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Oversized Nation

Oversized Nation English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: May 29 2007


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When European settlers first came to what is now the United States, they were amazed by how vast the continent seemed. While there are certainly some countries that dwarf the US (Russia, Canada), it remains one of the biggest in the world. Texas, a state known for large belt buckles and steaks, is bigger than many countries.

An obsession with size has been passed down from those early settlers. Even as population in the US rises and the country becomes more crowded, American automobiles – and people – continue to get bigger and bigger.

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Kevin:  You know I noticed…I live downtown…I noticed this huge, like, old-school Cadillac parked in front of my apartment today, which is really cool and I thought like, “Wow, like, how do you find a place to put that? It’s so enormous.”

Marni:  Yeah, in this day and age. But cars just keep getting bigger and bigger…

Kevin:  Huge. Hummers, trucks.

Marni:  But it’s an American phenomenon isn’t it? Because you go to European countries, everything’s small and compact because they need to get around quickly. You don’t need these gigantic, enormous, Earth-crushing vehicles that we have everywhere.

Kevin:  And I noticed that like, even the parking spaces are huge, like, they are enormous.

Marni:  Yeah, everything’s getting bigger. Why is that?

Kevin:  I don’t know. I think, like, people feel like there’s a value to that. Like, even with food. You go to a restaurant and the portions are really out of control.

Marni:  Yeah, that’s true and that’s not helping with child obesity rates and so we could go on and on.

Kevin:  Which are the worst in the world.

Marni:  Yeah. We have a lot to be proud of here.

Kevin:  We do. Definitely.

Marni:  Bigger is better.

Kevin:  Apparently.



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Kevin lives downtown where space is especially tight, so he was surprised to see a big, old car parked outside of his apartment. He mentions the Hummer, a car bigger than any that are available in most countries.

Marni says that everything in Europe is smaller, and that maybe Americans don’t need the giant cars they have. Kevin says he thinks that everything continues to be big because people value bigness. He points to oversized restaurant portions as an example. Marni is reminded that the United States has a problem with child obesity.

Then Marni begins to speak sarcastically. She says “We have a lot to be proud of here,” and “bigger is better,” but she really means the opposite.

Do you think bigger is better or do you favor compact cars and small portions of food?



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i have no small car . small car its big dream for me but after i get it. i well thank to have big car …..........

small = big dream

big car=big problem  


12:54 PM Oct 12 2011 |




11:22 AM Nov 14 2010 |




bigger is better in some limited aspects

11:31 PM May 20 2010 |




Much more than that, such as the height, the moon, the school, the body, the ocean….especially the eyes.:)

07:36 PM Jan 27 2009 |




yes, it’s American phenomenon have everything bigger

04:22 PM Dec 29 2008 |




Bigger is better? Well, it is kinda sarcastic and it does depend on different situations.

12:42 PM Dec 08 2008 |

Noah Lee

South Korea

A lot of American like and have big cars, but Well, so far as I know now many americans prefer to small cars that take a little gasoline too. I who live in America now want to buy small car. In addition, there are big parking areas in US, and especially I love this. ^^

11:52 PM Jun 10 2007 |




well, i guess the problem of the u.s. is the waste of food resulted from the large restaurant portions. I've been in some cities in the states and you never recycle, your eyes are way bigger than you stomach, and you do not really care of your left-over is the whole waste. Eat only as much as you could eat. And I don't have any problem with valuing bigger things.

01:46 AM Jun 09 2007 |




In person,I love big cars very much, especially older American cars,but unfortunately these cars take a lot of gas and make more pollution than smaller cars.But I care about environment and I don`t want to live in s… So this is "double-edged" question. And I am agree with jack2 – the problems they have in the US come to Europe  Frown

02:32 PM Jun 04 2007 |



Moldova, Republic Of

What about global warming??? I’m talking to users! What’s up about global warming? Are you dying or what?

12:27 PM Jun 01 2007 |



I agree. Americans like everything that are big in size. But gasoline price is going up crazy these days, many people start switching to smaller car. In fact I noticed that TOYOTA prius is so much more popular in US than in Japan.

I think many americans were buying big cars because they could afford.

But I personally prefer a small car to a big car. I would not buy a big car even if I could affod it.  Its easy to drive and get around. I love small cars.


11:29 PM May 31 2007 |




i will have big car when i have kids, but since i am alone, for me small is better.

11:51 PM May 29 2007 |




i love small car. The car that i have now is a mini cooper 2003. It's small, doesn't take any space to park, and always in pit condition.

My first car was mini cooper too, i sold it since i should move to Japan, and I have the same color and accessories for that.

Now, I am ready to drive my car to everywhere, since it is easy to drive and park.

11:49 PM May 29 2007 |

Elysa P

Elysa P


maybe to some extent.it also illustrates that thing is worth the money you pay for,at least they are honest people.sometimes I feel unsatisfied about the expensive but tiny portion food.

03:52 PM May 29 2007 |




tell me more about global warning

02:58 PM May 29 2007 |




Big cars are useful to travel, not for city. It would be great if we could have smaller and cheaper cars for cities

11:18 AM May 29 2007 |





I live in Europa but it seems that the problems they have in the US come to Europa…. In our tiny land Holland people starting to ride with Hummers and other big cars. The people also starting to get fatter and bigger… Old habbits? I don't think so. Because people  don't exercise enough and eat more our government has a sport program for children on primary and secondary schools. I think that the word Western World has done us no good. And if i look to the developing countries i get sick of our behavior… 



07:50 AM May 29 2007 |



Russian Federation

No comments

06:39 AM May 29 2007 |



I think suitable is the best!

04:57 AM May 29 2007 |



United States

bigger car is better..how about gloabal warming?

04:56 AM May 29 2007 |

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