Views #1348 | Low-Intermediate 4

Single's Day

Rory and Abidemi share their feelings about various holidays and why we celebrate them.

Rory: Have you heard about Singles Day in China?

Abidemi: No, I'm not really sure. Can you explain what that is about?

Rory: So this is a new holiday that has been created for single people.

Abidemi: Wow!

Rory: And so on this day people don't buy presents for somebody else. They buy presents for themselves. They are celebrating being single, and it's been a huge success. Like the Internet sales have gone through the roof. So I guess companies just look for a time of year where there is maybe no holiday at the moment and try to create a new holiday.

Abidemi: That's an interesting idea. It sounds like something you would do normally anyway, right. We always shop for ourselves, so but, wow!

Rory: I heard actually that Mother's Day -- this might be an urban myth -- but it was created by the Hallmark Card Company in America because there was a gap in the year that people weren't buying cards and so they created this Mother's Day. Everyone's got a mother.

Abidemi: That's true.

Rory: And if they create this Mother's Day, everyone's going to feel obliged to buy a card from them for their mother.

Abidemi: That's true.

Rory: And now it's ... I don't know if it's true.

Abidemi: But I say it's true because I think it's a huge hit in a lot of countries actually, and it's spreading more and more to different countries every year, so these companies are definitely on to something. They know what they're doing.

Rory: Right. So what should we do? I can't boycott Christmas cause I love Christmas too much, but maybe we could boycott some of these other days.

Abidemi: Maybe, or just celebrate it in a way that's less commercialized. I guess we don't always have to buy big things. What about quality time? Spending time with family, with friends and just appreciating them in different ways that we would just think of just shopping or gifts or presents.

Rory: Yeah.

Abidemi: Material things.

Rory: That's a nice idea.

Abidemi: Yeah. I think so. We'll save us some money, definitely, right?

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

go through the roof

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Internet sales have gone through the roof.

When something goes through the roof, it does really well in terms of numbers. Notice the following:

  1. The price of gold has gone through the roof.
  2. The cost of living has gone through the roof.

urban myth

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This might be an urban myth.

An urban myth is a legendary belief that probably is untrue. Notice the following:

  1. Alligators living in the sewers is an urban myth.
  2. Big Foot is a popular urban myth.

feel obliged

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Everyone is going to feel obliged to buy a card.

When you feel obliged to do something, you do it because other people expect you to do it. Notice the following:

  1. I felt obliged to leave a tip.
  2. She felt obliged to compliment him on his job, even though he did poor work.

a huge hit

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It's a huge hit.

When something is 'a huge hit', it is very popular. Notice the following:

  1. The movie was a huge hit.
  2. Her cake was a huge hit at the party.

boycott

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I can't boycott Christmas cause I love Christmas too much.

When you boycott something, you refuse to buy it or use it to protest against something. Notice the following:

  1. Most countries boycott whale meat.
  2. The fans boycotted the game because they dislike the teams owner.

material things

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We all want material things.

Material things are items you can buy, like clothes and toys. Notice the following:

  1. Material things do not bring happiness.
  2. He does not care about material things.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
through the roof • urban myth • obliged
huge hit • boycott • material
  1. I felt to join him.
  2. We plan to all meat products.
  3. The iPod was a in 2004.
  4. Monks do not care for things .
  5. Sales are going .
  6. The story of a secret city in the forest is an .