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Last updated at 12:03 GMT, Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Act your age, not your shoe size

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Rob and Abigail are in a shoe shop, where Rob is being childish. Abigail tells him to act his age not his shoe size. But what does this mean? Find out more in this programme.

A pair of trainers

Why should Rob act his age not his shoe size?

The script for this programme

Abigail: Hello, I'm Abigail and I'm with Rob and we're doing some shoe shopping.

Rob: Yes I'm looking for some new trainers.

Abigail: Well, we're not really supposed to be looking for your trainers, Rob. We're here because we have an amusing phrase which our listeners might like to learn.

Rob: Oh well, I know that, but while we're here, I can look at trainers.

Abigail: Well, I suppose you can look at some trainers. But let's not forget why we're here.

Rob: ... (long pause)

Abigail: Rob? Why we're here?

Rob: Oh, yes of course - look that lady has really funny hair!

Abigail: Rob, you're being very childish today. But that's useful because I can use our phrase for today - act your age not your shoe size.

Rob: 'Act your age, not your shoe size' it's a good phrase. How shall we explain it?

Abigail: I think you have explained it beautifully already, through everything you've said and done Rob. But here are some more clues to what it means:

  • I was really upset. She just told me to act my age not my shoe size!
  • These people are so childish. They need to act their age not their shoe size.
  • (Laughing in background)
    Will you please act your age not your shoe size?!

Rob: If someone thinks you're being childish, immature, too young for your age, they can tell you to act your age, not your shoe size.

Abigail: Mmm, yes they can.

Rob: But look at these trainers here - it says size 44. My age is 30. So I have to act younger?

Abigail: Ah - yes well, 44 - that's a European size. This saying, 'act your age not your shoe size', only works for British and American sizes. So, for example in UK sizes, your feet are size 10.

Rob: I see. So I shouldn't act like I'm ten.

Abigail: Exactly.

Rob: Maybe to be accurate we should change the phrase to 'act your European shoe size, not your British shoe size'.

Abigail: Hmm. Well, we could. It's not quite as catchy...

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