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0973 Attracting Someone’s Interest

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 973 – Attracting Someone’s Interest.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 973. 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. If you become a member of ESL Podcast, you can download the Learning Guide for this episode. You can also like us on Facebook at facebook.com/eslpod.

Today’s episode is all about attraction. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Angie: Ooh, it looks like Joanna has her sights set on you. Look at how she’s giving you the eye.

Kenji: Is she? I hadn’t noticed.

Angie: Watch out, she usually gets what she wants and she doesn’t take no for an answer.

Kenji: I’m not interested in Joanna at all. She’s not my type.

Angie: Then you’re the only one. Every guy I know thinks she’s hot. She has a bunch of them at her beck and call.

Kenji: Then she won’t care if I don’t take an interest in her. I don’t like women who behave as though they’re God’s gift to men.

Angie: Don’t look now, but she’s making a beeline for you.

Kenji: Then that’s my cue to beat a speedy exit.

Angie: Are you sure you want to give her the brush off?

Kenji: I’m sure. That’s one woman I don’t want to tangle with.

[end of dialogue]

Our dialogue begins with Angie saying to Kenji, “Ooh, it looks like Joanna has her sights set on you.” “To have your sights set on” someone means that you are interested in someone, especially in someone with whom you would like to have a romantic relationship. You can also “have your sights set on” an object that you want to acquire or buy or purchase. You can have your sights set on a particular car or one particular computer. In this case, however, we’re talking about a woman who has her sights set on Kenji.

Angie says, “Look at how she’s giving you the eye.” “To give someone the eye” (eye) means, again, to look at them with a certain expression that indicates that you are interested in them romantically. Kenji says, “Is she?” meaning is she giving me the eye? “I hadn’t noticed” – I didn’t realize. Angie says, “Watch out.” “Watch out” is an expression that means be careful, or you better use caution. It’s especially used if there’s some sort of danger involved.

Angie says, “Watch out, she” – meaning Joanna – “usually gets what she wants and she doesn’t take no for an answer.” That expression – he or she “doesn’t take no for an answer” – means this person is very “persistent,” we would say. This person is going to keep trying to get what he wants and won’t stop until he gets it. In this case, Joanna won’t stop until she gets what she wants. That’s the meaning of this expression “doesn’t take no for an answer.”

Kenji says, “I’m not interested in Joanna at all.” “At all” is a very common phrase used to emphasize the verb in the negative meaning: not even a little bit. “I’m not interested in watching your cat tonight at all.” That means I’m not interested even a little bit. “At all” added at the end of this sentence here means you are emphasizing that particular point. You really don’t want to do that thing.

Kenji says, “She’s not my type.” “To be someone’s type” (type) means to have the characteristics of someone to whom you would be romantically attracted. Some men like women with blond hair. Some men like women with brunette hair. Me, I like women with hair. Whatever it is, you are interested in a certain kind of person, and that kind of person is your “type.” Kenji says that Joanna is not his type. She’s not the kind of woman that he would normally be attracted to. Angie says, “Then you’re the only one. Every guy” – every man – “I know thinks she’s hot.” “To be hot” (hot) is to be very attractive, to be very good looking.

“She has a bunch of them at her beck and call,” Angie says. “She” – again, Joanna – “has a bunch of them at her beck and call.” A “bunch” (bunch) is a group of something – a group of things or a group of people. In this case, we’re talking about men. Joanna has a bunch of men, a large number of men, at her beck and call. That expression, “at someone’s beck (beck) and call (call),” means you have a lot of people, in this case, who respond to your requests and your needs immediately. If you say, “I have this person at my beck and call,” you mean this person will do whatever you want right away.

The expression is used to show in a way how you dominate or control another person – to make them do whatever you want them to do. It’s not a very common expression anymore, but you will still hear it and certainly read it. Angie says that Joanna has a large group of men at her beck and call, meaning there are a lot of men who are very interested in her romantically and would therefore do whatever she wanted them to do. Kenji says, “Then she won’t care if I don’t take an interest in her.” “To take an interest in” someone means to be concerned about them or to pay attention to them. In this case, it means to be interested in a romantic relationship with this person.

Kenji says, “I don’t like women who behave as though they’re God’s gift to man.” The expression “God’s gift to” someone is used sarcastically, in a joking way, to mean that somebody thinks that he or she is very special and better than everyone else. In some way, Kenji describes Joanna as thinking that she’s “God’s gift to man,” meaning she’s very beautiful and that all men should be interested in her. Angie says, “Don’t look now, but she’s making a beeline for you.” “To make a beeline” (beeline) for someone means to walk in someone’s direction, directly toward someone, without being distracted by anything in your way.

If you go to a party and you see that there are some cookies and snacks on a table, and you’re very hungry, you might make a beeline for that table as soon as you walk into the room. You really want to eat, so you’re going to go right for that location, that table. “To make a beeline for” someone means to walk towards someone, especially someone to whom you want to talk or in whom you are interested. That’s the case with Joanna. She’s obviously interested in Kenji in a romantic way.

Kenji says, “Then that’s my cue to beat a speedy exit.” A “cue” (cue) is a signal reminding you of what to do or when to do it. A “cue” here is an indication of something. So, when Kenji says, “It’s my cue” to do something, he means that’s my indication, that’s telling me I should do something, that is a situation where I am being reminded, in a way, to do something. What Kenji wants to do is “to beat a speedy exit.” “To beat (beat) a speedy (speedy) exit” means to leave very quickly and suddenly – to decide, “Oh, I’m going to go right now,” and then leave.

We would use this expression when we are trying to escape some dangerous situation or some situation that we want to avoid. There’s another expression, perhaps a little bit more common, called “to beat a hasty retreat.” “Hasty” (hasty) means the same as speedy. It means very quickly. A “retreat” (retreat) here means to go back from where you were, to go back to a place where you started from. Usually, we use this word “retreat” when we’re talking about a battle in a war, when one side in the battle has to go back to where they came from because they’re being beaten by the other side.

“To beat a hasty retreat” means to go back to where you were because you are being beaten, you are being defeated, and you need to go back and protect yourself – back to the place where you began. It could also mean to leave quickly, but it would be used more specifically in the case where you are being defeated in something, and you need to leave quickly in order to avoid getting completely beaten, I guess.

Angie says, “Are you sure you want to give her the brush off?” “To give someone the brush (brush) off (off)” means to ignore someone, to reject someone – not to give someone your attention and perhaps even your respect. Kenji says, “I’m sure. That’s one woman I don’t want to tangle with.” “To tangle (tangle) with” someone means to become involved with someone in such a way that things become very unpleasant, because the person may be a very difficult person, or it may be a person with whom you will not get along with very well.

You could also use this expression when you anticipate, you expect, that there are going to be problems in dealing with this person, and you don’t want to be involved in those problems. Kenji does not want to tangle with Joanna, and so he’s going to leave wherever it is they are and get away from her. I’ve never had this problem, actually, of a woman making a beeline for me and me wanting to ignore her. Never had that happen.

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

Angie: Ooh, it looks like Joanna has her sights set on you. Look at how she’s giving you the eye.

Kenji: Is she? I hadn’t noticed.

Angie: Watch out, she usually gets what she wants and she doesn’t take no for an answer.

Kenji: I’m not interested in Joanna at all. She’s not my type.

Angie: Then you’re the only one. Every guy I know thinks she’s hot. She has a bunch of them at her beck and call.

Kenji: Then she won’t care if I don’t take an interest in her. I don’t like women who behave as though they’re God’s gift to men.

Angie: Don’t look now, but she’s making a beeline for you.

Kenji: Then that’s my cue to beat a speedy exit.

Angie: Are you sure you want to give her the brush off?

Kenji: I’m sure. That’s one woman I don’t want to tangle with.

[end of dialogue]

That music is my cue to thank Dr. Lucy Tse, our wonderful scriptwriter, for her wonderful scripts.

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

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2014 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to have (one’s) sights set on (someone) – to be interested in another person, especially to want to start a romantic or sexual relationship with that person

* Josue is cute, but I have my sights set on someone a little older.

to give (someone) the eye – to look at someone with a meaningful expression on one’s face to indicate interest and sexual attraction

* That guy at the bar was giving Sheila the eye, and then he came over and asked if he could buy her a drink.

watch out – an expression used to tell someone to be careful or use caution because of something that is going to happen soon

* Watch out! The bridge might be icy.

to not take no for an answer – to be very persistent and committed to getting what one wants

* Harold wants to be the next CEO and he won’t take no for an answer!

at all – a phrase used for emphasis of a verb in the negative, meaning not even a little bit

* Yuki said she isn’t worried about the presentation at all, but I don’t believe her.

(one’s) type – having the characteristics of the type of person one is interested in having a romantic relationship with; a desirable partner for a romantic relationship

* Pierre is nice, but he’s thin and blonde—definitely not my type.

hot – very attractive in a sexual way

* That movie has so many hot actors in it!

bunch – many; a lot of; several; multiple

* Why are there a bunch of parents standing outside the school cafeteria?

at (one’s) beck and call – responding to someone’s requests and needs immediately, completely dominated by that person and putting that person’s needs and interests above one’s own

* If you told Iago to jump off a bridge, he’d do it. He’s completely at your beck and call.

to take an interest – to be romantically interested in someone; to have interest in starting a romantic relationship with someone

* Christine used to be unpopular, but as soon as she dyed her hair, got rid of her glasses, and learned to dress better, all the boys began to take an interest in her.

God’s gift – a phrase used sarcastically to mean that someone thinks he or she is very special and better than everyone else in some way

* Journalists are always suspicious of sources who seem to think they’re God’s gift to reporters.

to make a beeline for (someone/something) – to walk or otherwise move directly toward someone or something, without being distracted by anything else

* Shane was very hungry, so as soon as they got to the party he made a beeline for the buffet table.

cue – a signal reminding someone of what to do or when, especially in theater when someone forgets what he or she is supposed to say

* At the party, if I scratch my ear, that’s your cue to come and rescue me from a boring conversation.

to beat a speedy exit – to leave very quickly and suddenly

* The bank robbers beat a speedy exit and left before the police arrived.

to give (someone) the brush off – to ignore or reject someone; to not give someone full consideration and respect

* That salesperson was so rude, giving us the brush off like that! We’ll never shop there again.

to tangle with – to become involved with someone or something that is very complicated and unpleasant

* Don’t tangle with lawyers unless you’re really serious about suing your neighbor.

Comprehension Questions
1. Why isn’t Kenji interested in Joanna?
a) Because he doesn’t think she’s attractive.
b) Because she seems to think she’s very special.
c) Because he’s in love with Angie.

2. What does Angie mean when she says, “She’s making a beeline for you”?
a) Joanna is wearing black and yellow, just like a bee.
b) Joanna is walking directly toward Kenji.
c) Joanna is too sweet, like the honey made by bees.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to give (someone) the eye

The phrase “to give (someone) the eye,” in this podcast, means to look at someone with a meaningful expression on one’s face to indicate interest and sexual attraction: “Doesn’t it make you uncomfortable when your boss gives you the eye like that?” The phrase “to give (someone) the evil eye” means to glare at someone and possibly create problems or hurt that person in some magical, mysterious way: “Wow, Kawika was really giving you the evil eye after you pointed out the error in his budget calculations!” Finally, the phrase “to have an eye for (something)” means to good at noticing something and/or finding ways to make it better: “You should ask Renee to look at your document. She has an eye for formatting.”

hot

In this podcast, the word “hot” means very attractive in a sexual way: “You would look so hot in that dress!” The phrase “hot on (someone’s) heels” means following someone very closely: “The police are hot on the heels of the murderer!” The phrase “to not feel so hot” means to feel sick: “I don’t feel so hot. I have a fever and I’m coughing and sneezing.” The phrase “hot off the press” refers to information that has just been made public, as in a newspaper that has just been printed: “Wow, take a look at this article, hot off the press!” Finally, a “hot topic” refers to something that many people are talking about and that is a subject of debate or disagreement: “Global warming is a hot topic for island nations.”

Culture Note
Gun-Related Idioms

Many “idioms” (phrases that have a special meaning) are related to “firearms” (guns and other similar weapons). For example, the phrase “to put a gun to (someone’s) head” means to make someone do something: “You chose to cheat on the exam. Nobody put a gun to your head.”

A “hired gun” is someone who is paid to shoot and kill another person: “The movie is about a hired gun who starts to feel bad about what he does for a living.” A “big gun” is an important person with a lot of power or influence as a decision-maker: “I wonder what the big guns will say about the new proposal.”

A “smoking gun” is something, usually a piece of evidence, that shows who did something bad or how some illegal thing really happened: “What was the smoking gun that finally led police to the criminal?”

The phrase “to jump the gun” means to do something too soon, either without thinking about it carefully, or before other necessary steps have been completed: “We really jumped the gun by opening the restaurant before we’d done much market research.”

The phrase “to stick to (one’s) guns” means to refuse to be persuaded by others or to refuse to change one’s mind: “You can say what you want, but I’m sticking to my guns.”

The phrase “with all guns blazing” describes doing something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm: “They started the show with all guns blazing, getting the audience’s attention right away.”

Finally, the informal phrase “son of a gun” can be used to express surprise: “Son of a gun! I didn’t know you’d be here.”

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - b