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Recommended Reading: Underground USA


Girare gli USA andando in tutti quei luoghi che hanno una corrispondenza con le fermate della metropolitana londinese: un’impresa contorta ma messa in atto con successo da Geoff Marshall, già nei Guinness dei primati per aver effettuato tutte le fermate della metro di Londra nel minore tempo possibile. Il tutto raccontato nel libro: Underground USA. 
By Mark Worden - LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Geoff Marshall (Standard British accent)

Hello, so I have a book out called Underground USA. I’m the world record holder for travelling to all the London tube stations in the fastest time possible, that’s kind of my thing, what I’m known as, and a few years ago I spent... between… just over three-and-a-half years living in America. The sad part of this story is that I got married to an American lady, and it did not work out: aagh! So the good part is that I had the chance to explore another country, you know, and I never realized I had it in me to have such a kind of travel lust as I did, and when I… when it was time to come home and return back to... to England, I thought… I thought, “Well, I can’t just go home, just catch…” you know, it would be quite boring just to, you know,  get on a plane, fly over the Atlantic and land, it would be like, “I’m back” kind of thing and I… I considered the idea that I would like to take a crosscountry road trip ‘cause that’s a bit of a classic thing to do, many people have done it, you go east to west, and just say that you’ve seen some of America. And then it evolved from that, and I was chatting to one of my friends in England and basically what happened is that I said, “Yeah,” I said... I said, “I don’t know what route to take, and I was like, “Maybe, you know,” I said, “Every... and I should go and look at a few National Parks, you’ve got to go to Yellowstone, you’ve got to go to Grand Canyon, all right?” kind of thing, and then I realized that...  by doing that I was sort taking in a few more states along… along the way, and my friend said, “Well, you know, as the world record holder for travelling to all tube stations, really you should go to all states, shouldn’t you? So suddenly I found myself plotting a route where I drove round, so I could say I’d been to all the states in... in America, but I still need a reason... a reason for going there, and then I realized, again in discussions with my friend, that, if I was going to go to every state in America, I should find a town or city or place or park in every state that had the same name as a place on the London tube map. So, for example, there is a little town called Epping in Maine, and... and there’s an Epping on... on the tube map in... in London. There’s a place called White City in Kansas. I’ve been there, it’s a beautiful little farming town, a population of about 400 people: there’s a White City in London on the tube map. So I found all these places in America and I spent 12 weeks of my summer of 2009 driving around the deeply fascinating and misunderstood country that is the USA, and, you know, embarrassingly, I’ve been to a lot more of America than a lot of Americans have now, and I meet Americans here in London and I go, “Oh, I used to live in America,” they go, “Whereabouts?” And then I tell them, and then we chat, and I say a few things and they go... I mention that I’ve been to Kansas, and they go, or... and they go, “Have you been to other places?” And I went, “Yeah, actually I‘ve been to all the states!” And they go, “Oh, I’ve only been to six states!” You know, so I’m thinking, “Yeah, I’ve... I’ve seen more of your country than you have!” which is a weird thing!  

(Geoff Marshall was talking to Mark Worden)

For more about Geoff Marshall’s US adventure, go to: http://www.geofftech.co.uk/undusa/index.html


SPEAK UP EXPLAINS

It did not work out. Non è andato bene, è finito male (cioè ci siamo lasciati). I lettori del nostro supplemento Work It Out! sapranno che il phrasal verb to work out (quando è transitivo) significa calcolare, risolvere un problema. Quando è intransitivo invece significa andare bene. Qui Geoff Marshall dice che purtroppo il suo matrimonio non è andato bene, ma si può dire la stessa cosa di un’altra situazione, tipo un lavoro. E, come forse già sapete, come phrasal verb intransitivo to work out può anche significare fare esercizio, andare in palestra ecc.

And I was like. E pensavo. Letteralmente “ero tipo”: è molto informale.

And I go.  E rispondo, dico. Il verbo to go (andare) è uno dei primi che s’imparano ma nell’inglese informale può significare anche “dire”.