Turning point

A "turning point" is a time when big things start to change

Today's story: Uber kills pedestrian
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Turning point

Today’s phrase is “turning point.” Earlier in the show, I said that last week’s accident in which a pedestrian was killed by a self-driving car might be a turning point for the autonomous-vehicle industry. By that I mean, it might be a moment in which big things start to change. In this case, it might mean that governments finally get serious about providing consistent regulation to the industry. It might mean that public opinion begins to turn against self-driving cars; or it might mean that people start to be realistic about the risks and benefits of autonomous vehicles.

It’s hard to see a turning point as it happens, because we don’t know exactly what will happen. This could be the cause of a big change—or not. We don’t know if this will be a turning point or not.

Looking back over the last several years, can you think of a turning point in your own life? Maybe you realized you wanted to switch careers, or start a family, or emigrate to a new country. All of those could be turning points in your life in retrospect. You might remember an episode a few weeks ago about how China’s leader now has no term limits and could serve for life. Is China at a turning point, in which its politics transition from one of smooth changes every decade to something different? It could very well be.

So, remember, a turning point is a time when big changes begin to happen.


Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Plain English. If you like the program, please consider leaving a written review in the Apple Podcasts App. Written reviews help other people like you discover the program, and they’re great feedback for me. Have a great weekend and we’ll be back with a new episode on Monday. Monday’s topic is good—we’ll talk about the new series on Netflix about Brazil’s huge Operation Car Wash scandal. You won’t want to miss it. See you then.

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Story: Uber kills pedestrian