Okay, the phrasal verb we’re going to talk about today is “sweep through.” Sweep through means to move across something swiftly or forcefully. It can be something physical, like a fire, or something metaphorical, like a trend. Let’s start with the metaphorical way, which is how I used it at the very beginning of today’s episode.
I said the latest trend sweeping through America’s schools is Juul. The trend is moving quickly across America—teenagers all around the country are now following this trend, so the trend is sweeping through schools. Let’s see if we can think of another trend that’s sweeping through the United States.
Here’s one. The trend of wearing jeans to work is sweeping through the workplace in the United States. Even just a few years ago, most offices here would let you wear jeans only on Fridays or holidays. Then, companies on the west coast, in places like LA or San Francisco or Seattle, said people could wear jeans—but most of the rest of us couldn’t wear jeans to work.
But now that’s all changed. At my job, which is with a pretty conservative firm, you can wear jeans any time you like—as long as you’re not going to an important meeting. The jeans at work trend swept through the workplace pretty quickly.
Sweep through is a common term to use when describing the weather. Storms can sweep through your area; floods can sweep through your neighborhood; a fire can sweep through a building or an apartment block.
That’s it for Plain English, episode 56. Thanks so much for being part of the program this week. Remember to click “subscribe” on Apple podcasts or “follow” in Spotify. If you do that, then you’re guaranteed to never miss an episode of Plain English. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter under the user name PlainEnglishPod. JR, the producer, and I will be back with a new episode on Monday.