Vocabulary Builder | Giants of the Desert

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Learn new words and add them to your English active vocabulary bank with Vocabulary Builder from English Plus Podcast. Learn from a text about the Saguaro Cacti, The Giants of the Desert.

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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.

Transcript

Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today is vocabulary builder. And today we are going to learn 20 new words, but we’re going to start with a very special text that is about giants of the desert. So without further ado, Let’s start with our text giants of the desert, where we’re going to learn five words, and then we’re going to continue on to learn the 15 remaining words for this episode of vocabulary, builder, giants of the desert visitors to the parts Sonoran desert of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico Marvel at the many arm giants that give the landscape its unique appearance.

[00:00:48] These are the giants of Warroad cacti in the dry rugged desert Socorro cactus can live for more than 200 years. Grow to a height of 60 feet and have as many as 50 arms. Amazingly. So our own cacti persist, despite the harsh unforgiving desert climate, those that have grown to old age have survived.

[00:01:13] Drought freezes, flash floods, and brush fires, as well as the backgrounds that eat their seedlings. Like all desert plans. So why Rose hold water? These leafless plants observed the water through their long roots and store it for use during the deserts long dry spells. Naturally the mighty  is a vital part of desert life.

[00:01:39] In fact, this giant may be home to many animals, including woodpeckers, owls, doves, bats, and insects. In addition after a  reaches the age of 50 or so Hardy flowers appear at the top of the plant once a year. These flower entice, birds, bats, and bees who come for the nectar and for the tasty flowers, with their black seeds.

[00:02:08] Although the Regals are warriors are plentiful in the Southwest. They are, unfortunately in danger. These giant cacti have great value in landscape gardening and poachers can earn thousands of dollars by uprooting them and selling them to nurseries. To protect these Southwestern treasures from poachers agents of the Arizona department of agriculture patrol.

[00:02:34] The desert there’s is a hard but important job for, without the  many desert creatures would suffer food shortages and loss of nesting sites. The Southwest too, would lose something of unique importance. Since these desert giants have come to symbolize the very essence of this rugged region. So that was our text about the SOA cacti, the giants of the desert.

[00:03:01] Let’s start with the very first word we want to talk about. And that is parched in the text. We said visitors to the parts Sonoran desert of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico, Marvel at the many armed giants that give the landscape its unique appearance. We’re talking about the desert. We describe this desert as parched.

[00:03:25] So, what do you think the meaning is? Is it saturated, rugged, enclosed, or dry? Let’s see parch means to deprive or to be deprived of water or to shrivel with heat. An example for that, the fields of Oklahoma were parched by drought in the 1930s. So coming back to these four words I gave you, I guess you might’ve guessed that we’re talking about.

[00:03:55] So coming back to these four words I gave you, I think you might’ve guessed, we’re talking about dry and now let’s move to the second word in the text that we want to focus on. And that is persist. P E R S I S T persist in the text. We said amazingly. So our own cacti persist, despite the harsh unforgiving desert climate, what is the meaning of persist?

[00:04:22] Does it mean to expire? To give up to object or to persevere. What do you think let’s find out if something undesirable, persists, it continues to exist, or if you persist in doing something, you continue to do it, even though it is difficult or other people are against it. So that is the meaning of persist.

[00:04:46] For example. How can he persist in denying that he was at the scene of the crime when several people saw him there. So that was our example. Let’s go back to the four words I gave you. Is it expire, give up object or persevere? Well, obviously it is persevere. So let’s move now to the third word we want to talk about.

[00:05:07] And that is vital. V I T a L vital in the text. We said naturally the mighty  is a vital part of desert life. So what is the meaning of vital? Does it mean useless, humble, unique, or crucial? Let’s find out. If you say that something is vital, you mean that it is necessary or very important. If you describe someone or something as vital, you mean that they are very energetic and full of life.

[00:05:41] For example, regular visits to the dentist are vital. If you wish to have healthy, good looking teeth. So coming back to these four words I gave you, what do you think? Is it useless, humble, unique, or crucial? Well, obviously after the example and after what we said about vital, it is crucial. And now let’s move on to the next word.

[00:06:04] And that is entice E N T I C E entice in the text. We said these flowers, entice, birds, bats, and bees who come for the nectar and for the tasty flowers, with their black seeds. So what is the meaning of entice? Do you think it means to lure second uproot or repel? Well, let’s find out to entice someone to go somewhere or to do something means to try to persuade them to go to that place or to do that thing.

[00:06:37] For example, to entice shoppers into the store sales persons, we’re giving away coupons for free gifts. So they were trying to persuade them to come into the store. They were trying to entice them to entice the shoppers. So coming back to these words, I gave you, obviously we’re talking about lure and now to the next word and the last word we’re going to talk about in the text before we move on to talk about the 15 remaining words.

[00:07:05] This word is Regal, R E G a L Regal in the text. We said, although the Regals are white, Rose are plentiful in the Southwest. They are unfortunately in danger. What do you think Regal means? Does it mean tall hearty? Majestic or lowly let’s find out if you describe something as Regal, you mean that it is suitable for a King or queen, because it is very impressive and beautiful.

[00:07:37] For example, the two families pooled their resources to give the bride and groom a truly Regal wedding. So coming back to these four words I gave you. Obviously the meaning is not tall, not Hardy and not lowly it’s majestic. So these words are the five words I wanted to focus on in our text about the , the Regal giants of the desert.

[00:08:01] And now we will have 15 more words. I will give you examples, including these words, and we will learn the meaning of these words together. So let’s start, let’s learn more words and let’s start first with the word. Accelerate. Accelerate is spelled a C, C E L E R a T E. For example, we can say the hikers needed to accelerate their pace.

[00:08:25] Once it became clear that it would soon rain, they needed to accelerate. If the process or rate of something accelerates, or if something accelerates it, it gets faster and faster. So the hikers needed to go faster. They needed to accelerate their pace. So that was accelerated. Let’s move to the next word.

[00:08:47] Bystander, B Y S T a N D E R. Bystander. The bystander who witnessed the collision, gave his statement to the police. What is the meaning of bystander? A bystander is a person who is present when something happens and who sees it, but does not take part in it. So that was bystander. Let’s move on to talk about canvas C a N V a S S canvas.

[00:09:18] For example, the students volunteered to canvas the neighborhood for our candidate. Well, what is the meaning of canvas here? If you canvas for a particular person or political party, you go around an area trying to persuade people to vote for that person or party. So that is the meaning of canvas. Now let’s move on to talk about the next word, casual C a S U a L casual, a casual remark made by the mayor was taken out of context and used against him by the press.

[00:09:52] So that was our example, a casual remark. What does the meaning of casual then if you are a casual, you are, or you pretend to be relaxed and not very concerned about what is happening or what you are doing, or a casual event or situation happens by chance or without planning. So that was the casual remark, but it was taken out of context and it was used against him by the press.

[00:10:17] So that was our word casual. Let’s move to the next word. Downtrodden, D O w N T R O D D E N. Downtrodden. Most of the immigrants at Ellis Island represented the downtrodden masses yearning to be free. What is the meaning of downtrodden, then people who are downtrodden are treated very badly by people with power and do not have the ability or the energy to do anything about it.

[00:10:47] So that is downtrodden. Let’s move to the next word, erode E R O D E erode, for example, storms and mudslides eroded the roads. So that eventually it became impassable. So what is the meaning of erode? If rock or soil erodes or is eroded by the weather sea or wind it cracks and breaks so that it is gradually destroyed.

[00:11:15] So that was erode. Now let’s move to the next word. Flounder, F L O U N D E R flounder. For example, after suffering much damage in the storm, the small craft was left to flounder about helplessly. So, what is the meaning of flounder here? If something is floundering, it has many problems and may soon fail completely.

[00:11:41] Or if you say that someone is floundering, you are criticizing them for not making decisions or for not knowing what to say or do. So that is the meaning of flounder. In this example here. Now let’s move on to talk about the next word graphic. G R a P H I C graphic. For example, a witness gave the reporter a graphic account of the destruction caused by the tornado.

[00:12:11] So what is the meaning of graphic? If you say that a description or account of something unpleasant is graphic. You are emphasizing that it is clear and detailed, or of course graphic means concerned with drawing or pictures, especially in publishing industry or computing. So that was about graphic. Now let’s move on to talk about the next word.

[00:12:34] And that is gruesome. G R U E S O M E. For example, the gruesome crime rock, the ordinarily quiet neighborhood. What is the meaning of gruesome here? It’s definitely not something pleasant to talk about. Something that is gruesome is extremely unpleasant and shocking. So the gruesome crime, we’re talking about an extremely unpleasant and shocking crime, and it dropped the ordinarily quiet neighborhood.

[00:13:03] So that was gruesome. Now let’s move on to talk about the next word and that is melancholy. Melancholy, M E L a N C H O L Y melancholy. For example, it must’ve been the gloom of the house and the steady rain that made me feel so much Langley. What is the meaning of melancholy? Obviously not happiness, not happy because by the way, melancholy can be used as a noun or as an adjective.

[00:13:31] And it has the same form. You describe something that you see or hear as melancholy when it gives you an intense feeling of sadness. Malenka league, as I told you can be used as a noun. Melancholy is an intense feeling of sadness, which lasts for a long time and we strongly affects your behavior and attitudes.

[00:13:52] So that is melancholy. Let’s move on to talk about another word. And that is ordeal O R D E a L ordeal. For example, if you have prepared properly for the exams, there will be no reason to regard them as a terrible ordeal. So what is the meaning of ordeal? Are we talking about a problem here? Maybe a big one.

[00:14:14] If you describe an experience or situation as an ordeal, you think it is difficult and unpleasant. So that is the meaning of ordeal. Now let’s move on to talk about another word. And that is puny P U N Y. Puny. For example, the wrestler led out of course, burst of light laughter when his puny opponent entered the ring.

[00:14:38] Oh, okay. He was laughing at this puny opponent. Obviously this opponent was not that strong. Right? So what’s the meaning of puny someone or some thing that is puny is very small or weak. So that is the meaning of puny. Now let’s move on to talk about another word quibble. Q U I B B L E quibble. For example, let’s not quibble over details.

[00:15:06] What is the meaning of quibble? Does it have the same meaning of discuss, argue or something in between? Well, let’s see when people quibble over a small matter, they argue about it, even though it is not important, a quibble. Is a small and unimportant complaint about something. So that is quibble. So don’t quibble over small matters because it is not important.

[00:15:32] So that is the meaning of quibble. Let’s move on to talk about the next word. And that is ratify, R a T I F Y. Ratify, for example, the legislature’s of three fourths of the States must ratify an amendment to the U S constitution, but it’s kind of something legal, right? So what is the meaning of ratify when national or organizations ratify a treaty or written about agreement?

[00:15:58] They make it official by giving their formal approval to it, usually by signing it or voting for it. So that is the meaning of ratify and it is a legal term now for our next word, stifle, S T I F L E stifled, for example, unable to stifle her anger, the sculptor lashed out at her harshest critic. So what is the meaning of stifled here?

[00:16:25] She couldn’t stop it. Right. But what is the exact meaning of stifled? If someone stifled something you consider to be a good thing they prevented from continuing, or if you stifled your natural feelings or behavior, you prevent yourself from having those feelings or behaving in that way. So that is the meaning of stifled.

[00:16:46] And that is the last word for today. We’ve learned 20 words, five of them from the text and 15, we learned in those examples and definitions. Remember that you can find the transcript of this episode in the link I will provide in the description and that’s not everything. There is the Quizlet interactive activities.

[00:17:06] You can also find them in the same link. And there is the PDF worksheets, which is part of our premium option. If you would like to get the PDF worksheet for this episode. And for all other episodes that we add everyday to our English plus podcast, take the link. I will leave in the description and become a patron of our show on Patreon.

[00:17:27] This way you will get a lot of benefits and you will also support us and help us continue with the same momentum we have here. And you episode every day and we have a lot of surprises coming down your way, but we do need your support. So that being said, this is Danny your host saying, thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast.

[00:17:48] And I will see you next time.

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