Give away

Lesson #
August 8, 2019

If you give away a secret, you reveal a secret uninentionally.


Transcript

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Give away

Today’s phrasal verb is “give away.” Now, you might be thinking—that’s easy, I got that one. Give away means, to give something for free. Like, if they’re giving away free ice cream cones in the kitchen at work, you’ll want to get one. Actually, speaking of happiness, if someone gives you a free ice cream cone, that’s probably highly correlated with at least short-term happiness, right? But that’s not the definition of “give away” that we’re talking about today.

To give away is to reveal a secret unintentionally. Here’s how you heard it. I wanted to know, is there something in our behavior that gives away our happiness level? We might not tell the whole world, I’m happy! Or, I’m not satisfied with my life! But, are there any things we do, like smile, laugh, walk with better posture, walk faster, walk slower, look people in the eye: is there any part of our behavior that could give away our true level of happiness? Is there anything we do that would reveal, unintentionally, our happiness level?

As you heard, there really isn’t. But often our facial expressions can give away our true emotions. Your face might show your surprise or disappointment or sadness even if you didn’t want to show those emotions. Your expression could give away what you were really thinking. It unintentionally reveals your emotions.

Let’s say it’s your birthday on a Saturday—a big one, like, you’re turning 30. And your friends start acting mysteriously a few days ahead of time. Like, you ask, “what are you up to this weekend?” and they kind of avoid the question. Then that morning, your spouse starts acting really strange, like trying to get you to get in the car and go somewhere you don’t normally go. If they’re not careful, they might give away the secret: they’re all planning a surprise party for you. Nobody wants to be the one to give away the secret, but they need the plan to fall into place.

I’ve been doing some research about online English courses and such lately. While I’m doing that research, I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of a person shopping for such a course. How do you know if a course is going to be any good? Believe it or not, I have read English course descriptions with some pretty bad English grammar—in the description of the class! To me, that right there gives away the fact that the course isn’t very good. The bad grammar is a giveaway. Sometimes you would say, a “dead giveaway” if it’s really obvious. Using bad English grammar to describe an English course? That’s a dead giveaway that you don’t want to buy that course.

If someone emails you from an “aol.com” email address, that’s a giveaway that the person is not very sophisticated technologically. The sad part is, a lot of you won’t get that joke! For a long time, AOL was the internet equivalent of the sandbox. It was an internet provider that spoon-fed users some information, but didn’t even have a standard web browser built in. So anyone who had an “AOL” email address was like at the kids’ table of the internet. Now, if someone has an AOL email address, it’s probably vintage.

I just looked at the list of subscribers to our e-mail list, and there are six people with an email address from AOL! So for you six, I beg your forgiveness! Obviously I know now even AOL customers use the regular internet. I just couldn’t resist that comparison. I used to be on AOL. Waaaaaay way back.

JR’s song of the week

Okay, before I get myself in any more trouble, let’s switch gears and introduce the song of the week. The song is nominated by me. And I nominated it because it has to do with our subject of the day. It’s a famous song in English, an old one, first recorded by the jazz musician Louis Armstrong. There are lots of covers of it. Rod Steward had one with Stevie Wonder; Eva Cassidy sang a nice version of it. You’ll probably recognize it if you listen to it on Spotify. Almost any version you hear, the lyrics are slow and easy to understand. This goes very well with today’s episode. The song describes a series of very simple, everyday pleasures. Beautiful flowers, trees in bloom, friends greeting each other, kids growing up. And the emotion he describes is that, he thinks to himself, what a wonderful world. And that goes with one of our themes today. One of the drivers of happiness is to savor the small stuff. Enjoy the good moments; don’t rush through them. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong is our song of the week.


That’s it for today. What a wonderful audience you guys are! Not a day goes by in which I don’t think about all of you, each one at a different spot in your journey learning English, but all together here for 20 minutes at a time. That’s just great. Remember, the next episode is about happiness and money. Leave your thoughts on this episode in the comments at PlainEnglish.com/179. 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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