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Sunday, April 18, 2010

ESL Student Blog: Earmuffs, Earplugs, Earphones

You hate wearing hats, but it’s cold and windy out there. How can you keep your ears warm? (By wearing earmuffs).

You enjoy swimming, but your ears ache after you swim. How can you keep water out of the ears? (By inserting earplugs).

You’re on the crowded subway and want to listen to music on your mp3 player. How can you  experience good sound quality and block out the unwanted sounds? (By using earphones).

Earmuffs are worn to go out in the cold and snow, but also protect ears from noise, especially at workplaces (e.g.: around loud machinery) or shooting ranges (as used by police or military personnel). They cover external ears.

(Related words: (to) muffle - make quieter, more difficult to hear; a muffler - a device that reduces the noise of a car engine).

Earplugs are inserted inside the ears and provide protection from loud noises or intrusion of water, wind, etc. (Related verb: (to) plug - fill a hole).

Earphones (also called earbuds) are a pair of small speakers placed inside the ear canals that prevent sounds other than your music to enter the ear. They also allow listening without disturbing others. Around-ear earphones are usually referred to as headphones. (‘-phone’ is a Greek suffix for ‘sound’).


Will a person wear earmuffs, earphones, earplugs (or any combination of these) when he or she:

1. operates a chainsaw?

2. works in an office cubicle and doesn’t want to hear chats taking place around him/her?
3. has a snoring spouse (husband/wife)?
4. uses a drilling machine?
5. studies in the library and really wants to concentrate on the reading?
6. runs a business from home and tries to cut back the amount of noise from his/her children?
7. operates a lawn mower?
8. is on a treadmill listening to music?
9. stays at a noisy hotel?
10. dives?

Answer Key:

1. earplugs, earmuffs or both 2. earplugs 3. earplugs 4. earplugs, earmuffs or both 5. earplugs 6. earplugs 7. earplugs, earmuffs or both 8. earphones 9. earplugs 10. earplugs

POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:55 AM
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