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The expression I want to share with you today is “to be on a tear.” To be on a tear. You’re having a burst of success, a short period of intense success. When you’re on a tear, it’s not totally unexpected, but maybe the degree to which you’re having such success is unexpected.
Listen, everyone knew Avengers would be a success—that’s not a surprise. But the exact numbers were surprising. The film did better than people expected, and they set records in the first weekend. They were on a tear—they still are, as of when I’m writing this. They had an intense burst of success. Can they sustain it for a few more weeks and be the number-one movie of all time? We’ll have to see, but for now, they are on quite a tear.
It’s an expression used in sports a lot. Cody Bellinger is on a tear right now for the Los Angeles Dodgers. That’s baseball. He leads the league in average, leads the league in home runs, leads the league in runs batted in, he’s even near the top in stolen bases. He’s having a great start to the year—he’s on a tear. Now, not to alarm you, but his shoulder popped out of place during a game this weekend. They say he’s fine. But we’ll have to see if he can stay on this tear as we head into the second month of the baseball season.
They say it about stocks or economic statistics. Do you use PayPal? Shares in PayPal have been on a tear lately. PayPal invested in MercadoLibre and Uber and the idea is that they are going to do some of the back-end payments processing on those two big international companies. So investors are happy with that strategy and PayPal’s stocks have been on a tear. Shares in the company have increased in value 30% just this year alone. That’s a quick increase, a burst of success, so that’s why we say stock in PayPal is on a tear.
JR’s song of the week
You know, some people have been asking, why don’t you just play the song of the week? That would be nice, right? I wish I could, or at least a clip of it, but there are some legal issues with playing songs on podcasts. Every song is intellectual property, it has an owner, and I can’t just play it here and give it for free to the world without paying royalties to the owner of the song. I know some podcasts do it, but I want to be on the safe side and respect the intellectual property of the artists. We are working on creating a playlist on Spotify, so we’ll have that in a few weeks.
The song this week is “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles, nominated by Michelle from Germany, and selected by JR. Here it comes, indeed! It’s about the end of a long winter and the optimism of when spring arrives. The very first guitar strings signal optimism, even before the vocals start. The lyrics talk about the ice finally melting, smiles returning to people’s faces. It feels like years since it’s been here, is one of the lines. And for those of us in the colder parts of the Northern Hemisphere, that is an appropriate song for right now. A week ago, I was outside in a snow and sleet storm; today it’s a bright sunny spring day, birds chirping, leaves on the trees. So “Here Comes the Sun” is a good song to get us ready for spring, by the Beatles. Thanks Michelle, thanks JR for picking the song this week. You can send your song nominations for next week to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That brings us to the end of today’s program. Thanks for being with us like always. You know, we have gotten a lot of interest in our e-mail resources lately. We have a new, refreshed design and we added a Saturday message, as well. So if you’re interested in getting some additional resources by e-mail, make sure to visit PlainEnglish.com/mail , enter your details, and sign up. The episode emails include a summary of the new episode, an explanation of one additional word or phrase, and links to English articles about the main topic. So if something catches your eye—or your ear, as the case may be—then you can just open the email and click through to some additional articles. I’ve also started sending out a message on the weekends—no real agenda, but usually just some extra commentary on past topics. Just another way to keep engaged with English and the topics you hear on this program. Once again, to get those, just go to PlainEnglish.com/mail .
And that’s it for today! Another exciting episode is coming your way on Monday. I don’t know what the topic is going to be just yet. I’ve got a couple in mind. We’ll see what I choose—but whatever it is, you’re going to want to hear it. So make sure to join us again on Monday!