The expression I’d like to share with you today is to “win over.” It’s a phrasal verb that means, you’re finally convincing someone to like you, or to like your idea after that person originally opposed the idea. That’s important with “win over.” You have to persuade someone that’s against you at first, to be on your side.
Here’s how you heard it just a few moments ago. There is the outside chance—there is the possibility—that Domino’s will win over the local Italian population. It’s possible that they will persuade the Italians to like American-style pizza delivered to their doorsteps. The local population is currently skeptical. We didn’t talk too much about it earlier, but a lot of people in Italy are not really in favor of this Americanized version of their cuisine, especially people who like artisanal Neopolitan pizza.
But there is the possibility that Dominos will win them over. There is the possibility that Domino’s will persuade them to like American-style pizza.
There’s a funny quirk with “win over,” and that is the placement of the object—you either put the object right in the middle—"win me over”—or you put it at the end—“win over the local population.” There isn’t really a rule for whether you put the object in the middle (win her over) or at the end (win over the pizza-loving nation), but more a general guideline. If you object is just a word or two, you can sandwich it between “win” and “over.” Win her over; win him over; win them over; win her family over; win your boss over. But if the object is long, then it’s better to put it after, like, “win over the local population,” “win over skeptical moderate voters”; “win over the fans of the opposite team.” Like that.
Let’s practice this a little more. In this example, I’m going to use “win over” twice—once with a long object (coming after) and once with a short object (coming in between win and over). Listen for them in this example.
Do you remember the movie Crazy Rich Asians? We talked about it on Episode 130. Rachel went with Nick to Singapore to meet Nick’s family. Nick’s mother Eleanor was not crazy about the idea of her son marrying an American, who didn’t know Asian culture. Rachel’s future mother in law was against her for most of the movie.
But at the end of the movie—spoiler alert!—at the end of the movie, Nick re-proposes to Rachel with Eleanor’s ring, in a signal that Eleanor had finally given her blessing. What did Nick and Rachel do to win over the matriarch of the family? Rachel sat down at a traditional mahjong table with Eleanor and plays that traditional board game with her. She also tells Eleanor that she’s declining Nick’s marriage proposal because she doesn’t have the support of his family.
We don’t see the scene in which Nick gets Eleanor’s blessing—but it’s clear that the mahjong game is what Rachel does to win Eleanor over in the end.
Did you hear the two instances of “win over”? At first I asked, “What did Nick and Rachel do to win over the matriarch of the family?” “The matriarch of the family” is a long object—it’s a mouthful—so we put it after “win over.” But then later I said that the mahjong game is what Rachel does to win Eleanor over in the end. “Eleanor” is just a single word, so we put it in between “win” and “over.”
One more quick example. In a tennis match, it’s common for the spectators to shift their loyalties during the match. They might cheer for one player at the beginning. But the other player might do something to win them over. The other player might scrap and fight and come from behind, eventually winning over the cheering crowd. “Win them over” and “win over the cheering crowd.”
JR’s song of the week
The song of the week today is “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon. Paul Simon is a famous American singer and this is from one of his most popular albums. The soles of your shoes are the rubber parts on the bottom, in the middle of your foot. The heels of your shoes are in the back, but the soles of your shoes are the rubber part in the middle.
The song is about a rich girl who has diamonds on the soles of her shoes, meaning that she’s so luxurious that even the bottoms of her shoes are encrusted in diamonds—it’s about her, and the poor boy who’s pursuing her. A South African a capella band sings the vocals at the very beginning of the song. It’s always been one of my favorite Paul Simon songs, so check that out, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, from the album called Graceland.
That’s all for today—thanks for joining us. We’ll be right back here on Monday. I don’t know if this is going to be Monday or next Thursday, but if the number 98.6 means anything to you, you’ll want to listen next week. Probably Thursday next week—98.6 may not be the magic number we thought it was. I’ll leave you hanging with that, so make sure to join us next week for the full story.