full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Andrew Solomon: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

Unscramble the Blue Letters

In 1991, I went back to see the artitss I'd been writing about, and I was with them during the putsch that ended the soveit uoinn. And they were among the chief organizers of the resistance to that putsch. And on the third day of the putsch, one of them sgsugteed we walk up to Smolenskaya. And we went there, and we arranged ourselves in front of one of the barricades, and a little while later, a column of tnaks rloeld up. And the soldier on the front tank said, "We have uiaoonntdcnil orders to dotsrey this barricade. If you get out of the way, we don't need to hurt you. But if you won't move, we'll have no choice but to run you down." The artist I was with said, "Give us just a munite. Give us just a minute to tell you why we're here." And the soldier folded his arms, and the artist launched into a Jeffersonian pngryieac to democracy such as those of us who live in a Jeffersonian democracy would be hard-pressed to present. And they went on and on, and the soldier watched. And then he sat there for a full minute after they were finished and loekod at us, so bedraggled in the rain, and said, "What you have said is true, and we must bow to the will of the people. If you'll clear enough space for us to turn around, we'll go back the way we came." And that's what they did. Sometimes, forging meaning can give you the vocabulary you need to fight for your ultimate freedom.

Open Cloze

In 1991, I went back to see the _______ I'd been writing about, and I was with them during the putsch that ended the ______ _____. And they were among the chief organizers of the resistance to that putsch. And on the third day of the putsch, one of them _________ we walk up to Smolenskaya. And we went there, and we arranged ourselves in front of one of the barricades, and a little while later, a column of _____ ______ up. And the soldier on the front tank said, "We have _____________ orders to _______ this barricade. If you get out of the way, we don't need to hurt you. But if you won't move, we'll have no choice but to run you down." The artist I was with said, "Give us just a ______. Give us just a minute to tell you why we're here." And the soldier folded his arms, and the artist launched into a Jeffersonian _________ to democracy such as those of us who live in a Jeffersonian democracy would be hard-pressed to present. And they went on and on, and the soldier watched. And then he sat there for a full minute after they were finished and ______ at us, so bedraggled in the rain, and said, "What you have said is true, and we must bow to the will of the people. If you'll clear enough space for us to turn around, we'll go back the way we came." And that's what they did. Sometimes, forging meaning can give you the vocabulary you need to fight for your ultimate freedom.

Solution

  1. minute
  2. tanks
  3. rolled
  4. unconditional
  5. looked
  6. suggested
  7. union
  8. panegyric
  9. destroy
  10. artists
  11. soviet

Original Text

In 1991, I went back to see the artists I'd been writing about, and I was with them during the putsch that ended the Soviet Union. And they were among the chief organizers of the resistance to that putsch. And on the third day of the putsch, one of them suggested we walk up to Smolenskaya. And we went there, and we arranged ourselves in front of one of the barricades, and a little while later, a column of tanks rolled up. And the soldier on the front tank said, "We have unconditional orders to destroy this barricade. If you get out of the way, we don't need to hurt you. But if you won't move, we'll have no choice but to run you down." The artist I was with said, "Give us just a minute. Give us just a minute to tell you why we're here." And the soldier folded his arms, and the artist launched into a Jeffersonian panegyric to democracy such as those of us who live in a Jeffersonian democracy would be hard-pressed to present. And they went on and on, and the soldier watched. And then he sat there for a full minute after they were finished and looked at us, so bedraggled in the rain, and said, "What you have said is true, and we must bow to the will of the people. If you'll clear enough space for us to turn around, we'll go back the way we came." And that's what they did. Sometimes, forging meaning can give you the vocabulary you need to fight for your ultimate freedom.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
build identity 5
forge meaning 5
forging meaning 4
identity forge 3
identity politics 3
draw strength 2
school bus 2
building identity 2
forged meaning 2
painful experiences 2
gay rights 2
gay people 2
harvey milk 2
meaning build 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
build identity forge 2
identity forge meaning 2
forge meaning build 2
meaning build identity 2

ngrams of length 4

collocation frequency
build identity forge meaning 2
forge meaning build identity 2

Important Words

  1. arms
  2. arranged
  3. artist
  4. artists
  5. barricade
  6. barricades
  7. bedraggled
  8. bow
  9. chief
  10. choice
  11. clear
  12. column
  13. day
  14. democracy
  15. destroy
  16. ended
  17. fight
  18. finished
  19. folded
  20. forging
  21. freedom
  22. front
  23. full
  24. give
  25. hurt
  26. jeffersonian
  27. launched
  28. live
  29. looked
  30. meaning
  31. minute
  32. move
  33. orders
  34. organizers
  35. panegyric
  36. people
  37. present
  38. putsch
  39. rain
  40. resistance
  41. rolled
  42. run
  43. sat
  44. smolenskaya
  45. soldier
  46. soviet
  47. space
  48. suggested
  49. tank
  50. tanks
  51. true
  52. turn
  53. ultimate
  54. unconditional
  55. union
  56. vocabulary
  57. walk
  58. watched
  59. writing