Monologue by Ellen DeGeneres
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Students: The "daily monologue" available
on this site was changed after this assignment was prepared - a risk I was
aware of when choosing this material. The following is a new set of vocabulary
words and thought questions to go with the new monologue. Either monologue
will be acceptable for this assignment. Sorry for the inconvenience!
out of control
what's going on
by all means, please
to drive away
"because for all I know they may have a Nielsen box" (a box installed in some home televisions to record which television programs are watched on that set; these data are used to decide which TV shows should be continued and which canceled)
to trail someone
next to the president
to swoop down on
my windows are rolled up
ramp (of a parking ramp)
they take their sweet-ass time (vulgar)
to balance their checkbook
Topic" (name of a shop)
"carry the four" (said when adding figures)
to check all one's mirrors
to adjust everything
"Oh, I'm not leaving."
to get all excited
to take up two spots
just over the white line
a bad parker
kinda = kind of = somewhat
"I'll get out and key 'em"
1. What aspect of human behavior is Ellen addressing in this monologue?
2. Why does Ellen compare herself to a vulture?
3. Why did Ellen once follow in her car a pedestrian to a bus stop?
4. Describe what has happened when a person in a car says, "Oh, I'm not leaving."
5. What do you think the verb to key means in this context? What would make Ellen 'key' someone's car? Why?
6. Which parts of the monologue do you find funny, if any, and why? Are there parts where the audience laughs, but you don't understand what's funny? In which parts does this happen?
7. Do you think this kind of humor would work if presented in Mandarin or Southern Min to a Taiwan audience? Why or why not? How might it have to be changed to adapt it to Taiwan audiences?
a sure sign that
I can sense
read a face
to judge how they're feeling
if there's not a camera going
to tell apart
to furrow one's brow
'Are you with me here?'
women's studies group
to look beyond
to hold onto
'You hang in there, OK?'
a party going on
not everyone's allowed
to stick one's tongue out at
Nana, nana, nana
Thought questions for previous monologue:
1. What is Ellen trying to communicate in this monologue?
2. Which parts of the monologue do you find funny, if any, and why? Are there parts where the audience laughs, but you don't understand what's funny? In which parts does this happen?
3. Do you think this kind of humor would work if presented in Mandarin or Southern Min to a Taiwan audience? Why or why not?
4. What is a 'bouncer', and what does Ellen mean with her comment about it?
5. What does 'Nana, nana, nana' mean?
Oral II Students: Choose three clips from the Ellen DeGeneres page and write short summaries of each, along with your reactions.