Today’s expression is to “think straight.” To think straight is to think clearly and calmly. To think rationally about what’s in your best interest. Here’s how you first heard it. Climbers can’t think straight when they’re almost at the top of Mt. Everest. Why can’t they think straight up there? Let me count the reasons. One: their brains are not getting enough oxygen. Two: there is so much adrenaline from the climb. Three: they’re probably really tired and freezing cold. Four: this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they have invested so much; they’re not prepared to make the tough decision to turn back. As a result, they take risks they shouldn’t take.
What are some other situations in which you cannot think straight? If you have had too much to drink, it’s hard—some would say impossible—to think straight. What about if there’s just a lot of noise or distractions? If you have to make a difficult decision and it’s noisy and there are a lot of distractions, are you making your best decisions? Can you concentrate? Can you think straight? I can’t. We talked about the game show Jeopardy! a few months back. I imagine that if I were on a TV show, I wouldn’t be able to think straight because of all the distractions and the knowledge that millions of people could be watching. I’d probably underperform my true abilities on TV just because I wouldn’t be able to think straight.
What other reasons would cause you to not think straight? How about if you’re under a lot of stress? Or if you’re really tired? If you’re desperate, if you’re afraid, if you’re really sick…these are all things that can cause you not to think straight.
JR’s song of the week
JR’s song of the week is called “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” by Credence Clearwater Revival. This week’s song was nominated by Guadalupe from Mexico City. Guadalupe was one of the listeners that JR and I met when we were in Mexico City in September last year. Anyway, Credence Clearwater Revival, or CCR for short, is a great rock band from the 1970s and 1980s and “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” is one of my favorites from CCR. In the first couple of lines, you’ll see the phrase, “there’s a calm before the storm.” That’s a great English phrase to know. It’s that kind of eerie quiet moment that sometimes hits right before a big storm, which could either literally be a storm, or just a crazy time in life in general. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” by Credence Clearwater Revival is this week’s song, selected by JR, nominated by Guadalupe from Mexico City.
If you’d like to nominate your favorite English song for a future episode, please send your nominations to email@example.com
That brings us to the end of the program for today. Thanks for joining us once again. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can do so in a variety of ways. Connect by e-mail by visiting PlainEnglish.com/mail and I’ll send you some welcome messages, which you can reply to. I also love hearing from listeners on WhatsApp. You can send me a WhatsApp message to +1 312 967 8757 . Some people have asked if it’s a WhatsApp group—I don’t have a WhatsApp group. I’ll tell you why one day, but I do send out the occasional video or article or message to my WhatsApp contacts. So if you want to connect that way, the number is +1 312 967 8757 .
That’s all for today; we’ll be back on Monday with a new episode. If you can’t wait that long, you can go back into the archives and see all the transcripts at PlainEnglish.com. See you soon!