Have you ever fainted?

“Looks like your favorite singer’s latest song has become a huge hit.”

“It certainly is. Everyone hums it. In my case, I hear it all the time in my head.

“I see what you mean. Several of my friends say the same thing. For them, the song has become an earworm.

“What are you talking about? I’ve heard of tapeworms and ringworms, but I’ve never heard of earworms. Tell me, how can a song become a worm?

“There are times when after listening to a song, you find that it keeps playing in your head all the time. No matter how hard you try to prevent that from happening, you don’t succeed.

“It happened to me several times. It’s like the song is stuck in my head.

“Exactly! And it doesn’t have to be the whole song either. It could be just a few lines of the song or just the melody.

“And sometimes you sing those two lines out loud over and over again.”

“And piss off the person sitting or standing next to you!” Either way, that song or tune that keeps playing in your head is called an earworm. We have all experienced this at one time or another. Here is an example. My friend, Harini, is often infested with earworms.”

“T The first time I heard the jingle on TV, I hated it. But a few days later it turned into an earworm. How does it sound?”

“It’s a good example. The word can also be used as a verb. The jingle worked its way into people’s heads.

“When that happens, you know the ad campaign was a success.”

“True. How are you enjoying your time with your cousin from the United States? It’s his first visit to India, isn’t it?

“Yes, this is Ravi’s first visit to India. The good thing is that it is great fun. Overall we had a great time. But once in a while, he laughs at the things I say. For example, when we were talking about our schooling, I told him that I passed out in 2014. He laughed. So, I asked him why it was laughable, and he…”

“This use of ‘pass out’ is particularly Indian. In India, it’s common to hear people say, “I passed out in 2003 or 2010” to mean they finished school or got their bachelor’s degree in a given year. But a native English speaker would understand the phrase to mean “I passed out in 2003 or 2010”.

“So ‘pass out’ means ‘pass out’?”

“It’s one of the meanings of the expression. For instance, Rohit passed out after playing in the hot sun for several hours.”

“How about this example? The children almost fainted when they saw all that blood.

“Sounds good. But native speakers don’t say, ‘I left college in 2013.’

“What are they saying then?”

“They normally use the word ‘graduate’. I graduated from college in 2013. It’s also very common to hear them say “completed” or “completed.” I finished my studies in 2003.

“Graduated, finished, finished, passed out…what does it matter?

“In India, you can use any of them.”

I don’t know anything about music. In my job, you don’t have to

-Elvis Presley

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