Thursday, January 27, 2011

Learning English Through Entertainment #1: "You can't handle the truth."

The Greatest American Export Isn't the iPhone, It Is Entertainment
Entertainment is the great American export.  TV, movies, music, you name it, and there is zero doubt that the U.S. is the undisputed king of the hill (sorry, Hallyu).  Other countries are making strides or have made historical importance (like the U.K. in music).
Pop culture starts and ends in America, and as a result, one excellent way of knowing how language is used, what the implications of a phrase is, or if you want to relate to others who speak English, then knowing scenes where a famous phrase is coined, what movie, and the circumstance, is very helpful.

Learning English Through Cinema #1:  "You can't handle the truth."
This is from A Few Good Men, an otherwise unspectacular movie.  The actors, Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, are known globally.  This scene saved on You Tube is unforgettable because of the line "You can't handle the truth."  The meaning of the phrase is: "sometimes, the truth is ugly, so it's better to not know, and just accept the good results instead of asking questions."

You know how to tell that a line from a movie is well-known?  It gets repeated on TV shows, and in this case, the most popular sitcom of all-time, Seinfeld.

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