Monthly Archives: January 2007

Show 273 Wednesday 31 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

A common mistake I see in Japan is goodbye written as two words or with a hyphen. This is wrong. But it’s an understandable mistake because goodbye is made up of two words joined together.

There are many words made up of two words joined together. They are called compound nouns.
Compound nouns come in three different styles.

The closed form is when the words are joined together for example: keyboard or notebook.The hyphenated form, such as sky-scraper.
And the open form, such as post office or mineral water.
Why are there three forms? I don’t know.

This is from

“Just exactly how and why these three forms exist is not exactly clear, but it seems likely that the process will begin with two words, become hyphenated after a time, and then eventually end up (as) just one word. It is curious that even good dictionaries sometimes disagree (with) how compound nouns should be spelt!”

So it really isn’t surprising that students have trouble with these words. Native speakers, like me, also have trouble. I often have to stop to think – hmm hyphen, no hyphen, space?

There are no strict rules to remember – although Wikipedia does have some rules about compounds. For example about hyphenated compound adjectives:

“A compound adjective is hyphenated if the hyphen helps the reader differentiate a compound adjective from two adjacent adjectives that each independently modify the noun.”

I think you should just make some lists. And start by memorizing the ones that you use most often.

For today start by remembering these:

Goodbye is one word.
No one is two words, no hyphen.
A lot is two words.

And please remember this.

A 4-year-old girl won the prize. Hyphens, no s.
The girl who won the prize is 4 years old. No hypens, s.


Kia ora, in Stick News today, Kevin Federline is now starring in a TV advertisement for insurance. Some people in the fast food industry say the ads are insulting.

Kevin Federline is described in Wikipedia as a dancer, model, actor, rapper and wrestler. He’s famous for marrying Britney Spears.
The marriage didn’t go so well. Neither did the start of his rap career. He’s now starring in an ad which pokes fun at himself. In the ad Kevin plays a fast food worker dreaming of becoming a rapper. But some people don’t think the ad is funny.
A spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association said the ad gave the impression that working in a fast food restaurant is “demeaning and unpleasant”.
She said it was “an insult to the 12.8 million restaurant workers in America”.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 31st of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Today I saw three men on the post office roof. It looks like they were clearing snow. But they might have been looking for a dead body.

conversations with sarah
#165 Do you know what goodbye means?

Step 1: Repeat Dave’s lines.
Step 2: Read Dave’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Do you know what goodbye means?

Dave Ah, yeah, of course I do.

Sarah Ah yeah, no, I mean … do you know what it originally meant?

Dave I have no idea.

Sarah It says here that it’s a contraction of “God be with you!”

Dave What does contraction mean?

Sarah Contract means to make smaller.

Dave Why does goodbye have two os? God has only one.

Sarah Mmm good question. I don’t know.


Today’s news.
Kevin Federline in Wikipedia.


Show 272 Tuesday 30 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today I’m going to talk about one of the suggestions that tokyocooney sent me.
You should check out his channel. He’s a comedian in Tokyo.

You’ve probably learnt a lot of and lots of.
A lot of and lots of are exactly the same except lots of is informal.
I have lots of pens. I have lots of books. I have lots of money.

Did you know that there are other ways of saying lots?

For example:

These are all informal.
By the way informal doesn’t mean rude. It just means that you might not want to use them in certain situations – such as writing a university essay or making a formal speech.

I think people use heaps a lot in New Zealand.
And to emphasize the quantity you can lengthen the e sound.
There were heeeeeaps of people at the party.

I think loads is more common in England. My sister lived in London for a couple of years and when I talked to her on the phone I noticed that she said loads a lot instead of heaps.

Another colourful word which I quite like is shitloads. This is very informal or vulgar slang according to the dictionary.
So be careful if you use this word you might not want to use it if you say work at a bank or something.

Good afternoon sir. Goodness me, you have shitloads of money in your account.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. On Saturday the health minister of Japan called Japanese women birth-giving machines. Three of the opposition parties are now calling for his resignation.

Japan has a declining birth rate. Some people are worried about the lack of tax money to look after the elderly and other beneficiaries.
71-year-old Yanagisawa Hakuo is the minister of health, labor and welfare. He’s in charge of dealing with the declining birth rate.
On Saturday he talked about the issue in a speech. He called women:
or birth-giving machines.
He said “The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head.”
Today three of Japan’s four opposition parties agreed that they want him to resign over the remark.
But the Prime Minister disagrees. He says Yanagisawa “is a person with deep insight”.
And one internet commenter said: “If every politician got fired for saying something stupid, who would run the country?”

And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 30th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

This is a bell that you can ring on the mountain.
It’s a memorial for a guy who really loved Niseko. Apparently he was still really fit even when he was 100 years old. If you ring this bell you’ll have a safe time on the mountain.

conversations with sarah
#164 Do you like horror movies?

Step 1: Repeat Dom’s lines.
Step 2: Read Dom’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Do you like horror movies?

Dom Not really. Do you?

Sarah I don’t really either. But I watched one last night.

Dom What was it?

Sarah Misery. Have you seen that?

Dom Yeah. Is that a horror?

Sarah Mmm, yeah. Maybe it’s more of a thriller.

Dom That got an Oscar, didn’t it?

Sarah Yeah, Kathy Bates got best actress.

Dom She was really good in it. Do you know what else she’s been in?

Sarah Yeah, she was in Titanic. She was the “new money” rich woman. The one that was nice to Jack.


Today’s news in English.
Today’s news in Japanese.

Show 271 Monday 29 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
This week is grammar week.
Today: gradable and ungradable adjectives.

What’s an adjective? An adjective modifies a noun.

A red dog. Red is an adjective.
This dog is:

All adjectives.

Adverbs modify verbs and other things.
Rover dances beautifully.
Adverbs often end in –ly.
Adverbs modify verbs and they also modify other adverbs and adjectives.
Very useful.

Very is an adverb (it’s also an adjective – but I’m talking about the adverb)

Very can be used before adjectives, adverbs and determiners.
For example: Rover is very beautiful and Rover dances very beautifully.

The adverb very is useful and it’s used a lot before adjectives.
It’s very cold.
Mmm this is very tasty.
Mmm he’s very sexy.
I’m very happy.

But the adverb very can’t be used before all adjectives. You can’t say something is very awful or very impossible.

Try and think of adjectives in two groups – one is gradable and the other is ungradable.

For example – temperature.
Hot and cold are gradable. Gradable means there are different levels.
It’s hot.
It’s very hot.
It’s a bit cold.

It’s quite cold.
It’s very cold.

The ungradable adjectives are often the extremes.
The extremes of hot are for example:

They are all like the maximum hot. So they can’t be any more or any less. So you can’t use very with these words.

An example for cold is freezing. Freezing is ungradable. You can’t use very with freezing.

It think it helps to look at a list … like in this book.

With these gradable adjectives you can use these adverbs and with these ungradable adjectives you can use these adverbs.

I’m going to make some sentences using words from here.

So from the gradable adjective box: important.
With important I can use words from here.
So, I can say:

This is extremely important.
This is fairly important.
This is really important.
This is very important.

Now an ungradable adjective: useless.
This is absolutely useless.
This is completely useless.
This is totally useless.

There’s a video on YouTube called: Dictionary of Jack: Unique
It’s by JackDanyells
And he says that you can’t say something is very unique.
Which is actually wrong – but the video is comedy, it’s not a(n) English lesson, so it doesn’t really matter.

Actually you can say something very unique – but it depends what you mean by unique.
Unique – like many words – has more than one meaning.

1. being the only one of its kind
For example: Everyone’s fingerprints are unique.
For this meaning – unique is ungradable. So you can’t say very unique. This is the meaning that Jack is talking about in his video.

But the second meaning of unique is: very special or unusual
For example: A unique talent
For this meaning unique is gradable, so you can say very.

This dictionary has both the Oxford Dictionary and the Oxford Learners Dictionary – which is very useful. The Learner’s Dictionary explains things like this.

See it says: “You can use absolutely, totally or almost with unique in this meaning.”
“You can use more, very etc” with unique in this meaning.”

And my final tip. This is very useful – so ichi man en (10,000 yen) please.

There is one word which is in both of these boxes that is really. So if you’re confused, just use really for everything. No worries.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. A high school student in New Zealand received his national examination paper back last week with the words “you useless sack of poo” written on it. An investigation into who wrote the comment is now underway.

Last week high school students in New Zealand got their national exam papers back.
A 17-year-old Christchurch student opened the envelope to find “you useless sack of poo” written on one of his papers in blue felt pen.
One of his classmates had “Good one dick!!” written on his paper.
New Zealand post delivers the papers to the students. They suspect one of their temporary staff may be to blame.
An investigation is under way.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 29th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

I noticed some mysterious things in the snow today. At first I thought it might have been aliens.

conversations with sarah
#163 Why did they stop teaching it?

Step 1: Repeat Takeshi’s lines.
Step 2: Read Takeshi’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah I think there are a lot of people in New Zealand who don’t know what an adjective or adverb is?

Takeshi Really? Why?

Sarah My generation didn’t really study English grammar. My parents’ generation did though.

Takeshi Why did they stop teaching it?

Sarah I don’t know. I guess somebody decided that it wasn’t important to learn.

Takeshi When did you study English grammar?

Sarah I studied French at high school and we had to study English grammar before we could understand French grammar.

Takeshi Was it difficult?

Sarah Yeah. My teacher used to get really frustrated because we didn’t know anything about grammar. He made us buy this blue book called “English grammar for students of French”.

Takeshi Wow. You even remember the colour.

Sarah Yeah, the book was really interesting so I spent all summer studying it.


Today’s news.

Show 270 Sunday 28 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Sunday Kitchen #34 Popcorn

The other day when I was at the vegetable shop I saw some popcorn.
It was the first time I’d seen popcorn that was still on the cob, so I had to buy it.

I pushed the corn off the cob and into a frying pan. Some of it ended up on the floor. I added some olive oil, turned on the gas and put on a lid.

When you cook popcorn, you should keep moving the pot or pan so it doesn’t burn.
And don’t take the lid off or else the popcorn will start flying everywhere.

When the popping has stopped put the popcorn into a bowl. You can eat it like it is or put something on it. I put salt and pepper on it.

It was the smallest popcorn I’d ever seen but it was very tasty.

Show 269 Saturday 27 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

How to tell if you’re addicted to YouTube.

1. You meet someone from Australia and say “Do you know Emmalina?”

2. You talk about YouTubers as if they’re your friends.

3. You are genuinely surprised that some people have never heard of YouTube.

4. You look around for the keyboard to make a comment while watching a TV show at your friend’s house.

5. You can’t understand why your friend still owns a TV.

6. You think it’s only a matter of time before we stop celebrating Jesus’ birthday and start celebrating Chad and Steve’s.

7. You wonder why anyone is still worried about drug addictions when you KNOW YouTube is more addictive.

8. You can’t remember the last time you read a book.

9. You stop caring if you ramble because you keep thinking “I can always edit this out later”.

10. Your daily vocabulary has been severely affected by reading comments under videos.

11. You have to actually consciously stop yourself from saying LOL when someone says something funny.

12. You no longer have time to email your parents but you can still find the time to watch hundreds of videos of random strangers.

13. Whether to delete, reply to or ignore a negative comment is a major decision requiring careful consideration.

14. You feel chronic anxiety whenever YouTube is down for maintenance.

15. Having all but lost your conversation skills you can’t remember how to change the topic when someone starts rambling. And you end up just staring vacantly thinking things like:
I just wasted 3 minutes of my life.
How did this get featured?
1 star.

16. When someone says something inappropriate you think: this should totally be flagged.

17. You know it’s not going to be a Britney Spears sex tap and you wouldn’t want to watch Britney having sex even if it was but you just can’t help clicking on it anyway.

18. You’d never even heard of a country called Darfur until some American guy with a webcam started rambling on about saving it.

19. You don’t care when you get fired from your job, your family disowns you and everyone in the street throws rotten tomatoes at you, –
but if someone unsubscribes it throws you into the pits of despair.

20. You’ve stopped fantasising about winning an Oscar and marrying Brad Pitt and instead fantasise about getting featured.

Show 268 Friday 26 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s language is Swahili.

The video I studied today is from Watch Me TV – which is one of the sites where you can watch The Daily English Show.

It’s someone teaching Swahili in Japanese … so yeah, maybe not that useful for study English. But anyway.

The video is made by Hide – who is a Japanese reality TV star. He was on a show called Ainori.

I really like Ainori. But I haven’t seen it for ages because we don’t have a TV and YouTube deleted all the Ainori videos. Evil YouTube. No, I’m kidding, I guess it’s fair enough.

Anyway what I like about Ainori is I think it’s a good mix of entertainment and education and doing something positive for the world.

It’s a kind of dating show – but they travel around the world and visit interesting places … and I think you can donate money to the show – and then they do things like build schools in places where they don’t have schools.

Hide traveled around Africa on the show and he really liked it. So when he finished the show he went back and did some more traveling and then he started a business importing goods from Africa. And he has a shop in Harajuku. I actually went there once but I didn’t go inside because there was a really big queue. I think it was during Golden Week. And I never got round to going back.

Hide now has some videos on Watch Me TV and in one of them he is teaching Swahili.

Wikipedia says:
Swahili is the most widely spoken African language. It is spoken by over 50 million people, of whom there are approximately five million first-language speakers and thirty to fifty million second-language speakers.

Hide teaches two words in his video:
Jambo which means hello.
And shikamoo which is how you greet an elder person.


Kia ora in Stick News today a character in an in-flight movie said “beep bless you” instead of “god bless you” after a censor bleeped out all references to god.

Profanity is another name for a swear word.
Swear words are words that are considered by some people to be rude or offensive such as shit or fuck.
Profanity includes blasphemy. Blasphemous language is language that insults or shows a lack of respect for God or religion.
Saying “oh my god” is blasphemy – but saying “god bless you” isn’t.
A US company called Jaguar Distribution had the job of editing the movie The Queen to be shown on Delta Air Lines, Air New Zealand and other airlines.
A censor at was told to bleep out all profanity including blasphemy.
The censor was inexperienced and excitedly bleeped out every time a character said god – even when it wasn’t part of a profanity.

And that was Stick News for Friday the 26th of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

There wasn’t much fresh snow today, so the snow was pretty hard.

conversations with sarah
#163 Have you seen The Lion King?

Step 1: Repeat Tracey’s lines.
Step 2: Read Tracey’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Did you know hakuna matata was Swahili?

Tracey Hakuna what?

Sarah Haven’t you heard that phrase?

Tracey No.

Sarah Have you seen The Lion King?

Tracey No, I haven’t.

Sarah Really?!

Tracey Yeah, I don’t really like Disney movies.

Sarah Oh OK. Well, they say it in The Lion King. I just Disney just made it up – but it’s actually Swahili.

Tracey What does it mean?

Sarah No worries.


Today’s news.

Learn basic Swahili.

Great Swahili song! (Listening to this song put me in such a good mood).

Show 267 Thursday 25 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today’s language is Persian.
Persian is also called these two words. I’m not sure how to pronounce them.
Parsi and Farsi.

Persian is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan

And by minorities in these countries.

Southern Russia

And neighboring countries, and elsewhere.

Apparently Persian used to be even more widely used.

For five centuries prior to the British colonization of South Asia, Persian was widely used as a second or first language in the Indian subcontinent.
Only in 1843 did the British force the subcontinent to begin conducting business in English instead of the traditional Persian.

Persian is written in Perso-Arabic script which is a writing system based on the Arabic alphabet.
So it looks similar to Arabic.

And you can learn some Persian from messmanreturns on YouTube.

In this video he teaches some Persian letters and words.

Including these words:



Kia ora in Stick News today the 2006 word of the year in Australia has been announced. It’s muffin top.

In Australia some people enjoy wearing low cut tight fitting pants and skirts.
According to the Australian government’s website around 67% of Australian men and 52% of Australian women are overweight.
The excess fat the Aussies are carrying around can’t fit into the tight pants – so it spills out over the top.
This creates an effect which looks like the shape of a muffin. So it’s called a muffin top.
Muffin top has just been chosen as the Australian word of the year. Judges chose the word because of its vivid imagery and sense of playfulness.

That was Stick News for Thursday the 25th of January.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#162 Have you ever seen a muffin top?

Step 1: Repeat Hide’s lines.
Step 2: Read Hide’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Hide Have you ever seen a muffin top?

Sarah Yeah – it was one of the first things I noticed when I went to Australia.

Hide Why do people wear clothes like that?

Sarah I guess they think it looks good.

Hide They think a roll of fat looks good?

Sarah Well, some people think excess fat looks good.

Hide Really?

Sarah Yeah. Have a look on the internet. There are some people who want to gain more fat. And they say it’s attractive.


Today’s news.