering to buy Sabir lunch?
a) Because she feels bad for not paying last time.
b) Because she wants to show him that she is sorry for what she said.
c) Because she knows he doesn’t have very much money.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to admit

The verb “to admit,” in this podcast, means to confess or to say that something is true when one would prefer not to have to say that, especially when it is shameful or embarrassing: “Carla would never admit how much she enjoys watching reality shows on TV.” The verb “to admit” also means to allow someone to enter a building, event, or university: “The ticket says, ‘admits one.’” Or, “Did you hear that Hannah was admitted to Princeton University?” The phrase “to admit defeat” means to stop trying to do something because one realizes it is not possible, especially when competing with someone else: “Dimitry really wanted to climb to the top of Mount Everest, but with the bad storms, he had to admit defeat.”

slight

In this podcast, the word “slight” means a minor insult, usually caused by someone not showing another person enough respect: “Bonnie is very sensitive and if anyone makes a suggestion for improvement, she takes it as a slight against her ability to do her job well.” As an adjective, the word “slight” means a small amount of something: “The pain medication offered only slight relief.” Or, “We found a slight problem in the software, but our team will be able to find a solution by the end of the week.” Finally, the word “slight” can describe someone who is thin, small, and delicate: “The baby was born three months early, and she was so slight it was hard to believe she would survive.”

Culture Note
Mortal Kombat

“Mortal Kombat” is a series of “videogames” (games played electronically on a computer or an electronic game device), the first of which was “released” (made available to the public) in 1992. The most recent game, the ninth version, was released in April 2011.

“Combat” refers to fighting and “mortal combat” refers to “fighting to the death,” or fighting until someone dies. The game “purposefully” (intentionally; on purpose) misspells words that begin with a hard “c” sound with a “k,” so the result is the title, “Mortal Kombat.”

The fighting games are very “violent” (showing dangerous, bloody, and deadly scenes or images). The characters have many “moves” (movements that a body can make) that are controlled by only a few buttons. Sometimes characters fight only with their body, but sometimes they use “weapons” (objects used to hurt or kill others). They also have “magic moves” and the ability to throw “fireballs” (balls of fire that can be thrown to hurt others). One character has “retractable” (able to extend from one’s body and then be brought back into the body) “blades” (long, sharp pieces of metal like those on a knife or sword).

The games have movies at the end where the players can kill their “opponent” (the person one is fighting or playing against) in a “gruesome” (very violent and bloody) way. Those short movies have “generated” (created) a lot of “controversy” (discussion for and against something) about violence in videogames. The violence led to the creation of the U.S. government’s rating system to show how violent games are and whether they are appropriate for younger age groups.

The Mortal Kombat games and their “associated” (related) TV series, comic books, and other products are very popular. The games regularly appear on lists of the “best” videogames.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b