100415 - 6 min English - Punk

BBC Learning English 6 Minute English Punk 6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2010 Page 1 of - pdf za darmo

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Story Transcript


BBC Learning English 6 Minute English Punk

Callum:

Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Callum Robertson and with me today is Rosie, hello Rosie.

Rosie:

Hello

Callum:

A question about age Rosie which I hope is not too personal. Do you remember the 1970s?

Rosie:

I'm afraid that I don't because I wasn't born until 1983!

Callum:

That makes me feel very, very old because I do remember the 1970s and I remember them quite well. Now although it happened before you were born there was a very lively, aggressive style of music that became popular in the late 1970s. Do you know what that was?

Rosie:

Was it punk?

Callum:

It was punk indeed. Last week one of the most important figures in British punk music died. Malcolm McLaren was the manager of The Sex Pistols, the group who shocked the British establishment in 1976 and 1977. In today's programme we're going to find out a little about Malcolm McLaren who is generally seen to be the father or perhaps the godfather of British punk. First, a question for you Rosie. The lead singer of the group "The Sex Pistols" was John Lydon, but what was his stage name, was it:

a: Johnny Awful

6 Minute English

© bbclearningenglish.com 2010 Page 1 of 5

b: Johnny Rotten, or c: Johnny Terrible

Rosie:

Well I'm pretty sure it was b: Johnny Rotten

Callum:

Well we'll find out if you're right later on in the programme. The Sex Pistols were perhaps the most iconic punk band and as I said they were managed by Malcolm McLaren. What kind of person was Malcolm McLaren? The BBC interviewed music journalist Neil Spencer. Neil was one of the first journalists to see and write about the Sex Pistols back in the 1970s.

This is what he said about McLaren. He uses four different expressions to describe his personality. How many can you identify? Here's Neil Spencer talking to the BBC by phone. Neil Spencer Malcolm was a real charmer. I mean, he once said 'the media is my lover' and he knew how to play the media. He was a total spieler, incredibly articulate and he was very well educated. Callum:

That was quite short, let's listen again and remember, try to identify the four different ways he describes Malcolm McLaren.

Neil Spencer Malcolm was a real charmer. I mean, he once said 'the media is my lover' and he knew how to play the media. He was a total spieler, incredibly articulate and he was very well educated. Callum:

So Rosie, did you catch the different expressions Neil used there?

Rosie:

Well, first he called Malcolm "a real charmer". A real charmer.

Callum:

A real charmer. And what is a real charmer?

6 Minute English

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Rosie:

Well it comes from the word 'charm', which is the word for a special quality that some people have that makes them very likeable. Their personality is very attractive.

Callum:

Do you think it's a positive expression? If someone described you, for example, as a real charmer, would you be pleased or disappointed?

Rosie:

Well, I know I can charm people, but I don't use it all the time.

Callum:

So charm is something that people can turn on and turn off, do you think?

Rosie:

Yes, yes, I think so.

Callum:

How else did Neil Spencer describe Malcolm McLaren?

Rosie:

Well, he also called him 'a total spieler' – a spieler.

Callum:

That's an interesting word. What is a spieler?

Rosie:

A spiel, spelt s – p – i – e – l, is a word for a talk or presentation. It's often used in a kind of negative way to describe a speech that perhaps doesn't have real importance but is designed to sell something, like an advertising spiel, for example So a 'spieler', as Malcom McLaren is described, is someone who is a bit of a salesman, but a good one.

Callum:

Spiel, it's not an English word, is it? The 'sh' sound at the beginning with the spelling 'sp' is not really common in English words, is it.

Rosie:

Like many words we use in English it has been 'borrowed'. I believe it's originally a German word, the word for play, but the word was used in Yiddish with the meaning we have in English.

6 Minute English

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Callum:

So it's come from German through Yiddish now we use it in English.

Rosie:

Yes.

Callum:

There were two more expressions used by Neil Spencer about Malcolm McLaren.

Rosie:

Yes, he called him 'incredibly articulate', articulate. If someone is articulate it means they have a very good command of the language. They are able to express themselves clearly and effectively. He also said that he was very-well educated.

Callum:

So let's recap those expressions. We had a total charmer, a real spieler, incredibly articulate, and very well educated. Let's listen to that short description from music journalist Neil Spencer again.

Neil Spencer "Malcolm was a real charmer. I mean, he once said 'the media is my lover' and he knew how to play the media. He was a total spieler, incredibly articulate and he was very well educated."

Callum:

So Rosie, from that description, do you think Neil has a positive view of Malcolm McLaren?

Rosie:

Yes, I think so. He makes him sound like a very good salesman, someone very clever who could also often get what he wanted but very charming at the same time.

Callum:

Well thank you very much Rosie. Now the answer to the question we had at the beginning of the programme. Malcolm McLaren managed the punk band the Sex Pistols. Their front man's real name was John Lydon, but what was his stage name. Was it:

6 Minute English

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a: Johnny Awful b: Johnny Rotten, or c: Johnny Terrible

Rosie, you said …

Rosie:

I said b: Johnny Rotten.

Callum:

And of course you are right. John Lydon's stage name was Johnny Rotten.

Well that's all we have time for in today's programme but do join us again next time for another 6 Minute English. Goodbye.

Rosie:

6 Minute English

Goodbye.

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