๐ŸWhat Is A Low Hanging Fruit ๐Ÿ’š Ep 263

๐ŸWhat Is A Low Hanging Fruit ๐Ÿ’š Ep 263

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Hi there you are listening to Adept English
and this is a listen and learn podcast. My name is Hilary and I created this listen and
learn method. To help you speak English fluently. Every week we give you two English lessons
in the form of podcasts so listen to Adept English. You’ll be on your way to speaking
fluent English in no time. Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast
from Adept English. It’s really good that you are growing in number. There are many
more people listening to Adept English now – and that number is growing all the time.
So thankyou for that. Thankyou for your support. But, I’m asking you a favour. I’m asking
you to help us out. If you like Adept English and you can see the advantage of our ‘Learn
Through Listening’ method, then why don’t you tell other people about us? You probably
know other people who are English language learners – so share Adept English with them.
You can help us by subscribing on YouTube, or sharing links on Facebook. This would really
make us happy! So today, how about we talk about an English
idiom? So if you’ve not come across the word ‘idiom’ before, I-D-I-O-M, it means
a phrase or expression in English, which has two levels of meaning. There is a literal
meaning – which you might recognise, you might understand from the words used. But
often this literal meaning is not what’s intended by the speaker. Idioms have a second
meaning, a figurative meaning. And this means they’re being used like a metaphor, or a
symbol. A metaphor, M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R means when you say something like ‘He’s a snake’
or ‘She’s a pussy cat’. You don’t mean the person is literally a snake or a
cat – but rather that they have the characteristics of a snake or a cat. So a literal meaning
would be ‘He is a snake’ and the ‘he’ there might be a boa constrictor or a python.
Whereas ‘he’s a snake’ is more likely to mean, if it’s a person you can’t trust
him, or he’s slippery. Well, then that’s a figurative meaning. So idioms are phrases,
things we say, which have both a literal and a figurative or metaphoric meaning. So today’s phrase – heard usually in a
work context, in offices up and down the land – ‘to harvest the low-hanging fruit’.
So ‘Let’s harvest the low-hanging fruit first’ – is something that your manager
might say at work. Well, you might be working in a vineyard and your job is picking grapes.
In which case, this phrase might have a literal meaning. What your boss is saying therefore
is first of all, pick the bunches of grapes which are easiest ones to reach. So ‘to
harvest’ means to take the fruit or the vegetables off the plant, or out of the ground,
so that you can store them, eat them, sell them, whatever is your business. An alternative
way of saying it might be ‘I’ll pick the low-hanging fruit’. So ‘to pick’ is
what you do when you get your tomatoes off your tomato plants. I’m really pleased – it’s
mid-September and my tomato plants are still going. What does ‘low-hanging’ mean? Well,
lots of things can be ‘low-hanging’! ‘Low’, L-O-W is the opposite of high. Low means ‘near
the ground’. And ‘hanging’ comes from the verb ‘to hang’, H-A-N-G. So if something
is ‘hanging’, it means it’s suspended, it’s fixed at the top and free to flap around
and move around at the bottom. So you would hang curtains or you would hang out your clothes,
if you wanted them to dry, perhaps. So ‘low-hanging fruit’ means just the fruit that is easiest
to pick, easiest to collect. OK, so if you’re working in a vineyard,
that might be literal, but most people aren’t working in a vineyard, picking grapes – though
it is probably the time of year where this happens. So hello to you if you are working
in a vineyard, harvesting grapes. But for everyone else, especially those of you who
work in an office, what would your boss mean if he or she said ‘I want you to harvest
the low hanging fruit’? Well, what they would mean would be talking about a piece
of work – do the parts that are easiest first and which deliver the most value first
of all. So if you were working on cutting some costs, then the ‘low hanging fruit’
would mean ‘look at the big costs first’, look at the places where the biggest savings
can be made and it’s….where it’s easiest to do. ‘Low hanging fruit’ means the goals
that can be most easily achieved. In business, you might have customers who are really keen
to have your product and they’re likely to buy quite a lot from you. So it makes sense
to spend time with these customers, keeping them happy before you deal with the more difficult
or demanding customers, who might not buy very much of your product. Whatever you’re
doing, it makes sense to do the biggest, easiest things first, the ones that make the biggest
difference. If you’re trying to save money for example, then ‘harvesting the low hanging
fruit’ would be looking at the biggest costs first. It’s like if you’re trying to free
up more memory on your mobile phone – then you might look first at what apps are using
the most memory, rather than the ones which look…look as if they’re using a teeny
amount of memory. So ‘harvesting the low-hanging fruit’. However, this phrase ‘to harvest the low
hanging fruit’ is a term that you’d hear mostly in a business context. It used to be
a phrase that I really didn’t like, when I heard it in the office, when I heard it
in a work context. It would make me go ‘Uggh’. I’ve come to terms with it, I think, now.
There are certain contexts where you may hear this used, that could give offence. If you’re
talking about groups of people as ‘low-hanging fruit’ – say if they are customers or people
you might want to date. You wouldn’t necessarily be pleased to find that….find that you’re
thought of in that way, as ‘a piece of low-hanging fruit’! So I think it’s a phrase that
we need to be a little bit careful with. But it is something you’ll hear in a work context,
from time to time. So there we are. Let’s all go off and ‘harvest some low-hanging
fruit’. If you like what we’re doing on the podcasts,
then consider buying one of our courses. You’ll want to get practice at listening to English
conversation – to improve your level and help you become more fluent when you speak
English. So go to our website and have a look at the course page for our Course One: Activate
your Listening. It’s over five hours of listening material and it enables you to grow
your fluency in spoken English, because it helps you work on your vocabulary and it also
helps you practise understanding English conversation Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to
you again soon. Goodbye. That’s the end of this podcast. Don’t forget
to visit our website for other podcasts, interesting articles and transcripts. That’s the written
version of this podcast in PDF format. You can sign up for our free seven day of course.
And if you’re really serious about learning English. Course one is ready for you to buy
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