The Queen’s Speech at The Netherlands State Banquet held on 23 October 2018 at Buckingham Palace, London. A transcript of the speech is shown below.
Prince Charles and I are delighted to welcome you and Queen Máxima to Buckingham Palace this evening.
Through this State visit, we celebrate the enduring friendship which has enabled our two nations to prosper and grow, side by side, as trading partners, and as North Sea neighbours. This visit also provides the opportunity for great happiness, and to welcome old friends to my home. Read on »
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.
For official purposes everyone has a number. Yours is number six.
I am not a number. I am a person.
Six of one, half-a-dozen of another.
Is this, is this what they did to you? Is this how they tried to break you…till they got what they were after? In your head must still be the remnants of a brain. In your heart must still be the desire to be a human being again.
file (verb): place in document box or folder in a special order stamp (verb): impress with a rubber stamp (like a visa in a passport etc) index (verb): make a list of names, subjects etc brief (verb): instruct or inform (someone) debrief (verb): question (someone, for example a soldier or spy) about a finished mission half-a-dozen (noun): a dozen is 12, so half-a-dozen is 6 till (conjunction): until; up to the time that remnants (noun): remains; residue; bits that remain breach (noun): contravention; violation; failure to observe etiquette (noun): code of behaviour
Imagine this: somebody gives you $1 million on condition that you donate it anonymously to a stranger or to a good cause of your choice.
What would you do?
How would you dispose of it?
(Please leave your ideas in the Comments box below ↓)
on condition that (phrase): with the stipulation that donate (verb): give (money or goods) to somebody in need or to a charity; give away anonymously (adverb): in a way that nobody will know it came from you stranger (noun): a person you do not know a good cause (noun): a charity
Would you be prepared to spend a night alone in a remote, allegedly haunted house?
(Please leave your ideas in the Comments box below ↓)
ghost (noun): the spirit of a dead person, which appears to living people evil spirit (noun): a bad ghost; a ghost with bad intentions be prepared to (verb): be willing to; be ready to remote (adjective): distant; situated far from houses and people allegedly (adverb): supposedly; it’s what people say but there is no proof haunted (adjective): lived in or occupied by a ghost or ghosts
Here’s a superstory about supercorruption in superclean Europe. Supersound makes for superlistening practice. Great English-language voiceover.
I recommend this video for general listening practice. The English is clear, well pronounced and reasonably slow. The video is a graphic novel that explains “the BUWOG Affair”—one of the biggest cases of corruption in Europe.
Teachers may like to use it in class or for homework. If you create any worksheets to go with it, please let me know!
Please share your opinions in the comments below.
voiceover (noun): a piece of speaking in a film, without an image of the speaker graphic novel (noun): a novel in comic-strip format, applied here to video affair (noun): a situation that causes strong public feeling, usually of moral disapproval corruption (noun): dishonest or fraudulent behaviour by people in power
fake news (noun):false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting
Thus does dictionary publisher Collins define the term fake news, which they have named as Word of the Year for 2017.
Popularized more by President Donald Trump of the USA than by anyone else, fake news has been used 365% more in 2017 according to Collins. And indeed President Trump has made commenting about Fake News on Twitter something of a hobby.
Picture by my talented Viennese cousin Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter Heilig, who writes:
Marionette (from the French meaning little Mary): We all function sometimes like marionettes—under the control of a marionettist. Depicted: emancipated marionette—free from control, free from bondage, free from any influence—just free—on its own…
marionette (noun): puppet controlled by strings function (verb): work, operate marionettist (noun): a puppeteer who controls a marionette emancipate (verb): set free emancipated (adjective): free from legal, social or political restrictions; liberated bondage (noun): the state of being a slave; the state of no freedom influence (noun): the power to change someone’s character or behaviour
I’ve got an English teacher, he always takes our class
A fat old jolly red-faced man, he gives us all a pass
He’s too kind for a teacher, he never has a rule
And everybody says he is the happiest man in school.
He laughs when giving homework, he laughs and doesn’t teach
He laughs at everybody when they struggle with their speech
He never can stop laughing, he says he’s never tried
But once he did expel a guy, and laughed until he cried
His jolly face it wrinkled and then he shut his eyes
He opened his great mouth, it was a wondrous size
He said “I must expel you”, but he didn’t know what for
And then he started laughing until he hurt his jaw
So, if you chance to meet him, when walking round the school
Just shake him by his fat old hand and tell him he’s so cool
His eyes will beam and sparkle, he’ll gurgle with delight
And then you’ll start his laughing with all his blessed might.
Autophagy of a Black Hole by Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter Heilig
Picture by my Viennese cousin Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter Heilig, who writes:
“The story goes back to the days, when the experts proclaimed: ‘Nothing escapes from a black hole’. So I put this statement in question. In a thought experiment a blacke hole might engulf itself – like the legendary ourobouros – of course it can not hold the %&$§’.. My experts – (CERN, Astronomy, Physics) had their fun. The drawing was dedicated to Felicitas Pauss (Austrian expert at CERN). Latin: Autophagia foraminis nigris”
Wierd! Or is it Weird? What do you make of that?!!
I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor — that’s not my business — I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. Read on »
The surprise winners of the 2015–16 Premier League in the UK were Leicester City Football Club. A surprise, that is, to all except Buddhist monk Phra Prommangkalachan who predicted it, despite Leicester City’s 5000-1 odds of winning at the start of the season.
Buddhist monk mural in Leicester, UK, celebrating football team Leicester City’s Premier League title triumph. Did Phra Prommangkalachan’s blessings play a role in Leicester’s shock victory?
Leicester City’s Thai owner is Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who invited Phra Prommangkalachan — the prior at Wat Traimit Withayaram Woraviharn (Golden Buddha) Temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown district — to offer spiritual support.
mural (noun): a painting on a wall predict (verb): say in advance; foretell; prophesy 5000-1 odds: chances of winning (in betting, with a bet of £1 you would win £5000 if you bet right) prior (noun): assistant abbott
With the election of Donald Trump as the next US president, the term Trumpxit is added to the Brexit lexicon, sharing as the US election and British referendum do the same misreading of the electorate by an establishment of media personnel, government officials, experts and data-driven pollsters.
resolve (verb): decide firmly to do or not to do something (for example: He resolved to discuss the matter with his boss.)
resolution (noun): a firm decision to do or not to do something (for example: He never regretted his resolution to stop drinking.)
New year, new start. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for the coming year? What have you resolved to do – or not to do? Did you keep your promises last year?
What is this advertisement trying to say? It appears to show two different “worlds”, but which should be changing to which? Should they both be changing to something else? Please give your views about the implications of the photograph.
Why? What? Where? When? How?
extreme (adjective): to the greatest degree; very great; very severe; very serious poverty (noun): the state of being very, very poor; the state of being extremely poor inequality (noun): difference in size or amount combat (verb): fight do your part (phrase): participate; help implication (noun): a conclusion that you can draw from something even though it is not actually stated
Ad links to: globalgoals.org. Shown here as “fair use” for educational purposes.
As thousands of people from the war-torn regions of the Middle-East (Syria, Iraq…) and North Africa (Libya…) cross the Mediterranean Sea to seek safety in Europe, the European media and politicians struggle to avoid using the term refugees and instead label them migrants. But what’s the difference?
Birds migrate. The verb migrate simply means to move from one region to another. In the case of birds it is to find a suitable habitat (living space) according to the season. In the case of humans, it is usually to find Read on »
Today, the Japanese city of Hiroshima commemorates the moment 70 years ago that the USA dropped a nuclear bomb on the city, directly killing some 80,000 people. In three days’ time, another Japanese city, Nagasaki, will commemorate the killing of another 40,000 civilians when the USA dropped a second bomb.
The Latin phrase “Veni, vidi, vici” was an elegant way of saying “I came, I saw, I conquered”. The Roman general Julius Caesar allegedly first used the phrase c46 BC in his report to the Senate after quickly defeating Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela. Hillary Clinton famously abused the expression on being advised of the murder of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011 (“We came, we saw, he died”).