Views #762 | Low-Intermediate 4

TV Remote Wars

Mark and Todd talk about old TVs and the good and bad of remote controls.
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Todd: So Mark, if you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

Mark: I'm 31.

Todd: 31. OK, and so you probably don't remember but like... I'm 37 and I remember watching television with no remote control. Like just the big square box you have to go up and turn.

Mark: Yeah, I remember that.

Todd: Was it the same when you were a kid?

Mark: That's right. I think I actually had a TV like that up until about ten years ago when I was at a university student.

Todd: Really.

Mark: Yeah, you just pressed on the button.

Todd: You know actually, the remote control is so much more convenient but I actually miss having to turn the knob because you don't have so many choices. You know. Like, you pick a channel and you stick with it and then you watch it, but with the remote control you just want to flick, flick, flick.

Mark: Yeah, I call it flick-a-vision. Yeah. I quite like flick-a-vision.

Todd: So what's flick-a-vision?

Mark: Well, just when you watch each channel for maybe a minute or two and then change, change, change, change. Yeah, I often do that. Like you say you don't focus on the whole program.

Todd: Right. And it's terrible when you're sitting with somebody else and they have the remote control and they keep flicking away.

Mark: Right, that causes a lot of family fights in my house. Yeah.

Todd: Well, actually, you are a newly married man, so do you have any remote control wars with your wife?

Mark: Recently no. Not at the moment because I am living in a very small house with a small room. It's quite easy to get up and turn over the TV without using the remote. But we're not fighting at the moment but I can see in the future we will be so the key there is probably to have two rooms with two TVs.


Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

if you don't mind me asking

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If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

'If you don't mind me asking' means that I hope you are not offended by the question I am about to ask you. You can use this if you want to ask someone a question that might be sensitive for them to talk about.

Notice the following:

  1. If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been ill?
  2. How tall are you, if you don't mind me asking?

turn the knob

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I actually miss having to turn the knob because you don't have so many choices.

To 'turn the knob' refers to when televisions did not have remote controls and all the controls were on the television itself.

Notice the following:

  1. I can't remember what is was like to have to get up from your seat and turn the knob in order to change channel.
  2. A lot of the old fashioned televisions do not have remotes so you have to turn the knob.

stick with it

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You pick a channel and you stick with it and then you watch it.

When you 'stick with it,' it means that you stay with something and don't change your mind.

Notice the following:

  1. If you have just started to exercise, you need to stick with it in order to get the benefits.
  2. Stick with it, you will get there in the end.

flick

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The remote control you just want to flick, flick, flick.

'Flick' refers to the action of changing channels on the television with a remote control.

Notice the following:

  1. He is always flicking over the channels.
  2. She has taken the remote control off me, because she says I annoy her when I always flick the channel.

you don't focus on the whole program

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I often do that and like you say you don't focus on the whole program.

When 'you don't focus on the whole program,' it means that you are distracted from the television program that you are watching.

Notice the following:

  1. If you clean and watch TV at the same time, then you don't focus on the whole program.
  2. You don't focus on the whole program if you do other things as well.

 

Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
live • don't know • other
thrill • better off
  1. Part of the fun at a concert is the of the crowd.
  2. When it comes to being social, I'm kind of the way. I prefer small groups.
  3. Sometimes he wonders if he would be just going back to school.
  4. I if I feel the same. I think we are very different people.
  5. It's fun watching sports at home, but nothing compares to watching it .