Friday, 3 January 2014

Speakout Advanced p 95. The Proust Phenomenon. Listening

Have you ever been 1____________ time by a particular smell?
One 2____________ of mint sauce can take me back to Sunday lunch where I was born.
The smell that always really 3_______________ time is the smell of disinfectant, and kind of 4_____________ wood. And for some 5____________ reason it reminds me of being at school.
Walking past a 6___________  takes me instantly back to my kindergarten
It is called the Proust phenomenon because of a famous incident with the 7________________ in Remembrance Of Things Past.
Using vinegar and 8______________, Simon Chu tries to 9_____________ autobiographical memories.
Simon has brought 10____________ mixed herbs and some cigarette 11________ , among other things.
Once Louise has remembered what she can, she is allowed to 12___________ the real thing. 
Louise smells 13__________ cigarette smoke, which she finds horrible.
You try to cover up the smell, so that your parents don't know what you 14____________.
Louise remembered the fear in case her parents found out she'd been having a 15__________ cigarette.
Smell is very good at 16________________ the emotional details.
The most 17_____________ smell is that smell you get when candles have just been 18______________ , which reminds me of when I was a 19____________ in a church 20___________.
The memories are of the music of my 21______________.
22______________ that 23___________ the memories of times past.


KEY
1. carried back in
be carried back in time


2. whiff
whiff (of something) a smell, especially one that you only smell for a short time. E.g. a whiff of cigar smoke. He caught a whiff of perfume as he leaned towards her.



3.  takes me back in
take sb back in time



4. cedary
cedar: Sp. cedro.



5. bizarre 
bizarre /bɪˈzɑː(r)/ very strange or unusual. E.g.  a bizarre situation/incident/story. Bizarre behaviour.



6. hedge
hedge: a row of bushes or small trees planted close together, usually along the edge of a field, garden/yard or road. Sp. seto. E.g. a privet hedge
privet a bush with small dark green leaves that remain on the bush and stay green all year, often used for garden hedges. 



7. madeleines
madeleine /ˈmædleɪn/ a type of small cake. E.g. a madeleine cake dipped in tea inspires a nostalgic incident of involuntary memory.



8. talcum powder /ˈtælkəm paʊdə(r)/



9. trigger 
trigger: to make something happen suddenly. E.g. Nuts can trigger off a violent allergic reaction. 



10. raw 



11. ash 



12. sniff 
sniff: to breathe air in through the nose in order to discover or enjoy the smell of something.  Smell. E.g. sniffing the fresh morning air. The dog sniffed at my shoes. 



13. stale
stale: no longer fresh; smelling unpleasant. E.g. stale cigarette smoke. Stale sweat. Stale bread.  



14. 've been up to
be up to something: to be doing or planning something, often secretly. E.g. We think those boys are up to something, or they wouldn't be behaving so suspiciously. (often used in questions) What are you up to in there?  



15. sneaky 
sneaky: behaving in a secret and sometimes dishonest or unpleasant way. E.g. I took a sneaky glance at my watch. That was a sneaky trick!



16. bringing back
bring back: to make somebody remember something or think about it again. E.g. The photographs brought back many pleasant memories.  



17. evocative
evocative: making you think of or remember a strong image or feeling, in a pleasant way. E.g. evocative smells/sounds/music. Evocative of something Her new book is wonderfully evocative of village life. 



18. snuffed out
snuff something (out): to stop a small flame from burning, especially by pressing it between your fingers or covering it with something. Extinguish. E.g. He snuffed out the candle by squeezing the wick (Sp. mecha) between his thumb and forefinger. 



19. chorister
chorister: /ˈkɒrɪstə(r)/ a person who sings in the choir of a church.



20. choir
choir /ˈkwaɪə(r)/ 



21. boyhood 



22. Odours
odour: /ˈəʊdə(r)/  



23. prompt
prompt: /prɒmpt/ to make somebody decide to do something; to cause something to happen. Sp. provocar. E.g. The discovery of the bomb prompted an increase in security. His speech prompted an angry outburst from a man in the crowd. The thought of her daughter's wedding day prompted her to lose some weight.  


Transcript
Geoff: Hello. We're looking back quite a bit in this week's programme, back to childhood for a start. Now, ever had that feeling of being suddenly carried back in time by a particular odour? You probably have because it's a common experience. The smell of coal does it for me, and even more specifically mint sauce. One whiff of that, and it's back to Sunday lunch in the house where I was born. There is, it seems, something special about smells when it comes to evoking memories. Now, as Claudia Hammond reports, psychologists think they may be getting to the root of it.
Man I : The smell that always really takes me back in time is the smell of disinfectant, and kind of cedary wood. And for some bizarre reason it reminds me of being at school when I was about seven.
Man 2: Whenever I smell privet, walk past a hedge or something, it takes me instantly back to my kindergarten, to the rather smelly passage through from the garden to the school restaurant, where we had our lunches. It takes me straight back there.
Claudia: For some reason, the memories evoked by smells seem to be stronger than memories that come back to you, say from looking at a photo. In the field of psychology, they call it the Proust phenomenon, after the famous incident with the madeleines in Remembrance Of Things Past. One of the people studying the Proust Effect is Doctor Simon Chu, a lecturer in psychology at Liverpool University. The link between smell and memory has hardly been touched by researchers, because until recently, it's been very difficult to prove in the lab. Using familiar smells, like vinegar and talcum powder, Simon Chu tries to trigger autobiographical memories.
Claudia: So, what have you got here? You've got about eight little plastic boxes.
Simon: Here we've got things like raw mixed herbs, we've got um some cigarette ash, some vinegar, ketchup, got some paint. What I'm going to do is I'm going to give you a word, and I'm going to ask you to tell me as much as you can about a particular experience that the word reminds you of.
C: First, he gives his volunteer Louise a word, like cigarette. And she has to come up with an event from her past linked to the word. Once she's remembered everything she can, he lets her sniff the real thing from one of his special boxes.
S: I'd like you to sniff gently at this and tell me anything else you can remember about that particular experience.
Louise: Oooh um stale cigarette smoke .. .that's a horrible smell. I can still smell it from here. I just remember ... just the smell of it and the fact that it, you can still smell it on yourself ages later. And then when you go home, you suddenly realise that your parents are probably going to be able to smell it on you as well. And then you get that fear inside you that they're going to know that you were smoking, and you know there were the polos, and the perfume and that kind of thing - desperately trying to cover up the smell, so that your parents don't know what you've been up to.
C: Confronted by the actual smell of cigarettes, Louise remembers far more about the event than she did when she was simply given the word 'cigarette'. In particular, she remembered the fear that her parents would find out she'd been having a sneaky cigarette. It seems that smell is very good at bringing back the emotional details like this.
S: There is something quite unusual and special about the relationship between smells and memory.
John: For me, the most evocative smell is that smell you get when candles have just been snuffed out. And it takes me back to my childhood when I was a chorister in a church choir, in a village in Berkshire. And towards the end of the service, one of the servers used to come out and extinguish the big candles up by the altar. And if I just smell that smell, of candles being snuffed out, I'm instantly back at that time and the memories are of the music of my boyhood, the church music of the time.
G: Odours that prompt the memories of times past.

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