English Speaking Lessons: Have You Ever Been Ghosted
Summary: English Speaking Lesson
In this English speaking lesson we discuss a contemporary English word used to describe a rather brutal ending to a relationship.
The corpus of words used in modern everyday English changes all the time. We rediscover old words, or someone makes new words up to describe new scenarios or problems or products faced in the UK today.
Well, if you use online services to arrange dates and meet new people, you might be familiar with this new word. Have you ever been “Ghosted?” or have you “Ghosted someone?“ we hope not!
Have you heard it before and don’t know what it means? Or are you interested in using it properly in your English conversation? Great news! Today we talk all about the new phenomena of “Ghosting” in the UK.
Audio Transcript: English Speaking Lessons: Have You Ever Been Ghosted?
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Adept English is up to date
So what shall we talk about today? Our English speaking lessons involve you doing lots of listening to spoken English and we also try to keep you up-to-date with new vocabulary. So I’m going to introduce you to a word today that is fairly new to the English language – or rather it’s an old word, but with a new meaning! Merriam Webster is one of the publishers which produces English dictionaries – and they introduced this word or word usage into their dictionary only in February 2017! So our English Speaking Lessons are bang up-to-date.
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Ghost as a noun
So this word or word usage is the verb ‘to ghost’. The word ‘ghost’, usually a noun – G-H-O-S-T – in the traditional meaning, refers to when people apparently see the image, the appearance of someone who is believed to be dead. So ghosts may be something which is part of your culture, or they may not be. But in the UK, ghosts are definitely part of our culture. I said previously ‘a ghost refers to the image or vision or appearance of someone who is believed to be dead’. I said ‘apparently’, because of course, there are people who believe that ghosts exist, even though they haven’t seen them. There are people who insist they have seen ghosts. But there are a lot of people, who say ‘Nah, it’s rubbish, ghosts don’t exist!’ Really interestingly though, there are people who don’t believe in ghosts, but who say that they have seen them! I know two people personally, who’ve had this experience. And they say ‘I know it doesn’t make sense – but that’s my experience!’. For myself, I’ve never seen a ghost – I think I would like to, but I think I would be terrified at the same time!
I watch a programme on UK TV, which I love, as do my daughters, called Most Haunted. And it’s a reality TV programme, where a team of people with cameras and microphones spend the night in an old building, where there are meant to be ghosts. If people are interested, I’ll do a whole podcast on this programme – I love it so much. But I would say I don’t know whether ghosts are real or not.
To ghost as a verb
So what’s the new usage of this word – what shall we cover in our English speaking lessons? Well, it’s become a verb in the last few years. The verb ‘to ghost’ - and you can ‘ghost someone’. What does it mean? Well, it refers to something which happens when people date. You go on a date with a person, you meet them, maybe you have a coffee, a few drinks, or a restaurant meal. They seem nice. You meet with them a couple of times – but then suddenly, they disappear! Or rather they presumably don’t disappear – they’re still present in their own lives, but ‘ghosting’ or ‘to ghost someone’, means to disappear from contact. The person stops contacting you, they don’t answer your messages or your calls. Maybe they block your number.
Ghosting as bad manners!
I had a really interesting discussion recently with some colleagues – other psychotherapists like me. And we have all noticed that this idea, this phenomenon of ghosting someone, when you want to end a relationship with them – well, it’s become more common. One of my colleagues is a man – and he was explaining why he thinks that men, in particular sometimes do this. I think women ghost people too – but maybe not so often. If you’re interested, maybe I’ll do a podcast about ‘Why do people ghost when they date?’ What’s going on?
I think that at best it is bad manners – it’s not polite. And if you want to end a relationship, just tell the person. But obviously it’s much worse if the person concerned has been in a relationship for a long time – and then they just completely disappear – and the other person doesn’t know what’s happened to them. But I think that’s much more rare. Ghosting tends to be something which happens early on in a relationship.
English speaking lesson practice
So there you are! A new verb. ‘To ghost’ or ‘To ghost someone’. As ever, let me give you some example sentences – good to practice in your English speaking lessons. Try saying these sentences after me.
- My friend was ghosted by a man, whom she’d dated twelve times.
- I ghosted him, because I thought that he would get angry if I tried to end the relationship.
- Ghosting has grown more common with online dating.
- Being ghosted really upsets people.
Anyway, as ever, let me know your thoughts!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
PS: Speaking to real people “face-to-face” is getting harder
Technology is so crucial to our everyday communication, it’s rather easy for us to press a button and ignore someone! Even the term “Face-to-Face” which should mean in person, is more likely to mean "Face time” on Skype or some video messaging app.
So if you want to ignore someone you can block them on your phone or computer and “Poof!”, someone’s relationship disappears with the press of a button.
As we know the English language is good at finding words that can reduce the time to explain a common scenario. In a world where time is precious heartless words like “Ghosted” will appear and carry so much more meaning to those who are on the receiving end.
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