#42 Hindsight is 20/20 – transcript

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Do you remember the comment “hindsight is 20/20” from last episode? In a progress report meeting, my coworker pointed out that we should have predicted some problems early on. She said, “if we’d have considered these problems from the get-go we wouldn’t be where we are today.” The team agreed, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. What is hindsight and what is 20/20?

I’m Paul Preston From VenturEnglish, this is three minute English, a podcast in English, about English for English learners. 

Hindsight is 20/20. It’s a common expression in English. Maybe you’ve heard it before. Maybe often! Well the word hindsight actually refers to the skill to look back on a previous situation and understand it clearly. We can see all that went wrong, and all that went right in the situation, and more importantly we can see why. So hindsight is a good thing! 

but what is “20/20?” Actually 20/20 refers to perfect vision. It’s based on a measurement system used by eye doctors in the US. In the UK eye doctors use the scale 6/6 to mean the same thing, but the idiom uses the phrase “20/20” even in the UK.

So what is the connection between the skill to understand previous situation and a vision measurement? Well  of course the answer is the word “hindsight” Hindsight actually means to “see behind.” So Hindsight is 20/20 actually mean the ability to see behind yourself is perfect. Well  maybe that doesn’t make much sense unless you have eyes in the back of your head, but I’m sure the meaning of the idiom is pretty clear now!

Try to use it next time you or the team realize something after the situation passes. For example Oh we should have tested that website more before launching it. Now it’s completely down. Oh well hindsight is 20/20! 

Thanks for listening to three minute English from VenturEnglish. If you have a question or comment please leave a comment send me an email! You can contact me on our website venturenglish.com. That’s v-e-n-t-u-r English.com. And if you like the podcast leave a comment on Apple podcasts or google play. It really helps to reach more listeners. I’m paul Preston. Thanks for listening to three minute English!

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