Still around

If something is “still around,” it means it still exists.

Today's story: Old food brands
Explore more: Lesson #391
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Still around

Today’s expression is “still around.” If something is “still around,” it means it still exists. If a person is “still around,” that person is still nearby or continuing to do what they’ve been doing. It’s really important to know the context of this phrase, so let me give you several examples.

The end of the workday might come, and you might ask, “Hey, is Luiz still around?” That means, “Is Luiz still here at work?” You could be at a party and ask, “Is Tina still around?” That means, “Is Tina still here at the party?”

Three hundred ninety-one lessons and JR is still around. Can you believe that? He’s still putting up with me. He’s been the producer for every single one of our 391 lessons and counting.

There’s a movie coming out in October called “Cry Macho,” and it will be directed by Clint Eastwood. Did you know he was still around?

Trick question…so let me pause here and I’ll point out why context is so important. Did you know Clint Eastwood was still around? That could have two different meanings. It could mean, “Did you know Clint Eastwood was still making movies?” That’s what he’s always been doing, making movies as an actor or a director. He’s been doing it for a long time. You could be referring to his moviemaking career.

But Clint Eastwood is 91 years old! You could also mean, “Did you know Clint Eastwood was still alive?” So, be careful with the context when you use “still around” with a person who’s getting up there in years!

It’s a little easier when talking about a thing. When talking about an object, “still around” just means that something still exists. Many of the brands we talked about today are still around after 100 or 150 years and sometimes more. Folger’s coffee was one of the first brands to roast and grind the coffee, and it’s still around today. That means it still exists, it has continued to exist since it was founded.

Wonder Bread is still around after a century. Oreos are still around a hundred years later. Uncle Ben’s rice is not still around. The company still sells the rice, but not under the brand name. So, the brand is not still around; they retired it just recently.

I just went back to a town where I lived from 2003 to 2005, so about 15-plus years ago. Oxford, Ohio, the town is called. A lot of the restaurants that I remember are still around. Fiesta Charra, Brick Street, Bagel Deli, Skyline Chili, Skippers. All those places are still around. Those restaurants have not closed; they still exist. Not every place is still around, though. The first place I ever had a burger with a fried egg on top was in Oxford. If you’ve never had a burger with an egg on top, you’re really missing out. Anyway, that place closed down. Unfortunately, it’s not still around.

JR’s song of the week

All right, time for JR’s song of the week. Three hundred ninety-one episodes and JR’s still around, how about that! He’s a key to our success, JR is. Anyway, he picked a song of the week and it is “Walking on a Dream” by Empire of the Sun. The lyrics talk about two people supporting each other in an exciting endeavor. The lead singer said it described him and his bandmate. So, thanks to JR for that one, “Walking on a Dream” by Empire of the Sun.

See you next time!

And that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed today’s lighthearted lesson. I enjoyed taking a walk through American food history. I learned something too! I knew these brands were old, but I had no idea there was Heinz ketchup before there was electrified lighting. Out of all those other things, the only food that I have in my house currently, I think, is Cheerios. I don’t think I have any of the other brands. I’m kind of off the dry, packaged food and trying to be more fresh-food oriented. I should buy a loaf of Wonder Bread just for fun, just for the memories.

Well, look, we are going to have a live call coming up with Plain English Plus+and I’m positive we’re going to talk about this. If you’re a Plus+ member, check your dashboard for the dates and times of our upcoming calls, but I think this would be a lot of fun to talk about. I’d love to hear the oldest brands of food in your countries, and whether you recognize any of these brands.

If you’re not a Plain English Plus+member, we do live conversation calls a few times a month. We usually start off discussing a recent lesson and move on to other topics. That’s just one of the multiple ways that you can practice and upgrade your skills with Plain English Plus+. If that sounds like a good fit for you, come join us at PlainEnglish.com/Plus and you could be on our next live call. Check it out, PlainEnglish.com/Plus.

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Story: Old food brands