Thursday, September 27, 2012

A MOVIE about... a Word Collocation

In language, when two or more words are commonly used together, it is called a word collocation. That's why when students ask the meaning of a word out of context, we often try to first see if the word is used "alone", which is often not the case or if it's often part of something bigger.

There are verb collocations, noun collocations and special collocations for every field imaginable: business, medicine, technology and as we'll see today, music. (see links below for details)

So to understand the logic behind collocations, let's focus on a special case. Let's take the word air. Naturally, we'll assume you know the basic meaning of this word. After all, you're breathing it.

Now, there are many word collocations that begin with the word air that are popularly used in the English language. So let's check out a few:

air force - a military force that uses aircraft to engage the enemy

air conditioner - a device that provides climate control to cool a house or a building

air hockey - a game played on a table that sprays out air on its surface, whereby players must shoot a hockey puck into their opponent's goal; also known as table hockey

air guitar - an activity that involves imitating a guitar player when we don't have a guitar, practiced by kids and teenagers across the world

As you can see, each one is quite different than the simple word air. So, what about the movie, right?

We were just getting to that part. So just like there is air guitar, what would you call an activity that involves mimicking a drummer when you don't have a drum set?

air drumming

So to end this blog post, we have a full comedy movie that deals with this topic.

Adventures of Power

"Adventures of Power" (Subtitulado en Español) por AriGoldFilms

It's an epic comedy about a mine-worker named Power whose love of drums and lack of musical skill has turned him into the ridiculed "air drummer" of his small town. But when Power's union-leader father calls a strike at the mine, Power discovers an underground subculture of air-drummers who just might hold the key to changing the world. Power's journey across America brings him face-to-face with his town's greatest enemy, and allows him to discover the beat within his own heart and fall in love.

Ari Gold, the star and director of this comedy provided free special access to his film to viewers in Latin America, when he was unable to get distribution in those countries. The movie stars some well-known actors like Micheal McKean (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jane Lynch (40 year-old virgin) and Adrian Greiner (Entourage).

Enjoy the movie and feel free to recommend it, as it is a very legal copy.

For more on collocations, please check out:

This excellent guide:

This fun quiz:

And as a final note, if you can "air guitar" or "air drum", what else can you "air do" for fun?