Learn to talk about uniforms with 6 Minute English

Learn to talk about uniforms with 6 Minute English

Welcome to 6 Minute English, where we introduce a colourful topic and six suitable items of vocabulary I’m Tim… And I’m Neil. Why are you wearing a policeman’s hat, Tim? To get me in the mood for our topic today uniforms! Well, the hat certainly suits you! And if something suits you it looks good on you! Well, thanks, Neil. And funnily enough, I have a question for you on the subject of police hats! In the 19th century, police officer’s top hats could be used … a) to stand on, b) as a weapon or c) to protect their heads from the sun? Well, they’re kind of pointy so I’m going to say as a weapon. OK. Let’s consider what the point of a uniform is. Why do some jobs have them while others don’t? Well – The police, and other emergency services, like the fire brigade, and ambulance service – they need practical clothes to help them do their job. People need to recognize them too, don’t they? Yeah, that’s right. A uniform makes people stand out from crowd. If something stands out it’s noticeable or easy to see. But uniform also allows you to fit in – it shows you belong to a particular group or organization – and people often enjoy that sense of community at work. Do you think we should get some 6 Minute English T-shirts made, Neil? Well, we share a sense of community without team T-shirts, Tim. Let’s listen to cultural historian, Joe Moran talking about why wearing a uniform can also allow you to behave differently to the way you normally behave. Joe Moran, cultural historian: It’s a role
and a genre that you adopt and it’s kind of – it’s something that’s not quite
you. It’s kind of a persona that you can put on. In Germany they call it ‘maskenfreiheit’ which is the freedom conferred by masks – there’s something about taking on what is very clearly a persona or professional role, that can be liberating, I think. So when you put on a uniform you are adopting a role or genre. Genre means a particular style. And a persona is a character you present to the outside world – as opposed to the person you feel like inside. Joe Moran compares putting on a persona to putting on a mask. And he says this can be very liberating. But do you really think putting on a uniform liberates – or frees – us from the person we really are? Maybe. If you’re shy, for example, a uniform might feel liberating because it allows you to behave more confidently. So – if you
could choose a uniform and a new persona – what would it be, Tim? Hmm. An airline pilot, I think. I’d look
great in a blazer with brass buttons – and with the cap and mirror sunglasses. Hello,
this is your captain speaking. We’ll shortly be arriving at LAX airport in sunny Los Angeles. Local time is 12.55 and it’s hot hot hot outside, so I hope you’ve packed plenty
of sun cream. OK Tim, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop! I can
see you’d love to be a pilot – or at least you’d love talking to your passengers! What about you, Neil? What would you like to try on for size? A surgeon’s scrubs? A nun’s habit? To try something on for size means to decide whether it’s what you want or not. No Tim… I’d go for a chef’s apron, checked trousers, a tall hat. I think the uniform would suit you, but are
you good at cooking, Neil? I’m an excellent cook. Now, I think we should have the answer to today’s quiz question, Tim Yes, I asked what a police officer’s hat
could be used for in the 19th century. And I said as a weapon. Wrong, I’m afraid. From 1829 to 1839, Metropolitan Police officers wore a cane-reinforced top hat, which could be used as a step to climb or see over walls. I wonder if modern police hats are strong enough to stand on? We’ll try yours later and find out. But
now let’s go over the other key words we learned today. OK – if something ‘suits you’, it looks
good on you. For example, “Does this pilot’s uniform suit me, Neil?” It suits you down to the ground, Tim! And
that means it suits you very well! Number two – If something ‘stands out’
it’s noticeable or easy to see. “My colourful suit really stood out at the party.” In a good way, I hope! OK, next item – ‘to
fit in’ – means you belong to a particular group and are accepted by them. “I never fitted in with the cool kids at school.” I’m sorry to hear that, Tim! Maybe you weren’t wearing the right uniform? Number four is ‘persona’ – the character you present
to the outside world – as opposed to the person you feel like inside. “My work persona is confident and chatty
but I’m actually rather shy.” I’m learning a lot about you today, Tim! They’re just examples, Neil. I don’t have
a work persona – that’s the nice thing about our job – there’s no need to put
on masks or personas. Just the occasional hat… Indeed. And a very nice hat this is too – I
think I’ll keep it. Now, let’s finish the vocabulary! Number five – ‘liberating’
means feeling you can behave however you like. For example, “Talking openly about your
problems can be very liberating.” And finally, ‘to try something on for size’
means to test something to decide whether you want it or not. Our listeners can try these new vocabulary items on for size – and decide whether they’ll be useful or not! And if not, then please let us know by visiting
our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages and telling us what you think! Goodbye!, Bye!

35 Replies to “Learn to talk about uniforms with 6 Minute English”

  1. How great to have Neil and Tim team up for 6 Minute English series. So happy to have Tim again after the Pronunciation Workshop.

  2. Is that Tim from Tim's pronunciation workshop?…If yes, welcome back, haven't heard you for long time! Good job. I guess it was you laughed a lot in the previous episode of 6 minute English, am I right?

  3. The first sentence in transcripts page : "What's the fascination we seem to have for uniforms? " Is the preposition "for" or "with"?

  4. In my view this is a wonderful way to learn and improve our English listening skills. Should be terrific to find it in mp3, you know, to be able to hear it when you are driving for example. It is that possible? Thank you very much!

  5. I always struggle to know why police officers in Britain wear such a strange hat,and now I've learned that.Tnis is amazing. So, dear Six Minute English team,with you I'm not just learn a new words but I can also find out more and more interesting facts about Britain.

  6. Sometimes i need to step back to repeat some sentences and to hear it again, to understand the spelling and the pronunciation . Is there any tool for that? Using my finger is not accurate while listing by smartphone

  7. Amazing way to learn new vocabulary. But in end of video, during the vocabulary review, i suggest you put vocabulary on screen with explanation.

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