Get wind of

To 'get wind of' something is to find out about it

Today's story: Office conversions
Explore more: Lesson #559
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Get wind of

Today’s expression is “to get wind of something.” When you get wind of something, you find out about it. And usually, you’re getting wind of a secret. Usually, when we use this phrase, you hear about something from another person that the other person did not want you to know.

Imagine you are a tenant in an office building. You’re a business. You have a lease that gives you the right to stay in that office space for seven more years. And one day you get a phone call from the landlord. And the landlord says, “Hey, how about we pay you some money now, and you just leave and we forget about the seven more years on your lease?”

You might say, “Hmm, not a bad deal. I can just take the money and go get another office. I might even be able to get another office cheaper. That sounds good, I’ll think about.”

But then imagine that you get wind of the landlord’s plan to sell the building to a developer . If you get wind of that plan, if you find out about that plan, then you might want to start playing hardball with the landlord. Because if the landlord wants to sell the building vacant, then the building owner really needs you out. And the owner might be willing to pay more for it.

So if you get wind of that plan, then you, as the tenant, will say to the landlord, “Sure, I’ll leave before my lease is up. No problem. But you need to double that offer or I’ll just stay here and bide my time.”

We talked about bank failures a few weeks ago. On March 10, Silicon Valley Bank failed and was taken over by the government; it was the second-biggest bank failure in American history. Right here in 2023. It held the company deposits for a lot of startups in Silicon Valley.

I read a story that went something like this. Startup founders were going about their business on March 9, doing whatever they would normally do on a Thursday, when they got wind of trouble at their bank. They found out about the trouble the bank was having. So they stopped everything to withdraw their money from the bank.

As soon as they got wind of the problems at the bank, they withdrew their money, making the problems worse. And the next day, Friday, March 10, the bank collapsed.

In Lesson 529, we talked about the incredible story of two Venezuelan immigrants in Florida that attempted to scam their country’s corrupt elite out of their homes . You remember that certain people—drug smugglers, whatever—from Venezuela are under economic sanctions and they can’t travel to the United States. But they own homes in Florida, many of them.

So these two decided they’d impersonate the owners of the homes and take out expensive loans against the homes, and use the proceeds to live large. It almost worked. The funny thing is, when the drug-smuggling owners in Venezuela got wind of this, they complained that the U.S. justice system didn’t safeguard their private property enough.

Last week we talked about a new treatment for obesity . It comes in the form of an injectable drug. For people who are seriously overweight, and who face health risks due to their weight, this could be a lifesaver. Patients on the treatment have lost 20 percent of their bodyweight in the weeks after going on the treatment.

Well, it didn’t take long for the TikTok and Instagram influencers to get wind of that and start promoting this drug as the “skinny pen.” I can assure you that the drug companies and regulators don’t want this being promoted by wafer-thin influencers as a shortcut for otherwise-healthy followers to get skinnier. But here we are.

JR’s song of the week

Today’s song of the week is “Light My Love” by Greta Van Fleet. “Greta” is a girl’s name, but Greta Van Fleet is a band of four guys. They named the band after a local woman.

Anyway, Greta Van Fleet won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2019. They’ve played with Elton John. Their sound has been compared to Led Zeppelin, Pete Townsend, and Aerosmith.

“Light My Love” is from 2021. I don’t think they sound like Led Zeppelin in that song, but that’s just me. It’s a good song nonetheless. Thanks, JR, for picking that one for us this week.

See you next time!

And that’s all for today’s lesson. This was one of those rare occasions where I got to talk about something I used to study for work. When I was in consulting, my industry specialty was real estate, so this was familiar territory for me. So I hope you enjoyed Monday’s lesson and today’s lesson—a window into the kinds of things I used to think about all the time.

Remember this was lesson 559, so you can get the full transcript of this lesson at PlainEnglish.com/559 and you can unlock transcripts of our full library by becoming a free member at PlainEnglish.com.

We’ll be back on Monday with a new topic. See you then.

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Story: Office conversions