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Vocabulary Quiz
irrational • horrific • heights
freak • long-haul
  1. Rock-climbers have to lose their fear of in order to be successful.
  2. It's kind of a walk, but it's a nice day.
  3. That a way to die.
  4. Okay.  You need to relax.  You're being very right now.
  5. I have something to tell you, but promise me that you won't out.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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457 Things People Fear
Ruth and Todd discuss what they are afraid of.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.


I know that sounds irrational, especially when I don't live near the sea.

Something that is 'irrational' is not practical or does not make complete sense. Notice the following:

  1. He can be quite irrational when he's angry.
  2. She's not usually an irrational person, but she's not making much sense right now.


Just the thought of being eaten by a shark is really horrific.

If something is 'horrific,' it causes you to feel horror or shock.  Notice the following:

  1. I just saw the most horrific car accident.
  2. There are some scenes in that movie that are really horrific.


I don't know really what I'm afraid of, but I guess I don't like heights too much.

If you are afraid of 'heights,' you are afraid of high places. Notice the following:

  1. Climbing up the mountain was hard for me, because I'm afraid of heights.
  2. He fixes roofs on houses, so he's used to working at high heights.

freaked out

I have to admit that when I'm on a plane, I get kind of freaked out.

'Freak out' can mean a lot of different things.  Here it means to get nervous about something.  It can also mean a sudden burst of excitement or anger. Notice the following:

  1. You must be in a really bad mood today.  I've never seen you freak out like that before.
  2. She really freaked out when she came home and discovered the doors were unlocked.

long-haul flight

If it's a long-haul flight, it's a bit boring.

A 'long-haul' flight is one that lasts many hours.  Notice the following:

  1. It's definitely a long-haul flight from the U.S. to China.
  2. Do you have everything you need?  This is a long-haul drive.