Brush off

Use "brush off" when you dismiss or reject something without thinking too much about it

Lesson #
May 23, 2019

Transcript

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Brush off

In the last episode, I really had a hard time picking a phrase to review; today there are like five. It’s like waiting for a bus—there isn’t one for a long time, and then three come bunched up all together, right?

It’s a phrasal verb today: brush off. When you brush something off, you reject it. You dismiss it. And you don’t reject it or dismiss it after giving it careful consideration, either: you do it immediately, as if it were not important. Here’s how you heard it the first time. A lot of people would hear about the zero-waste lifestyle—buying secondhand clothes, making your own cleaning supplies, reducing your trash to a single jar for a year—and think, “There’s no way I can do this!” And just brush it off. Just reject it, as an instinct.

I’m sure we can all think of a time when we’ve brushed something off that we really should have given more consideration to. When I was starting this podcast, the first piece of advice people give is, just start. Just put something out there. And I brushed that off. I said no, I need to get the web site looking good. I need to figure out how to do the automatic translations. I need to figure out how to edit the audio so it sounds good. I need music. It needs to sound professional. And it took far too long for me to actually produce the first episode. I should have followed their advice and just started—and worried about polishing things up later. I regret brushing off that advice; I should have taken that advice and started sooner.

You can brush a person off. We’ve all done that to others, at some point, and we’ve all had it done to us. It’s no fun when you’re trying to get someone’s attention—at work, in your personal life—and they just brush you off. That’s no fun to be just dismissed like that. But there are times when it’s appropriate to brush someone or something off. You know, I get a lot of messages from listeners. I love it; I treasure it. It really—you guys have no idea—it’s such an inspiration. But. Once in a while—and I mean, once in a very long while—I get a comment that is less than fully pleasant. Now, I must admit, there is a language barrier, so in some cases the message didn’t have any ill-intent, it just seemed not so nice at first. But sometimes—and, look, this has really only happened twice, I think—it was just a genuinely not nice comment. So what do I do? I brush it off. It’s not important. I just dismiss it. It’s not worth my time or my mental energy, and I instead think of all the great and encouraging messages that JR and I get.

JR’s song of the week

Speaking of all the messages that JR and I get, it’s time for JR’s song of the week. As you know, he is the producer and he has a new responsibility here at Plain English, and that is choosing one song in English, out of the thousands of songs that are nominated every week. And after going through the volumes and volumes of submissions this week, he selected “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. If you haven’t heard Simon and Garfunkel, I highly encourage you to check them out. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They sang together as a duo in the 1960s and 1970s. “The Sound of Silence” is a very pretty song. It was nominated by Israel from Brasilia. He said it was the first song where he could understand what the singers were saying. It’s a good one to start with, too. It’s kind of about people’s inability to communicate with one another. JR says there’s some applicability to today, too, when so many people can post on social media, but they still have trouble really communicating. So thanks Israel, thanks JR. If you’d like to nominate a song for next week, please send an email to JR. His email address is [email protected].

Oh, one more thing about this. I know we’re going a little long today, but the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies is by Simon & Garfunkel, and it includes “The Sound of Silence.” The movie is called “The Graduate,” and it came out in 1967. The song plays during the opening credits and kind of sets the theme for the rest of the movie.


Okay that’s all for today. If you enjoy the show, there are a couple ways to get in touch with us. One is by WhatsApp, feel free to send me a message, introduce yourself. The WhatsApp number is +1 312 967 8757 . And if you’d like to go the email route, sign up for our e-mail list, and you’ll get a special welcome message from me, and we can correspond that way. To get on the email list, go to PlainEnglish.com/mail . Thanks again, Jana, for your inspiration, Israel for your song, JR for being a great producer, and all of you—for being the best audience in the world. See you right back here on Monday.

¿Hablas español?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into Spanish. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

你说中国话?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Parlez-vous français?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Você fala português?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

日本語は話せますか?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Parli italiano?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sen Türkçe konuşmayı biliyor musun?

The transcripts of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Turkish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Mówisz po polsku?

The transcript of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Polish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

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