Learn Australian English in this Grammar In Plain English episode of Aussie English I teach you how to use the singular they like a native English speaker.
AE 390 – Grammar in Plain English:
The Singular They
G’day guys, and a welcome to this episode of Aussie English, Grammar In Plain English. No more jargon, guys. No more jargon. So, today we’re going to be talking about all the different ways that we can use the word ‘they‘, as well as: their, theirs, themself, etc. as a singular pronoun, guys, as a way of referring to one person, okay?
So, we use ‘they‘ to refer back to a pronoun words such as:
- No one.
And the same goes for noun phrases:
- Any employ,
- Every student,
- Which person.
- Everyone tried their hardest.
- Someone left their umbrella here.
- There’s someone on the phone and I have no idea who they are.
Note: you have to use the plural verb after ‘they‘.
- They are…
- They do…
- They think…
- They hope…
You’ll never say:
- They is…
- They hopes…
- They does…
- Someone’s calling you and they hope they’re not wasting their time.
- I know someone who’s got a crush on you, but they haven’t told me much.
- There’s someone waiting outside, but they don’t leave soon.
Use ‘they‘ when referring back to nouns of different genders when joined by ‘or‘.
- Pete or Kelly think they can do it.
- Out of Matt or Jane, one of them thinks they‘ll get to the party.
Use ‘they‘ to refer back to an individual of unknown gender or whose gender you don’t want to reveal.
- My friend said they‘d be in Melbourne this week.
- Do you know anyone who would think they‘re a good applicant for this job?
- Someone donated money, but they wish to remain anonymous.
When not to use ‘they‘.
Don’t use ‘they‘ when the context makes it obvious which gender you’re talking about.
- A man came over yesterday and they wanted to see you. You would say: A man came over yesterday and HE wanted to see you.
- Do you know this girl? They‘re waiting outside. Nope. Do you know this girl? SHE‘s waiting outside.
The same happens with a named individual, because more often than not if you know their name you’re going to know their gender.
- Jane thinks they can do it. Nope. Jane thinks SHE can do it.
- Pete thinks they‘ll arrive late. Nope. Pete thinks HE‘ll arrive late.
If you use ‘they‘ in this situation, you make it sound like Jane or Pete is thinking about or talking about ‘other people’.
- Jane thinks they (those people).
- Pete thinks are they (those people).
To make sure that you know that he’s talking about himself or she’s talking about herself, you have to say ‘he‘ or ‘she‘.
A special note on ‘themself‘ or ‘themselves‘.
Apparently, you should probably use ‘themself‘ in these situations where they are thinking of themself, okay? When it’s sort of reflexive.
However, because native speakers are so used to hearing ‘themselves‘ in the plural, even when we use it in the singular form we’re going to hear or we’re going to say:
They think of ‘themselves‘, instead of, they think of ‘themself‘.
Use either. It doesn’t really matter, guys.
Anyway, that’s it for this video, guys. I hope it helps. Start using ‘they‘, because this is a small tip that will make you sound a lot more like an English native speaker. I’ll see you in the next episode, guys.
G’day, guys. Pete here. Just a quick message. If you want the bonus content for today’s video, make sure that you come over to TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com, click enroll here, and you will get access to all the bonus content for today’s video as well as all of the podcast expression episodes and interview episodes. So, if you’d like to upgrade your English, jump over to TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com, enroll, and start levelling up your English. I’ll see you in class.
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By pete — 10 months ago
Learn Australian English in this interview episode of The Aussie English Podcast I chat with Rhys Linnett about how he became a karate world champion and is now traveling the world.
AE 427 – Interview: Becoming a Karate Champion & Traveling the World with Rhys Linnett
G’day, you mob. How’s it going? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today is another interview episode, and I’m looking forward to bringing you this one, because it is another interview, or it is the end of the previous interview, that I did with my cousin Rhys Linnett. So, I hope you enjoyed that interview with him. Make sure that you go and check that interview out episode of 412 – Interview: Life Working as a Brickie in Australia with Rhys Linnett. So, in that interview, we talked a lot about working as a tradie in Australia, what kinds of expectations you should have, work life on the trade sites with other guys in Australia in particular, you know, workplace bullying, what’s okay, what’s not okay. So, that was a really good interview, and then after that interview, he and I spoke a bit about his career as a karate fighter, a karate champion. So, Rhys has actually traveled the world quite a bit, more when he was younger, competing as a professional karate fighter, and he now teaches in Dubai. So, he has scored a job recently. He got sponsored, sent to Dubai, and hired to teach karate there full-time.
So, this one has a lot of vocab related to fighting and injuries and travel. So, I really think you’re going to enjoy this episode, guys.
And don’t forget if you want the bonus content to this episode, if you want to practice this interview episode, work on your listening comprehension, as well as learn all the more complicated vocab from a 5 to 10-minute snippet from this episode, make sure that you sign up to the Aussie English Classroom. Remember currently, it’s just one dollar for your first month whilst you get used to it, whilst you give it a go, guys. That is an amazing offer as most other memberships of this kind charge you the full fee straight out. So, I really want you guys to take advantage of that one dollar for the first month as it currently is. So, get over there to TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Sign up, give it a go, and start improving your English, and you will instantly get access too to all the previous episodes of interviews with all of the bonus content for those. So, if you want to work on Aussie accents. This is where you can. And you’ll also get everything else in there related to the podcast and the YouTube channel.
Anyway guys, let’s get in to today’s episode with Rhys talking about karate. Let’s go.
Awesome, awesome, man. We should just quickly switch onto Karate, I guess. So, Rhys, can you tell me how on earth did you end up as a black belt in karate world champion, who is about to move to Dubai for, potentially, two years being a sensei over there? In your own dojo, is it? So, just give me the story and talk to me about what’s about to happen.
So, I’ve got this job in Dubai teaching kids that like after school care, so basically is for a lot of expats that are working long hours and, you know, their kids are over there, you know, doing school and they just don’t have, you know… they’re going to put them into daycare, they want them to get something out whether it be sort of soccer, swimming, just general sports or for my aspect Karate. So we’re going over there doing that and then with the opportunity to open up my own club within the company that I’m working for.
I got the job through a mate of mine that I met travelling overseas and competing from England and I just sort of put my name down and, you know, I had to go through all these interview processes and I actually didn’t think it was going to get the job and then, yeah, eventually, you know, three, four weeks ago, I found out I got the job. So, that’s just sort of fell in my lap a little bit, and it was just sort of fortunate that my mate was… obviously had the job there because it made it a lot easier, ’cause I’m quite good friends with him so, you know, he probably would have put in a good word for me, I’m assuming. I mean I suppose starting karate was probably from getting bullied at school. My mum was just, you know, sort of fed up with me coming home and, you know, kids generally are cruel to each other. So, having some sort of escape and somewhere that you feel confident within yourself, I suppose, is, you know, is quite good, and karate, I think every kid in their life and at least tries karate, you know, it’s one of those things that I think it’s like a… especially in any of the Westernised country where it’s such a big thing, you know what I mean? And all the movies that you see and stuff like, everyone wants to sort of try it. So, I think it was bound for me to try it eventually, and, yeah, I just fell in love with it when I started, started competing, got really into it, was training like every day. I started doing, you know, Vic State Championships, started doing well in them, started doing national championships, started doing well at them, then started going overseas, starting doing well in them, and then basically, yeah, just progression, and just working really hard for, you know, for big tournaments and just doing lots of preparation and, yeah, end up going to big tournaments and doing pretty well. So, it’s been a long process. It didn’t just happen overnight. I mean, I’ve been doing Karate for nearly 13 years now, and it would have been probably four years were like the golden years for me, like, where I was winning lots of tournaments, going overseas, travelling for karate, going… you know, several different tournaments overseas and missing school and stuff like that. So, it was always really awesome for me, you know, being 15, going overseas, training with people and competing, and while my friends were at school, like, you know, doing exams and stuff like that and I would just get sort of pardoned for it and didn’t have to do them. So, it was always really cool for that aspect.
But, yeah, it just sort of… it sort of just, yeah, from bullying, I suppose, yeah, I just got involved in that, and it did really make me so much more confident in myself, and dealing with bullies in not just a physical way. You know, a lot of people think we learn karate to defend yourself and physically, you know, block a punch and punch someone back, but it’s more… I wouldn’t ever try to fight somebody with my hands and stuff like that, I fight them by, you know, I calm the situation down walk away, because, I mean, I’ve been injured so many times and, you know, this is a big thing in Australia remember this this ‘one punch’, you know, people can die, and it’s just… it’s not worth it, you know, to me. I do fighting for sport. I don’t need to do it when if I’m out at a bar with my friends, you know?
So, what is the one punch thing exactly? Can you talk about that?
So, it’s basically a king hit where they punch someone from behind at the back of the head, and generally what happens is when you get knocked out, your brain hits your skull and then, after that, when you get hit again, so your head hitting the ground, is really, really bad for your brain. And a lot of people will wake up, feel fine, go to sleep, and never wake up again.
And it’s been a big thing they’ve cracked down… and I know in Sydney it’s really a big thing they’ve cracked down on. That… you know, they’re really trying to get that one punch out of, you know… for people doing it, and they’re really trying to crack down on people doing it. I know if you… if anybody’s a boxing fan, if they see the boxer from Australia, Danny Green he’s a big supporter of (getting rid of) the one punch, where they’re really trying to eradicate it, and he speaks a lot about it after his fights and previously before his fights about it.
So, why do you think that is so common in like Australian, I guess, pub culture with guys in their say 20s, probably? It’s become sort of… not necessarily popular, but like a common thing that people seem to be punching strangers or getting into fights purposefully, but then, yeah, hitting someone once, them hitting the ground, hitting concrete, and then dying.
I think it’s because as well the drinking culture in Australia, and especially with younger men, I mean, I’m sure I’ve done it several times. Your eyes are a lot bigger than your stomach. You think you drink a lot more than you can. You drink way too much and, you know, somebody says something that’s probably… it’s probably not even that insulting to you at all. It’s probably just something that they’ve, you know, he said and you’ve just taken to the complete wrong context, let it sort of go, it’s stewed in your head, and then you just go up and try and hit him. I know for me and all my friends, you know, I’ve spoken to a lot of the times, because I have been knocked out cold, and I’ve told them about how dangerous it is when you get knocked out and you hit your head again.
Was that in one of these instances or was that only in competing?
Sorry, from competing, not in a bar or anything else like that. From competing. And it just basically my coach telling me that, you know, if you’re ever in a tournament and you do knock somebody out that you really want to try to make sure you catch them before they hit the ground, because it’s not the knockout that is bad for you, it’s when you hit your head again.
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But the trouble is, I think too, people don’t realise and I’ve learnt this from being surrounded by MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighters, you probably have two or three of those that you can experience in your life before you have significant brain damage. One of them can potentially lead to noticeable brain damage, but if you get knocked out cold three times, I think like in the UFC some of those guys… they won’t, like, let them fight again or they’ll tell them, you know, if you keep doing this, you’re going to end up with some significant mental issues.
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I know it’s, it’s… I mean, there’s so many studies they do with NFL (National Football League) players, they do with MMA fighters, you know, kickboxers, Muay Thai fighters, Karate full contact fighters, you know, like, I’m sure rugby players in Australia, in other countries… they’ve done so many studies about it and the effects it does. You know, I know heaps of people, like, I’ve got a kick boxing coach, I’ve known him for ages, and then sometimes he forgets my name. You know, and I know him quite well, and he’s really punch-drunk all the time. Like, he’s such a great guy, but he just sounds really dopey when you talk to him and it’s because he’s been hit in the head too many times, he’s been knocked out too many times.
Yeah. So, what’s punch drunk for those who don’t know that term or expression means?
So, punch-drunk is basically when it’s… you’ve been hit in the head too many times from other like a contact sport, whether it be, you know, martial arts or footy or NFL or rugby, and basically you just sort of speak with a bit of a slurred, sometimes a big characteristic or you forget things like, just really basic things, you know, like people’s names is a big one that you’ve just met. You know, you might have just met them and then 5 minutes later you can’t remember their name. You know? Or, yeah, slurring your words, forgetting things, like, you know, we forget just really basic things, like, you know, you’ll go to… you’ll go out for dinner and you forget your wallet. Things like that. It just basically means that, you know, you run a bit slower than normal… the normal person at your age, I suppose.
So, what was it like worrying about this kind of stuff when you were fighting? Was it ever in your head, “Okay, like, I’m fighting, but I need to make sure I don’t have to get knocked out”, or is it something you don’t really think about?
I don’t think you really think about it at the time. It’s sort of like… I suppose if you ask any surfer if they think about sharks when they’re surfing, you know? It’s something you just don’t really think about. I think that people who… for example, my mom, I know she would think about it a lot, just because she kind of sees it from a distance. She kind of looks at the bigger picture, whereas I look at the… I want to fight, I want to do well, I want to, you know, get a good a… I suppose like ranking, you know, in the world, I want to be a world champion. You sort of push all the other stuff to the side. Same, you know, surfers or mountain bikers or skateboards, stuff like that, you don’t really ever think about crashing and hurting yourself. You sort of think about the positive side of things.
I think, I suppose, as I got sort of older and started to compete less then I started to think about it more… and more, just as well, especially, you know, for a long term, wanting to get a wife and kids and stuff like that, I don’t want to sort of… don’t want my face to be all… you know, mangled, and have cuts all over it, and stuff like that just ’cause it’s a little…you know, pretty and stuff like that, you want to still have a…
For context, Rhys is actually also a model.
So, for those things, I mean, my coach used to always say to me, he’s like, “Mate, you know, if you want to get a good-looking girlfriend, you’ve got to protect yourself”, you know? “If you don’t want a good looking girlfriend, you know, you can have your nose splattered all over your face, it’s up to you”, but you know, he said, “For me, I want to have be good looking wife, I don’t know about, if you don’t care, that’s up to you, but yeah, it’s basically just protect yourself. I definitely think they want you to stop competing, you start to think about it more, and I know, whenever I teach, I always encourage, saying that, you know, it’s not always about the attack and like the countering, it is basically about protecting yourself first, especially for karate, you know, the first thing… Nobody goes to Karate and… asking, “I want to hurt people”. They go there and they want to defend themselves, and that’s the biggest starting, that’s the first thing you learn in karate is that it’s about defense.
Have you ever met any people like that coming to the dojo and say, “I’m here because I want to learn to hurt people?”.
You do meet them and generally what happens is that within a safe environment that the bigger people, the better people… It happens a lot in kickboxing, in Muay Thai, and I suppose it’d happen in jujitsu as well.
And basically, the people who are good, they smash you. They don’t hurt you, they just… they just show you that, you know, that attitude doesn’t go down well in those environments, and it doesn’t go down in any martial arts that I’ve ever met, doesn’t matter what sort of martial arts you do. If someone comes in like that, usually the people who are the big hitters, who are generally the people who are the best to train with, because they’re more helpful and they don’t… they don’t go… I just came from a seminar where I’m a lot better than anybody else, but I don’t go around pushing my weight around just beating people up because I can, I go around and I help them. So, I let them, you know, I let them throw attacks at me, you know let them go through, because it gives them confidence. If I just went and smashed everybody, well… everyone’s going to go back and I don’t want to do Karate anymore, you know what I mean?
Yeah and that’s the funny thing in jujitsu whenever you have those kinds of people who show up and say that or you get that kind of vibe from them when they’re on the mat, you can pretty much be sure they’re either going to change rapidly and lose that kind of attitude or they’re going to leave because they can’t handle being beaten by say a girl half their size, who’s been training for eight years, and could potentially kill them if they wanted to. So, it is funny how that kind of… those environments get rid of those kinds of people or change them for the better. But do you want to talk about what it’s like training for championships and where that’s taken you overseas?
So, training for championships is quite hard. It’s… I mean, I always did it when I was a bit younger, so it wasn’t too bad, but it’s always hard on your family.
What age did you start at?
I started competing when I was probably 13 and I competed up until I was about 21, and it’s just… it’s quite hard for everybody involved. So, especially… well, mainly for my parents and even my brother as well, is that sort of everybody becomes part of the competition. So, everybody is… you might be the one fighting and standing in the ring, but everyone sort of takes a toll. So, you know, my parents had to drive me to trainings on Saturdays and Sundays and Friday nights and Thursday nights, you know, or every night. So, they had to take time out of their day to do that. If I get injured, my mum has to take a day off work to look after me or take me to the hospital. If… you know, there’s a big tournament and my parents and I go and watch, my brother basically he, you know, loses time with my parents and with the family or, you know, he might not be able to go somewhere if he wasn’t old enough to drive or something like that. So, sort of everybody gets affected. For the really big ones it’s… it’s quite hard to switch off. You, generally, after the tournament, you kind of don’t know what to do with yourself because it just becomes your life where, you know, for me, for senior fights, you know, I have to be dieting, you know? Being under 60 kilos, you know, you can’t eat bread for four months, because the carbs in it, you know, it’s just too much. You can only eat pasta, you know, one meal per day, you know, for two months, and in the last month you can’t eat pasta at all. You have to be training every day. So, when you go to work, you need to make sure you don’t get hurt. You know, you don’t get the injuries. If you get cuts, you need to make sure you treat them well, you don’t get infected. You need to make sure that all your, you know, your iron, you’re eating the right food, vitamins are on point, you know, whether you have to take a multivitamin or eat more vegetables. Make sure you don’t get sick. There’s so many factors that you have to consider. And then, also, it’s about getting overseas and going over there. So, whether it be…we’re in Australia and I’m going to England or you got to think about jet-lag, so you need to make sure you sleep on the flight. Whether that being, you know, you make sure you don’t have any energy drinks or any, you know, caffeine or anything before your flight, so you sleep. Getting prepared with all, you know, your equipment and you need to make sure your equipment’s right, need to make sure you’ve packed everything. You know, there are so many… so many factors, and it’s just after that’s really hard to switch off. Generally, that’s why people go to tournaments and they will train for three years non-stop. So, you know, they might have a week off after a really big tournament just to sort of relax, but then you’re back straight into it, ’cause you don’t know what to do with yourself. It becomes your life. And it becomes, especially when you’re younger, and you’re under the age of 18, you can’t drive yourself to training and stuff like that, becomes everyone’s life where it’s kind of revolved around you.
So, would you go back and do it again exactly the same way if you could’ve?
I think that, yeah, I would. I’d probably, if anything, I would have started it earlier, because I started when I was 11 and a lot of my friends started and they were like five or six, and it kind of gave them a bit more experience in just the workings of tournaments and the lifestyle a bit. If I wanted to… and I think I would’ve done a lot better when I was older. So, when I was, you know, in my 20s and stuff like that I would have done a bit better, got better results and stuff like that from just the more experience in it.
I think I probably would have lived overseas. I would have done… ’cause I lived overseas after I stopped competing for a year, but I think I would have done it earlier, and I would have lived over there whilst I was competing, just because it’s more access to tournaments. In Australia, we’re very isolated with our competition, and I suppose it’s for any sort of martial arts is where you need to be getting in rounds with different people and fights that you noticed that our boxes our kickboxers our MMA fighters, you know, our jujitsu fighters and stuff, they’re up there, but there’s only a select few. You know, there wouldn’t be any more than 20 world ranked highly (successful) fighters, whether it be in any sort of martial arts, I believe, in the world, as opposed to if you go to, you know, the States or, you know, Europe, there’s just so many more fighters, or Asia, or, you know, anywhere like that, or you know South America, where there’s so much more, because there’s so many more opportunities to do fights. So, it’s… for a fighter’s perspective you really need to be living over where there’s this possibility you can fight for karate. There’s, you know, in Europe there’s tournaments every weekend. In Australia there’s probably seven really good tournaments to go to per year.
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And you can go to seven within four weeks over Europe.
So, you would say it’s actually surprisingly expensive as a sport then, right? As a result of that.
The best… It’s exactly that, it’s a lot more for personal growth rather than financial growth. The most money I’ve ever won from a tournament was 2 thousand dollars and it cost me 8 thousand dollars to get there, just the flight. Not including any of the training leading up, none of the tournament leading up to that. Any of the, you know… you know, new gears that I might need to get or the karate equipment or mouth guards or you know, injuries, you know for days off work that I had to have. That’s just what it cost me to fly over there and my accommodation and I’ve got 2000 back from it.
So, that’s the most money I’ve ever won and, you know, it barely even covered… not even halfway there what it cost me to go there.
So, to be fair that having that experience has led to you getting this job now where you’re ending up in Dubai on a pretty sizable pay check for a few years. So, it has been worth it I take it.
Yeah it has and I think that that’s just from perseverance where I’ve… I never trained it for the money. I mean, like a lot of people will say, you know, we hear people saying that like “Oh, MMA, you know, I’ll never do it for the money”, or, you know, whoever it might be, “I’ll never do it for money”, but when you getting like four, five million dollars per fight… pretty sure you’re doing it for half of the money, you know what I mean? I mean, it’s not all just for personal growth. Where for us you don’t get any money at all, it is just for personal growth and I was aiming for… I had a goal that I was aiming for. I might not have gotten, but the journey between it had led me into different things, getting really good friends with people, you know, when I went to England one of the times I had free accommodation for a month, just from meeting somebody that I competed with and they would said, “No, if you’re coming over, you know, you’re more than happy to stay there”. So, you know, it’s not just personal growth for fighting, but also just for your life as well. And also, it’s landed me this job in Dubai to teach there. And, you know, who knows what other doors may open and just from going there from that? So, it’s not just the competing side, it obviously’s opened up many pathways for me to… you know, whether be coaching or whether it be opening my own club or whether it be coaching for specific teams or, you know, just for fighting or whoever knows what it might be. I mean, I’ve just finished doing some seminars on the weekends and stuff like that, you know, it’s a nice little pay check for the weekend for me, and it’s… I wouldn’t have had those opportunities if I didn’t do all the training I did. And, you know, people pay me to go to teach them stuff that I’ve had to pay to learn, and then eventually I’m sort of, you know, I’m roughly getting that money back. So, it sort of does level itself out.
I guess, bringing it back to the listeners, if they potentially are moving to Australia or have just gotten here and they either do karate or already or want to take it up or maybe their kids do karate already or the kids want to take it up, what kind of advice would you have for them on where to train and what style to try to take up?
Well if you’re… definitely, If you’re going to any one of the states, if you… basically, if you’re type into Google, especially if you’re in Australia, the AKF (Australian Karate Federation), and then whatever state you’re living whether it be Victoria, NSW, Queensland, W.A. or Northern Territory, Tasmania, Canberra… if you go through the AKF, they’ll have people you can talk to from each state, I’m pretty sure from each state, that you can call and you can ask them and they can recommend different dojo’s to go to. So, if you practice Shotokan, Goju, Shotojuku, I mean, there are so many styles. You can either aim to go to your style, and they’ll have, you know, a few different clubs that are registered through the AKF that you can go to, and then they can, you know, you can just work out whichever is closest to you or maybe you recognise someone’s name from somewhere or a style, you can go to that one. They’ll be able to put you in the best direction. So, that’s probably the best bet to go, especially more for karate. But apart from that, I would assume that most organisations whether, you know, Jujitsu, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Judo… there’s going to be an Australian Federation for it that you can, you know, phone up, talk to somebody, and they’ll be able to point you in… and maybe not in the exact direction, but in the right direction to go to, to get somewhere to be able to train.
Ah, awesome, and the things that they need to look out for if they do end up at a club, like…just, I guess, obvious things that are good or bad?
I think… it’s… I think if you do practice it, you’re going to get to pick it straight away. I wouldn’t say there’s anything like very obvious to look for, but if you’re new and you want to start training somewhere, I would say, especially for karate, if you can find somewhere through the AKF, they’re generally quite good. I’m not saying that other karate dojos aren’t, it’s just that from my personal knowledge that I know that people who compete in the AKF and are registered through them. It’s actually really expensive and quite hard. You have to have a specific coaching accreditation. You have to be at least a third dan that is recognised by the AKF and the WKF (World Karate Federation). You know, they’re… you have to have all, you know, obviously all of your paperwork business that need to be registered, insurances, things like that, just to be registered through the AKF. So, you’re sort of ticking off not only the training boxes, but also sort of the leagues side of things as well. So, you don’t have to worry so much about, you know, someone stealing your money or something like that for fees and things like that, ’cause it’s… you know, if they’re within that AKF, they’re probably to be caught out before you even start training with them.
So, I think that if you’re doing… if you want to do any martial arts, just if anything, if you find somewhere, just Google them or call up a, you know, a federation and ask them do they know, have you heard these people? or this this club? And just sort of, yeah, just do you research a bit before you start signing up for anything straightaway.
Brilliant. And before we finish up, what’s the worst injury you’ve ever had, and how did that happen?
There’s been a few, probably I think the worst for a longevity was I broke or my fractured both my feet in one tournament, and I didn’t know at the time, because I did one twice. So, I went to kick someone in the body and they blocked it with putting their arm down and hit their elbow. So, it was my right foot first and I thought, “Oh, well I’m just not going to kick with my right foot anymore”. I thought it was just… it’s happened to me before where it’s just been swollen, but I didn’t realise at the time it was fractured. And so, I kicked my other foot in another division and I did the same thing with my left foot. So, I thought, you know, “Oh, my left foot is really bad now” so, I thought… I’m right footed. I thought it was more natural. I thought I’d probably be bale to get it in, and it happened a third time, and I ended up winning one of the division and coming second in the other one.
And then, afterwards, I thought everything was okay, just my feet were a little bit sore, and then I couldn’t walk. So, I had to have my friend carrying me to her car, drove home, got home, it was just getting progressively worse. So, I went to the hospital and they basically said that the X-rays look like my bones and my feet were more like spider webs. So, they had cracks all between my feet. So, they said that they… it wasn’t bad enough, there was no significant actual cracks between the bones, so they couldn’t cast it. So, they had to just, basically, bandage them up and I had to pretty much get a wheelchair back to the car, and then I couldn’t walk around for about a week. So, I had to sit in bed, and that was probably the worst time, because I couldn’t get a cast on it. They were always, you know, I mean, you never think about how often you bump your feet, but, you know, you drop an empty water bottle, and then if you’ve got fractures, you know, it’s like dropping a brick on your feet. So, that was probably the worst one just because you’re always… you know, you can’t walk anywhere, you can’t really do anything, so, especially sitting in… sitting in your bed for a week, and this was before Netflix.
That’s the worst! I guess, the last question karate or bricklaying? Are you going to pick one of them over the other or do you think they both have a spot in your life in the future?
I think, I’m probably leaning more towards karate, because bricklaying for me… I enjoy doing it and I’ll still, like, when I get my own place, if I need to fix things, I’ll still obviously do it then. You know, I’ve got friends, family friends, someone that need something small fixed or I just need something done on the cheap, I’m more than happy to do it then. I always keep a couple of tools lying around for doing it. But for me karate’s just I think it’s become more of my life. I’ve done a fair bit longer and I think it’s just more for me… I can, you know, I can do it for longer. You know, you can always see things on YouTube. There’s this 96-year-old Japanese dude who’s, you know, breaking bricks with his head or something like that, and you’re just like, how’s he still be able to do that at that age?
There’s no 96-year-old or no 93-year-old bricklayers doing the same sort of equivalent in bricklaying.
No, no, exactly. So, you know, as a brickie, you’re basically… once you get to like 60, you’re pretty much… you’ve have had it. So, you know, you hear people… about being able to train, and things as well it’s… you know, you don’t always have to do the technique and do the movements. You can teach a lot of time by explaining things and, you know, especially when you get quite good and you know basically all the techniques and all the drills and all the, you know, the katas and whatever it might be inside out. You can do a lot of the teaching by explaining it and it just conversing in knowledge, rather than actually demonstrating something. So, I think for me it’s for the longevity I’ll be able to do it for longer and still make reasonable money over it and yeah.
Brilliant, dude! Well, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it, man. And if people want to find out more about you, do you have an Instagram or anything they can follow?
Yeah, there’s nothing really about my karate that’s on there, but I will be starting a bit more of it when I’m in Dubai, because it’s going to be more for my teaching, not so much somebody else’s. So, I’ve always taught for somebody else. Whereas this one is going to be more for me. So, yeah, we just…it’s RhysEdward and with an L at the end. (@RhysEdwardL)
And, yeah, I’ll attach that at the bottom. But, cheers, dude! Thank you so much.
No worries, man. Thank you!
Alright, guys. So, that was it. Thank you, big thank you to my cousin Rhys Linnett for coming on the podcast once again to chat to us about fighting, about karate, about how he got into that sport, travelling the world, and everything else in there.
I hope you guys enjoyed it. And let me know what you think in a comment whether it’s on the podcast website, whether it’s on Facebook. Have you ever done karate? Or have you done any other martial arts? And what was your experience like? How did you do them? How did you get into them? How did you start them?
Aside from that guys remember, if you would like to study this interview in more depth, if you would like to learn quickly how to better understand Australians when they speak with their various different accents, some strong, some not so strong, make sure that you enroll in the Aussie English Classroom. It’s one dollar for the first month, guys. And don’t forget too guys, I have a Patreon page. So, if you would like to support the Aussie English Podcast, if you would like to support what I do teaching people English, then you can sign up there. You can pledge as little as one dollar per month to support me and the Aussie English Podcast.
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AE 381 – Expression:
To Hit The Nail On The Head
Ah, no. This report from Constable Riggs about the three little half-caste girls at the Jigalong Fence Depot. Molly, Gracie, and Daisy. The youngest is of particular concern. She’s promised to a full-blood. I’m authorising their removal. They’re to be taken to Moore River as soon as possible.
Oh, and Miss Thomas, if you could check that the rate for police transportation is still, I believe, 8 pence per mile.
Yes, Mister Neville.
G’day guys, and welcome to this episode of The Aussie English Podcast, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone who wants to learn Australian English, whether you want to understand what we’re talking about, whether you want to be able to use slang that we use, pronounce words the way we pronounce them, this podcast is the number one podcast designed to help you do that.
So, today we had an interesting opening scene from the movie The Rabbit-proof Fence. So, this was a movie created in 2002. It’s an Aussie drama. It’s a film based on the book Follow The Rabbit-proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara. So, definitely check that book out and definitely check this movie out if you want to understand a bit more about Australian culture, and specifically about The Stolen Generations, which is probably the darkest chapter in Australian history, or at least one of the darkest chapters.
Anyway, this movie is loosely based on the true story, and it concerns the author’s mother Molly, who’s actually in the film, and some mixed-race Aboriginal girls who ran away from the Moore River Native Settlement, north of Perth, in Western Australia, in an attempt to try to return to their Aboriginal families after they had been forcibly taken by the authorities, by the government, and placed in this native settlement in 1931.
So, the film follows these Aboriginal girls after the fact, after they’ve been taken forcibly from their parents, from their families, as these girls try to escape and walk back 2,400kms along the Australian Rabbit-proof Fence in Western Australia to see their family, to meet their family, once again in a community at Jigalong.
So, they’re doing this, it takes nine weeks for them to do so, and the whole time they’re being tracked down by the authorities and an aboriginal tracker.
So, the scene that we saw at the start there was actually The Chief Protector of Aborigines for Western Australia, or at least the actor pretending to be him, acting as him, and this guy was named A. O. Neville, and he’s signing off on a document to allow these several mixed-race children to be forcibly taken from their parents, from their families, from their community, and placed into a church mission.
Anyway, we’re going to talk more about the history of this event and The Stolen Generations at the end of today’s episode. So, let’s chat about that in today’s Aussie fact.
So, today’s expression guys, today’s expression is ‘to hit the nail on the head’, ‘to hit the nail on the head’. This one was suggested by me, funnily enough, in the Aussie English Virtual Classroom. We voted on it yesterday, and you guys decided, for whatever reason, that you liked my expression the most. And so, here we are doing it.
But before, we get into the expression, guys, let’s get into today’s Aussie joke.
Where should a 500kg koala go? Where should a 500kg koala go? On a diet. On a diet. Do you get it, guys? The joke there is that you can go somewhere, you know, the koala could go, say, up a tree, or he could go away to a location, but you can also go on something such as a diet. So, that’s the joke. Where should a 500kg koala go? On a diet. He should go on a diet, ’cause he’s overweight.
Alright, so the expression ‘to hit the nail on the head’, ‘to hit the nail on the head’. Let’s go through and define the different words in the expression ‘to hit the nail on the head.
So, first we have the verb ‘to hit’, ‘to hit something’. ‘To hit something’ means to bring one’s hand, or it could be a tool or a weapon, into contact with something or someone quickly and forcibly. So, if you hit someone, that’s to punch them in the face, but you could use a hammer to hit a nail or to hit a piece of wood, and your bringing that hammer quickly and forcibly into contact with the nail or with the piece of wood.
‘A nail’. What is ‘a nail’? ‘A nail’ is a small metal spike, a small metal spike, with a broad flat end. So, one end is flat and the other end is incredibly sharp. And these things tend to be driven into wood, pushed into wood, hit into wood, to join things together or to serve as say a hook, if you were to bend this nail.
‘On’. You’ll know what ‘on’ is. ‘On’ is to be above and resting upon something.
‘The head’ or ‘a head’. ‘A head’ is the upper part of the human body with the face, the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the ears, the tongue, the teeth, everything like that. Your brain is inside your head. That is the head. But we can use this to also refer to, say, the top of something, the uppermost part of something. So, therefore ‘the head of a nail’ is the very top of a nail, as if the nail was standing up and it was the same as a human body, or it was representing a human body, the head on a human would be the very top part of the nail. The head of the nail.
So, let’s define the expression today, guys, ‘to hit the nail on the head’. If you hit the nail on the head, that is that you have found exactly the correct answer. You found the right answer. You were exactly correct. And it can be to say or do something that is absolutely correct. Ok? So, to hit the nail on the head is to be correct or it’s to stay or do something that is absolutely correct.
So, this expression and its origin. This expression is extremely old. I was actually somewhat shocked when I look at this expression up and I tried to find the origin of this expression. One of the earliest, if not the earliest, appearances of this expression is actually in Middle English. So, it’s effectively in another language. Very, very, old English from the year 1438. How crazy’s that, guys? So, the 15th century. And it appeared in The Book of Margery Kempe. The book was called ‘The Book of Margery Kempe’. And it’s an account of the life of a religious visionary Margery Kempe, and is considered to be the earliest surviving autobiography written in English.
So, just for something a little different. I’ve actually got the passage here, or the sentence here, written in Middle English, and I definitely recommend that you guys have a look at the writing, if you’re listening to this now. Download the transcript and have a look at the writing, ’cause it is quite weird to see this, because a lot of these words sound the same, or at least represent the same words, but the spelling has changed from Middle English to Modern English. So, I’m going to try and read it as, I guess, I would say this, but yeah, definitely check it out, ’cause it’s pretty interesting.
Yyf I here any mor thes materys rehersyd, I xal so smytyn ye nayl on ye hed that it schal schamyn alle hyr mayntenowrys.
I probably completely butchered the pronunciation there as I have no idea how to pronounce Middle English, but check it out. In modernised English, though, this passage reads:
If I hear any more these matters repeat it I shall so smite the nail on the head that it shall shame all her supporters.
So, it’s pretty interesting.
If I hear any more these matters repeated.
Yyf I here any mor thes materys rehersyd
That was the Middle English.
I shall so smite the nail on the head
I xal so smytyn ye nayl on ye hed
that it’s show of shame all her supporters.
that it schal schamyn alle hyr mayntenowrys.
Anyway, let’s go through the examples for today’s expression, guys.
So, a classic example for me, and when I would use the expression ‘to hit the nail on the head’, is when I’m giving my private lessons to students. So, I give my private lessons to students, we’re practicing English. They tend to practice their pronunciation in our private lessons quite a bit. And when they get it correct, I often tell them, “You got it perfect. You nailed it”, and I might say, “You’ve hit the nail on the head, mate. Great job! You’ve hit the nail on the head. You got that correct.”. And if they really shock or surprise me with how much they nailed it, I might say, “Strewth, mate!”, which is a way of showing shock or surprise, “Strewth, mate! You hit the nail on the head. Strewth.
Example number two. So, imagine your mate’s about to buy a second-hand car. So, your mate’s trying to buy second hand car. He wants to go on a bit of a road trip. He’s interested in buying a wagon, which is a car with a lot of room in the back. The kind of car you’ll see people doing road trips in where they can put a mattress and a lot of gear in the back, whether it’s eskies whether it’s camping gear, all that sort of jazz. So, he buys a wagon. (It) could be a Holden or a Ford, and maybe you’re unsure why he went for those two brands. You might ask him, “Is it because they’re cheap and they’re easy to repair?” So, it’s cheap to get parts for these cars and they don’t cost much. “Is that the reason you got this car?”. And he might say, “Bingo! Exactly! You hit the nail on the head. That is the exact reason I bought these cars. They’re cheap and they’re easy to repair. You hit the nail on the head.
Example number three could be imagine that you and your mate have bought this car now. So, we’re continuing on the previous story. You’ve bought this car, and it turns out that it’s actually a total bomb, it’s a total dud, it was a massive rip off, and your mate’s been hoodwinked, he’s been tricked, he’s had the wool pulled over his eyes, he’s been taken for a ride. These are all just different ways to say that he’s been cheated or tricked. And so, your mate’s a bit pissed off. So, he’s angry, he’s upset, he’s losing his shit, and he tells it to get my car, “We’re going to go for a drive to my farm”. The farm’s out in the sticks. (It) might take an hour or two to get to, ’cause it’s out in the sticks, it’s out in the bush. You might ask you mate, “Why are we going to a farm? Are you going to leave it there on the farm without the rego and the plates, just as a paddock bomb or something? You know, a car that you can just drive around on the farm that doesn’t need to be registered, (it) needs no rego. If you’re correct, he might turn around and say, “Yeah, strewth, mate! You’ve nailed it. That’s it. You hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I plan to do with this bomb.
So, that’s it guys hopefully by now you understand the expression ‘to hit the nail on the head’. I use this all the time, guys. I’m sure it’s used everywhere whether you’re in Britain, New Zealand America, Canada, wherever you are in the English-speaking world, people will understand ‘to hit the nail on the head’ means that you are exactly correct or that you’ve said something or done something that is exactly right.
So, let’s go through a pronunciation listen and repeat exercise as usual, guys. This is your chance to practice your English pronunciation, but not only that, it’s your chance to try to perfect the Aussie accent. So, listen and repeat guys, and pronounce things exactly as I do if you want an Aussie accent. Let’s go.
Listen & Repeat:
Hit the nail
Hit the nail on
Hit the nail on the
Hit the nail on the head x 5
I’ve hit the nail on the head.
You’ve hit the nail on the head.
He’s hit the nail on the head.
She’s hit the nail on the head.
We’ve hit the nail on the head.
They’ve hit the nail on the head.
It’s hit the nail on the head.
Good job, guys! Good job. So, we’re going to practice the pronunciation and the connected speech of all of those phrases we just went through in today’s Aussie Classroom course. So, these classes, these expression episodes, get turned into courses on The Aussie English Classroom website. If you want to sign up, it’s just $1 here first month. You can give it a go. You get a heap of lessons, usually, six lessons with each of these expression episodes on the podcast. I give you vocab lists. I break down the slang. I give you some phrasal verb substitution exercises to practice those difficult phrasal verbs and learn synonyms for them. And then, I also break down the pronunciation as an Australian, as well as the connected speech. So, the interesting stuff that goes on that might be pretty subtle when you’re just listening. And then we often go through grammar. So, if you want to give that a go, go to TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com and enroll. It’s just $1 and you can start levelling up your English today.
Anyway guys, let’s go through today’s Aussie facts, and then we can finish up.
So, today’s Aussie fact ties in with The Rabbit-proof Fence movie and the excerpt that you heard from the movie at the start of this episode, and I want to talk about The Stolen Generations or The Stolen Children. This is probably the darkest chapter in Australian history or at least one of the darkest chapters in Australian history, and it was where children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent were removed from their families by force. So, they were removed forcibly by the Australian Federal and State government agencies, and they were placed in church missions under acts of their respective parliaments.
The removal of those children, who were referred to as ‘half-caste’ or ‘mixed-race’, ‘mixed-blood’, etc. was conducted between the years of 1995 and 1969. Although in some places, mixed race children were still being taken into the 1970s. And to put that in context, that was when my parents were teenagers. So, it wasn’t that long ago, and many, many, many, of The Stolen Generation children are still alive today.
So, why did Australia do this? Why did the Australian Government take half-caste or mixed-race children from Aboriginal families and communities? The idea was for the government to quote-unquote “protect” these mixed-race or half-caste children from abuse and neglect in their communities, because they were part European, and as a result they were seen as, I guess, the burden or they were meant to be protected by the Australian government.
So, the official government estimates are that between 1/10 and 1/3 of these indigenous Australian children were taken forcibly from their families and communities between the years of 1910-1970. So, for about 60 years this took place. And that numbered about 20,000 to 100,000 children. Somewhere between there. But estimates are a bit sketchy. And it affected every single region in Australia, every single part of the country.
It was also a belief at the time that this action was required as Aboriginal Australians were quote-unquote “dying off” as their population had steadily shrunk, it decreased from 1.25 million in the year 1788, when Australia was first settled or colonised, and it had shrunk down to only 50,000 Indigenous Australians in 1930. So, the government or the public of Australia were worried that Aboriginal Australians were quote-unquote “dying off”. Whites, the European Australians, assumed that the full-blood tribal aboriginal population would be unable to sustain itself and that it was doomed to extinction. And the idea expressed by The Chief Protector… How ironic is that?… The Chief Protector of Aborigines for Western Australia, A. O. Neville, who was the guy being acted as in that snippet at the start of today’s episode, the idea expressed by him and others as late as 1930 was that mixed-race children could be trained to work in white society, and over generations they would marry white people and be assimilated into the society. And so, I guess, this gives you an insight into the sort of racist views of Europeans in this time who thought that full-blooded Aboriginals were less than Europeans. They weren’t complete civilised humans and that they couldn’t assimilate properly into society. But that they thought that half-bloods would be able.
So, The Chief Protector of Aborigines was the legal guardian of every single Aboriginal and every half-caste child up to the age of 18 years old, and they were also given total control of all Indigenous women, regardless of their age, unless these women were married to a man who was considered substantially European in origin.
So, that just blows my mind, to be honest, because in today’s day and age, it’s just such a racist and just offensive idea. But, you have to put it in the context of people who grew up in the 1800s in the early 19th century. But yeah, it just blows my mind reading this stuff.
Anyway, this guy, The Chief Protector of Aborigines, actually had to approve marriages between indigenous women and non-indigenous men. So, it’s pretty upsetting for someone like me who feels for these people and who does share a bit of that sort of European guilt at the way that indigenous Australians have been treated in the past and how they are treated today. And, it really goes to show that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So, despite these people thinking and believing they were doing the right thing at the time, the actions were close to evil. You know? Like, they just led to so much suffering.
So, European Australians believed that their civilisation was superior to that of Indigenous Australians in this time, and people in this period of time, who held these beliefs too, considered any proliferation of mixed-descent children, who were known as “half-castes”, “crossbreeds”, “quadroons”, which is someone who is one quarter black, and “octoroons”, who is someone who is one eighth black. And I laughed there because these terms I don’t even know. And I would imagine these terms are now considered highly derogatory and offensive to Indigenous Australians. But that’s how they were referred to in this time. And these people believed that any proliferation of these children would be a threat to the nature and stability of the prevailing civilisation, of Western civilisation, and their ‘heritage’, the ‘racial heritage’, of Western civilization. So, that’s just how racist sort of that entrenched an ingrained opinion of Aboriginals was back in this time.
Strangely enough, this wasn’t just the belief of a few men. It was a response to public concern as well over the increase in the number of mixed-descent children and the sexual exploitation of young Aboriginal women by non-indigenous men, as well as fears among non-indigenous people of being outnumbered by a mixed descent population. So, there’s that racism again.
So, the Northern Territory Chief Protector of Aboriginals Dr Cecil Cook, he argued that, “Everything necessary must be done to convert the half caste into a white citizen”. And Walter Baldwin Spencer reported that in the 1920s many mixed descent children were born to Aboriginal women and white fathers, and these white fathers had actually worked on the construction of The Ghan, which is a railway that goes from Adelaide to Darwin, I believe. And these men, whilst working on it, were obviously hooking up with Aboriginal women, making them pregnant, and then just disappearing and leaving these children when the project was completed.
Anyway, guys. That is long enough for today’s episode. I hope you enjoy this Aussie fact. I hope it gives you some insight into The Stolen Generations, one of Australia’s darkest chapters in our history. And I will see you in the next episode. Peace out guys.
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