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Mind your own business

How I learnt to mind my own business
Come ho imparato a fare i fatti miei

mind-your-own-business

[per sapere il significato delle parole in rosso, puoi passarci
sopra con il mouse o cercarle nel glossario in fondo all’articolo]

When I got home from work yesterday, it was a lovely sunny afternoon so I decided to go for a nice long walk. As I was walking past the local school, on the other side of the fence, I could hear all the children shouting, “Thirteen… thirteen… thirteen….”
The fence was too high to look over the top but just in front of me I could see a small hole in one of the planks. Curious, I stopped to see what was going on.
Just as I bent down to look through the hole, one of the children on the other side of the fence poked his finger in my eye and they all started shouting, “Fourteen… fourteen… fourteen…”

 

GLOSSARY
lovely = piacevole • fence = recinto • to hear = udire, sentire • to shout = gridare
high
= alto over = sopra • top = cima • in front of = davanti a • hole = buco
plank = asse di legno • to go on = succedere • just as = proprio mentre
to bend down = piegarsi • through = attraverso • to poke = conficcare

 


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Garda Síochána

garda

[per sapere il significato delle parole in rosso, puoi passarci
sopra con il mouse o cercarle nel glossario in fondo all’articolo]

One day a garda stopped at a farm in County Galway and went up to the old farmer who was milking his cows.
“I have to inspect your farm for illegally grown drugs,” he asserted brusquely.
“That’s fine,” answered the old farmer with a smile, “but whatever you do, don’t go into that field over there.”
“I will go wherever I want!” exploded the garda. “I have the authority of the Garda Síochána with me!” Putting his hand into his back pocket, the hot-headed garda pulled out his badge and proudly displayed it to the farmer.
“See this badge? This badge means that I can go wherever I want, whenever I want! No questions asked, no answers given! Do you understand old man?”
The farmer nodded gently, apologised, and carried on milking his cows.
A few minutes later, the farmer heard a loud scream. Looking up, he saw the garda running for his life with the farmer’s big bull, McCabe, hot on his heels.
With every step the bull was gaining ground on the garda and it was clear that he would be gored before he managed to reach safety. The garda was clearly terrified.
The old farmer jumped up from his stool and ran as fast as he could towards the field, yelling at the top of his voice: “Your badge! Show him your badge!”

GLOSSARY
garda = poliziotto irlandese • to milk = mungereto have to = dovere • to assert = affermare
whatever
= qualuncue cosa wherever = ovunque • Garda Síochána = polizia irlandese
badge = distintivo • proudly = orgogliosamente • to nod = annuire • to apologise = scusarsi
carry on = continuare • scream = grido • bull = toro • hot on his heels = alle calcagna
to gain = guadagnare • ground = terreno • to gore = trafiggere • to reach = raggiungere
stool = sgabello • to yell = urlare •


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Pubblicato da su 22 settembre 2016 in funny stories, Humour inglese, Inglese in azione, read

 

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The Bathtub Test

bathtub

[per sapere il significato delle parole in rosso, puoi passarci
sopra con il mouse o cercarle nel glossario in fondo all’articolo]

 

During a visit to a mental asylum, I asked the director how he knew when a patient needed to be institutionalised.
“It’s really quite simple,” the director replied. “We just fill up a bathtub with water and then offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.”
“Oh, I understand,” I replied. “Obviously a normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the cup.”
“No,” said the director. “A normal person would pull the plug out. Do you want a bed near the window?”

 

GLOSSARY
mental asylum = manicomio • bathtub = vasca da bagno • teaspoon = cucchiaino
teacup
= tazza da tè bucket = secchio • to empty = svuotare • plug = tappo

 


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Pubblicato da su 16 luglio 2016 in funny stories, Humour inglese, Inglese in azione, read

 

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The Balloonist and the Hiker

hot-air-balloon

[per sapere il significato delle parole in rosso, puoi passarci
sopra con il mouse o cercarle nel glossario in fondo all’articolo]

 

One day a man, who was travelling in a hot air balloon, realised he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman hiking down below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The hiker, shouting back, replied, “You are in a hot air balloon approximately 30 feet above the ground. Your position is about 30 degrees north latitude and 90 degrees west longitude.”

“Hey, what are you, a technician?” yelled the balloonist.

“Yes, I am,” the hiker shouted back. “How did you guess?”

“Well,” shouted the balloonist, “everything you’ve told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information! The fact is, I’m still lost, and you haven’t said or done a single thing to help!”

“Ah, you must be in management.” the hiker yelled back.

“I am,” shouted the balloonist, “but how did you guess?”

“Easy.” the hiker yelled. “You don’t know where you are. You don’t know where you’re going. You’ve risen to where you are thanks to a large quantity of hot air. You’ve made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect me to resolve your problem. The fact is you are in exactly the same position that you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s all my fault!”

 

GLOSSARY
to spot = individuare • to hike = fare un’escursione a piedi • to shout = gridare • hiker = escursionista
to yell = urlare • to guess = indovinare • management = dirigenza • to rise = salire
to keep = mantenere • to expect = aspettarsi • somehow = in qualche modo • fault = colpa

 


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Pubblicato da su 6 giugno 2016 in Inglese in azione, read

 

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Who was Saint Patrick really?

ST-PATRICKS-DAY2-images-and-graphics

Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

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Pubblicato da su 17 marzo 2015 in Inglese in azione, Palestra, read, true or false

 

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The 500-year-long battle to make written irony easier to understand.

ironieteken
Extract from an article by Keith Houston in the New Statesman.
Read the full article here: LINK (advanced level)

“Our collective sense of irony, it seems, has never been in better health…

…And yet, as soon as we move from being appreciative connoisseurs to active purveyors of irony, we run into difficulty. Verbal irony – the ostensibly simple act of stating something that is not meant – is a fragile thing, a contract between ironist and audience that is easily broken. Without mutual understanding, a theoretically ironic statement just does not work: a veiled compliment is mistaken for the insult behind which it is hidden, while an ironic expression of praise loses its critical sting. Sometimes, most simply, a meaningful statement becomes nonsensical.

Spoken irony, for the most part, avoids such pitfalls by virtue of tone of voice and the body language with which we accompany it. By cocking an eyebrow, by feigning enthusiasm or boredom, we give an attentive listener the clues they need to extract our true meaning. The problems most often arise not when we utter an ironic statement but when we try to write it down.

Yet written language is not without its own body language of sorts in the form of punctuation, and to approximate a specific tone of voice we might employ italic or bold text. Despite this, writers persist in looking for alternative ways to signal irony. For evidence of this we need look no further than the prevalence of the “smileys” with which we decorate jokes sent over SMS, instant messaging and email. Plainly, we do not trust conventional marks alone to convey our meaning. Even a crude 🙂 or 😉 is preferable to having an ironic comment misunderstood by its reader…”


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Pubblicato da su 26 ottobre 2013 in Inglese in azione, read

 

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