Introduction

In this Word Power episode – Learning the Ropes, we discuss 10 commonly used English keywords, including Gothic, impregnable, riven, insularity, elite, reverence, mystique, exhort, sundry, and primal. We define each of these words and explore how they can be used in different contexts. Plus, we offer tips for practicing these words to help expand your vocabulary.


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Learning the Ropes | Word Power

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Learning the Ropes

Rising several stories above the valley, the cliffs tower like Gothic cathedrals, seemingly as impregnable as a fortress. Yet, up close, these bluffs are riven by cracks and punctuated with ledges and other irregularities that aid rock climbers in their vertical journeys.

Rock climbing has recently begun to emerge from its cult-like insularity and is adopting the features of other popular sports—organized contests, prize money, crowds of spectators, and even a computerized ranking of the participants. In addition, rock climbers are a growing breed. The installation of climbing walls in gyms has allowed urbanite climbers—the general population as well as the sport’s elite—to work out in all kinds of weather. But it is only outdoors that they develop an appreciation and reverence for the sport and the wilderness in which it takes place.

Rock climbing’s mystique has always been enhanced by the perception of danger. While statistics are hard to come by, climbing is probably no more dangerous than other thrill sports like hang-gliding and white-water rafting. Deaths are rare, but because beginners can be overconfident, experts exhort them to wear helmets and use a system of ropes and anchors to ensure their safety.

People climb for sundry reasons. Parents climb with their children to strengthen family ties through shared participation and challenge. Some people take to the cliffs as a form of escape or healing, while others are motivated to overcome fears that are interfering with personal or career development. Most new climbers, however, simply want to have fun and learn a skill that will take them deeper into the wilderness and higher into the mountains.

Getting to the summit has never been the object of the sport. Although it is rooted in mountaineering, where reaching the top is the goal, rock climbing is a simple refinement. Its top athletes climb the same cliffs over and over, striving to scale them by ever more difficult means. Other than that, the rewards are personal. Coupled with the sense of well-being that comes from meeting physical challenges, there is the thrill that results from standing toe-to-toe with the primal emotion of fear and finding the inner strength to move past it. The value of the climbing experience is not measured by the technical grade or by the height of the climb. It comes from the climber’s relationship with the natural world, the intimacy of a shared experience, and the discoveries made along the rocky way.

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Danny:

This is your host, Danny and this is English Plus Podcast.

Welcome to Word Power, where we explore the fascinating world of language and vocabulary. In this episode, we’ll be diving into the keywords from the article “Learning the Ropes” and discovering their meanings, synonyms, and usage.

But that’s not all! As a special treat, we’ve created an interactive transcript on our website, englishpluspodcast.com, and we also added Quizlet interactive exercises and a downloadable worksheet. So not only can you learn these new words, but you can test your knowledge with fun activities like crossword puzzles and word searches.

We’re committed to providing high-quality content for language learners everywhere, and we need your help to continue doing so. If you enjoy this podcast, please share, rate, and review it wherever you listen. And if you want to support us even further, consider becoming a patron on Patreon.

We’re also excited to announce the launch of our new English Plus Magazine, which features daily articles on a wide range of topics, from language learning to social issues, history, science, literature, and more. Check it out at englishplusmagazine.com. You can find all the links you need in the description of the episode.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to expand your vocabulary and learn some new words with Word Power  | Learning the Ropes.

And now without further ado, let’s start with our story for today, Learning the Ropes.

Learning the Ropes

Rising several stories above the valley, the cliffs tower like Gothic cathedrals, seemingly as impregnable as a fortress. Yet, up close, these bluffs are riven by cracks and punctuated with ledges and other irregularities that aid rock climbers in their vertical journeys.

Rock climbing has recently begun to emerge from its cult-like insularity and is adopting the features of other popular sports—organized contests, prize money, crowds of spectators, and even a computerized ranking of the participants. In addition, rock climbers are a growing breed. The installation of climbing walls in gyms has allowed urbanite climbers—the general population as well as the sport’s elite—to work out in all kinds of weather. But it is only outdoors that they develop an appreciation and reverence for the sport and the wilderness in which it takes place.

Rock climbing’s mystique has always been enhanced by the perception of danger. While statistics are hard to come by, climbing is probably no more dangerous than other thrill sports like hang-gliding and white-water rafting. Deaths are rare, but because beginners can be overconfident, experts exhort them to wear helmets and use a system of ropes and anchors to ensure their safety.

People climb for sundry reasons. Parents climb with their children to strengthen family ties through shared participation and challenge. Some people take to the cliffs as a form of escape or healing, while others are motivated to overcome fears that are interfering with personal or career development. Most new climbers, however, simply want to have fun and learn a skill that will take them deeper into the wilderness and higher into the mountains.

Getting to the summit has never been the object of the sport. Although it is rooted in mountaineering, where reaching the top is the goal, rock climbing is a simple refinement. Its top athletes climb the same cliffs over and over, striving to scale them by ever more difficult means. Other than that, the rewards are personal. Coupled with the sense of well-being that comes from meeting physical challenges, there is the thrill that results from standing toe-to-toe with the primal emotion of fear and finding the inner strength to move past it. The value of the climbing experience is not measured by the technical grade or by the height of the climb. It comes from the climber’s relationship with the natural world, the intimacy of a shared experience, and the discoveries made along the rocky way.

So, that was our story, Learning the Ropes. What do you think of rock climbing, Ben?

Ben:

I must say climbing is a fascinating sport that offers a unique blend of physical challenge, mental resilience, and connection with nature. I haven’t tried it before, but I would definitely love to give it a try! The sense of accomplishment and the camaraderie shared among climbers seem to be quite rewarding. Plus, overcoming personal fears and pushing one’s limits can lead to personal growth and an increased appreciation for the natural world. Climbing appears to be an exciting and fulfilling activity for many people, and I’d be eager to experience it if I could!

Danny:

Maybe, we should do it together some day. I have never tried it myself, but I would love to. And hey if any of you, our listeners, have tried it before, please share your experience with us. You can leave your comments on our website.

Ben:

Well, let’s start digging into the ten keywords we have for today, shall we? Alright, let’s start with our very first keyword for today, Gothic. How did you use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “Gothic” is used to describe the towering cliffs that the rock climbers are ascending. The cliffs are said to resemble Gothic cathedrals, which suggests that they are grand, imposing, and awe-inspiring structures that evoke a sense of reverence and wonder.

The term “Gothic” originally referred to a style of architecture that emerged in medieval Europe, characterized by features such as pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses. In a broader sense, the term can also refer to anything that is dark, mysterious, or macabre, as in Gothic literature or Gothic music.

In this particular context, however, the word “Gothic” is used primarily as a descriptive adjective to convey the sense of grandeur and majesty of the cliffs.

Ben:

Gothic seems to have come from Goth, is that right? If so, who were the Goths?

Danny:

Yes, you’re right! The word “Gothic” does indeed derive from the name of a Germanic people called the Goths. The Goths were one of the many tribes that lived in Europe during the late Roman Empire period, and they played a significant role in the downfall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE.

The Goths originated in Scandinavia and migrated southward into what is now Poland and Ukraine around the 2nd century CE. In the following centuries, they split into two major groups — the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths. The Ostrogoths settled in what is now Italy, while the Visigoths settled in what is now Spain and Portugal.

The Goths are often associated with the idea of barbarism, but in reality, they were a complex and diverse group of people with their own rich culture, language, and traditions. They played an important role in shaping the history of Europe and continue to be a source of fascination for scholars and historians to this day.

Ben:

Interesting! Now let’s move on to the next keyword, “impregnable”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “impregnable” is used to describe the cliffs that the rock climbers are facing. Specifically, the cliffs are said to appear “as impregnable as a fortress,” which means that they seem completely impenetrable or unconquerable, like an unassailable fortress.

The word “impregnable” comes from the Latin word “impregnabilis,” which means “not able to be taken by force.” In English, it is typically used to describe something that is too strong, too well-defended, or too well-protected to be overcome or breached.

In the context of the story, the use of “impregnable” highlights the formidable challenge that rock climbers face when attempting to scale the cliffs. It underscores the idea that climbing these cliffs is a difficult and dangerous endeavor that requires skill, strength, and determination to overcome.

Ben:

Well, this word sounds like a big word to me. Do we have other words that are more common which we can use in more casual contexts?

Danny:

Absolutely! “Impregnable” is a relatively formal and uncommon word that is often used in more formal or literary contexts. For more casual or everyday use, there are several alternative words that convey a similar meaning.

For example, you could use words like “unassailable,” “unconquerable,” or “invincible” to describe something that is difficult or impossible to overcome. These words are still relatively formal, but they are more commonly used than “impregnable.”

For a more casual or conversational tone, you might use words like “unbeatable,” “untouchable,” or “impenetrable.” These words still convey the idea that something is difficult to overcome or penetrate, but they are less formal and more suitable for everyday conversation.

Ultimately, the choice of words depends on the tone and context of your conversation, as well as your personal style and preferences. It’s always a good idea to choose words that are appropriate and clear, while also reflecting your own personality and voice.

Ben:

Great! Now let’s move on to the next keyword, “riven”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure! In the context of the story, the word “riven” is used to describe the cracks that are present on the cliffs that the rock climbers are scaling. Specifically, the cliffs are said to be “riven by cracks,” which means that they are split or divided by deep, narrow fissures.

The word “riven” comes from the Old English word “rÄ«fan,” which means “to cleave or split.” In English, it is typically used to describe something that has been split or divided, often as a result of a powerful force or impact.

In the context of the story, the use of “riven” emphasizes the rough, jagged nature of the cliffs, and highlights the importance of these cracks for rock climbers. These cracks provide natural holds and ledges that climbers can use to ascend the cliffs, making the climb more manageable and less dangerous.

Ben:

And how about the next keyword, “insularity”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure! In the context of the story, the word “insularity” is used to describe the isolated and exclusive nature of the rock climbing community in the past. Specifically, rock climbing is said to have been “cult-like” in its insularity, meaning that it was a relatively small and exclusive community that was somewhat isolated from the mainstream.

The word “insularity” comes from the Latin word “insula,” which means “island.” In English, it is typically used to describe something that is isolated, separate, or exclusive. It can refer to physical isolation, as in the case of an island, or to social or cultural isolation, as in the case of a closed community.

In the context of the story, the use of “insularity” highlights the fact that rock climbing used to be a niche sport that was not widely known or understood outside of its small community. It suggests that the sport was somewhat closed off from the mainstream and that it was only in recent years that it began to emerge and adopt some of the features of more popular sports, as described in the text.

Ben:

But isn’t this word very close to insulate, which has a completely different meaning?

Danny:

Yes, you’re right! While “insularity” and “insulate” are similar in spelling and share a common root word, they have very different meanings.

As we discussed earlier, “insularity” refers to the state of being isolated or exclusive, often in a social or cultural context. On the other hand, “insulate” means to protect or isolate something, typically by providing a barrier or insulation. For example, you might insulate your home to keep it warm in the winter by adding insulation to the walls or attic.

It’s important to keep in mind the differences between these two words to avoid confusion and ensure clear communication.

Ben:

I see. Well, let’s move on to the next keyword, “elite”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “elite” is used to describe the top athletes in the sport of rock climbing. Specifically, the text refers to “the sport’s elite,” suggesting that there is a small and select group of climbers who are considered to be the best in the sport.

The word “elite” comes from the Latin word “eligere,” which means “to select or choose.” In English, it is typically used to describe a group of people who are considered to be the best, most skilled, or most successful in a particular field or activity. This group is often seen as being separate or distinct from the larger population, and membership is typically based on factors such as skill, talent, or achievement.

In the context of the story, the use of “elite” highlights the fact that rock climbing is a sport that requires a high degree of skill and expertise, and that there are some climbers who have achieved a level of mastery that sets them apart from others. These elite climbers are likely to be well-known and respected within the climbing community, and may be sought after for their advice and guidance by other climbers who are striving to improve their skills.

Ben:

What about the word, “elitism” I know this word has some negative connotations, is that right?

Danny:

Yes, you’re correct! The word “elitism” typically has negative connotations, and it is often used to describe a social or political system in which a small group of people hold power or influence based on their wealth, education, or social status. This group is often seen as being out of touch with the needs and concerns of the broader population and as prioritizing their own interests over the interests of others.

The term “elitism” is derived from the word “elite,” which we discussed earlier, and it refers to the belief that some individuals or groups are inherently superior to others based on certain characteristics, such as wealth, education, or social status.

While “elite” can be used in a positive sense to describe a group of highly skilled or accomplished individuals, “elitism” typically carries a negative connotation and is often used to criticize systems or institutions that prioritize the interests of a small, privileged group over the needs and concerns of the broader population.

Ben:

I see. Well, let’s move on to the next keyword, “reverence”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “reverence” is used to describe the attitude that rock climbers develop towards the sport and the natural world in which it takes place. Specifically, the text suggests that climbing outdoors allows climbers to “develop an appreciation and reverence for the sport and the wilderness.”

The word “reverence” comes from the Latin word “reverentia,” which means “respect” or “deference.” In English, it is typically used to describe a feeling of deep respect or awe towards something, often something that is considered sacred or holy.

In the context of the story, the use of “reverence” highlights the spiritual and emotional connection that some climbers feel towards the natural world and the sport of climbing. It suggests that climbing is not just a physical activity, but also a deeply meaningful and spiritual experience that can foster a sense of respect and awe towards the natural world.

Overall, the use of “reverence” in the text suggests that climbing can be more than just a physical activity, but also a way to connect with something larger and more profound than oneself.

Ben:

How is that word related to the words, “revere”, and “reverend”?

Danny:

The word “reverence” is related to the words “revere” and “reverend” in that they all share the same Latin root word, “revereri,” which means “to respect or fear.”

“Revere” means to have a great deal of respect or admiration for someone or something, often because of their accomplishments or qualities. For example, you might say that you revere a historical figure, a cultural icon, or a religious leader.

“Reverend” is an honorific title used to address certain religious leaders, such as priests, ministers, or pastors. It is derived from the Latin word “reverendus,” which means “worthy of respect.”

In general, all of these words are connected to the idea of showing respect or honor towards someone or something, either because of their achievements, their position, or their qualities. The specific connotations and usage of each word, however, may vary depending on the context in which they are used.

Ben:

Well, let’s move on to the next keyword, “mystique”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “mystique” is used to describe the aura of mystery and allure that surrounds the sport of rock climbing. Specifically, the text states that “rock climbing’s mystique has always been enhanced by the perception of danger.”

The word “mystique” comes from the French word “mystique,” which means “mystical” or “mysterious.” In English, it is typically used to describe a quality or characteristic that is difficult to explain or understand, and that adds to the intrigue or fascination of something.

In the context of the story, the use of “mystique” highlights the idea that rock climbing is a sport that has always been associated with a sense of danger and adventure, which adds to its allure and appeal. It suggests that part of the attraction of rock climbing is the challenge of facing one’s fears and pushing oneself to the limits of what is possible.

Overall, the use of “mystique” in the text suggests that rock climbing is more than just a physical activity, but also a cultural phenomenon that captures the imagination and fascination of many people.

Ben:

Mystique was one of the main characters in the X-Men Franchise.

Danny:

Yes, you’re correct! Mystique is a character from the X-Men franchise, and she is known for her shapeshifting abilities and her enigmatic and mysterious personality. In the context of the X-Men franchise, the character of Mystique embodies the idea of mystery and intrigue, as well as the idea of constantly shifting identities and allegiances. Her character adds to the complex and layered world of the X-Men, and has become an iconic figure in popular culture.

Ben:

Very well, let’s move on to the next keyword, “exhort”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “exhort” is used to describe the advice that experts give to beginners in the sport of rock climbing. Specifically, the text states that experts exhort beginners to wear helmets and use a system of ropes and anchors to ensure their safety.

The word “exhort” comes from the Latin word “exhortari,” which means “to encourage” or “to urge on.” In English, it is typically used to describe the act of urging or advising someone to take a particular action, often for their own benefit.

In the context of the story, the use of “exhort” emphasizes the importance of safety in the sport of rock climbing. It suggests that experts in the sport are urging beginners to take precautions in order to avoid accidents or injuries, and that following these precautions is essential for anyone who wants to enjoy the sport safely.

Overall, the use of “exhort” in the text suggests that safety is a key concern in the sport of rock climbing, and that experts in the sport are actively encouraging beginners to take steps to protect themselves.

Ben:

Very well, let’s move on to the next keyword, “sundry”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “sundry” is used to describe the diverse or miscellaneous reasons that people have for getting into the sport of rock climbing. Specifically, the text states that “people climb for sundry reasons.”

The word “sundry” comes from the Old English word “syndrig,” which means “separate” or “various.” In English, it is typically used to describe a collection of different, diverse, or miscellaneous items or ideas.

In the context of the story, the use of “sundry” emphasizes the idea that there are many different reasons why people might be drawn to the sport of rock climbing. It suggests that the motivations for climbing are diverse and varied, and that there is no single reason why people choose to participate in this challenging and rewarding activity.

Overall, the use of “sundry” in the text highlights the idea that rock climbing is a sport that can appeal to people for many different reasons, and that the motivations for climbing can be as varied as the people who choose to do it.

Ben:

And finally, let’s move on to the last keyword, “primal”. How did we use it in the context of our story and what does it mean?

Danny:

Sure thing! In the context of the story, the word “primal” is used to describe the intense emotions and sensations that can be experienced during the sport of rock climbing. Specifically, the text states that climbers can experience “the thrill that results from standing toe-to-toe with the primal emotion of fear.”

The word “primal” comes from the Latin word “primalis,” which means “first” or “primary.” In English, it is typically used to describe something that is fundamental or basic, often associated with instinctual or emotional responses.

In the context of the story, the use of “primal” emphasizes the idea that rock climbing can be an intense and emotional experience that taps into some of our most fundamental instincts and responses. It suggests that the fear and excitement that climbers experience can be rooted in deep-seated emotions and impulses that are part of our evolutionary heritage.

Overall, the use of “primal” in the text highlights the idea that rock climbing is not just a physical or intellectual challenge, but also a deeply emotional and visceral experience that can push us to our limits and connect us with our most basic human nature.

Ben:

What’s the difference between “primal” and other seemingly close words like “primary” and “premiere”?

Danny:

That’s a great question! While “primal,” “primary,” and “premiere” may seem similar at first glance, they actually have different meanings and usage.

“Primal” is typically used to describe something that is fundamental, basic, or instinctual. It often refers to emotions or responses that are rooted in our evolutionary history, such as fear or aggression.

“Primary,” on the other hand, is used to describe something that is first or foremost in importance or order. It can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in education to describe a child’s first years of schooling, or in healthcare to describe the initial diagnosis or treatment of a disease.

“Premiere,” meanwhile, is used to describe something that is first or initial in terms of performance, release, or presentation. It is often used in the entertainment industry to describe the first showing of a movie or the opening night of a play.

So while “primal,” “primary,” and “premiere” may all suggest something that is first or fundamental in some way, they have distinct meanings and usage that differentiate them from each other.

Ben:

I see! Well, let’s give our listeners a quick recap of the 10 keywords we talked about today, shall we?

Danny:

Sure thing! Here’s a quick recap of the 10 keywords we discussed today, along with their meanings —

Gothic – relating to a style of architecture characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and decorative tracery.

Impregnable – unable to be captured or broken into.

Riven – split or torn apart violently.

Insularity – the state of being isolated or detached from other people or cultures.

Elite – a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities.

Reverence – deep respect or admiration for something, often something that is considered sacred or holy.

Mystique – an aura of mystery and allure that surrounds something.

Exhort – to strongly urge or advise someone to take a particular action.

Sundry – various or diverse.

Primal – fundamental or basic, often associated with instinctual or emotional responses.

Ben:

Well, we’re not done yet! Let’s put these words to action now and apply the meaning of these words in other context to make sure we master their meaning. Let’s start with “mystique”. Describe an unusual character in a movie, television show, or book. Use the word mystique.

Danny:

Sure thing! And may I suggest something to our listeners. Please pause the episode, try to come up with your own answers and then come back and compare your answers to mine. That will be a great exercise for you to master the keywords we talked about today.

Now back to your question, Ben. Here’s an example of how to use the word “mystique” to describe an unusual character in a movie —

“In the movie, the protagonist encounters a mysterious woman with an aura of mystique about her. She is dressed in all black and speaks in a low, husky voice, and it’s clear from the start that there is something unusual and intriguing about her. As the story unfolds, the woman’s past and motivations are slowly revealed, adding to her mystique and making her an unforgettable character in the film.”

Ben:

Very good! Now, can you describe something that has been damaged by a severe storm. Use any form of the word rive.

Danny:

Of course! Here’s an example of how to use the word “rive” to describe something that has been damaged by a severe storm —

“The hurricane that hit the coastal town last week rived the boardwalk in several places, leaving the planks splintered and twisted. The force of the winds and waves had torn the boards apart, leaving gaps and holes that made the boardwalk unsafe to walk on. As a result, the town had to close the boardwalk until repairs could be made, a stark reminder of the destructive power of the storm.”

Ben:

Excellent! Now, describe how a person might show honor and respect for a country’s leader. Use any form of the word reverence.

Danny:

Sure thing! Here’s an example of how to use the word “reverence” to describe how a person might show honor and respect for a country’s leader —

“When visiting a foreign country, it’s important to show reverence for the country’s leader, whether you agree with their policies or not. This can be done in a number of ways, such as standing respectfully during the national anthem, addressing the leader with their proper title and honorifics, and refraining from making any derogatory comments or gestures. Additionally, bringing a small gift or token of respect, such as a national flag or a book on the country’s history, can also demonstrate reverence and help to build bridges of understanding and goodwill between different cultures and nations.”

Ben:

Excellent! Now can you explain how isolation affects a group of people. Use any form of the word insularity.

Danny:

Certainly! Here’s an example of how to use the word “insularity” to explain how isolation affects a group of people —

“When a group of people becomes isolated from the broader society around them, it can lead to a sense of insularity and detachment. This is often the case with remote communities, such as those living in rural or mountainous areas, where access to modern amenities and cultural institutions is limited. Over time, the people in these communities may begin to develop their own distinct customs, dialects, and beliefs, creating a sense of insularity that sets them apart from the outside world. While this can foster a strong sense of community and identity, it can also lead to a lack of exposure to new ideas and experiences, and limit opportunities for growth and development.”

Ben:

Very good! Now can you use any form of the word impregnable in a sentence about a castle or fortress.

Danny:

Sure thing! Here’s an example of how to use the word “impregnable” in a sentence about a castle or fortress —

“The castle perched atop the hill was said to be impregnable, with its towering walls and fortified gatehouse providing unparalleled protection from invaders. Over the centuries, countless armies had laid siege to the castle, but none had been able to breach its defenses, earning it a fearsome reputation as an impregnable stronghold.”

Ben:

Excellent! Now, let’s try something else. With each question I ask you, I would like to answer “yes”, or “no” based on the meaning of the keyword within the question and I would like you to explain why you answer “yes”, “no”. Let’s start with the first question. Could a person have sundry reasons for making a particular career choice?

Danny:

Sure thing! Well, for this question, I would have to say, yes, a person could have sundry reasons for making a particular career choice.

The word “sundry” implies that there are various or diverse reasons for something, so in the context of this question, it suggests that a person could have multiple motivations for choosing a particular career path. For example, someone might choose to pursue a career in medicine because they are passionate about helping others, they enjoy the intellectual challenge of medical school, and they are attracted to the financial stability that comes with a career in healthcare. Each of these reasons is distinct and different, but together they contribute to the person’s decision to pursue a career in medicine.

Ben:

Excellent! Now, let’s move on to the next question — Would someone who knows how to cook only hot dogs and beans be part of the elite of the Cooking Club?

Danny:

No, someone who knows how to cook only hot dogs and beans would not be part of the elite of the Cooking Club.

The word “elite” implies a select group of individuals who are superior in terms of ability or qualities. In the context of the Cooking Club, it suggests that the most skilled and knowledgeable cooks would be part of the elite group. Knowing how to cook only hot dogs and beans would not be enough to qualify someone as part of the elite, as it is a limited set of cooking skills and does not demonstrate a high level of culinary expertise or creativity.

Ben:

Very good! Now for the next question — Would a doctor exhort her patient to exercise regularly and give up smoking?

Danny:

Yes, a doctor would exhort her patient to exercise regularly and give up smoking.

The word “exhort” means to strongly urge or advise someone to take a particular action, often for their own benefit. In the context of a doctor-patient relationship, it is common for a doctor to exhort their patient to adopt healthy behaviors such as regular exercise and smoking cessation. These actions can have a significant impact on a patient’s health and wellbeing, so a doctor would be likely to strongly encourage their patients to take them.

Ben:

Excellent! Now, to the next question — Is swimming a primal need for most people?

Danny:

No, swimming is not a primal need for most people.

The word “primal” implies something that is fundamental or basic, often associated with instinctual or emotional responses. While swimming is an activity enjoyed by many people, it is not a fundamental need in the same way that food, water, and shelter are. While swimming can be a healthy and enjoyable activity, it is not something that is necessary for survival or essential to human existence.

Ben:

Excellent! Now, for the final question. If an architect were designing a warehouse, would he be likely to choose a Gothic style?

Danny:

No, an architect designing a warehouse would not be likely to choose a Gothic style.

The word “Gothic” refers to a specific style of architecture characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and decorative tracery. While Gothic architecture can be beautiful and impressive, it is not typically used in the design of warehouses, which are typically utilitarian structures designed for practical purposes such as storage and distribution. Architects designing warehouses would be more likely to focus on factors such as maximizing storage space, facilitating the movement of goods, and ensuring structural stability, rather than incorporating ornate decorative elements associated with Gothic architecture.

Ben:

Excellent, now let’s take it a step further and write something based on what we learned today. Imagine that you have just tried rock climbing or another exciting sport for the first time, and you are eager for a friend in another town to try it. Write a letter to your friend about the sport and your initial experiences with it. Make your letter as descriptive as possible, and use some of the words we learned about in this episode.

Danny:

That’s an excellent exercise and I encourage you all, one more time, to try to do it yourself and then come back and check my version. Now since for this exercise, there’s no one right answer, you can compare your answer with mine and trust me, you will know for sure how well you have done. Alright, here’s my attempt.

Dear Ben,

I hope this letter finds you well! I just had to write to you and tell you about the incredible experience I had trying out rock climbing for the first time. It was truly a thrilling and unforgettable adventure!

As I gazed up at the towering cliffs that loomed above me like Gothic cathedrals, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the sport and the wilderness in which it takes place. The cliffs looked impregnable from afar, but up close, they were riven by cracks and punctuated with ledges and other irregularities that aided me in my vertical journey.

At first, I was a bit intimidated by the sport’s mystique and perception of danger. However, my guide exorted me to wear a helmet and use a system of ropes and anchors to ensure my safety. And with each passing moment, I found myself overcoming my fears and discovering an inner strength I didn’t know I possessed.

As I made my way up the cliff face, I couldn’t help but feel a primal sense of excitement and adrenaline coursing through my veins. The challenge of climbing was both physical and mental, requiring me to focus my mind and body in perfect harmony. And when I finally reached the top, the sense of accomplishment and well-being I felt was beyond measure.

Rock climbing may not be for everyone, but I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to challenge themselves, experience the beauty of the natural world, and have a ton of fun along the way. I can’t wait for you to try it for yourself someday!

Yours truly,

Danny

Ben:

Well, you had him convinced, I have to say. That was a very good letter or email if you will. Well, I believe we have covered a lot of useful content in our episode today. Any final advice on how we can practice the words we have learned in today’s episode, including the custom post we have created for this episode?

Danny:

Absolutely! Here are a few tips for practicing the words we’ve covered in today’s episode —

Use flashcards — Create flashcards for each of the keywords we’ve discussed today, including the definition, synonyms, and antonyms. Review the flashcards regularly to help solidify your understanding of the words. But guess what, you don’t have to do that yourself as we have already done that for you. You can find flashcard ready and waiting for you on our website in the custom post we created for this episode. The link is in the description.

Read widely — Seek out articles, books, or other materials that use the keywords we’ve discussed in context. This can help you to see the words used in a variety of ways and expand your vocabulary. And, well, that is something we can help you with, too. You can read new and interesting content every day in our English Plus Magazine. All you have to do is go to englishplusmagazine.com and enjoy the daily content we add there.

Write and speak —try incorporating the keywords we’ve discussed into your writing or speaking. This can help you to practice using the words in context and reinforce your understanding of their meanings.

Play word games — Engage in word games or puzzles that use the keywords we’ve discussed, such as crossword puzzles, word searches, or Scrabble. And one more time, you can find that on our website englishpluspodcast.com in the custom post we created for this episode. There is an interactive crossword puzzle, and there are many other fun activities that you can find in the downloadable PDF practice worksheet that you can find in the post.

Ben:

Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you engage with these words, the more familiar and comfortable you will become with them. Good luck!

Danny:

You’re absolutely right. And now that we have come to the end of today’s episode, here’s a quick summary of what we covered in today’s episode —

We discussed 10 keywords that are commonly used in English, including Gothic, impregnable, riven, insularity, elite, reverence, mystique, exhort, sundry, and primal. We defined each of these words and discussed how they can be used in different contexts.

To practice these words, we suggested using flashcards, reading widely, writing and speaking, and playing word games, which you can find on our website in this custom post we created for this episode. The link is in the description. What are you waiting for? Take you English to the next level with English Plus, and remember, the more you engage with these words, the more familiar and comfortable you will become with them.

If you found this episode helpful, please consider leaving us a review and sharing it with your friends and colleagues. Your support helps us to continue creating high-quality content like this. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll see you in the next episode!

<a href="https://englishpluspodcast.com/author/dannyballanowner/" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan

Author

Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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