full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Alex Gendler: Why do we cry? The three types of tears

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Our story is about a girl nmead Iris. Iris is very sinisteve. (Bird cawing) So much that she is always in tears. She cries when she's sad, when she's happy, (Godzilla roars) and even tears up when things just get to her. She has special lacrimal glands to make new taers and special tubes, called lacrimal puncta, to dairn old ones away. And she cries so much that she goes through ten ounces of tears per day, thirty gallons a year! In fact, if you look closely, you'll see that she's crying a little bit all the time. The basal tears that Iris constantly produces form a thin coating of three layers that cveor her and keep dirt and diebrs away. Right next to Iris is the mucus layer, which keeps the whole thing fastened to her. On top of it is the aqueous layer, which keeps Iris hetradyd, reepls invasive bacteria, and protects her skin, or cornea, from dgmaae. And, finally, there is the lipid laeyr, an oily oeutr film that keeps the surface smooth for Iris to see through, and prevents the other lrayes from evaporating. Normally, Iris goes about her day without really noticing the baasl tears doing their thing. That's kind of their whole point. But one day, she meets a girl named Onion. Iris is immediately smitten. Onion looks gorgeous in her bright purple jkaect, and she smells terrific. So, Iris iitenvs Onion to her house for dinner. But when she comes in and tkeas off her jacket, something terrible happens. You see, when Onion's jacket is removed, a chemical reaction happens, converting the sulfoxides that make her smell so great into sulfenic acid, which then becomes a nasty substance with a long name: syn-Propanethial S-oxide. The gas stings Iris, and suddenly, she can't help it, she starts weeping ulconnaolrbtly. These rleefx tears are different from the basal tears that Iris is used to. Because they're designed to wash away harmful substances, or particles, they're released in much larger amounts, and their aeuqous layer contains more antibodies to stop any microorganisms that may be trying to get in, as well. Both Iris and Onion are devastated. They know they can't ciunonte their relationship if Iris is going to hurt and cry every time Onion takes off her jacket. So, they dcedie to berak up. As onoin walks out the door, Iris stops crying. And immediately starts again. Only now, she's not crying reflex tears but emotional tears. When someone is either too sad or too happy, it feles like a loss of control, which can be dangerous. So, emotional tears are sent in to stabilize the mood as quickly as possible, along with other physical reactions, such as an increased heart rate and slower breathing. But scientists still aren't sure exactly how or why the tears themselves are helpful. They may be a scaiol mneahscim to elicit sympathy or show submission. But some studies have also found that emotional tears contain hehgir levels of srests hormones, such as ACTH and enkephalin, an endorphin and nrauatl pain killer. In this case, emotional tears are also directly calming Iris down, as well as sninlagig her emotional state to others. Sorry things didn't work out with Onion, Iris, but don't worry. As long as you have all three kinds of tears working to keep you balanced and healthy, it will get better. You'll see.

Open Cloze

Our story is about a girl _____ Iris. Iris is very _________. (Bird cawing) So much that she is always in tears. She cries when she's sad, when she's happy, (Godzilla roars) and even tears up when things just get to her. She has special lacrimal glands to make new _____ and special tubes, called lacrimal puncta, to _____ old ones away. And she cries so much that she goes through ten ounces of tears per day, thirty gallons a year! In fact, if you look closely, you'll see that she's crying a little bit all the time. The basal tears that Iris constantly produces form a thin coating of three layers that _____ her and keep dirt and ______ away. Right next to Iris is the mucus layer, which keeps the whole thing fastened to her. On top of it is the aqueous layer, which keeps Iris ________, ______ invasive bacteria, and protects her skin, or cornea, from ______. And, finally, there is the lipid _____, an oily _____ film that keeps the surface smooth for Iris to see through, and prevents the other ______ from evaporating. Normally, Iris goes about her day without really noticing the _____ tears doing their thing. That's kind of their whole point. But one day, she meets a girl named Onion. Iris is immediately smitten. Onion looks gorgeous in her bright purple ______, and she smells terrific. So, Iris _______ Onion to her house for dinner. But when she comes in and _____ off her jacket, something terrible happens. You see, when Onion's jacket is removed, a chemical reaction happens, converting the sulfoxides that make her smell so great into sulfenic acid, which then becomes a nasty substance with a long name: syn-Propanethial S-oxide. The gas stings Iris, and suddenly, she can't help it, she starts weeping ______________. These ______ tears are different from the basal tears that Iris is used to. Because they're designed to wash away harmful substances, or particles, they're released in much larger amounts, and their _______ layer contains more antibodies to stop any microorganisms that may be trying to get in, as well. Both Iris and Onion are devastated. They know they can't ________ their relationship if Iris is going to hurt and cry every time Onion takes off her jacket. So, they ______ to _____ up. As _____ walks out the door, Iris stops crying. And immediately starts again. Only now, she's not crying reflex tears but emotional tears. When someone is either too sad or too happy, it _____ like a loss of control, which can be dangerous. So, emotional tears are sent in to stabilize the mood as quickly as possible, along with other physical reactions, such as an increased heart rate and slower breathing. But scientists still aren't sure exactly how or why the tears themselves are helpful. They may be a ______ _________ to elicit sympathy or show submission. But some studies have also found that emotional tears contain ______ levels of ______ hormones, such as ACTH and enkephalin, an endorphin and _______ pain killer. In this case, emotional tears are also directly calming Iris down, as well as _________ her emotional state to others. Sorry things didn't work out with Onion, Iris, but don't worry. As long as you have all three kinds of tears working to keep you balanced and healthy, it will get better. You'll see.

Solution

  1. uncontrollably
  2. mechanism
  3. higher
  4. reflex
  5. continue
  6. feels
  7. drain
  8. social
  9. signaling
  10. stress
  11. damage
  12. sensitive
  13. hydrated
  14. aqueous
  15. debris
  16. natural
  17. layers
  18. tears
  19. cover
  20. break
  21. invites
  22. decide
  23. named
  24. layer
  25. basal
  26. repels
  27. outer
  28. jacket
  29. onion
  30. takes

Original Text

Our story is about a girl named Iris. Iris is very sensitive. (Bird cawing) So much that she is always in tears. She cries when she's sad, when she's happy, (Godzilla roars) and even tears up when things just get to her. She has special lacrimal glands to make new tears and special tubes, called lacrimal puncta, to drain old ones away. And she cries so much that she goes through ten ounces of tears per day, thirty gallons a year! In fact, if you look closely, you'll see that she's crying a little bit all the time. The basal tears that Iris constantly produces form a thin coating of three layers that cover her and keep dirt and debris away. Right next to Iris is the mucus layer, which keeps the whole thing fastened to her. On top of it is the aqueous layer, which keeps Iris hydrated, repels invasive bacteria, and protects her skin, or cornea, from damage. And, finally, there is the lipid layer, an oily outer film that keeps the surface smooth for Iris to see through, and prevents the other layers from evaporating. Normally, Iris goes about her day without really noticing the basal tears doing their thing. That's kind of their whole point. But one day, she meets a girl named Onion. Iris is immediately smitten. Onion looks gorgeous in her bright purple jacket, and she smells terrific. So, Iris invites Onion to her house for dinner. But when she comes in and takes off her jacket, something terrible happens. You see, when Onion's jacket is removed, a chemical reaction happens, converting the sulfoxides that make her smell so great into sulfenic acid, which then becomes a nasty substance with a long name: syn-Propanethial S-oxide. The gas stings Iris, and suddenly, she can't help it, she starts weeping uncontrollably. These reflex tears are different from the basal tears that Iris is used to. Because they're designed to wash away harmful substances, or particles, they're released in much larger amounts, and their aqueous layer contains more antibodies to stop any microorganisms that may be trying to get in, as well. Both Iris and Onion are devastated. They know they can't continue their relationship if Iris is going to hurt and cry every time Onion takes off her jacket. So, they decide to break up. As Onion walks out the door, Iris stops crying. And immediately starts again. Only now, she's not crying reflex tears but emotional tears. When someone is either too sad or too happy, it feels like a loss of control, which can be dangerous. So, emotional tears are sent in to stabilize the mood as quickly as possible, along with other physical reactions, such as an increased heart rate and slower breathing. But scientists still aren't sure exactly how or why the tears themselves are helpful. They may be a social mechanism to elicit sympathy or show submission. But some studies have also found that emotional tears contain higher levels of stress hormones, such as ACTH and enkephalin, an endorphin and natural pain killer. In this case, emotional tears are also directly calming Iris down, as well as signaling her emotional state to others. Sorry things didn't work out with Onion, Iris, but don't worry. As long as you have all three kinds of tears working to keep you balanced and healthy, it will get better. You'll see.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
emotional tears 4
basal tears 3
girl named 2
reflex tears 2

Important Words

  1. acid
  2. acth
  3. amounts
  4. antibodies
  5. aqueous
  6. bacteria
  7. balanced
  8. basal
  9. bird
  10. bit
  11. break
  12. breathing
  13. bright
  14. called
  15. calming
  16. case
  17. cawing
  18. chemical
  19. closely
  20. coating
  21. constantly
  22. continue
  23. control
  24. converting
  25. cornea
  26. cover
  27. cries
  28. cry
  29. crying
  30. damage
  31. dangerous
  32. day
  33. debris
  34. decide
  35. designed
  36. devastated
  37. dinner
  38. dirt
  39. door
  40. drain
  41. elicit
  42. emotional
  43. endorphin
  44. enkephalin
  45. evaporating
  46. fact
  47. fastened
  48. feels
  49. film
  50. finally
  51. form
  52. gallons
  53. gas
  54. girl
  55. glands
  56. godzilla
  57. gorgeous
  58. great
  59. happy
  60. harmful
  61. healthy
  62. heart
  63. helpful
  64. higher
  65. hormones
  66. house
  67. hurt
  68. hydrated
  69. immediately
  70. increased
  71. invasive
  72. invites
  73. iris
  74. jacket
  75. killer
  76. kind
  77. kinds
  78. lacrimal
  79. larger
  80. layer
  81. layers
  82. levels
  83. lipid
  84. long
  85. loss
  86. mechanism
  87. meets
  88. microorganisms
  89. mood
  90. mucus
  91. named
  92. nasty
  93. natural
  94. noticing
  95. oily
  96. onion
  97. ounces
  98. outer
  99. pain
  100. particles
  101. physical
  102. point
  103. prevents
  104. produces
  105. protects
  106. puncta
  107. purple
  108. quickly
  109. rate
  110. reaction
  111. reactions
  112. reflex
  113. relationship
  114. released
  115. removed
  116. repels
  117. roars
  118. sad
  119. scientists
  120. sensitive
  121. show
  122. signaling
  123. skin
  124. slower
  125. smell
  126. smells
  127. smitten
  128. smooth
  129. social
  130. special
  131. stabilize
  132. starts
  133. state
  134. stings
  135. stop
  136. stops
  137. story
  138. stress
  139. studies
  140. submission
  141. substance
  142. substances
  143. suddenly
  144. sulfenic
  145. sulfoxides
  146. surface
  147. sympathy
  148. takes
  149. tears
  150. ten
  151. terrible
  152. terrific
  153. thin
  154. time
  155. top
  156. tubes
  157. uncontrollably
  158. walks
  159. wash
  160. weeping
  161. work
  162. working
  163. worry