Chatterbox #69 – Viral Videos

With the Internet and social media, people are on computers and cell phones more than ever! This means that there are all kinds of new terms that have been created to describe all the new trends and innovations online, one of which you already know: podcast! Listen to this episode to learn some of English’s cutting-edge vocabulary.

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Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:viral

  • To swear
  • To go viral
  • A viral video
  • In a matter of…
  • To catch on
  • A flash mob
  • To trend
  • Twitter
  • A podcast
  • This American Life
  • A blog/a blogger
  • Brand recognition
  • Julie and Julia
  • Religiously
  • Cyberspace

Sample transcript:

Maura: We’re going to tell you about some new terms and new expressions that have come up in the past 10 years because of social media. And when we talk about social media, we’re talking about Facebook, Twitter, blogs, podcasts. So, we’re gonna look at the new words that are connected to the new media that we use online.

Harp: Today we’re gonna talk about viral videos.

Maura: And then we’re gonna talk about the expression that something is trending.

Harp: And then we’ll talk about some new forms of media, specifically podcasts and blogs. I think we should get started.

Maura: So, first we’re gonna talk about one of my favourite things.

Harp: Viral videos.

Maura: Yes, viral videos. And viral videos are videos that become very popular that you watch online.

Harp: Yes. And so if we think about the word, viral videos, it’s like a virus. When people get sick, a virus spreads very, very, very quickly and that’s what happens with viral videos; they get spread to a lot of people really quickly and people are watching them everywhere.

Maura: Yeah. It’s kind of fun, because you can see on Facebook that everybody’s watching it. Or at work or school, you might talk about these videos because a lot of people are watching them around the same time.

Harp: Yeah, it must be crazy, if you actually make a video that goes viral, to see how many people start watching it every day and how fast it goes.

Maura: Yeah, that would be very exciting. I remember a few months ago, actually, I was watching a video online and I’d noticed it because people I knew had posted it on Facebook and it was a really sad video. It was about a teenager who had been bullied at school. Anyways, I actually watched this video go viral. And what I mean is I watched it on YouTube and I saw that about 250,000 people had watched the video and when I checked back an hour later, one million people had watched the video.

Harp: Really?

Maura: Yeah. And then I checked back a little while later again, and another few hundred thousand people had watched the video, so it was really cool to see the numbers increase so fast.

Harp: Wow, that’s crazy.

Maura: Yeah, it really does happen that fast. In a matter of a few days or a week, millions of people around the world can watch one video.

Harp: Yeah, it’s crazy how fast it goes.

Maura: Yeah. Well, according to my research online, it seems that the idea of viral videos started not very long ago, in maybe 2009, when videos would really catch on and spread. You can’t go back very far in history and talk about viral videos.


Podcast/ Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast

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