Learn English Vocabulary Daily #16.3 — British English Podcast

3,899 views ・ 2024-02-28

English Like A Native


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Hello, and welcome to The English Like a Native Podcast.
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My name is Anna and you're listening to Week 16, Day 3 of Your English Five a
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Day, the series that aims to increase your active vocabulary by five pieces every
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day of the week from Monday to Friday.
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So, let's start.
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Today we begin with a noun and it is assumption, assumption.
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We spell this A S S U M P T I O N.
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Assumption.
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It's never good to make assumptions.
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An assumption is a person's readiness to accept something as
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true without question or proof.
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So, if you say to me,
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"Anna, did you know the world is flat?"
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And I go,
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"Oh!
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Okay, well, that must be why we have a water shortage, because if the world is
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flat, then the water must be just pouring off the edge and we're losing water.
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And that's why we have a water shortage."
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Oh, okay.
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So, there I've made an assumption.
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Or if my partner says to me,
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"Darling, I'm going to be working until 5.30 tonight and then I'm
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just saying a quick hello to a friend in the pub, I won't be long."
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And I think, oh, okay, then you don't want any dinner, because
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obviously you're going to eat out.
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Even though I haven't asked the question, are you eating out or do you want dinner?
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And I haven't got any proof that he's going to eat out.
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He's just said he's going to have a quick drink with a friend after work.
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Hmm.
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So, I made an assumption.
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I assumed it was true that he didn't want dinner.
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And those things normally turn into arguments.
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To make assumptions is never good.
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Here's another example,
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"Our latest sales forecast is predicated on the assumption that the economy
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will grow by four percent this year."
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Okay, next on the list is a noun and it is mentor, mentor.
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We spell this M E N T O R.
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Mentor.
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A mentor is a person that you look up to.
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Someone who gives a younger or less experienced person help and
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advice over a period of time, especially at work or at school.
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Have you ever had or been a mentor?
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I've had mentors in my life.
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I had mentors at university.
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I had mentors when I left university, and now as a business owner and
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entrepreneur, I have mentors.
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People who help me at certain points in my life with certain problems that I have
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in my business, usually helping me to grow my business, to make the right decisions.
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These people are people who are further down the road than me.
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They are my mentors.
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They want me to succeed, so they help me and guide me.
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Here's an example sentence,
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"At school, my Geography teacher was my mentor, I looked up to him and he
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helped me through my toughest years."
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Next on the list is the verb intervene, intervene.
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We spell this I N T E R V E N E.
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Intervene.
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To intervene is to purposefully become involved in a difficult
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situation in an attempt to improve it or prevent it from getting worse.
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This reminds me of a story.
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I was out having a few drinks with my friends, having a nice time, when I saw
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two people, a man and a woman starting to get very heated in their discussion.
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And this turned into a full argument and then they're screaming at each other.
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And then the man gets hold of the woman and starts swinging her around
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and grabbing her and pulling her around and it looked like it was
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going to turn into a full-on fight.
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And I thought, "This is awful."
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And I didn't even really think, I just ran between them and I
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tried to push them apart to stop them from hurting each other.
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And really, the man was the one being more aggressive towards the woman.
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He was the one who was grabbing onto her and pulling her around.
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She seemed very upset.
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And her reaction to my intervention was to turn around
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and slap me full on in the face.
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So, I learnt my lesson not to intervene if there are other bigger, stronger
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people that could maybe get involved.
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It's best to stay out of it.
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I think that's probably one of the only times I've ever been
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hit in the face by somebody.
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And yeah, it was a time when I was trying to help someone and
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prevent them from getting hurt.
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Anyway, enough with my personal stories.
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Here's another example sentence,
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"Thank goodness our local councillor intervened personally to stop the
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history museum from being closed.
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I can't imagine the town without it."
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When was the last time you had to intervene in a situation?
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Next on the list is an adjective and it is oppressive, oppressive.
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We spell this O P P R E S S I V E, oppressive.
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If you describe someone as oppressive or something as oppressive, then it causes
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people to feel worried and uncomfortable.
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I will often describe the heat in summer, if it's a really extreme heatwave, then
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I will describe it as oppressive heat.
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It's heat that makes me feel really uncomfortable.
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Here's another example,
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"There was an oppressive silence in the meeting this morning, wasn't there?
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Did you sense the tension between Jane and Amanda too?"
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Next on the list is an idiom and it is the buck stops with
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you or the buck stops with me.
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Now we spell this, the, T H E.
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Buck, B U C K.
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Stops, S T O P S.
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With, W I T H.
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You or me.
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The buck stops with you.
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This means that whoever it is that the buck stops with, that they are responsible
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overall for making the decisions, and who will be blamed if things go wrong.
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So, I use this phrase often because in my business, even though I have
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a team of people that help me, I am the face of the business.
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It's my business, it's my face you see, it's my voice you hear.
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So, if there is a mistake made somewhere along the way, it's ultimately
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my responsibility to catch it.
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So, if I have a video editor adding text onto my videos and the text is
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wrong, then that's my responsibility.
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The buck stops with me.
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Okay.
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Now this phrase actually, when I was younger, because I come from a Northern
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town, and I used to have a Northern accent where we wouldn't say /bʌk/, we
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would say /bʊk/ and /bʊk/ B U C K in my original accent is pronounced the same
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way as B O O K /bʊk/ - /bʊk/ book, book.
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And so, I always heard the 'book stops with you'.
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And so I always thought it was the B double O K that stops with you.
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And it's very hard to shake that image from my mind.
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The image of a book.
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A B double O K, being pushed onto the person responsible saying that this
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is ultimately your responsibility.
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So, just try and remember, it's not a book, it's a buck.
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Just like a Bambi, like a deer, a buck.
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This saying actually comes from poker, but we won't go into
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the origins of these phrases.
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Maybe that's another podcast episode.
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So, the buck stops with you.
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Here's an example,
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"As much as I trust my team to look after things when I'm away, at the end
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of the day, the buck stops with me.
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So if something goes wrong, I'll get the blame anyway."
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Okay, let's recap.
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We started with the noun assumption, which is to accept that something's
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true without question or proof.
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You make an assumption.
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Then we have the noun mentor, which is a person that you look up to,
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someone who's more experienced, who gives you advice and guidance.
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Then we had the verb intervene, which is to purposefully become involved in a
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difficult situation to try and make it better or prevent it from getting worse.
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Then we had the adjective oppressive, which is something that causes you
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to feel worried or uncomfortable.
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Then we had the idiom the buck stops with you or me, which is basically
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saying that person is ultimately responsible or blamed if things go wrong.
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So let's now do this for pronunciation.
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Please repeat after me.
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Assumption.
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Assumption.
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Mentor.
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Mentor.
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Intervene.
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Intervene.
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Oppressive.
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Oppressive.
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The buck stops with me.
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The buck stops with me.
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Very good.
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Now, we've got some really awful looking clouds coming overhead
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and the humidity is so high, it's making me feel really uncomfortable.
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How could I describe this weather?
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Oppressive.
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Absolutely.
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This is an uncomfortable weather day today.
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Okay.
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I notice that two people are having an argument on my street and I think I should
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go and try and stop them from arguing.
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What am I doing?
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I'm intervening.
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Absolutely.
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And I probably shouldn't, but I'm intervening.
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I then have a phone call with someone who is much more experienced
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than me and they give me lots of help and guidance in my business.
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I would describe this person as my...
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mentor, my mentor.
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Now, I haven't asked my mentor this question specifically, and I don't
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have any proof that this is the case, but I'm going to accept that they want
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paying lots of money for their time.
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What am I doing?
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I'm making an...
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assumption.
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I'm making an assumption.
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Now, I know that ultimately, if things go wrong in my business,
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then I am the person responsible.
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What idiom could I use to describe this?
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The buck stops with me.
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Absolutely.
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Okay, let's bring these all together in a little story.
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As a new recruit in the science department, I was both excited
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and nervous to speak with the head scientist about a new research project.
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I walked into his office, filled with assumptions about
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what the project might entail.
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However, my mentor quickly intervened and reminded me to approach
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the project with an open mind.
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The head scientist then explained the project to me, and I was struck by
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the groundbreaking potential it held.
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But I also couldn't help but feel a sense of pressure, knowing that
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the buck stops with me in terms of contributing to this project's success.
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Despite the initial feeling of oppressive responsibility, I knew that this was an
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incredible opportunity to learn and make a real impact in the scientific community.
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Fantastic.
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Well, that brings us to the end, I do hope you found it useful.
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Until tomorrow, take very good care and goodbye.
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