Tuesday, 18 April 2017

How to Stop Being a Wimp Nerd Style

A post featuring 13 English parts of body idioms in context and proving that knowledge is power in many ways.

‘If you wanted to get a well-preserved carcass of a pig and not some half decomposed crap, you had to be there early. First come, first served.’ My granny told me. You see, some grannies tell you stories about princesses waltzing at the balls in their pink frilly dresses, some give their preferences to unicorns prancing on the rainbows sprinkling glitter all around and yet some tell you about their dissection practice at their vets training uni. No leg pulling.

Apparently, these stories didn't forge nerves of steel as I used to attempt to faint when I saw blood. Any amount of it. A drop would suffice. A proper Achilles heel of mine. And I am not even starting about road kill which I used to regularly drive past on my way to the office located at the business park hidden in the picturesque countryside. Closing one's eyes for a second at full speed in a rural winding road is not the best practice but my excuse was I could have fainted at the wheel. Not fun either.

Then my English practice happened. I was learning parts of body in English.

Well, obviously being above the intermediate language level, I knew many words by heart already. So, I edited the vocBlocks Face, Body and Inside deleting almost all of the words in parts 1 and 2 and merging them with part 3. This part 3 'Inside' was all over the place by the way. Some words were familiar but shaky. Some words were understandable due to their international nature but I needed to keep an eye on the way I pronounced them. And some were downright new for me.

For instance, coccyx or tailbone. Not sure how I managed not to learn this interesting part of human anatomy earlier. And since there are two words, I actually wanted to leave out ‘coccyx’. A pain in the neck to pronounce. But then I heard Sheldon saying this word in this chair inspired little monologue and accepted the challenge.

‘I must say, I am enjoying your new chair... Aligns the lumbar, cradles the coccyx, balances the buttocks.’

So, I was practising spleens and colons and trying to bring home the difference between cartilages, ligaments and tendons, when I thought that it would be nice to stop those attempts to faint when faced with some blood. This stuff looked ok in the pictures. And after all modern kids are exposed to ‘Operation Ouch’, dissections at school and IKEA Red Riding Hood’s wolf while I still act like a Middle Ages damsel in distress. Enough of the dark ages, let's da Vinci this one!

So, documentaries about human body it was, eyes wide open, not missing a detail. Ok, I admit an attempt to puke, a couple of panic attacks and one count of involuntary cringing. But other than that I think I deserve a pat on the back.

And of course I was running the tests on a regular basis, battling with the names of the bones. Radius though was easy enough to learn once this clumsy and a bit thick in the head detective got one of his fractured in this scene. And since I love Rassel Crow who said the word, it did stick. I just recorded the sentence to have context with the useful related word ‘fracture’ at hand.

‘When you are talking to your doctor just tell them you have a spiral fracture of the left radius’

If you would like to memorise parts of body in English, grab our vocBlocks Human Body. They are translated into French, German, Russian and Spanish as well.

There is certainly more to the language practice than meets the eye. Yep, knowledge is power.

Let me know in the comments below, if you see eye to eye with me here or not. I am all ears! If you have any questions, feel free to pick my brain as well. Happy learning!

You might also like these posts:

Ornitophobia or How I Killed Two Birds with One Stone (birds idioms)

How to Boost your 5-a-Day Nerd Style (fruit and veg idioms)

How to Jazz Up your Everyday Nerd Style (music idioms)

Parts of Body Idioms Defined

pull somebody’s leg - to joke, to trick

have nerves of steel - to be very brave

Achilles heel - a specific weakness

by heart - from memory

keep an eye on - to watch or take care of something or someone

a pain in the neck - someone or something that is very annoying

a pat on the back - praise

thick in the head - stupid

have at hand - to have something within easy reach

more than meets the eye - more complex or interesting than it appears

see eye to eye with - to agree with someone

all ears - to be listening attentively

pick somebody’s brain - to ask for detailed information

*The list of idioms is based on this great resource: https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-body.htm and https://www.englishclub.com/ref/Idioms/Body/