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Frank Warren is the creator of The PostSecret Project, a community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on homemade postcards. From November 2004 to April 2012, Frank received more than 500,000 postcards from around the world, with secrets that run from sexual taboos and criminal activity to confessions of secret beliefs, hidden acts of kindness, shocking habits and fears.

Reprinted with permission from ted.com



Before watching the video, familiarize yourself with the following entries. This will help you understand the video better.
  1. artful - clever and skillful, especially in getting what you want
  2. soulful - expressing deep feelings, often sadness
  3. frailty - weakness and lack of health or strength
  4. heroism – great courage
  5. humanity - understanding and kindness towards other people
  6. uptight - worried or nervous and not able to relax
  7. chuckle – to laugh quietly
  8. panties - women's and girls' underpants
  9. pee - an act of urinating
  10. a suicide note – also called a death note, is a message left behind by a person who intends to commit suicide.


Video ©TED.com


Watch the video clip and select the appropriate answer to the following questions.

Vocabulary in context

Now watch the video to see how the words/phrases in bold are used and select the answers which explain what they mean in their specific contexts. Pay attention to the speaker’s body language and facial expressions to help you.

Using vocabulary

Complete the following sentences using the words in the box. Use the correct grammatical form of the words.

1. artful
2. soulful
3. frailty
4. uptight
5. stick around
6. ripped up
7. handful
8. randomly
9. blank
10. anonymously
11. hand out
12. stack
13. humanity

Hide answers.


You can expand your vocabulary by learning antonyms. Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. Knowing antonyms can increase your comprehension of English and allow you to express yourself with greater clarity.

I. Match each word in the left column to its antonym on the right. Consult a dictionary when necessary.

II. Select the most appropriate answer to complete the following sentences.


A suffix is a letter or group of letters that is added to the end of a word to make a new word. For example, adding suffix ‘-FUL’ to the base word ‘ART’ creates a new word ‘ARTFUL’. Also, ‘ANONYMOUS’ + ‘LY’ = ‘ANONYMOUSLY’. If you come across a word that you don’t know, you can guess its meaning if you know the suffix and the base word. Below are some common suffixes:

Suffix Meaning Examples
-ly characteristic of randomly, virally, gradually
-ful notable for, full of soulful, handful, hopeful
-ity/ -ty state of, quality of humanity, responsibility, stability
-able/ -ible capable of,  fit for, tending to readable, separable, washable
-ment  condition of, a product advertisement, argument, excitement
-sion/ -tion state of being collection, concession, transition
-less without endless, selfless, meaningless
-ism doctrine, belief communism, Buddhism, racism
-ious, -ous characterized by nutritious, obnoxious, dangerous

Choose the correct suffix in each of the following sentences, consult a dictionary if necessary:


Hi, my name is Frank, and I collect secrets. It all started with a crazy idea in November of 2004. I printed up 3,000 self-addressed postcards, just like this. They were blank on one side, and on the other side I listed some simple instructions. I asked people to anonymously share an artful secret they'd never told anyone before. And I handed out these postcards randomly on the streets of Washington, D.C., not knowing what to expect.

But soon the idea began spreading virally. People began to buy their own postcards and make their own postcards. I started receiving secrets in my home mailbox, not just with postmarks from Washington, D.C., but from Texas, California, Vancouver, New Zealand, Iraq. Soon my crazy idea didn't seem so crazy. PostSecret.com is the most visited advertisement-free blog in the world. And this is my postcard collection today. You can see my wife struggling to stack a brick of postcards on a pyramid of over a half-million secrets.

What I'd like to do now is share with you a very special handful of secrets from that collection, starting with this one. "I found these stamps as a child, and I have been waiting all my life to have someone to send them to. I never did have someone." Secrets can take many forms. They can be shocking or silly or soulful. They can connect us to our deepest humanity or with people we'll never meet. (Laughter) Maybe one of you sent this one in. I don't know. This one does a great job of demonstrating the creativity that people have when they make and mail me a postcard. This one obviously was made out of half a Starbucks cup with a stamp and my home address written on the other side.

"Dear Birthmother, I have great parents. I've found love. I'm happy." Secrets can remind us of the countless human dramas, of frailty and heroism, playing out silently in the lives of people all around us even now. "Everyone who knew me before 9/11 believes I'm dead." "I used to work with a bunch of uptight religious people, so sometimes I didn't wear panties,and just had a big smile and chuckled to myself."


This next one takes a little explanation before I share it with you. I love to speak on college campuses and share secrets and the stories with students. And sometimes afterwards I'll stick around and sign books and take photos with students. And this next postcard was made out of one of those photos. And I should also mention that, just like today, at that PostSecret event, I was using a wireless microphone. "Your mic wasn't off during sound check. We all heard you pee." (Laughter) This was really embarrassing when it happened,until I realized it could have been worse. Right. You know what I'm saying.


"Inside this envelope is the ripped up remains of a suicide note I didn't use. I feel like the happiest person on Earth (now.)" "One of these men is the father of my son. He pays me a lot to keep it a secret."
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