my American friend podcast episode 46: This time our episode is about MAKING MISTAKES.
Marta: Today we’re talking about MAKING MISTAKES.
Marta: Ugh! It’s 3 o’clock. Cindy was supposed to be here at noon! Where is she?!
Cindy: Hey girl! How are ya? Ok, here’s your coffee and here’s your copy of the script. Can I borrow your headphones? Is this mic on?
Marta: Where have you been?
Cindy: What do you mean? I was at the coffee shop. What’s wrong with you? Why are you using the finger- tapping sound effect?
Marta: You SCREWED UP, you’re late! You said you’d be here at noon!
Cindy: No I didn’t.
Marta: You are late!
Cindy: It’s 3. I’m always here at 3 o’clock. Look, I’m even a minute early- it’s only 2:59…oh wait, now it’s three.
Marta: (Marta searching through text messages) Look! Look! Here’s your text… ‘’see you at noon! lol. smiley face!’’
Cindy: Oh, I forgot!…I MESSED UP BIG TIME, didn’t I?
Marta: Yes, you messed up BIG time! That means you made a big mistake. We had a lot of material to discuss….
Cindy: ….and I was supposed to be here 3 hours ago. I’m sorry.
Marta: We’re talking today about making mistakes.
Cindy: Oh good! …Here’s your coffee…. I’m an expert! (laughs)
Marta: Aside from today’s BLUNDER….
Cindy: a blunder is a careless mistake….
Marta: Can you think of any other huge ERRORS you’ve made?
Cindy: Oh, you want to know about like EPIC FAILS? Really huge failures?
Marta: uh huh.
Cindy: Well, dying my hair red was a MAJOR FAIL! I won’t be doing that again anytime soon!
Marta: No Cindy, I’m talking about a situation where you just fell flat on your face.
Cindy: Ok, TO FALL FLAT ON YOUR FACE means to fail in an embarrassing way. Well, I’ve never been good at Math. I had to take high school Algebra twice.
Cindy: Twice! And I remember having this big Algebra exam. It was like a sink or swim moment. I had to pass the exam or I would have to repeat the class the following year. SINK OR SWIM
Marta: What happened?
Cindy: Total BRAIN FREEZE!
Cindy: Yes! Five minutes into the exam, my brain just froze and I forgot everything. I BOMBED. I failed the exam and the following year, when all of my classmates had moved onto the next level, I was still stuck in Level 1 Algebra. It was embarrassing!
Marta: So you FLUNKED? You failed your Algebra exam?
Cindy: Oh, I CHOKED! I BIT THE DUST HARD! I couldn’t remember the first thing about Algebra! In fact, that’s why I was late this afternoon, I’m still trying to pass my high school Algebra exam! (laughs)How about you Marta? Can you think of any GAFFES, screw-ups or a faux pas that you’ve made recently?
Marta: Well, no. Not since this morning anyways! (laughs) Hey Cindy, what was that last expression you used? Did you say FAUX PAS? That’s French. It literally translates to false step.
Cindy: Yes, a faux pas. That’s a commonly used expression. It means a social blunder, an error, an inappropriate remark. Someone had committed a major faux pas against a friend of mine recently.
Marta: What happened?
Cindy: Well, a woman asked my friend if she was pregnant. She’s not pregnant!
Marta: That’s a serious faux pas!
Cindy: Don’t ever ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you are 100% sure….
Marta: …that she is in fact pregnant!
Cindy: Ugh, people can be so cruel nowadays! I love the expression: ‘’If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!’’
Marta: That’s good advice!
Cindy: Hey Marta, why don’t we take a break for now and go out and grab a pizza? My treat, I’ll pay. I want TO MAKE IT UP TO YOU for being 3 hours late today.
Marta: Oh…that’s okay Cindy…really, it’s no problem…I forgive you….
Cindy: No, really. I feel terrible. I want to make it up to you. Let me buy you dinner tonight….I insist.
Marta: No…let’s just stay inside and finish working. I’ll fix sandwiches and…
Cindy: Come on! Let’s go outside! We have all night to work. I’ll get our coats.
Marta: Cindy, have you even looked in the mirror today?! Look at your outfit!
Cindy: What?? It’s a red blouse!
Marta: …with a violet skirt…
Cindy: …and green shoes! What’s the problem? I thought it would be fun and colorful! Was that a mistake?
Marta: A mistake? Your outfit is not a mistake, it’s a crime against fashion!
Cindy: Oh…you’re right! I should have worn the yellow blouse instead!
Marta: Did you get dressed in a dark closet today?
Cindy: Hey, whatever happened to ‘’if you don’t have anything nice to say- then don’t say anything at all’’??
Marta: I’m sorry, but your outfit defies all logic!
Marta: Thanks for listening everyone!
Cindy: Thanks everyone! And be sure to read the bonus Vocabulary section at the end of this transcript.
Marta: Stop by our Facebook page today and say hi!
Cindy: Follow us on Twitter and watch our videos on Youtube! Download additional episodes of ‘’my American friend’’ on Podomatic and iTunes and be sure to check out our blog at www.myamericanfriendblog.com
Marta: Take care, everyone! Bye!
1. To “screw up”- to make a mistake.
EXAMPLE: You screwed up! Football practice started at 1 o’clock and you’re 2 hours late. You’re never going to be ready for Saturday’s game!
2. to “mess up’’ or to “mess up big time”- to make a huge mistake.
EXAMPLE: I messed up big time with Barbara! I went to the movies with another girl last Friday. Barbara’s friend saw us together. She immediately called and told her what I did. I really liked Barbara but now she never wants to see me again.
3. A “blunder” – to make a stupid or careless mistake.
EXAMPLE: I made a huge blunder at my sister’s wedding when I mistakenly thought her father-in-law was a waiter.
4. An “error”- a mistake.
EXAMPLE: It is very important to make a habit of proof-reading your work and utilizing spell check to avoid unnecessary errors that could cause you to earn a lower grade.
5. An epic fail- a term used by young people meaning to make a very big mistake.
EXAMPLE: Don’t even try to skateboard off that hill! It’s too steep. You’re going to lose control and crash. Don’t do it, it would be an epic fail!
6. Major fail- big failure, big mistake
EXAMPLE: How was your job interview today?
ANSWER: It was a major fail on my part! I dressed too casually in jeans & a t-shirt. Everyone was wearing neatly ironed shirts & ties. I called the boss by his first name instead of Mr. Jones and I forgot to bring my portfolio. I was completely unprepared. I’ll never get the job now!
7. to “fall flat on one’s face”- to fail in an embarrassing way.
EXAMPLE: Susan was not prepared for her big presentation at the conference. She had failed to memorize the material and did not write a very professional or convincing speech to accompany her presentation. This was her first big conference and she fell flat on her face by being badly prepared & unprofessional.
8. “Sink or swim”- Fail or succeed.
EXAMPLE: Your 1 month probation period has ended here at the company. It’s “sink or swim” time now! You’ll have to do your best to succeed and not make any more mistakes otherwise you will be fired.
9. Brain freeze- to forget, unable to remember something.
EXAMPLE: I had a total brain freeze when I met Susan. She was so beautiful that I couldn’t even speak. I could barely remember my own name to introduce myself! J
10. to “bomb” at something- to perform badly
EXAMPLE: Last year I tried playing basketball but I bombed miserably! I lost the ball, lost my balance, fell flat on my face and spent the rest of the basketball season on the bench. I’m much better at football. Next year I will try out for the school football team.
11. to flunk- to fail, as in to fail an exam
EXAMPLE: Did you pass your driver’s exam?
ANSWER: No, I flunked the written part of the exam. I need to study the driver’s manual better and take the exam again next month. I’m determined to NEVER flunk again!
12. I “choked”- I failed, forgot the words, performed badly
EXAMPLE: I choked at my music recital! I forgot the words to the songs!
13. To bite the dust- to break, fail, give out, die
EXAMPLE: John’s old car bit the dust last week. The engine finally died. He has decided to buy a new car instead of installing a new engine.
14. a ‘’gaffe’’- a social blunder or a noticeable mistake.
EXAMPLE: Susan committed a major gaffe during the diner party when she called John’s date by his ex-girlfriend’s name! We tried to stop her but it was too late.
15. to make a “faux pas”- (French) a social blunder, an inappropriate remark.
EXAMPLE: It is considered a great faux pas to ask a woman if she is pregnant if you are not first 100% sure that she is in fact pregnant!
16. To “make it up to someone”- to make amends
EXAMPLE: I’m sorry that you had to do my job yesterday. I want to make it up to you and show you how much I appreciate your help. I want to take you out for dinner and it’s my treat, I’m paying for it.
17. A “crime against fashion”- (joke) a very ugly outfit, an offense against fashion.
EXAMPLE: Did you see what that famous actress wore to the Oscars? That was a crime against fashion! That dress was so ugly! I can’t believe her stylist allowed her to wear it.
18. To ‘’go belly up’’- to fail, to go out of business
EXAMPLE: That pizza restaurant in town was very poorly managed. The owner spent all his money on fancy clothes and cars instead of improving the business. In one year the business went belly up and the restaurant closed its doors forever.
19. to ‘’Put my foot in my mouth’’ – to say something regretful
EXAMPLE: I put my foot in my mouth when I told my boss how great my ski trip was last week! I lied and said I wasn’t feeling well last week. Now she knows it was all a huge lie. I’ve made a big mistake and it will take a long time to earn her trust again.
20. To eat one’s words- to admit defeat, admit you were wrong.
EXAMPLE: John said Mark would be a terrible addition to the football team. John said he was too young and inexperienced. John had to eat his words when Mark became the team’s most valuable player by scoring the most goals during the season.
21. Politically incorrect- an offensive statement based on race, religion, sex, etc..
EXAMPLE: Politically incorrect and offensive statements will not be tolerated in this office. We work in a culturally diverse environment where we welcome people of all backgrounds.
22. To get carried away- to become overexcited, to overdue something, to be excessive
EXAMPLE: John got a little carried away when painting his bedroom. Now the entire room is blue! He even painted the floor and the doorknobs blue!
23. Frame of mind- mental state
EXAMPLE: I did very poorly on my final exam. I was sick with the flu, very tired and not in a good frame of mind. My professor knew I had been sick. He was very kind and allowed me to take the exam over. I got a much better score the second time and I am grateful for the second chance!
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