I’m Neil. Joining me today is Tom. Hi, Tom. Hi, Neil and hello to our audience. Today’sstory is about the new Covid 19 strain, which is rapidly spreading in the UK. Andthis has led to new travel restrictions both inside and outside the country. Don’t. Forget that if you want to testyourself on the vocabulary, you learn today, there’s a quiz on our websiteat bbclearningenglish.com. OK. Let’s hear some more about thatstory from this BBC Radio 4 news report. So the story is about a new strain ofCovid 19, which is rapidly spreading in the UK.. This is important because it basicallymeans that Christmas is cancelled for millions of families in Londonand, the South East of the country.. This is because of travel restrictionsput in place by the government. Now other European countries, such as Franceare, also imposing travel restrictions on all travel to and from the UK. OK.. Well, you’ve been looking at theheadlines connected to this story. You’ve picked out three words and expressionswhich are really useful.. What are they Really useful? Indeed. They are’mutant’ ‘amid’ and ‘to, follow suit’. ‘Mutant’, ‘amid’ and ‘to follow suit’., So let’s start with your firstheadline and that word ‘mutant’. Please. First headline Neil is from Metro.. It says ‘Mutant’ different from others, ofits kind due to a genetic change.. Now this word is possibly easier to understandif. We start with its verb form: ‘to mutate’. Yeah.. So ‘mutant’ is an adjective.. The verbform is ‘to mutate’ and when you ‘mutate’ … Excuse me.

When you ‘mutate’ you changegenetically, so your genes or your DNA changes.. Now we see this word. ‘Mutant’ used a lot in sortof, comic books and sci fi and fiction don’t. We Used so much in comics and sci fi and fiction.You know I’m. A big comic book fan Neil. ‘Mutant’. The word ‘mutant’ is actually sixtimes more popular now than it was in 1980. It’s, six times more common, which probablyis a result of all the famous mutants that you see in the comics. Wouldyou like me to tell you some Yes please., So some of my favourite mutantsfrom Comics and fiction films, Godzilla, is a mutant, Deadpool, mutant, theTeenage, Mutant, Ninja Turtles are also mutants and probably the most famous are theX Men.. The X Men are mutants as well. OK., Well it’s, interesting that we’retalking about fiction and comic books, because this word contains anelement of drama in it doesn’t it Absolutely yeah.. If you look at theheadline, they say: ‘Mutant Covid’., They don’t, say ‘New Strain of Covid’because. ‘Mutant’ sounds a lot more exciting and dramatic and will sort ofgrab the reader’s attention.. You know ‘mutant’, you get thisidea of like a Godzilla kind of virus, it’s very strong and dramatic as you said. Yeah., Despite the fact that whatthey’re saying at the moment is that it’s no more dangerousthan the previous strain, but still, as you say, ‘mutant’ givesit …. It makes it more appealing to read. It does it makes you want to read that headlineand that’s, probably why they’ve used it.

OK. Let’s have a summary. We have been talking about comic books, andif. You want to watch another News Review on the same topic. We have theperfect one for you haven’t, we Tom, We do. It’s about the death of MarvelComics legend Stan Lee two years ago and you can find it by clicking the link. OK. Let’s have your next headline.. My second headline, Neil, is fromthe Evening Standard. The headline And there’s that word ‘mutant’ again. Yes., ‘Mutant’ that we lookedat in the last headline, but the word we’re looking at here is ‘amid’. ‘Amid’, which means in themiddle of or surrounded by.. It does yeah. And yeah for once on NewsReview we are looking at a preposition.. The reason I chose this word, the thing that, for me, I think, is most interesting – is theregister, which is how formal it is. Yeah. Because, as I said in the definitionthere, in the middle of or surrounded by, why don’t we just say that Whydo we need. This word ‘amid’ Because it’s actually it’sreally formal, isn’t it. It is very formal., So Ithink there’s two reasons.. If you look at the headline it lookslike it’s, quite a serious subject. You know they’re actually going to gointo detail about the flights and so forth. Also ‘in. The middle of’: how many words is that That’s going to take up a lot of space, inthe headline., So ‘amid’ is perfect: here., Yeah. And there’s actuallya clue in the word itself. You can see if you take off the’a ‘.

You have that word ‘ mid’, which is the same meaning as ‘middle’. Or ‘midst’ ‘in. The midst of’ butwe will come to that in a moment., So ‘amid’ it can be physical., It can bephysical or it can be sort of figurative. Physically. In the middle of I could say, ‘I am filming amid all ofthe chaos in my living room.’. You can see that there’swires and cameras. Everywhere. Chaos is a good collocation with ‘amid’. Yeah. Or you might want to say that you know we had the BBC Learning EnglishChristmas party on Friday.. It was a virtual party, of course, and … It was. It was a good time.. … ‘amid’. The party Rob told a really rude joke., I mean you could say that, but it … that’s quite an informal context to use it.. I could say: ‘During the merriment of theChristmas party, my colleague Rob told a joke.’, But why would we speak like that ona day to day … day to day level, It’s too formal, so we normallyuse it for more serious things., So it can be figurative aswell. This preposition ‘amid’. If you look at what the headline’s talkingabout it’s talking about an announcement to stop flights, which was made’amid’ an alarming rise in cases., So an alarming rise, inCovid cases very serious., Rob’s joke at the Christmasparty, not that serious., Not that serious …, OK. let’s get a summary. We mentioned that the lastword ‘amid’ is a preposition and we have more on prepositionsbut it’s, not serious.

Is it Tom? No, we have a …. You can see prepositionsin, probably the least serious context, a very silly one on The GrammarGame Show by clicking the link. Very entertaining, though so, do check that out. OK.. We have another wordfor, you another headline. OK.. My next headline is from The Independent and the vocabulary is actuallyin the subheading. It says ‘To follow suit’, meaning to do the same. Thing. ‘To follow suit’ means to do the same thing. Before we continue Neil. I will pointout that there is a typo in this headline. The subject is ‘five EU countries’ itshould be ‘look poised’, not ‘looks, poised’. That’s right.. So the headline has got amistake in it. …, but it’s still useful. For us. It happens, … it happens to the best of us. OK.. So how about this word? ‘Suit’. Ithought. A ‘suit’ was something you wore the matching jacket and trousersand tie for a formal occasion.. It is. This is another definition of ‘suit’ is aformal attire that youwear, you know jacket tie.. We can also have ‘suits’ in cardsin games. … like in card games.. There are 52 cards, I think and thereare four ‘suits’, that are the same colour. And it’s. This idea of being the same ifyou look at businessmen wearing suits suits, are very much the sameright Kind of like a uniform. That’s right.. You could have a blue suit. … yeah, you could have a blue suit or you could have a black suit: butbasically they’re .

.. they’re, the same. And it’s. This idea of beingsimilar or being the same thing.. Now, no doubt your plans, forChristmas have changed Tom. Yes, I have.! Well …. Can you tell us about that … I will tell you about my Christmasplans Neil and then perhaps maybe you can ‘follow suit’. Maybe you could do the same thing. OK., So my original plan was to go to thecountryside. Get some fresh air see my family, but now those plans have been cancelledso. I will be spending my Christmas right here in my living room, where you can see me., Maybe not with the camera on though. Hmmm …. I could live stream, myChristmas dinner, but probably not.. How about you, OK. So I’ll ‘follow suit’, now …, Please ‘follow suit’., … I’ll follow suit. Now and I’ll.. Yeah I’ll tell everyone that I’mdoing exactly the same as you.. I won’t be traveling anywhere to seeanybody. I’ll, be here because we can’t leave and millions of others in the South Eastof England will ‘follow suit’. Exactly. OK. Let’s have a summary Time now: Tom for a recapof, the vocabulary please. A recap of today’s vocabulary.. We have ‘mutant’ different from othersof its kind due to a genetic change. ‘Amid’ in the middle of or surrounded by. And ‘to. Follow suit’ means to do the same thing.. If you want to test yourself on this vocabularyplease go to our website. Bbclearningenglish.Com there’s a quiz there that you can take anddon’t forget. We are also all over social media.

Thanks for watching and we will seeyou next time. Take care and goodbye. Bye.