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  1. #1
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    Default Learning English from TV and movies

    Hi,

    I have been trying to improve my spoken English by watching TV and movies
    but I am not able to understand many things. Unfortunately, we don't
    have a close caption TV here. Even when I understand the words, I don't
    understand the meaning perhaps because it is related to the local culture.

    I try to watch the Jay Leno show whenever I can. I am not able to
    understand all the jokes he tells, because they relate to current events
    or news in the USA. However, I was suprised to watch on one show
    that even some people in the USA did not know all the meanings.
    In one segment, Jay Leno went around the town to ask people questions.
    In this particular segment he asked people if they knew what some
    words or phrases meant. Some people were able to answer his questions
    but others were not. When he asked what is a "tramp stamp", one person
    answered that it was the tattoo on the lower back. But when he asked
    what is "going command", people were not able to answer. He asked if
    Britney Spears rings any bell, but they could not answer. But when they
    could not answer, Jay Leno did not tell what the answer was. There were more words that I did not understand but I am not able to remember them.

    What is the meaning of going command? Why are the native speakers not able to answer the question?

    May I use this thread to ask questions about the words used in TV and movies?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    seba_870701 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    Quote Originally Posted by lingua View Post
    Why are the native speakers not able to answer the question?
    I'm more than sure that there's no single man who knows all the vocabulary in a given language. According to some estimates about my language, there are ~500.000 lexical items in Polish. Yet, an average Pole knows ~150.000 words. And just a few thousnad are used in everyday conversations. I assume the same goes with English.
    ps
    Just try to think of all the technical, specialistic names of devices, illnesses, species of animals... no one can know all of them!

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    Very often these TV shows deliberately look for words/phrases that are not commonly understood in order to make the show "more lively". I have no idea what "going command" can possibly mean without some kind of context.

    Please start a new thread if you want to ask about other words.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    Thank you.

  5. #5
    Mad-ox's Avatar
    Mad-ox is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Hungarian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
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      • Romania
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    Default Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    hi,

    Here are some useful sites for listening:


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/stories/

    http://www.world-english.org/listening_exercises.htm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/voices2005/index.shtml

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/

    They are very useful and they are addresed for every levels.

    Madox

  6. #6
    Relaxor is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    Quote Originally Posted by lingua View Post
    Hi,

    I have been trying to improve my spoken English by watching TV and movies
    but I am not able to understand many things. Unfortunately, we don't
    have a close caption TV here. Even when I understand the words, I don't
    understand the meaning perhaps because it is related to the local culture.

    I try to watch the Jay Leno show whenever I can. I am not able to
    understand all the jokes he tells, because they relate to current events
    or news in the USA. However, I was suprised to watch on one show
    that even some people in the USA did not know all the meanings.
    In one segment, Jay Leno went around the town to ask people questions.
    In this particular segment he asked people if they knew what some
    words or phrases meant. Some people were able to answer his questions
    but others were not. When he asked what is a "tramp stamp", one person
    answered that it was the tattoo on the lower back. But when he asked
    what is "going command", people were not able to answer. He asked if
    Britney Spears rings any bell, but they could not answer. But when they
    could not answer, Jay Leno did not tell what the answer was. There were more words that I did not understand but I am not able to remember them.

    What is the meaning of going command? Why are the native speakers not able to answer the question?

    May I use this thread to ask questions about the words used in TV and movies?

    Thank you.

    I have seen a similar segment, but not that particular segment that you spoke of. If my guess is correct, I think he said "going commando", which means not wearing any underwear under your pants. I don't know why he used Britney Spears as a reference. Perhaps she doesn't like to wear underwear??? don't really know....
    Also, "going commando" is what we, here in the US, called a slang. Because of generations gap, slangs are often more familiarized with the younger crowds than older. Therefore, I'm not surprise that not everyone know the saying.
    Last edited by Relaxor; 22-Aug-2007 at 21:47.

  7. #7
    Veron1's Avatar
    Veron1 is offline Senior Member
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    Smile Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post
    hi,

    Here are some useful sites for listening:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/stories/

    http://www.world-english.org/listening_exercises.htm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/voices2005/index.shtml

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/

    They are very useful and they are addresed for every levels.

    Madox
    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    Quote Originally Posted by lingua View Post
    What is the meaning of going command? Why are the native speakers not able to answer the question?
    Relaxor's got it.

    Urban Dictionary

    FOXNews.com - Will Britney Spears' Pantyless Antics Hurt Her Custody Case? - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Learning English from TV and movies

    Thank you Relaxor and Casiopea for the correct information. Relaxor, I am amazed you got it. I had not thought about slang being not understood by
    people from other generations. Here too, the local newspaper publishes
    the 'lingo' of the youngsters. It is kind of complicated because it is a mixture of English and local languages and the meaning is not readily apparent.
    I had learned the phrase 'keyboard commando' (someone who grabs the keyboard because the other person is typing too slowly for his liking).

    Also thanks to Mad Ox for so many links.

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