Vocabulary Building | Earthquake

Introduction

Learn the words immense, desolation, converge, diverge, creep and five more words in the context of our vocabulary building episode about earthquakes. Build your vocabulary and take your English to the next level with English Plus Podcast.


Audio Podcast


Earthquake

The shaking came at dawn, a sudden force they could not escape. The young mother held her children close, trying to protect them. The father covered both his wife and his children with his body, hoping to save them from falling limestone blocks. Their efforts were not enough. Even though the duration of the earthquake was short, probably no more than a few minutes, the powerful forces were too much for the walls of their stone house. The family died, huddled together inside, along with hundreds of others that day, they were victims of an immense earthquake that struck southwest Cyprus in the year 365 A.D.

For thousands, perhaps millions of years, earthquakes have shaken our planet, causing the fearful destruction and desolation that the residents of Cyprus experienced on that fateful day. What conditions produce these powerful events? Can we predict where or when they will occur?

To understand something about earthquakes, you need to understand the structure of our planet. The earth’s crust is actually broken into huge plates. The continents ride on these plates, which creep over the earth’s molten core. In some areas the edges of the plates converge and grind together, creating one type of earthquake. In other areas one plate may slip beneath another in a process called subduction. In some cases, the plates diverge, stretching and thinning the crust. This allows molten rock in the earth’s core to rise. As this upwelling of extremely hot molten rock occurs, volcanos are created. Some long cracks, or faults, in the earth’s surface are visible evidence of where two plates meet. If the plates are moving in different directions, earthquakes will persist in the vicinity.

Many severe earthquakes have occurred during recorded history, but it was not until the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that scientists began to study them. In trying to guess how the earth had moved, scientists built theoretical models to show the forces that bad been involved. The studies showed that horizontal movement along the San Andreas Fault had caused the Pacific and North American plates to mesh so tightly that no movement had occurred at the fault. Instead, the strain along the edge of the Pacific plate had created an S-shaped warp. As the pressure increased, the strain grew, to finally culminate in the edge of one plate snapping. This caused the two plates to grind along each other, creating a strong vibration that traveled through the earth. Earthquakes have taught us that the earth is constantly in motion. By using the data collected over hundreds of years, geologists can measure the power of the vibrations and, with the help of computers, map areas of hazardous regions. Although predictions are still very inexact, earthquakes are finally yielding to scientific investigation.


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Episode Transcript

0:03
This is your host Danny and this is vocabulary building from English plus podcast.

0:13
I am so excited to welcome you to a new year. A lot of interesting things that I have in store for you and a new season that starts with this very episode. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about earthquakes. And I hope the episodes and the tons of content I have prepared for you for this year on the website. New Books are coming up great things are happening for my patrons this year. All of that I hope they cause an earthquake in your learning, but I hope real earthquakes never happen, or at least because they are inevitable. I hope they never cause any damage. Now with that being said, let me start telling you about the words we’re going to learn in today’s episode. In the context of our story for today about earthquakes, the words we’re going to learn are duration, immense, desolation, structure, creep, converge, diverge, vicinity, theoretical and culminate. Are you interested? Of course you are. And as usual, we’re going to start with a story we’re going to put these words in context first, which will help us remember these words and use them actively in our everyday speaking and writing. And now without further ado, let’s start talking about earthquakes.

1:36
The shaking came a dawn, a sudden force they could not escape. The young mother held her children close trying to protect them. The father covered both his wife and his children with his body hoping to save them from falling limestone blocks. Their efforts were not enough. Even though the duration of the earthquake was short, probably no more than a few minutes. The powerful forces were too much for the walls of their stone house. The family died huddled together inside along with hundreds of others that day. They were the victims of an immense earthquake that struck southwest Cyprus in the year 365 ad. For 1000s. Perhaps millions of years, earthquakes have shaken our planet, causing the fearful destruction and desolation that the residents of Cyprus experienced on that fateful day. What conditions produce these powerful events? Can we predict where or when they will occur? To understand something about earthquakes, you need to understand the structure of our planet, the Earth’s crust is actually broken into huge plates. The continents ride on these plates, which creep over the Earth’s molten core. In some areas, the edges of the plates converge and grind together creating one type of earthquake. In other areas, one plate may slip beneath another in a process called subduction. In some cases, the plates diverge, stretching and thinning the crust. This allows molten rock in the earth’s core to rise as this up swelling of extremely hot molten rock occurs, volcanoes are created. Some long cracks or faults in the earth surface are visible evidence of where two plates meet. If the plates are moving in different directions, earthquakes will persist in the vicinity. Many severe earthquakes have occurred during recorded history. But it was not until the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that scientists began to study them. In trying to guess how the Earth had moved, scientists built theoretical models to show the forces that had been involved. The studies showed that horizontal movement along the San Andreas Fault had caused the Pacific and North American plates to mesh so tightly that no movement had occurred at the fault. Instead distrain along the edge of the Pacific plate had created an S shaped warp. As the pressure increased, the string grew to finally culminate in the edge of one plate snapping. This caused the two plates to grind along each other, creating a strong vibration that travels through the Earth. Earthquakes have taught us that the Earth is constantly in motion. By using the data collected over hundreds of years geologists can measure the power of the vibrations and with the help of computers map areas of hazardous regions although predictions are still very inexact earthquakes are final

5:00
yielding to scientific investigation. So that was what I wanted to tell you about earthquakes. And as you noticed, I use the 10 words I want to talk about today in the context of the story. So remember, always better to learn new words in context, because that means you will remember them forever. And now without further ado, let’s move on and start talking about the words we need to focus on today. Let me remind you one more time these words are duration, immense desolation, structure, creep, converge, diverge, vicinity, theoretical and culminate, that’s what we’re going to talk about next.

5:46
So let me start with a very first word, duration, D, you are at i o n. Let’s take a look at how we use that word. In context. We said, even though the duration of the earthquake was short, probably no more than a few minutes, the powerful forces were too much for the walls of their stone house. Now, of course, here we’re referring to that unfortunate earthquake that happened in Cyprus A long time ago. But anyway, our word is duration. What do we mean by that? Well, the duration of an event or state is the time during which it happens or exists. And here, as you can see, the duration of the earthquake was not long as it is the case usually, earthquakes do not last for a long time, but their destruction is so big, even though the duration of the earthquake is short. So that is our word duration. Let’s move on to talk about the next word immense. I m m e n s e. Let’s see how we use that in context. We said the family died huddled together inside along with hundreds of others that day, they were victims of an immense earthquake that struck southwest Cyprus in the year 365. Ad out here, when we talk about something that is immense. Are we talking about something small? Absolutely not. We’re talking about something huge, great, massive. If you describe something as immense, you mean that it is extremely large or great. That’s the meaning of immense. Now let’s move on to the next word, desolation. Let’s see how we use that in context. We said for 1000s, perhaps millions of years earthquakes have shaken our planet, causing the fearful destruction and desolation that the residents of Cyprus experienced on that fateful day. So our word is desolation, d s, o l a t i o n desolation? What does that mean? Are we talking about something happy here? Of course not. We’re talking about destruction. We’re talking about people who died because of that earthquake. So definitely, we’re not talking about something happy. It is sad. Desolation is not a happy word. If you refer to desolation in a place, you mean that it is empty and frightening, for example, because it has been destroyed by violent force or army. So we can use that to talk about wars as well. But here, of course, it’s not war we’re talking about we’re talking about earthquakes. So force of nature. So that is the word desolation. Our next word is structure. Str UCT. Ure structure. How do we use that in context, let’s say, to understand something about earthquakes, you need to understand the structure of our planet. So of course, we need to understand the structure of our planet. But what is the meaning of structure, the structure of something is the way in which it is made, built or organized. That’s the meaning of structure. And now let’s move on to talk about the next word, creep, C R, E, P. Now I know you might have heard a lot of creep as a word when you describe someone as a creep. And that’s not a positive word, of course, but here we’re talking about creep as a verb, which is different here. And obviously, we’re talking about the plates of the Earth, the structure, we talked about the plates, and we said the continents ride on these plates, which creep over the Earth’s Molten Core. So what does it mean to creep? If something creeps somewhere, it moves very slowly. And here, of course, when we talk about the plates, we’re not talking about fast movements. No, we’re talking about slow movements. But these slow movements can cause big damage as we just described. Now, we talked about two different things that may happen, the plates can converge or diverge, and these are our next two words converge and diverge. Let’s start with converge c o n v e r g.

10:00
Was that in some areas, the edges of the plates converge and grind together creating one type of earthquake. Now, what does that mean? If people or vehicles converge on a place, they move towards it from different directions. If roads or lines converge, they meet or join at a particular place. And that is exactly what happens to the plates of the earth. When they converge. They come together, they meet, they join, and of course, they’re not supposed to join, because when they join, they may cause an earthquake to happen. But that happens anyway, that’s been happening for millions of years, we cannot complain. Anyway, that is the meaning of converge. What is the meaning of diverge? Well, obviously, it’s the opposite. And by the way, diverges d i v, E, R, G, E, how do we use that in context, we said, in some cases, the plates diverge, stretching and thinning the crust, this allows molten rock in the earth’s core to rise. And obviously we’re talking about volcanoes may happen. So diverge is not like converge, it’s just the opposite. If one road path or route diverges from another, they lead in different directions after starting from the same place. So when we talk about diverge, we’re talking about deviating or departing straying, we’re not talking about coming together meeting or joining, which is converge. Alright, so we have converge, we have diverge, and we have a couple of more words, let’s talk about the very next one. And this one is vicinity v i, c i n i t y. Let’s take a look at how we use that in context. We said if the plates are moving in different directions, earthquakes will persist in the vicinity, what is the meaning of vicinity, if something is in the vicinity of a particular place, it is near it. So it’s just like saying the area but that is a fancier word to talk about the area we can say the area here, but the vicinity is more accurate, more scientific, more formal, we can say. So that is our word vicinity. The next word is theoretical, t h e ORETICAL. Theoretical? How do we use that in context, we said in trying to guess how the Earth had moved, scientists built theoretical models to show the forces that had been involved. Now when we talk about theoretical studies, models, etc. It doesn’t mean that it is not real. It is based on science. But it is not hard science, heart proven science, it’s still unproven. It’s still hypothetical, as theoretical study or explanation is based on or uses the ideas and abstract principles that relate to a particular subject rather than the practical aspects or uses of it. So sometimes when you can’t have all the evidence you need, you may rely on theoretical explanations, or like in our case here, theoretical models, but usually, these theoretical models and more study will lead you to create scientifically sound models that will not try to predict earthquakes, but will tell you exactly when they will happen and where they will happen. Hopefully not too far in the future, because that can save a lot of lives. So that was the meaning of theoretical. And now for our final word for today’s episode, and that is culminate, see you LMINATE culminate. How do we use that in context, we said, as the pressure increased, the strain grew to finally culminate in the edge of one plate snapping and here we’re talking about the San Andreas Fault. Now, if you say that an activity process or series of events culminates in or with a particular event, you mean that event happens at the end of it? It’s like we’re saying ends up happening. That is the meaning of culminate, these were our 10 words. Aren’t you happy that you learned the meaning of duration, immense desolation structure, creep, convergent, diverge vicinity, theoretical and culminate, I am happy to tell you about the meanings of those words. I hope you are happy to learn new words you can use in your everyday language. And now that brings me to the end of our episode for today I will remind you that you will find a lot more to practice and especially with the new content I am creating on English plus podcast.com Our website you will find a lot to learn and I’m not only talking about English here of course for English learners English plus podcast.com is full of things you can do but I have also added other things you can go check yourself the link is in the description. Of course the link in the description will take you to the custom post I created for this episode. But obviously you can take your time browse the

15:00
website and see for yourself, we have a lot of extra quizzes. And when I talk about quizzes, I’m not talking about tests, I’m talking about things that you will enjoy learning about in a very short, sweet and useful quiz. And it’s not only about English, it’s about a lot of other things. We have games, activities, puzzles, things to keep your brain fit and things to improve your language or your knowledge in general, because we have new documentaries coming up new audio series video series, just a lot. Go see for yourself. The website is really transforming into a comprehensive learning center. And for my patrons, I would love to tell you that a lot is coming your way in 2022. And for those who are not patrons yet, what are you waiting for, there are a lot of premium content that is coming your way in 2022. So now is the time also you will find the link in the description. And that will take you to my Patreon page where you can become a patron support me support this podcast and the whole podcast network of course and get all the benefits that come with it. Now that being said, that’ll be everything for today. This is your host Danny I would like to thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.

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