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Which adjective does he use to describe the height of St Paul's, and which word does he use to say that it now seems much smaller than the skyscrapers nearby? This is St Paul's Cathedral in central London.
It's a modest metres high, but for nearly years it was the tallest building in this city. Now, it is dwarfed by nearby skyscrapers, many of which have sprung up in just the last few years.
So, we heard those three skyscrapers again — but what about St Paul's? He said it was a modest metres high. Modest here means not large in size or amount — it means it's only metres.
That was the adjective.
And the other word we asked you to listen out for was dwarfed. St Paul's is dwarfed by the nearby skyscrapers. If something dwarfs another thing, it makes it seem small in comparison.
Yes, and this has happened recently. He says the new buildings have sprung up in the last few years. When he says they've sprung up, he means they've suddenly appeared — and it's often used to talk about buildings.
And he also used a great word to talk about those nicknames — he said they were irreverently British nicknames — if something is irreverent, it doesn't show the respect you might expect for official things, and often treats serious subjects in quite a fun, jokey way.
By calling them irreverently British, he suggests that being irreverent is quite typically British!
Now, Rob, you're quite typically British but are you irreverent? I think I am. I joke about everything! But, whether these nicknames are respectful or not, as I mentioned, many people are not happy with these tall new buildings. What reasons does Jonathan Savage give? BBC reporter, Jonathan Savage: They are not universally popular. Some say they obstruct sightlines of old-fashioned landmarks like this one; that they threaten London's cultural identity; that they're just plain ugly.
A group of high-profile Londoners, politicians, artisans and academics are now campaigning to halt this incoming tide.
They say more than more skyscrapers are being thoughtlessly thrown up across London. OK, so, what were their reasons? They said they obstruct sightlines — they block the views of some older landmarks. They also threaten London's cultural identity — and some think they're just plain ugly. Using the word 'plain' in this context emphasises the adjective that follows.
Just plain ugly — means: Indeed, well that's the opinion of this group, but not of all Londoners. Nonetheless, they're working to halt — or to stop — the incoming tide of new skyscrapers.
An incoming tide is the rise of the sea that happens every day, which makes it come further into the land. A strong image — and a lovely idiom to use when something is happening more and more.
Yes, earlier we heard the phrasal verb 'spring up'. Which similar phrasal verb was used by the reporter? Thrown up. If something is thrown up, it's made quickly and without a lot of care.
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