We watched England's match on Saturday feeling more afraid than excited. Poor play by England, Beckham injured, Rooney losing his temper and getting a red card, losing on penalties. Was any of this surprising???
Rooney said that he was 'gobsmacked' to get a red card. 'Gobsmacked' is an adjective that means very, very, very suprised. Other similar words are: 'astounded', 'stunned' or 'utterly astonished'. 'Gobsmacked' is very informal English (slang) and is usually spoken, not written. It's been used only for about twenty years and is mainly heard in the north of England. 'Gob' means 'mouth' and is about four hundred years old, and also from Scotland and the north of England.
There is a picture of Rooney's reaction to the red card on the BBC Sport/World Cup website. I think he doesn't look gobsmacked at all, just disappointed and slightly annoyed (at himself?):
BBC Sport World Cup Rooney's red card
It's interesting to hear what you think about Italians using occasional English words mixed in with Italian, Antonio. I'm sure you are correct to think that people who do this hope to sound more interesting or professional.
You say that mixing Italian and English is 'very ridiculous' and you 'absolutely don't like it. 'Ridiculous' is an adjective like 'astounded', astonished' and 'gobsmacked' and different from an adjective like 'suprised'. You can be more or less surprised, like you can be more or less 'old' or 'hot' and these words can by modified with 'very': very suprised, very old, very hot. These adjectives are known as 'gradable' adjectives.
In contrast, 'ridiculous', 'astonished', astounded, ancient (very old) and boiling (very hot) are not gradable. They are all examples of extreme adjectives; they already mean 'very........'. To modify extreme adjectives, you need 'absolutely', 'utterly', 'extremely' etc. Unfortunately, some of these are fixed phrases, so 'extremely ancient' sounds OK, but 'utterly ancient' sounds wrong. A good dictionary will show which combinations of adjective and modifier are OK.
Some verbs are 'gradable' too. Instead of saying 'I absolutely don't like it...', try 'I really don't like it...' Other gradable verbs include: dislike, enjoy, want, annoy and 'I really (don't) verb' can also be used with these.
Still on the topic of mixing English and Italian, don't you think that we all use language to (try to) identify with certain groups? My son has some slang that he shares with his group of friends; their use of this slang is a way of belonging to a group and keeping out other groups (like parents for example!). At the college where I work, there is a way of speaking that identifies the speaker with academia and/or as a member of many committees (and therefore important!). I'm sure journalists and film makers have their own way of speaking too...........
Best of luck tomorrow! I hope you really enjoy the match!
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