[ti:Want to Know a Secret? Maybe You'll 'Get Wind of It']
[00:07.76]Now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.
[00:19.16]Wind is a powerful force in nature.
[00:24.28]High wind speeds from tornadoes, hurricanes
[00:28.44]and other violent storms can cause great destruction.
[00:36.16]But wind can also be a force for good.
[00:41.04]It can turn machinery that produces energy.
[00:45.96]It can help boats sail great distances.
[00:50.20]In the wild, wind can provide life-saving information to some animals.
[00:56.68]And it doesn’t need to be a strong wind.
[01:01.72]For example, a scent or smell carried by a light breeze
[01:07.24]can tell a deer about the presence of a hunter just a few meters away.
[01:15.00]The wind can provide useful information to people, too!
[01:20.72]When we “get wind of something,”
[01:23.36]we hear some news or information that has been kept private.
[01:29.32]Naturally, this air of secrecy makes it even more interesting.
[01:35.56]When using this expression, remember this:
[01:38.76]When we get wind of something, we become aware of the information
[01:43.80]through indirect means.
[01:46.52]In other words, we learn of it second-hand
[01:50.28]or through the grapevine.
[01:53.00]We do not hear it straight from the source.
[01:57.68]The wind might give others information that we want to keep quiet.
[02:04.00]For example, the leaders of the company were worried
[02:07.72]about investors getting wind of the factory fire.
[02:12.48]If the investors knew, they would probably
[02:15.84]withdraw their money and invest elsewhere.
[02:20.52]Here is another example:
[02:22.96]The filmmakers did not want the media
[02:26.44]to get wind of the actor’s latest arrest.
[02:30.84]After all, she is playing a police officer in the movie.
[02:37.44]At times, the information or news sent by the wind
[02:42.36]is bad, just gossip or talk, and not really helpful at all.
[02:48.88]For example, if someone asks me,
[02:51.56]“Did you hear that so-and-so lost his job?”
[02:54.76]I can answer, “Yeah, I got wind of that yesterday.”
[02:59.80]But sometimes the news or information is not bad.
[03:04.48]It is just something you want to keep secret.
[03:08.48]Like the time I tried to plan a surprise party for my best friend.
[03:13.44]I did not want him to get wind of it.
[03:16.76]That would ruin the surprise.
[03:19.08]But it is so difficult keeping anything from him.
[03:24.32]He is nosy and asks a lot of questions,
[03:28.72]such as: “Why are you calling all my friends?”
[03:32.12]Why are you buying so much food and drinks?”
[03:35.40]“Are you planning a party for me?”
[03:37.88]So much for that surprise party.
[03:42.16]Now this expression is not always
[03:45.16]about learning private information or keeping secrets.
[03:49.76]The wind can send us information
[03:52.64]that we need to make good decisions.
[03:56.76]For example, I was just about to buy tickets
[04:00.44]to a big three-day, outdoor music event.
[04:04.32]But then I got wind that my favorite performer
[04:08.68](and the only reason I was going) had cancelled.
[04:13.52]Thank goodness a friend of a friend of a friend told me
[04:17.84]or I would not have known!
[04:23.60]That is all the time we have for Words and Their Stories.
[04:28.16]I will have a new story for you next week.
[04:31.48]But if I get wind of a change in plans,
[04:35.00]I’ll make sure to let you know!
[04:37.72]Until next time, I’m Anna Matteo.