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Meet Nathan Oman
On the pages of the Outlook section there are several different types of feature stories. Some are reviews of movies, books or music. There are also science and health stories, nature stories, human-interest stories and personality profiles. In each type of story you can expect certain kinds of information. Knowing what to expect helps make you a better reader. In this lesson you will look at one kind of story and the kinds of information you can expect.
The story for you to read today is a personality profile — a story that focuses on a person who is well known or who has done something special and interesting. In such a story, we can certainly expect to find out what the person is known for. And, of course, we will learn about the his or her personality. Often the writer will tell something of the person’s family or education. Certainly we should find out how the person’s career got started and the steps toward his or her present success. Sometimes, as is the case with the young singer in today’s story, we can expect a look into the future.
Before you begin to read, take a look at the title, the sub-heading and the picture.
If the title of the story sounds familiar to your ear, that’s because the headline writer has had some fun, reminding us of the John Denver song Rocky Mountain High. As you read the story, can you think why that song title popped into the writer’s mind? You’ll find more than one reason.
The sub-heading makes reference to two worlds. As you read, you’ll discover what those two worlds are and how both have influenced the singer’s character and his career. Here are some basic details you can fill in as you read.
Looking at style
Onsiri Pravattiyagul likes to write about popular music and musicians and she uses a casual, conversational style of writing that fits well with the people and music she writes about. “I like to write the way I would talk to friends about the music,” she says.
So, you will find phrases like “Oman … got a grip on Thai” meaning he gained some skill in it; and “he was hooked” which means he enjoyed something so much that he wants to experience more of it. What was it that Nathan Oman became ‘hooked on’?
Onsiri also used a comparison to a card game to suggest that the record company has over used the singer’s ethnicity (cultural background) to promote his album. Read to find out if the singer himself takes advantage of his background to promote himself. How does he feel about his birth country?
The writer also makes a comparison between Nathan Oman and other artists who, she says, brag of being highly “absorbed” in Nepal. Here the use of “ ” suggests she is making fun of them and therefore pointing to Nathan’s genuine connection with the country.
Music industry vocab
Like all stories about a particular artistic, scientific or technical field, there are some special words you will find in this story. Match them with their meanings now or use the way they are used in the story (the context) to help you understand the meanings:
What is your impression of Nathan Oman after reading this story? Which of the adjectives below would you use to describe this singer to a classmate or study group friend? Be prepared to give reasons for your choices.
multilingual (knowing many languages)
OUR STORY FROM THE BANGKOK POST
played to death