[ti:'Spoon-feeding' Not Just for Babies]
[00:07.72]Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
[00:17.08]Today, we talk about eating and comfort food
[00:21.51]– those delicious favorites that make you feel good inside.
[00:26.36]Comfort foods provide a sense of well-being
[00:30.51]and are usually the foods that you enjoyed as a child.
[00:36.12]Most cultures have one type of comfort food -- soup!
[00:40.49]Whether hot or cold, meat or vegetable, thick or thin,
[00:46.17]homemade soup is one of those dishes that can make you feel comforted and happy.
[00:53.40]In most cases, you need a spoon to eat soup.
[00:58.04]Eating it with a knife and fork would not work as well.
[01:02.22]In fact, when a way of doing something does not work,
[01:06.72]we can say it is like eating soup with a fork.
[01:11.16]In other words, it is the wrong tool for the job.
[01:15.92]Spoons are the best tool for eating soups and other treats, like ice cream.
[01:22.09]That is, unless you are very young.
[01:25.96]Babies cannot hold a spoon by themselves.
[01:30.08]They are spoon-fed by parents or care-givers.
[01:34.69]When we spoon-feed babies, we give them food.
[01:38.78]But, we do not just push the food into their mouths and down their throats.
[01:44.41]Babies should be fed slowly and carefully.
[01:48.33]We don't want them to choke or hurt themselves from eating too quickly.
[01:54.13]You may also have to spoon-feed others who cannot feed themselves.
[02:00.52]However, food is not the only thing we spoon-feed.
[02:05.27]We can also spoon-feed information.
[02:09.20]Usually that information is very detailed or hard to understand.
[02:15.70]So, we must explain it carefully.
[02:19.88]When explaining something complex or detailed to others,
[02:24.78]you may have to spoon-feed the information.
[02:28.55]But never tell them that!
[02:31.64]Nobody wants to be spoon-fed.
[02:35.16]This term is a little insulting.
[02:38.45]It means that they are unable to understand the information by themselves.
[02:44.28]It must be given to them in small amounts like a baby eating food.
[02:51.12]There is another way to use this expression.
[02:54.15]When you spoon-feed someone you can also give them so many ideas
[03:00.03]or opinions that they do not need to think for themselves.
[03:04.60]So, it's not that the person does not understand.
[03:08.67]It is that you are spoon-feeding them the information you want them to have.
[03:15.44]There is yet another meaning of the word "spoon-feed."
[03:19.12]It can also mean to "baby" or "spoil" someone by doing too much for them.
[03:25.88]If someone is always spoon-fed, they will not learn how to take care of themselves.
[03:33.64]Now, let's hear how to use the expression "spoon-fed."
[03:39.04]The two people in this short conversation are city planners.
[03:43.87]They have designed a new library.
[03:46.94]But before they build, they must get the approval
[03:50.75]from the local government, the city council.
[03:53.70]And that is where they run into a problem.
[03:58.28]Hey, I'm back from the meeting.
[03:59.96]So, how did it go? Did the city council approve our plans for the new library?
[04:05.14]I don't know.
[04:06.10]What do you mean? You went to the meeting, right?
[04:09.80]And you explained our plans?
[04:11.82]Well, yes. But they didn't seem to understand ... any of it. So, they postponed their vote.
[04:18.33]Postponed? We don't have time for another postponement.
[04:23.20]Did you go through all the details of the plan?
[04:27.32]Did you show them our budget?
[04:29.00]Our numbers show that it will be cheaper to fix up the old, historic building
[04:33.49]rather than building a new one.
[04:35.66]Did you explain how our library will better serve the community?
[04:39.89]Stop already! I spoon-fed every detail of our plan to them.
[04:45.20]But they still decided to postpone their decision.
[04:50.40]I will set up private meetings with each council member
[04:54.12]and personally spoon-feed each detail to them... again.
[04:59.16]Maybe then they will understand.
[05:01.94]Um, I doubt it.
[05:05.24]And that's all the time we have for Words and Their Stories.
[05:08.76]Until next time ...
[05:10.24]I'm Anna Matteo.