Today we’re going to talk about how things seem, even if they’re not truly that way. We’re going to use the expression “on the surface.”
What color is a golf ball? Golf balls are white, right, at least most of them? But that’s just the surface. That’s just the part you see right away. If you slice a golf ball open, it looks much different. I saw a YouTube video where someone sliced open a golf ball and it was pink on the inside.
I want you to keep that in mind as we talk about “on the surface.” A golf ball might be white on the surface, on the outside, but it could be a much different color on the inside. So what color is that golf ball? It was white on the surface, but pink inside.
Try this one out: “On the surface he appeared confident, but he was really very nervous speaking in front of so many people.” What we see is a confident person up at the microphone talking in front of a lot of people. That’s what we can see, that’s like the white on the golf ball. But the truth is, he was nervous giving that speech. We just didn’t see that part. We only saw the part that was on the surface.
How about this one: On the surface, she’s nice. But she’s really just trying to get you to reveal your secrets. Have you ever known someone like that? On the surface—what you see, what you can perceive—is that the person is nice and friendly. But the truth is the person just wants you to tell a secret.
So this is talking about how people seem, either in general or in a moment. You can also use it for things. On the surface, your new iPhone might look like a pocket computer. But it’s also a lifesaving device, because it can call an ambulance if the accelerometer detects that you’ve been in a car crash.
Did you know that? Every iPhone has component called an accelerometer. And the accelerometer on the new versions can detect if you’re moving at a fast rate of speed, like in a car, and if you suddenly stop, like if you’ve been in a sudden crash. And if it detects that movement, then it can call an ambulance. So on the surface, what we see, what we perceive, is that the new iPhones are great phones—and they are! But in addition to that, they are lifesaving devices.
So how did you hear it today? “Bring your whole self to work .” That’s the business slogan we’ve been talking about today. On the surface, that seems positive. You don’t have to fake anything at work or hide any part of your personality. But if you dig a little deeper, as we did in today’s lesson, you find there are some reasons to doubt whether companies truly mean it when they say bring your “whole” self to work.
JR’s song of the week
JR picked a classic for this week’s song of the week. He picked “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring. It came out in 1982, it’s popular on classic rock radio stations here. JR said someone played it at work on an endless loop until someone told him to change it—but it was too late, they all had the final line, “When the bullet hits the bone” stuck in their heads. You don’t have to play it in an endless loop, but you can add this to your English playlist. “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring.
See you next time!
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That’s all for today’s lesson. We’ll be back next week, as always, on Monday. See you then.