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“Daily Annoyances”



Pre-Listening Question

Think about this question before you watch the video:

  • What are some of the things that bother you most about other drivers, politicians, and smart phones? How do you respond in such situations?

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

tackle (verb): make an effort to deal with a difficult topic or situation
– We need to tackle the problem of pollution in our city.

touch on something (verb): talk briefly about something
– The president didn’t want to touch on the issues of the economy because of rising inflation.

grumble (verb): complain quietly
– My husband often grumbles about careless drivers on the road.

alarming (adjective): feeling a sense of concern or danger
– It is alarming to see the price of gas and food go up almost daily.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start the video.


Randall: In this video, Emily, let’s tackle something about daily annoyances, whether they be drivers, uh, politicians, or smartphone user, or any of these something you would like to discuss, things that kind of bother you? [Something that . . . ] Now you’re pausing. You’re pausing, and that must be that you’re really thinking about this one.

Emily: Yes. Um, I’ll touch on a couple of them briefly. Um, drivers. I tend to be someone who gets really irritated when I drive, so you could say sometimes I have a little bit of road rage. I don’t act on this, uh, other than grumbling inside my car, but it does bother me when someone drives substantially below the speed limit, and I’m stuck behind them. Um, as far as politicians go . . .  Okay.

Randall: And be careful here on any names that you throw out.

Emily: I won’t throw out any names.

Randall: Don’t throw out any names, but we’ll talk about maybe behaviors, or actions, and so forth.

Emily: I find it very frustrating when politicians . . .

Randall: BEEP . . . Just threw that in for the name. Okay, go ahead.

Emily: . . . when politicians don’t utilize the staff members or other people that have maybe greater knowledge in certain areas to give them advice, and they just speak whatever comes to mind, and this could be . . . come across . . .

Randall: No filter . . . like they have no filter.

Emily: No filter, or they just decide that whatever their opinion is fact, that really bothers me.

Randall: And that could be a real problem. And what about smartphone use? Are there other any times where you can think this is not the ideal time to be using a phone.

Emily: When you’re driving down the freeway . . .  I see that a lot.

Randall: Okay. People talking, people texting, people maybe watching Netflix, or something like that.

Emily: I’ve . . .I’ve seen a lot. Probably the worst I saw it wasn’t it a smartphone . . .  Someone was reading a book and driving down the freeway, and that was very alarming to me.

Randall: Oh, that would be for sure.

Conversation Questions

  1. How do your own feelings on this topic match Emily’s opinions in this interview? How do they differ?
  2. What things in life cause you to grumble and complain? In such cases, how do you handle such feelings?
  3. Which of these activities bother you? Why or why not? Do you do any of these behaviors?
    • Use both armrests in a movie theater or on a plane.
    • Not cleaning up after a meal and simply putting dishes in the sink.
    • Asking friends or family personal questions about money or relationships.
    • Sending a bunch of short text messages instead of sending a longer one.
    • Taking up more than one seat on a bus by putting your bag there, so that no one else can sit down.

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

Try More Free Listening at