Today's expression is "against your will." If something happens against your will, you don't agree with it. This tends to be used in a few specific situations, so we'll go through them today.
The first specific situation is when you are detained. If you are being held against your will, you want to go free, but someone—the police or the government—is stopping you from going free. If the police call you and ask you to please come down to the station to answer some questions, you have the option to go or not to go (at least here in the U.S.). But if the police come to your house, put you in handcuffs, and take you to a jail cell, you are being held against your will. You are not in agreement, but you also don't have a choice.
Meng Wanzhou was being held against her will in Vancouver . Although she owns property there, she was not free to leave Canada and go home to China. She very much wanted to leave, but she was not able to. She was being held against her will.
The second specific situation is when you are being told to do something that you disagree with. But you must do it anyway. We reserve this expression for situations that are serious. For example, there are plenty of things that I have to do, in life, that are not exactly what I want to do. A lot of these things happen at my place of employment! But I don't usually say "against my will" unless it's very serious.
For example, here in the U.S. large companies are starting to require that people be vaccinated as a condition of their employment. Many workers don't want to get vaccinated against COVID-19. It's not a viewpoint that I hold, but many people hold that position sincerely . But they also can't afford to lose their jobs. So, these individuals are getting the vaccine against their will. They don't want to do it, but they feel they have to in order to keep their job.
Other people might be going to their workplace against their will. They might feel unsafe returning to work, or they might simply prefer working remotely. But their employers might require them to come into the office to work. If this is a requirement, then those workers might have to go to work against their will.
Finally, a related way of using "against your will," is when you are forced to sign a statement or make a statement that you disagree with. Do you remember Raman Pratasevich? He was the Belarussian journalist that was detained in Minsk . He was taken off the plane against his will. He has since resurfaced.
On state television in Belarus, he gave statements that are the opposite of his previously-expressed viewpoints. He praised the Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko. He was obviously forced to make this statement against his will. He was an opposition journalist. It's unlikely that he had a change of heart after having been plucked out of the sky by his country's dictator. This was a hostage video; he was forced to make that statement against his will.
JR’s song of the week
JR's song of the week is "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. She released a new album on October 15 called "30," the age at which she divorced her husband. The album will reportedly be about her divorce. She's giving interviews, she's on magazine covers and the world is breathlessly awaiting the release of her first new music in six years. "Rolling in the Deep" is from her 2010 album called "21." This was her first number-one song in the U.S., and it was the one that propelled her to global stardom. I'm looking forward to hearing her new songs.
See you next time!
That's all for today. Congratulations on making it to the end of another Plain English lesson. Remember, we'll pick this topic up again on Monday. Specifically, we'll talk about how Ms. Meng and the two Michaels made it home after their long detentions.
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