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Last updated at 11:09 GMT, Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Man flu


Li is worried when she learns that Neil has caught man flu. But how will she react when she finds out what the illness actually is...? Find out more with this programme.

A man blowing his nose on a tissue

Is man flu as serious as it sounds?

The script for this programme

Jen: Hello, I'm Jennifer. Welcome to The English We Speak. I'm joined today by Li. Hi Li!

Li: Hi Jen!

Jen: I thought that Neil was supposed to be joining me today - where is he?

Li: Oh Jen, haven't you heard? He's very, very sick. I heard the boss saying he has man flu!

Jen: Man flu! That's probably correct.

Li: Is man flu very contagious? Perhaps we had better clean all of our desks in case we get infected too?

Jen: No, I think we'll be OK, Li.

Li: No... I think that we should all go to the doctor's to see if we can get an immunisation.

Jen: I really wouldn't worry too much about it.

Li: But Jen, you should take it more seriously! All types of flu are very bad - it can leave you very sick for many weeks!

Jen: Well, proper flu can, yes. Flu is short for influenza, which is a very infectious virus. It can cause fever, headaches, coughing... And some strains, or types of flu, can cause death!

Li: Death! Oh, I don't want Neil to die. Should we send him some flowers?

Jen: Hold on a second. Neil won't die. Man flu is a bit different to normal flu. In fact, it's not even a real virus.

Li: So what is man flu, then?

Jen: In English, when a man gets a minor cold or perhaps a sore throat, many women refer to it as man flu.

Li: Why?

Jen: Well, lots of men tend to exaggerate their symptoms when they have a minor illness; in other words, they make it sound worse than it actually is.

Li: I see! So when the boss said that Neil had man flu, she meant that he had a small cold, but is exaggerating his symptoms.

Jen: That's right!

Li: Well, I want to talk to him. I'm going to phone him right now and get him to come into work.

Jen: Oh dear...

Phone rings

Li: Hello Neil, yes, I've heard you're very sick... Yes, yes, that's terrible. I just wanted to let you know that we're having a party in the office tonight, and I'm going to bring lots of lovely food and cakes for everyone. It's a shame you can't make it because you're too sick... Oh, oh really? OK then!

Li puts phone down

Li: He's coming into work now.

Jen: Why did you tell him we're having a party?

Li: I thought if I told him there was going to be food and cakes that he might decide to come into work, after all!

Jen: Wow, Li, I think you've just found a cure for man flu - cake!

Li: Just call me Doctor Li!

Jen: Join us again for another edition of The English We Speak from Bye for now!

Li: Bye!


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