I'm learning English using CNN10.
When I watch some news, I've heard this sentence.
I have no idea what it means

Cities can be difficult cases to navigate at the best of times.
But for some with disabilities, they can turn into gold bits(ph).

This is about visually impaired people.
What is the gold bits?

  • link to give context
    – katatahito
    Jun 14, 2019 at 1:25
  • 1
    the (ph) is short for phonetic link. That means whoever was transcribing the audio hear the words "gold bits" but knows that it doesn't really make sense for that to be said. It may be helpful to find the audio and listen to that part and see what you hear
    – katatahito
    Jun 14, 2019 at 1:28
  • 5
    It is a guess, but in context what may have been said is "coal pits," which are dark and dangerous. But you really need to give the link to remove this from a guessing game. Jun 14, 2019 at 3:07
  • Thanks for you guys answer. Link is youtube.com/watch?v=S3Lhv5zOBbE&t=191s and time is 3:28.
    – JoonT
    Jun 17, 2019 at 0:26

2 Answers 2


The transcription has errors. A more accurate rendering of this segment would be

Cities can be difficult places to navigate at the best of times. But for some with disabilities, they can turn into gauntlets. With nearly 200 million people globally experiencing a severe disability, stairs, curbs, train gaps, even crosswalks can be impossible.

As katatahito notes in the comments, the (ph) marker indicates that the transcriber was uncertain of what was said, and attempted to represent the approximate sounds phonetically. It's possible that CNN's transcription software was thrown off by the presenter's British accent.

Gauntlet is a reference to a medieval punishment known as the gantlope, in which someone must run between two rows of men, who strike physical blows or lashes upon him. Over time, the word gantlope became conflated with the word gauntlet, an armored glove, and the punishment became known as running the gauntlet.

In modern usage, running the gauntlet can refer to any unpleasant experience at the hands of a series of people, and more generally, the gauntlet is the place where such an experience would take place. Thus, the presenter is saying that as difficult as cities can be for most people to navigate, for people with disabilities, trying to navigate a city involves facing one indignity after another.


After reviewing the video, and using YouTube's closed captioning feature the word they used is "gauntlets"

according to the second set of definitions from Merriam-Webster:

2: a severe trial: ordeal

The usage of this word conjures up a sort of dangerous ancient obstacle course that someone must navigate through.

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