uet-131-136

美語訓練班 第131-136課



美語訓練班  第131課

B: Welcome to American English Mosaic, I’m Mike Bond!

A: And I’m Lin Yang.

B: Are you a frequent flyer? Is it economical to pay more and upgrade your flight to business class? We will offer you some insight in today’s business etiquette.

A: 今天的美國人如何看待他們的政府? 我們在下面的節目中為你介紹。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “tar and feather” and “tar with the same brush” means!

A: All coming up on this edition of American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1878 dysfunctional

今天我們要學的詞是 dysfunctional. Dysfunctional is spelled d-y-s-f-u-n-c-t-i-o-n-a-l, dysfunctional. Dysfunctional 形容詞,意思是失常的,失調的。One in three Americans believe the dysfunctional government is the country’s biggest problems. 三個美國人里就有一個人認為,政府運作失調是美國所面臨的最大問題。A recent study revealed that only around 2 out of 10 people actually escape the grips of a dysfunctional family. 最近的一項研究顯示,每十個人當中,大約只有兩個人能真正擺脫他們所在的不健全的家庭。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 dysfunctional, dysfunctional, dysfunctional.

A: It’s hard for kids to grow up in dysfunctional families. I have a friend who always seems very distant to people and favors spending time with his pet. Turns out that his mom favored his brother over him growing up, and it left him believing no one truly loves him.

B: That’s horrible! Once you form a certain personality and world view, it’s very hard to change it. I’m so grateful for my loving and caring family.

A: Yeah, I love my family too, it’s full of happiness and laughter! But my mom did tar and feather me when I grew up…. 她一直相信不打不成材呀….

B: Well, what can I say, looks like she did a good job bringing you up!

A: Aww!

B: And you mentioned a good idiom: tar and feather. Let’s listen to today’s words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 885 tar and feather

美國習慣用語第 885 講

剛才朋友跟我抱怨說,她的老闆太可怕了! 她在工作上出了一點小錯,老闆就不依不饒,把她好一頓罵。這讓我想到了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Tar and feather. Tar is spelled t-a-r, and feather; f-e-a-t-h-e-r. Tar-and-feather. Tar and feather.

Tar這個詞不太常見,是「柏油」的意思。Feather大家都知道是指「羽毛」。把Tar 和feather放在一起,意思是「嚴厲懲罰」。比如,我的朋友被苛刻的老闆罵得體無完膚,我們就可以說She felt TARRED AND FEATHERED by her overly critical boss. 當然了,倒霉的不只我朋友一個人,下面是一個高中生的煩惱,我們一起聽。

M: : “I think my whole class hates English this semester. Our teacher is always ready to punish us for the slightest mistake. If she finds any misspellings on our compositions, she deducts several points from our grade. I don’t understand the need to TAR AND FEATHER US.”

這段話意思是:我估計,我們全班都恨透了這學期的英文課。我們的英文老師總是為了一丁點小錯誤而懲罰我們。她判作文時,發現一個錯字就扣好多分兒。我實在不明白,她幹嘛非要這麼嚴厲地懲罰我們。

唉,分-分-分,學生的命根! 這位英文老師在判分時毫不留情,為一點小錯而責罰學生,難怪不得人心! 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I think my whole class hates English this semester. Our teacher is always ready to punish us for the slightest mistake. If she finds any misspellings on our compositions, she deducts several points from our grade. I don’t understand the need to TAR AND FEATHER US.”

在生活中,我們常常會見到吹毛求疵,專挑別人毛病的人。我以前常看一個美食評論家的專欄,我發現,她的文章中,稱讚別人的部分不到百分之10,剩下的全是挑毛病,最愛在別人的不足之處上大作文章。最後,許多讀者都受不了她的這種態度,紛紛寫信投訴她,沒過多久,她的專欄就被撤掉了。可見,大眾的力量不容忽視,中國不是有句話叫「眾口爍金,積毀銷骨」么。社會名流,他們更可能因醜聞而被大眾Tar and Feather。不過,這種情況似乎也在發生變化,讓我們來聽聽下面這個人的看法:

M: “I’m no longer shocked when I read about athletes and politicians who have extramarital affairs. It used to be that they’d be TARRED AND FEATHERED. Today, instead of being severely criticized, they’re often forgiven. Then they’re featured on magazine covers and make lots of money by writing books. It disgusts me.”

這個人說:當我看到體育明星和政客們搞婚外情的新聞時,我已經不會大驚小怪了。過去,這種人一定會被人們的口水淹死,可現在,沒什麼人會去嚴厲斥責他們,相反,社會大眾會原諒他們。他們還能上雜誌封面,出書,大筆撈錢。這一切讓我覺得噁心。

上面這段話讓我想到一個女人瑪莎.斯圖爾特。她原本是「家政女皇」,可後來因股票內幕交易醜聞坐了5個月的牢。當時,She was tarred and feathered, 所以好多評論家都以為她將一蹶不振。可恰恰相反,她出獄後全面復出,經營的企業甚至比以前更成功,似乎也沒人再提她犯罪坐牢的事兒了。讓我們再聽一遍剛才的話:

M: “I’m no longer shocked when I read about athletes and politicians who have extramarital affairs. It used to be that they’d be TARRED AND FEATHERED. Today, instead of being severely criticized, they’re often forgiven. Then they’re featured on magazine covers and make lots of money by writing books. It disgusts me.”

Tar And Feather的起源是12世紀時的一種酷刑。當時,人們把Tar–柏油,倒在受罰者身上,然後再把Feather–羽毛,貼在柏油上,這樣乎上幾天,實在殘酷。後來,to tar and feather就被引伸為「嚴厲懲罰」的意思了。 在學習英語的時候,難免犯錯,不過,即使用錯了詞,犯了語法錯誤,別人也絕不能把你TAR AND FEATHER!

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: I’m so stoked! I just booked my ticket back home today! Yummy food and the spring festival celebration, here I come!

B: Ugh, I envy your life! Did you buy a non-stop?

A: No, I have one stop, but it’s not too bad. I’m considering if I should upgrade to business class, it’s a 13 hour flight, and crawling in economic class seats doesn’t sound very appealing…

B: Seems like you’ve got to do some cost benefit analysis! Actually in today’s business etiquette, we will talk about the pros and cons of upgrading to business class.

A: Let’s go take a look!

禮節美語BE-257 Flying Business Class I

Cindy看到同事Wendy很開心的樣子。

Wendy: (excited) Yeah!

Cindy: Hey, Wendy….you sure looked excited. What’s up?

W: I just got a text message…and…I get to fly business class on my next trip to China!

C: Sweet! What city are you going to?

W: Beijing. The fabrics trade show is happening there next week.

C: Cool. I’ve never been to Beijing…you?

W: No. I’ve only been to Shanghai and Hangzhou.

C: Well…it’s great that you get to see a new place.

Wendy這麼開心,原來是因為要去北京出差,而且是坐 business class 商務艙,不是經濟艙 economy class 或是 coach class. 除了商務艙和經濟艙以外,大家知道的頭等艙在英語里是 first class. 正說得高興,另一位同事Amy走過來,問她倆要不要一起去吃午飯。

Amy: Hey girls…wanna go walk across the street and grab some lunch?

W: Sure!

C: Yeah, let’s go. You know…Wendy should treat us today.

A: Why is that?

C: Because she gets to fly business class next week.

W: Sure…lunch is on me! I’m going to Beijing next Tuesday for the fabrics trade show. I’ve always wanted to see what traveling business class would be like and now I’ll get a little taste!

A: Congratulations. Business class has so much more leg-room…the seats practically recline into a bed. Of course…first class is even nicer.

Amy問兩人要不要一起去馬路對面買點午飯吃 grab some lunch. Cindy讓Wendy請客,Wendy should treat us today. 因為她下星期要坐商務艙去北京出差。Wendy欣然答應,說 Lunch is on me. 意思是午飯我來請。Amy說,商務艙 leg room 伸展腿腳的空間更大,椅子放倒就象床一樣,但還是不如頭等艙舒服。聽上去Amy八成坐過。Cindy 問 Amy:

C: Are you speaking from experience?

A: Actually, yes. My husband and I flew first class to Hawaii for our honeymoon.

C: Wow!

W: That is cool. I’ve been stuck in coach all my life. Is it just my imagination, or have the seats in economy class been getting smaller over the years?

C: I don’t think the seats have gotten smaller…I think the airlines are packing more rows of seats into airplanes and that means less leg-room.

A: Well, it’s probably true that if we want cheap tickets we will have to put up with being crammed into an airplane.

原來,Amy去夏威夷度蜜月時坐的就是頭等艙,所以她確實是speak from experience. Wendy很羨慕地說,I’ve been stuck in coach all my life. 我一輩子都沒離開過經濟艙。座位雖說沒變小,但是航空公司不斷在機艙里加座椅,pack more rows of seats into airplanes, 當然伸腿的地方就越來越小了。Amy無可奈何地說,想要買便宜的機票,就只能忍受飛機里的擁擠了。We will have to put up with being crammed into an airplane. to put up with 是忍受;cram 是動詞,意思是擠在一起。

A: Wendy 看起來很高興,因為她去北京出差可以 fly business class,乘坐商務v。商務艙更舒服,有更寬敞的 leg room, 伸展腿腳的空間。Wendy說,I’ve been stuck in coach all my life, 我一輩子都沒離開過經濟艙,所以這次能乘商務艙很開心。

B: I hope I can get a job in the future that will enable me to fly back and forth between the U.S. and China first class! I certainly wouldn’t say no to more legroom!
A: Indeed, and the food is so much better! I guess that’s a very important factor for a foodie like you…

B: You know me too well!

A: Haha! Alright, 我們接著來聽聽商務艙還有什麼好處吧!

禮節美語BE-258 Flying Business Class II

Cindy看到同事Wendy很開心的樣子。

Cindy: So Wendy, are you flying non-stop?

Wendy: Washington DC to Beijing…non-stop.

Amy: Oh that’s lovely. The thing I hate the most about traveling is layovers. You have to get off the plane…get all your stuff…sometimes you have to go through security…then you wait around in the airport lounge for hours, and finally get back on a plane and endure more hours of flying.

C: Stopovers are a real pain in the neck. Sometimes they are quick, but most of the time layovers take at least three or four hours.

W: I got stuck at the Bangkok airport for nine hours once! I nearly went insane!
A: That’s nasty. I’d rather just stay overnight and come back the next day.

Wendy的班機是直飛 non-stop, 不用轉機,中途轉機在英文里是layover 或者是 stopover. Cindy說,Stopovers are a real pain in the neck. 說一件事情是 a pain in the neck 意思是說這件事情特別討厭。Wendy也說,有一次她被困在曼谷機場九個小時,I got stuck at the Bangkok airport for nine hours. Amy也說,她寧可找個地方過夜,I’d rather just stay overnight. 第二天再回來,也不願意在機場乾等。

C: Hopefully the airplanes of the future will be faster and bigger so we can get places more comfortably and quickly.

W: So…enlighten me on what pleasures await me in business class.

C: Well, the food is pretty good. Each meal has several courses and if you want seconds or thirds the answer is always: “No problem, madam.”

A: The wine list is excellent, too. You also have a choice of dozens of brand-new movies and shows on your personal in-flight entertainment system.

C: But …like I said earlier…the number one best thing about business class is the leg-room! You can stretch out and lie back. It makes all the difference in the world.

商務艙的乘客有哪些特殊待遇呢?Cindy說,首先是吃的好,每頓飯都有好幾道菜,而且,if you want seconds or thirds 如果你想要第二份或是第三份的話,回答永遠都是沒問題。seconds第二份is spelled s-e-c-o-n-d-s, seconds, 就是second後面加個s. thirds也是一樣,就是在third後面加個s. 除了吃的好,葡萄酒種類也不錯。The wine list is excellent. 此外還有最新上映的電影,但是商務艙最好的地方還是寬敞,It makes all the difference in the world. 天壤之別。

A: Cindy’s right. A 12-hour flight doesn’t seem all that long.

W: Excellent! I’m very much looking forward to it. Okay, it’s my treat…what do you want to eat?

A: I’ll have the shrimp salad.

C: And I’ll have a club sandwich and a cranberry yogurt.

W: I’ll have carrot sticks and a tomato juice.

C: On a diet?

W: No…I’m just too excited to eat!

Wendy聽後很高興,說自己十分期待。大家開始點午飯,結果Wendy自己只要了carrot sticks and a tomato juice. 小胡蘿蔔和番茄汁。Cindy問她是不是在減肥,On a diet? 等於 are you on a diet? Wendy 回答說不是,是因為太興奮,所以吃不下東西。

A: Wendy這次還可以fly non-stop,直飛,Amy說這簡直太重要了,因為layover is a pain in the neck, 轉機特別煩。Cindy說,商務艙不僅寬敞,而且食物非常好,the wine list 酒單也不錯,而且還有非常即時的 in-flight entertainment system,途中娛樂系統。

B: Sounds like a 13-hour flight won’t be that long if you are flying business! You should consider it Yang Lin.

A: I think I’m gonna do it! A wine list on the plane? That’s what I’m talking about.

B: There you go! Alright, enough about flying, let’s go ahead with our class.

A: Let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1883 indefinite

今天我們要學的詞是 indefinite. indefinite is spelled i-n-d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e, indefinite. Indefinite 形容詞,意思是不明確的,無限期的。The head coach has decided to take an indefinite leave of absence to care for his sick wife. 為了照顧生病的妻子,球隊主教練決定無限期請長假。The union launched an indefinite strike, requesting shorter hours and better pay. 工會發起無限期罷工,要求縮短工時,增加工資。The bridge was closed indefinitely for repair work to be done. 這座大橋要接受檢修,將無限期停止使用。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 indefinite, indefinite, indefinite.

A: I feel like the construction in front of our building has been going on indefinitely…

B: They sure are not efficient enough, but that probably is in par with the government’s pace.

A: Haha, Mike, you can’t tar every government employee with the same brush!
B: My bad, my bad. But what does tar with the same brush mean? Let’s check it out in today’s words and idioms.

Words and Idioms 886 TAR WITH THE SAME BRUSH

美國習慣用語第 886 講

前兩天,我和朋友逛街時路過一家PIZZA連鎖店,我想進去吃飯,可朋友說,她在這個品牌的另外一家店吃過,那裡的服務糟透了,所以,這家店的服務一定也很差。她說什麼也不在這裡吃。雖然PIZZA沒吃到,但朋友的做法讓我想起了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Tar with the same brush. Tar is spelled t-a-r, and brush; b-r-u-s-h.. Tar-with-the-same-brush.

Tar 這個詞不太常見,當名詞時是「焦油」的意思,當動詞是指「塗抹焦油」;BRUSH,大家比較熟悉,是「刷子」的意思。To Tar somebody or something with the same brush,字面的意思是「用同一把刷子塗焦油」,其實是指「因為某人或某物不好,就誤以為和他們類似的人或物都不好」,也就是「一杆子打翻一船人」。比如,我這位朋友因為看到一家連鎖店的服務不好,就斷定另外一家連鎖店的服務也不好,這就是Tar it with the same brush,一杆子打翻一船人了。畢竟,兩家店雖然是一個品牌,但服務員的素質可能並不相同。

在生活中,這種一概而論的事經常發生。比如,下面這個老闆在招聘員工時的態度:

M: “One of the applicants for a part-time sales position came with good references. Yet my boss didn’t want to hire him because he was still in high school. Apparently, he’d had a bad experience with a teenaged employee. To me, he TARRED HIM WITH THE SAME BRUSH. Why did he blame him because of another teen’s poor performance?”

這段話意思是:在應聘兼職銷售員的人中,有個人條件不錯,獲得以前僱主的強力推薦。可是,我們的老闆不想雇他,因為他還是個高中生。很顯然,老闆以前雇過高中生,可那個孩子表現不好。這下,老闆一杆子打翻一船人,凡是高中生,他都不雇了。我覺得,這對應聘人來說是不公平的。

這個老闆顯然在招聘過程中有歧視行為! 因為一個人的年齡而不給他工作機會,這在美國可能被人告上法庭! 讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “One of the applicants for a part-time sales position came with good references. Yet my boss didn’t want to hire him because he was still in high school. Apparently, he’d had a bad experience with a teenaged employee. To me, he TARRED HIM WITH THE SAME BRUSH. Why did he blame him because of another teen’s poor performance?”

在日常生活中,如果你常常對人對事一概而論,可能會錯過很多機會。比如,在挑選戀愛對象時,就應該有個開放的態度,不能隨便把對方臉譜化。讓我們來聽聽下面這段話:

M: “My buddy thinks that I shouldn’t ask Jean out because she’s divorced and he’d dated divorcees who seemed desperate. But I’m not going to TAR HER WITH THE SAME BRUSH. I’m not about to fault Jean because of my friend’s bad dating experience with other divorced women. It isn’t fair.”

這個人說:我的一個哥們兒覺得,我不應該和Jean 約會,因為她離過婚,而我這位哥們兒交往過離婚女人,覺得她們的人生態度都很消極。不過,我不會一概而論,不會因為我朋友同離婚女人合不來就覺得Jean不好,這麼做對Jean是不公平的。

說到一概而論,我想到我的表姐。她家那個市的市長貪污公款被判了刑,因為這個,她就決定再也不在選舉中投票了。這麼做太過了吧! 我承認,一些政客的確是腐敗的,但也不能因此就Tar them with the same brush,一杆子打翻一船人,覺得他們個個都壞。

讓我們再聽一遍剛才的話:

M: “My buddy thinks that I shouldn’t ask Jean out because she’s divorced and he’d dated divorcees who seemed desperate. But I’m not going to TAR HER WITH THE SAME BRUSH. I’m not about to fault Jean because of my friend’s bad dating experience with other divorced woman. It isn’t fair.”

說到Tar with the same brush的起源,最初是牧羊人把焦油塗在羊的傷口上,給羊治病。後來,同一群羊就都被塗了焦油,受到了同樣的對待。到了19世紀初,這個短語開始被用在人的身上。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, working with you is really effecting me! I’ve started taring all of VOA’s employee’s with the same brush.

B: Really? how so?

A: I keep suspecting that they are all trying to dodge work!!!

B: ouch…..

A: 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第132課

B: Welcome to American English Mosaic, I’m Mike Bond!

A: And I’m Lin Yang.

B: Bullet trains are popular in Asian and European countries, but are nowhere to be found in the United States. In today’s business etiquette, we will introduce to you the ways Americans travel.

A: 今年最棒的一部電影會是什麼? 我們在下面的節目中為你介紹。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “tit for tat” and “to a tee” means!

A: All coming up on this edition of American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1885 hands-down

今天我們要學的詞是 hands-down. Hands-down is spelled h-a-n-d-s, hands, and d-o-w-n, down, hands-down. Hands-down 意思是肯定地,輕而易舉地。流感季節到了。In terms of safety and effectiveness, soap and water beats sanitizers hands-down. 從安全和有效性的角度看,用肥皂和清水洗手,絕對勝過洗手液。2013年還沒有結束,不過,很多影評家都認為,Captain Philips, played by Tom Hanks, is hands-down the best movie of the year. 湯姆.漢克斯出演的菲利普斯船長絕對是今年最棒的一部電影。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 hands-down, hands-down, hands-down.

A: So how was your Thanksgiving Mike?

B: It was great! We had a great traditional thanksgiving dinner: we had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie!

A: Wow, that’s a lot of food! Sounds like it could feed an army!

B: Yep, we have a saying in my family: calories don’t count on Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday about overfeeding yourself, and enjoy quality time with the people you love.
A: That’s the holiday spirit! We do the same thing during The Spring Festival in China.

B: Yep, from how you looked when you came back last year, I could tell!

A: A tit for tat, Mike, I’m going to get back at you…just wait for it…

B: Haha, I’ll waiting right here! And…you mentioned a good idiom: tit for tat. Let’s listen to today’s words and idioms and find out what it means!

Words and Idioms 887 TIT FOR TAT

美國習慣用語第 887 講

人們常說遠親不如近鄰,可鄰裡間鬧矛盾的事兒也不少。這不,我隔壁的鄰居Jean就對對門的鄰居Alice不滿,說Alice總是不參加公共區域的大掃除。Jean還說,為了給Alice一個教訓,她決定不參加Alice組織的rummage sale–清倉義賣會。這兩個人你來我往的,讓我想到了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Tit for tat. Tit is spelled t-i-t, and tat; t-a-t. Tit-for-tat. Tit for tat.

Tit for tat 就是「以牙還牙」,以同樣的方式報復。我的鄰居Jean對Alice就是tit for tat:你不參加集體掃除?那好,我也不會在你組織的活動中出力。這可以說是「以其人之道還治其人之身」。

在生活中,這種針尖對麥芒的事兒經常發生。我們來聽聽一個父親是怎麼描述他的兩個女兒的:

M: “My daughters have really been acting childishly lately. It started when Ginny borrowed Esther’s game without asking. As a result, Esther wouldn’t let Ginny play with her doll. That made Ginny so mad she took back the book she’d lent Esther. How much longer is this TIT FOR TAT going to last?”

這段話意思是:最近,我兩個女兒都在耍小孩脾氣。事情的起因是Ginny沒和Esther打招呼就擅自拿走了Esther的遊戲。結果,Esther就不讓Ginny玩兒她的布娃娃了。這下子,Ginny不幹了,把以前借給Esther的書搶了回來。不知道她們這種針鋒相對的報復還要持續多長時間。

哈哈,小孩子之間常有這種事兒,你打我一下,我就必須得踢你一腳,誰也不願意吃虧! 讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “My daughters have really been acting childishly lately. It started when Ginny borrowed Esther’s game without asking. As a result, Esther wouldn’t let Ginny play with her doll. That made Ginny so mad she took back the book she』d lent Esther. How much longer is this TIT FOR TAT going to last?”

不過,別以為這種事情只發生在小孩兒身上,有些成年人也會這樣以牙還牙以眼還眼地相互報復,而這種行為可能會帶來嚴重的後果! 比如,在下面這段話中,一個城市的犯罪量突然增加,我們來聽聽是什麼原因。

M: “The police investigator determined that the sudden increase of crimes was no coincidence. A gang of drug dealers wanted to punish a rival gang for shooting their leader. That led to a TIT FOR TAT series of murders, kidnappings and arsons that has paralyzed the city.”

這段話的意思說:警方的調查人員膂b定,犯罪行為突然增加並非偶然。一個販毒團伙的頭目被對立的幫派槍殺了,這個團伙於是展開報復行動。這導致雙方以牙還牙的交惡,從謀殺、綁架到縱火,無所不為。整個城市因此陷入癱瘓狀態。

每次聽到這種消息,我總是既憤怒又傷心。前幾天,華盛頓還發生了類似的事。一個年青人為了報復偷自己金項鏈的小偷,在街上開槍,結果打死了好幾個路人。更諷刺的是,那個所謂的「報複目標」其實並不是偷他項鏈的人,是他認錯了! 唉,這一切是多麼愚蠢! 我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “The police investigator determined that the sudden increase of crimes was no coincidence. A gang of drug dealers wanted to punish a rival gang for shooting their leader. That led to a TIT FOR TAT series of murders, kidnappings and arsons that has paralyzed the city.”

Tit for tat 這個說法從16世紀中葉就有了,可見,人類千百年來都是愛記仇和報復。唉! 我覺得,大家在生活中都應該把肚量放大些,不要對人睚眥必報。比如,上個禮拜,我發現有個同事把我放在冰箱里的午飯給吃了。我就想,她一定是看錯了,拿錯了,我不會幼稚到隔天去偷她的午飯,作為報復。I refused to engage in a tit for tat。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: I usually refuse to engage in a tit for tat. I find most of the time, letting go is way more useful than trying to get revenge.

B: I agree. People tend to treat you the way you treat them, so being nice and forgiving to your friends actually means having friends who will treat you well in return.

A: True. Speaking of which, could you offer me a ride to the airport for my flight back to China? Please?

B: Ugh…I knew something was coming…

A; Haha, I will take that as a yes! It’s really inconvenient that there’s no bullet trains here in the U.S., otherwise I would just take that!

B: Tell me about it. Bullet trains are widely popular in Asian countries, but people in America seems to prefer other forms of transportation.

A: We will get to know some American ways of traveling in today’s business etiquette.

B: Let’s go take a look!

禮節美語BE-259 Bullet Trains I

Lewis 在走廊上遇到同事 Jay.

Lewis: Hi, Jay!

J: Hi, Lewis. Are you ready for your big trip to Chicago?

L: Oh, yeah! I’m gonna nail the presentation.

J: I’m sure you will. Hey, I thought I remembered from an earlier conversation that you have relatives in the states, right? Any chance you’ll get to see them?

L: I’d like to, but they’re not in Chicago. My uncle moved to LA five years ago. I was thinking about going over to visit him but I don’t have a lot of time…maybe I could just hop on a bullet train from Chicago.

Lewis要到美國芝加哥出差,對完成任務信心滿滿,說自己一定會 nail the presentation 出色完成演示任務。在英語里,to nail something 意思是出色完成某事。比如,父母問你考試考得好不好,你就可以回答說,I nailed it. 我考得好極了。Jay問Lewis是否準備順便去看望一下自己在美國的親戚。Lewis說,叔叔五年前搬去洛杉磯,離芝加哥很遠,他時間有限,準備 hop on a bullet train from Chicago. bullet train 子彈頭列車,相當於高鐵。 Jay說,

J: That’s not going to be possible.

L: Why not? It’s probably only a few hours ride.

J: America doesn’t have any bullet trains.

L: Really? You’re kidding me!

J: No, actually I’m quite serious. The fastest train we have is called the Amtrak Acela Express. It goes from Boston to Washington DC, via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. But it’s not really a bullet train….The Acela Express generally runs at not much more than 130 kilometers an hour.

L: One hundred and 30 kilometers an hour? That’s not a high-speed train.

Jay說,美國沒有高鐵,最快的列車是 Amtrak Acela Express, 從波士頓到華盛頓特區,途經過巴爾迪摩,費城和紐約。可即便是這趟列車,一般時速也就是130多公里。Lewis說,Really? You’re kidding me! 表示難以置信。

J: Sometimes the Amtrak train can push speeds up to over 240 kilometers per hour, but most of the time it cruises at only around 130.

L: Wow! I thought America was more advanced than that. We have trains that can easily run at 300 kilometers an hour! Japanese bullet trains run at about 260 and the Europe super fast trains travel at almost 300 kilometers an hour!

J: Yeah I know. Even Taiwan has a high-speed rail that goes at least 200 kilometers an hour. But America is a very large country, and for the last several decades flying has been cheap and easy.

Amtrak雖然最快也能飆到時速240公里,但一般情況下,只保持在130公里左右勻速行駛,這裡用的動詞 cruise, cruise is spelled c-r-u-i-s-e, cruise 意思是不緊不慢地勻速前進。Jay說,美國地域遼闊,坐飛機方便便宜,這也許是鐵路不發達的原因之一。

A: Lewis本來準備hop on a bullet train,乘坐高鐵去看他在洛杉磯的叔叔,但是Jay說, that’s not going to be possible, 那是不可能的,因為美國沒有高鐵。Jay說,美國最快的列車是 Amtrak, 但也是 cruises at only around 130,只保持在130公里左右勻速行駛, it’s not a high-speed train at all. 完全沒有達到高鐵的要求。

B: Yeah, America is a very large country, and flying is very affordable here. A lot of people also love to go on road trips!

A: I know! My uncle used to drive 2 hours to work and 2 hours back, that’s 4 hours total in travel time! But he seemed to be fine with it!

B: I enjoy driving as well. Get ya some great music, snacks, and maybe a hot dog or two, and you are ready to hit the road! Road trips are my favorite way of seeing the U.S.

A: That sounds like you! 我們接著來聽Jay如何介紹美國人的交通習慣吧!

禮節美語BE-260 Bullet Trains II

Lewis要去美國芝加哥出差,想坐高鐵去洛杉磯看家人,但同事Jay告訴他說,美國沒有高鐵,原因之一是坐飛機十分方便。

Lewis: So there’s been no incentive to build super fast trains.

Jay: Yeah, that’s right. Also, Americans like to drive.

L: I’ve noticed in a lot of movies that Americans seem to enjoy road trips.

J: I’m from San Francisco, and I have friends who live in Los Angeles. It’s a nine-or-10-hour drive, but I’ve done it many times. There’s no convenient public transport in L.A. so I would have to rent a car anyway. So I just load up my CD player with good music, grab some coffee and hit the road.

除了坐飛機,美國人還喜歡開車。They enjoy road trips. Road trips 就是開車去一個地方,邊走邊玩。Jay說,從加州舊金山開到洛杉磯,需要九到十個小時,他來回開過很多趟,每次都是準備了好聽的音樂,帶上咖啡,然後就上路了。 hit the road 是上路的意思,hit 在口語里,後面還經常跟 the gym, to hit the gym 就是去健身房。

L: So driving really is a part of American culture.

J: Yeah. Most of us get our first driver’s license when we are around 16 years old. I used to drive about an hour and a half to work every day–that’s three hours round-trip– and I didn’t think it was a big deal.

L: So aside from New York, there really isn’t much public transport infrastructure in the U.S.?

J: Many U.S. cities have some kind of light rail or subway system but except for New York, they don’t really completely cover the city in the same way as the Beijing or Shanghai subway does.

看來,開車還真是美國文化的一個重要部分。Jay說,美國孩子16歲左右就可以拿駕照。他以前每天開三個小時上下班,and he didn’t think it was a big deal. 而且也沒覺得這有什麼大不了的。 a big deal 經常在口語里出現。比如,It’s a big deal for me. 這對我很重要。What’s the big deal? 有那麼嚴重嗎?It’s no big deal. 沒什麼大不了的。美國的很多城市都有地鐵火車,但是除了紐約以外,其他城市的公交系統都不像北京或是上海的地鐵那麼發達。

L: I think high-speed trains are great! They are safe, fast, quiet and convenient. You can work on your laptop or read a book…it’s a good way to relax.

J: That’s true…driving can be very stressful. Americans have been talking about building high-speed rail lines for years. But to be honest, I don’t know when or if it’s ever going to happen.

L: Well, I hope they start building them soon. But in any case…I’m going to have to look into flights to LA now.

J: Yep. And you’re probably gonna have to rent a car when you get there. Good luck and have a great trip!
L: Thanks Jay! See you in a couple weeks.

坐高鐵可以放鬆,看看電腦讀讀書,不像開車,會讓人 stressful精神疲勞。不過沒辦法,Lewis 這次出差,如果想從芝加哥到洛杉磯去,就必須得 look into flights 看看坐哪趟班機了。

A: Jay說,driving is part of the American culture. 開車是美國文化根深蒂固的一部分,美國人一般16歲就拿駕照了。美國人喜歡road trips, 邊開車邊玩兒,所以鐵路系統非常不發達。Lewis說,I’d better look into flights, 看看坐哪趟班機去看自己的叔叔了。

B: Yep! In big cities like DC, you probably can live without a car, but in places like my hometown, you are not going to have a social life if you don’t own a car.

A: I know what you are talking about. When I just got here, I didn’t have a car for two years. And living in California without a car is a total nightmare, you basically can’t go anywhere!

B: Yep! Alright, enough about road trips, let’s go ahead with our class.
A: Let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1889 exhibit

今天我們要學的詞是 exhibit. Exhibit is spelled e-x-h-i-b-i-t, exhibit. Exhibit 意思是展覽。The Smithsonian Institution is putting on what is believed to be the first art exhibit on yoga. 據信是第一個關於瑜珈的藝術展在史密森學會的博物館隍7d展。The Chicago History Museum is relying on online “crowd sourcing” to come up with an exhibit idea. 芝加哥歷史博物館在網上徵求意見,集思廣益,尋找有趣的展覽主題。A photo exhibit on super storm Sandy opened on the storm’s one-year anniversary. 超級風暴桑迪一周年之際,一個關於桑迪的攝影展正式開幕。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 exhibit, exhibit, exhibit.

A: I love museums, and that’s one of the most attractive things about DC. So many free museums!

B: Yeah, do you know there’s an Anchorman exhibit at the Newseum? I heard the exhibit displays the whole production process to a tee!

A: I have to go see! 不過大家知道 to a tee這個詞兒是什麼意思嗎? Let’s check it out in today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms第888講

昨天晚上,我去一個朋友家吃飯,飯後,朋友的太太給客人們表演了一場模仿秀。她不僅模仿了一些明星,居然還模仿了我! 而且模仿得太象了! 不僅舉手投足,連聲音都唯妙唯肖! 這種模仿功力讓我想到了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: To a tee. To is spelled t-o, and tee; t-e-e, or simply the capital letter T. To-a-tee. To a tee.

To a tee 就是「完美」「恰到好處」。我朋友太太的模仿秀達到了to a tee 的答7b度。我想,下次如果我有事不能來主持節目,完全可以讓她來代班,觀眾朋友們八成聽不出區別!

除了模仿秀,其它很多藝術工作也追求逼真、傳神,讓我們來聽聽下面這段話:

M: “My wife suggested that we have a nice portrait painted of our family. So we sat for the artist and a couple of weeks later he told us he’d finished. I had my doubts that the painting would come out really looking like us. But when he unveiled it, I was astonished! He captured our likenesses TO A TEE.”

這段話意思是:我太太說,我們應該請人畫個全家福,於是我們找了一位藝術家,讓他給我們畫。幾個星期後,他告訴我們,作品已經完成。我本來還心有疑慮,覺得他可能會畫得不像,但是,當他把作品拿到我們眼前時,我完全驚呆了! 他完全抓住了我們的神態,畫得太逼真了!

這個畫家真有本事! 我對畫畫是一竅不通,不過,我先生說我在烹飪方面很有天賦。去年他生日的時候,我照著菜譜做了一次烤牛排,結果大獲成功! 牛排的火候和味道都是To A Tee–恰到好處! 模樣也和菜譜上的照片相差無幾! 好,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “My wife suggested that we have a nice portrait painted of our family. So we sat for the artist and a couple of weeks later he told us he’d finished. I had my doubts that the painting would come out really looking like us. But when he unveiled it, I was astonished! He captured our likenesses TO A TEE.”

做飯要掌握火候,作人也是一樣。比如買衣服,就要買符合自己身材和氣質的。我們來聽聽下面這段話:

M: “With my job interview coming up, I wanted to look my best. I decided it was worth spending extra money on a high-quality designer suit. After trying on several, I found one that fit me TO A TEE. It was as if a tailor had made it to my exact measurements.”

這段話的意思說:我過幾天要去一個工作面試,所以我想,我得以最佳形象去見未來的僱主。我決定多花點錢,買一套高品質的名牌西服。在試穿了好幾套之後,我終於找到了一套特別合適的。這衣服太合身了,簡直像是裁縫為我量身定作的。

我想,這個年青人的面試一定進行得不錯,因為他聽上去很自信。而且,一套得體的西服能夠給他的外表加分,能給僱主一個好印象,正所謂”clothes make the man – 人靠衣裝」嘛! 衣服不僅要大小合適,還要符合個人氣質。比如,我妹妹是個非常熱情、外向的人,所以她的衣服大多是顏色鮮艷,款式瀟洒的,我覺得,這些衣服suit her to a tee非常適合她。好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “With my job interview coming up, I wanted to look my best. I decided it was worth spending extra money on a high-quality designer suit. After trying on several, I found one that fit me TO A TEE. It was as if a tailor had made it to my exact measurements.”

To A Tee 這個說法由來以久,據說在17世紀時就有了。當時,這個短語中的tee指的是英文書寫中細微的筆劃。所以,to a tee,原意就是每一筆一划都精準。後來,就變成了「恰到好處,剛剛好」的意思。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

B: Yang Lin, I think this show fits you to a tee.

A: Really? How so?

B: Its simple and fun! Just like you!

A: Did you just call me simple?????

B: Uhh, I meant it as a compliment?

A: Tit for Tat Mike, Tit for Tat….. 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第133課

B: Welcome to American English Mosaic, I’m Mike Bond!

A: And I’m Lin Yang.

B: Do you have pteromerhanophobia? That is, are you afraid of flying? We will give you some tips about how to enjoy your flight in today’s business etiquette.

A: 飛機上也能打電話? 我們在下面的節目中為你介紹。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “out in the open” and “open the door to” means!

A: All coming up on this edition of American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1891 electronics

今天我們要學的詞是 electronics. Electronics is spelled e-l-e-c-t-r-o-n-i-c-s, electronics.

Electronics 電子產品。The FAA is officially allowing the use of some electronics during takeoffs and landings. 美國聯邦航空局正式宣布,乘客在起飛和降落過程中可以使用某些種類的電子產品。用過的舊手機,或是舊電腦該如何處理呢?If you have electronics that still work and are not completely obsolete, a local school or nonprofit organization might be interested in them. 如果你的電子產品還能用,而且也沒有徹底過時的話,當地學校或是非盈利機構可能會感興趣。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 electronics, electronics, electronics.

A: I don』t think I』m a fan of being able to use cell-phones during a flight. Imagine being surrounded by people while crammed into a small metal tube, the last thing you need is some guy talking loud on his phone!

B: I agree. The noise level will add another layer of crankiness to long flights. I』m all for electronics, watching Netflix on a long flight sounds amazing, but phone calls are a no-no.

A: Yep, apparently most airlines realize this as well. They are saying that even if FAA does finally allow cell-phone use in flight, they won』t make it a company policy.

B: That』s probably smart, especially for those who are afraid of flying. Listening to people yelling at the top of their lungs isn』t gonna help them much.

A: True. We will talk about that subject later in the show. 現在咱們趕快來繼續我們的課程吧!

B: Let』s listen to today』s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 889 out in the open

美國習慣用語第 889 講

唉,我昨天晚上沒睡好,現在還覺得困! 這都要怪我的鄰居,他們家經常大半夜聽音樂,以前就老吵到我。可是,這家人平時待人很nice, 所以我每次看到他們都不好意思抱怨這件事。不過好了,昨天晚上,他們家開party,鬧到很晚,把其他鄰居也驚動了。於是,大家一塊兒去敲門,告訴這家人他們太吵。這下,大家把話說開了,我覺得挺好。這還讓我想到了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Out in the open. Out is spelled o-u-t. Out. Open is spelled o-p-e-n. Open. Out in the open.

OUT IN THE OPEN 是「公開」的意思。如果我們說something is “out in the open”, 就表示這是大家都知道的事,不再是秘密了。我鄰居家夜裡音樂聲太大的問題,以前可能只有我知道,而我又不好意思抱怨,不過現在說開了,大家都知道了,我倒覺得這樣一來,事情能更圓滿的解決。不過,把所有事情都公開並不一定是好事,因為這樣一來,你就沒有隱私了。比如下面這段話中的情況:

M: 「The hardest thing about an election campaign is that you lose your privacy. Everything, from your business transactions to your relationships, is brought OUT IN THE OPEN.」

這段話意思是:政治競選中最難過的一關就是失去個人隱私。從你的每一筆商業交易到你所有的社會關係,一切都被暴露在公眾的眼皮底下。

選舉時難受?要我說,當選了之後更可怕! 如今的媒體會把公眾人物所有的隱私披露公開,特別是在電視和網路盛行的今天,媒體簡直是無孔不入! 我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: 「The hardest thing about an election campaign is that you lose your privacy. Everything, from your business transactions to your relationships, is brought OUT IN THE OPEN.」

“Out in the open”這個短語據說是1940年左右,在羅斯福當美國總統的時候出現的。當時第二次世界大戰剛開打不久,在戰爭期間,很多令人驚訝的事被公開了,可有一件事,卻是當時的大部分美國人都不知道的。那就是,帶領美國打二戰的羅斯福總統居然是一個生活在輪椅中的殘疾人。剛才我們還說到公眾人物的一切隱私都是out in the open 的,可是,在電視出現之前,美國媒體中幾乎沒有出現過羅斯福坐輪椅的畫面,這簡直難以想像! 好了,媒體報道的變遷我們先不多說了,來聽聽一位公司主管在會上的發言:

M: 「I know that we have had a lot of problems recently, but the only way to deal with them is to bring them OUT IN THE OPEN. So, I am encouraging everyone to speak out. Who would like to begin?」

這段話的意思說:我知道,公司最近有很多問題,不過,解決問題唯一的辦法就是把它們擺到桌面上來說清楚。所以,我希望每個人都能直言不諱,誰願意先發言?

公司同事中難免有這樣那樣的問題和意見,可是大家礙於面子,或是因為害怕,可能會把問題悶在心裡。這樣時間長了,只會讓問題越來越多,還可能會謠言四起,誤會不斷。就好像我隔壁鄰居家太吵的事,其實沒什麼大不了,可是我卻不好意思告訴他這件事帶給我的困擾,這樣其實並不好。倒不如bring them out in the open, 把事情說開。好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: 「I know that we have had a lot of problems recently, but the only way to deal with them is to bring them OUT IN THE OPEN. So, I am encouraging everyone to speak out. Who would like to begin?」

今天我們學的習慣用語是out in the open。 open就是沒有隱瞞,公開的狀態。 所以,out in the open就是指公之於眾。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Today with the Internet and social media, everything seems to be out in the open. From my personal experience, I could easily find out a person』s birthday, where he works, or what he likes solely by checking his Facebook.

B: That』s why you have to be extra careful about what you post online these days. For example, once you post a picture on your Facebook, you can never really take it down. It』s always backed up on their server. Who knows when it would come back to bite you?

A: So true.

B: And I probably need to be extra careful because I』m famous, you know.

A; Ugh…yeah…right, says the guy who screams like a little girl when he』s in a haunted house.

B: Hey, everyone has their own phobias, alright?

A: Haha, yes…. Speaking of phobia, do you know what is pteromerhanophobia, Mike?

B: That』s the fear of flying! In today』s business etiquette, we will see the reasons behind this phobia, and what you can do to deal with them.

A: Let』s check it out!

Business Etiquette 261

Fear of Flying Part I

Sean 在走廊上遇到同事 Mimi, 他一副憂心忡忡的樣子。我們聽聽為什麼。

Sean: Oh, man….I am not looking forward to this upcoming trip to Europe.

Mimi: But Europe is amazing! You’re going to Frankfurt, right? I’ve been there twice…. it’s a delightful city! You’ll love it!

S: Oh I’m sure I’ll like it when I get there…..that is, if I get there.

M: I’m not following you.

S: I’m terrified of flying!

M: Ah! You have “pteromerhanophobia!”

S: What?

M: That’s the technical term for the fear of flying.

Sean準備去歐洲出差。Upcoming is spelled u-p-c-o-m-i-n-g, upcoming 即將到來的。比如,the upcoming vacation 快要來的假期,the upcoming test 馬上要來的考試。Sean 對去歐洲似乎並不開心,Mimi說 I’m not following. 意思是我聽不太懂你的意思。原來,Sean 有飛行恐懼症,害怕坐飛機。Mimi 說,飛行恐懼症的術語 technical term 是 pteromerhanophobia. Phobia 是一個很有用的詞根,比如,acrophobia, 就是 a-c-r-o 後邊加上 phobia, acrophobia 恐高症。我們聽聽 Sean 飛行恐懼症有哪些癥狀。

S: Well whatever it’s called….I’ve got it – bad! Every time I get on a plane my heart starts beating faster, I sweat and every creak and squeak from the airplane makes me sure we are going to crash. It’s so exhausting that I arrive at my destination completely unnerved.

M: Wow! That doesn’t sound like fun. I assume this condition is quite common — I know lots of people who don’t like to fly.

S: Everyone should be afraid of flying! After all, it’s completely unnatural! We are crammed into a metal tube that’s flying through the air at hundreds of kilometers an hour!!

Sean 告訴 Mimi, 每次只要一上飛機,他就會心跳加速,直冒冷汗,飛機稍有風吹草動,他就覺得是要墜機了。Sean 在這裡用的 every creak and squeak. Creak is spelled c-r-e-a-k, creak 是指咯吱咯吱的聲音,and squeak is spelled s-q-u-e-a-k, squeak 是指刺耳的噪音。等到達終點的時候,He is completely unnerved. 他已經徹底崩潰了。其實,患有飛行恐懼症的人很多,Sean 覺得,這是因為坐飛機本來就是一個超自然的行為,那麼多人 cram into 擠在一個金屬做的管子里,在天上飛,時速高達幾百公里。

M: Yeah sure, if you think about it that way it is scary….but driving isn’t natural either. And as I’m sure you know, many more people die every year from car accidents than from plane crashes – in fact, your chances of being in a fatal accident is something like one in 5 million! Those are pretty good odds!

S: Yeah, I’ve read those stats….but I guess when I’m driving at least I feel in control. I feel completely helpless when I’m on an airplane.

Mimi 說,要說坐飛機超自然的話,那開車也是超自然的行為,而且每年死於車禍的人要比坐飛機掉下來的人多得多。有統計數字顯示,致命事件發生在我們身上的機會只有500萬分之一。Those are pretty good odds. 機率還是滿不錯的。Odds 是機率的意思。比如,Your odds of being struck by lightning is greater than winning the lottery. 一個人被雷電擊中的機率都要高過中彩票。 Sean說,這些數據他也看過,stats is spelled s-t-a-t-s, 是 statistics 數據的簡寫,但是他總覺得,開車的時候,方向盤在自己手裡,可是坐飛機,命運就完全不在自己的掌握之中了。

A: Sean說,對於upcoming trip to Europe, 即將來到的歐洲之行他一點也興奮不起來,因為he』s terrified of flying,他特別害怕坐飛機。飛機一顛簸,他就心跳加速,每次到達終點的時候,He』s completely unnerved, 已經完全崩潰了。

B: That sounds terrible. I feel bad for people who are afraid of flying. If you are in America and you want to travel, planes and cars are basically the only two options. We don』t really have speed trains.

A: I know! Especially now, you can』t avoid air travel if you work for a global corporation!

B: Exactly. Let』s keep listening to Mini and see what tips she has for Sean!

Business Etiquette 262

Fear of Flying Part II

Sean 有飛行恐懼症,可他偏偏又是國際銷售代表,需要經常旅行。同事 Mimi 開玩笑說,他可真是選錯了職業。Mimi 說,

M: You certainly picked the wrong profession! You are an international sales representative – traveling is part of the job!

S: I know!! I thought my fear would lessen the more I did it – but it’s been 10 years now and I’m still afraid of flying.

M: You know, the idea that you are more in control behind the wheel of a car than you are in an airplane might not be valid. Think about it: how much control do you have over road conditions or other drivers on the road? Very little, right?
S: That’s true.

Mimi 覺得,Sean certainly picked the wrong profession. 選錯了職業。Sean 說,他原來以為,坐飛機坐得多了,飛行恐懼症會慢慢好起來,誰知道,十年過去了,絲毫不見減弱。Mimi 說,Sean以為開車—behind the wheels的時候自己可以控制自己命運,這種想法 is not valid, 不能成立,因為開車的人對路況和自己周圍的駕車人,是完全控制不了的。有什麼辦法能減輕飛行恐懼症患者的癥狀嗎?我們繼續聽。

M: Have you ever tried pretending that you’re on a bus? My uncle uses this trick when he’s flying….whenever the plane runs into some turbulence he just closes his eyes and pretends he’s sitting on a bumpy bus.

S: Hmm….I’m not sure if that would work but it’s worth a try.

M: Where do you usually sit on the plane?

S: As close as possible to an emergency exit!!

M: (Chuckles) My uncle says the best place to sit is as close to the wings as possible because in his experience, the center of the plane is more stable.

S: That makes sense. I’ll try to find a seat near an emergency exit by the wings!

Mimi 建議Sean 嘗試一下,假裝自己是坐在一個顛簸的巴士上。Whenever the plane runs into some turbulence, turbulence is spelled t-u-r-b-u-l-e-n-c-e, turbulence 氣流,意思是飛機遇到氣流顛簸的時候,就假裝自己是坐在一個 bumpy bus 上。Sean 覺得 it’s worth a try. 可以試試看。Mimi 問 Sean 一般都選擇什麼地方的座位。Sean 說從來都是離 emergency exit 緊急出口越近越好。Mimi 說,飛機中央部位最穩,也就是機翼附近。可想而知,Sean 以後選擇位子的條件又多了一個,不光要離緊急出口近,還最好是在飛機中間的機翼部位。

M: Of course, if nothing else works, you can always see a doctor and perhaps he can prescribe some antianxiety medication for you.

S: I’d rather not use medications, but it might come down to that.

M: There are also a lot of courses available that use mental strengthening exercises, or even hypnosis! You should look into one of those programs and see if it works for you!

S: That’s a good idea!

M: Maybe understanding how an airplane works….some of the basic principles of flight….what turbulence actually is and some other specifics about flying could help you “know your enemy,” so to speak.

S: I like that idea! If I understood what I was experiencing….perhaps I wouldn’t fear it so much! Thanks for your suggestions, Mimi! You’re a real pal!

Mimi 建議,實在不行,Sean 還可以去找醫生,開點 antianxiety 抗緊張的葯,Sean 雖然不想吃藥,但也承認,it might come down to that. 最後沒辦法,可能也只能藉助藥物了。另外,想克服心理障礙,還可以去參加鍛煉心志的課程,或者是了解飛機的飛行原理,所謂 know your enemy 知己知彼,百戰不殆,這些可能對Sean都有幫助。

A: Mimi說Sean害怕坐飛機,但卻是國際銷售代表,he certainly picked the wrong profession, 真是入錯了行。她給了Sean一些建議,比如sit as close to the wings are possible, 坐到機翼附近,還可以找醫生開anti-anxiety medication,抗緊張的葯,還可以試試mental strengthening exercises, 鍛煉心志的課程。

B: Yeah, most of the time, a phobia is the result of something within. So try learning more about what you are afraid of will help you a great deal.

A: And I got a useful tip for my long flight back home: try to sit as close to the wings as possible!

B: Haha, right. Enough about flights though, let’s go ahead with our class.

A: Let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1892 overtime

今天我們要學的詞是 overtime. Overtime is spelled o-v-e-r-t-i-m-e, overtime. Overtime 有加班的意思。有報道說,The Department of Homeland Security employees claimed $8.7 million of unearned overtime a year. 美國國土安全部僱員一年內在並未真正加班的情況下,共領取了870萬美元的加班費。美國政府新推出的健保網站發現問題後,Information technology experts from both the government and outside firms are working overtime to fix the problems. 美國政府和私人公司的信息技術專家們加班加點地設法解決網站所存在的問題。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 overtime, overtime, overtime.

A: I hope they can fix the Obama care website as soon as possible! I was hoping to sign up for it, but seems like there』s still some technical glitch.

B: That』s frustrating. I just hope I can understand how it works. It』s not transparent enough, so I have no idea what is going to happen to my own health insurance, or what kind of benefit I can get from the Affordable Care Act.

A: Fingers crossed it can open the door to a better health insurance system some day!

B: And you just mentioned an idiom: open the door to. Let』s check it out in today』s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 890 open the door to

美國習慣用語第 890 講

我有個朋友,人到中年,事業穩定,家庭和睦。不過她昨天突然告訴我,她打算辭掉現在的工作,去商學院進修MBA! 說要重新給自己充電,建立更廣泛的人脈,再拿到名校的MBA,可以為她的人生打開一扇新的大門。這件事讓我想到了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Open the door to something. Door is spelled d-o-o-r. Door. Open the door to something.

Open the door to something就是為某人或某事開門,也可以譯作「帶來」,「引起」。就好象我剛才那位朋友要回去念書。很多人勸她打消這個念頭,因為這個歲數回學校讀書可沒那麼容易,不僅要兼顧家庭,還要重新適應作學生的生活。不過,我這個朋友非常堅決,因為她相信,這樣做能 open the door to a lot more opportunities–給她帶來更多的機會。不過,那些反對她繼續讀書的人則覺得,這個決定將 open the door to a ton of headaches! 會給她帶來一堆頭疼的問題。想想也是,高昂的學費,繁重的課業,家庭的負擔,這些肯定夠她煩的! 不過我相信,只要克服這些挑戰,她就能實現自己的目標!

好的,讓我們來聽聽下面這段話:

M: “A lot of developing countries welcome foreign investment when they can’t afford to develop their countries as fast as they would like. I think this country’s stability together with its recent tax breaks for international businesses will OPEN THE DOOR TO a lot more foreign investment.”

這段話是說:許多發展中國家無法通過自己的力量實現快速發展,這時,它們都會歡迎外國投資。我覺得,這個國家局勢穩定,最近還對國際企業實行稅務優惠,一定能帶來更多的外國投資。

說起來,welcome – 「歡迎」和”open the door to something”意思很相近。歡迎客人來自己家,肯定就會給客人開門。好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “A lot of developing countries welcome foreign investment when they can’t afford to develop their countries as fast as they would like. I think this country’s stability together with its recent tax breaks for international businesses will OPEN THE DOOR TO a lot more foreign investment.”

打開門,迎來的不一定都是好事兒。下面我們來聽一段話,是關於將大麻合法化的意見,大家來聽聽,這個人是支持還是反對呢?

M: “I agree that we appear to be losing the fight against drugs. But despite the fact that marijuana may indeed have medicinal value, legalizing the drug would surely OPEN THE DOOR TO even wider usage.”

這段話的意思說:我承認,我們在打擊毒品方面似乎舉步維艱。不過,雖然大麻可能真有一些醫藥上的療效,但如果把大麻合法化,肯定會導致濫用大麻的情況。

看來,這個人是反對大麻合法化的。因為他說,這將導致更多人吸食大麻,這其中將包括沒有生病,而只把大麻作為毒品的癮君子。不過話說回來,把大麻合法化,那種植、銷售和使用大麻就成為合法產業,反而更易於管理,政府也可以從中獲得稅收,似乎也有積極的一面。 所以,這些利弊上的爭執肯定會 open the door to more debate on the marijuana issue–引發更多關於大麻問題的辯論! 好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: 「I agree that we appear to be losing the fight against drugs. But despite the fact that marijuana may indeed have medicinal value, legalizing the drug would surely OPEN THE DOOR TO even wider usage.」

今天我們學習的習慣用語是 open the door to something,意思是「引起」「帶來」。堅持提高自己的英語能力絕對沒錯,日積月累,It will definitely open the door to a lot more opportunities for you. 一定會給你帶來很多機會。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束,

M: Until next time.

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, I think working with you has opened the door to a lot of things for me.

B: Really? How so?

A: Well, I now know every gourmet food truck in the greater DC area for starters!

B: LOL, well I』m glad to hear it! Just don』t blame me when you step on the scale tonight ok?

A: WHAT????? You are so dead!!好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第134課

B: Welcome to American English Mosaic, I’m Mike Bond!

A: And I’m 蔚然. 楊琳 is on leave. 我來帶班。

B: Do you work in an environment where a lot of people smoke? How do you deal with that? We』ll touch on the issue in today’s business etiquette.

A: 英國為什麼對碳酸飲料加徵稅? 答案節目中揭曉。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “to have one』s back against the wall” and “back to the drawing board” mean!

A: All coming up on this edition of American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1895 hefty

今天我們要學的詞是 hefty. Hefty is spelled h-e-f-t-y, hefty, Hefty 形容詞,有數額很大的意思。英國是歐洲肥胖人數比例最高的國家。最新研究顯示,Slapping a 20 percent hefty tax on soda could cut the number of obese adults by 180,000. 對碳酸飲料徵收20%的高銷售稅,可以讓英國減少18萬成年肥胖者。Taiwan’s health authorities leveled a hefty fine against a company for misleading consumers by selling adulterated products as pure oil. 台灣一家公司因為銷售摻假油品,以次充好,欺騙消費者,被台灣衛生福利部門開出巨額罰單。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 hefty, hefty, hefty….

A: Mike, 考考你. 你知道一聽可樂里有多少克糖嗎?

B: Let me guess, 20?

A: 再加一倍!一聽可樂里有39克糖。

B: Wow! I know soda is packed with sugar, but I didn』t know it was this bad.

A: 新年決心加一個:跟碳酸飲料說拜拜。

B: Count me in. OK, let』s check out today』s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 891 to have one』s back against the wall

美國習慣用語第 891 講

我是Douglas Johnson.

這幾星期我都在看棒球比賽,我支持的隊最近幾天表現得不錯,終於打贏了幾場! 不過,我對它進決賽不抱任何幻想,因為這個賽季剛開始的時候,隊員們的表現實在是差勁透了! 差點就被淘汰了! 現在他們的戰績有所好轉,可能也是因為認識到了形勢的危急,只能奮力一搏了。我們可以用一個習慣用語來形容他們的處境,那就是:

M: “To have one’s back against the wall. Back is spelled b-a-c-k. Back. Against is spelled a-g-a-i-n-s-t. Against. Wall is spelled w-a-l-l. Wall. To have one’s back against the wall.”

To have one’s back against the wall 字面的意思就是「後背貼著牆」,表示「沒有退路」,「情況危急」。如果你已經毫無退路的話,就只有硬著頭皮去面對問題了。在我們下面聽到的這段話中,一個學校的董事會可能要採取不得以的行動:

M: 「If we do not receive the necessary funding OUR BACKS WILL BE AGAINST THE WALL. We will be forced to fire some of our teachers.」

這段話意思是:如果得不到必要的資金,我們的處境就會非常困難,我們將迫不得已解僱一些老師。

如果有辦法,誰也不願意裁員啊! 可見學校真的是面臨很大的財務虧空。to have one’s back against the wall 最初是用來描述軍隊陷入絕境,當軍人們無法繼續撤退的時候,只能迎敵作戰。到了16世紀,人們開始用這個短語形容進退維谷的處境。好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: 「If we do not receive the necessary funding OUR BACKS WILL BE AGAINST THE WALL. We will be forced to fire some of our teachers.」

To have one’s back against the wall 經常可以用在商業領域,形容公司面臨的嚴峻形勢。我想,如果你是一家公司的僱員,你一定不願意聽老闆說下面這段話:

M: “I’m afraid we really HAVE OUR BACKS AGAINST THE WALL now. We have no choice but to heavily discount all of our merchandise. If we don’t bring in some money immediately, we’ll have to shut down in two weeks.”

這段話的意思說:恐怕我們真的到了山窮水盡的地步了。我們現在別無選擇,只能把所有的商品都大幅降價銷售。如果我們不能立即獲得一些收入,兩個星期後,我們就得關門大吉。

唉,不是裁員,就是清倉甩賣,經濟形勢不好的時候,很多店家都會這麼做。不過,俗話說,山窮水盡疑無路,柳暗花明又一村。就如同我喜歡的棒球隊一樣,眼看要被淘汰,反而被激發了鬥志,表現越來越好。希望這些面臨困境的企業也能起死回生,有更好的發展。到時候,再回過頭來看看 have their backs against the wall 的時候,可能會別有一番感慨吧! 好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “I’m afraid we really HAVE OUR BACKS AGAINST THE WALL now. We have no choice but to heavily discount all of our merchandise. If we don’t bring in some money immediately, we’ll have to shut down in two weeks.”

聽眾朋友,今天我們學的習慣用語是 have one’s back against the wall, 意思是陷入困境,情況危急。如果您的生活也正遇到困難,覺得 you have your back against the wall, 請不要灰心,because there is always a way out!

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, 你有沒有過這種山窮水盡的情況?

B: Totally! I was in between jobs, and my savings were almost gone.

A: 那後來呢?

B: A friend of mine recommended me to his boss, and I was hired on the spot.

A: 柳暗花明又一村啊。

B:Yep. But I also hope I never have to go through that again. It was the worst experience ever. Well, It』s time for our next segment: Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette 263

Antismoking campaign I

Marissa 早上一到辦公室,就開始跟同事 Hank 發牢騷。

Marissa: I hate walking into our building in the morning! –All the smokers stand around the building’s entrance puffing away….I can’t take it! Sorry….I’m just a little bit worked up.

Hank: That’s okay. I understand. A lot of people really hate smoke.

M: I’m glad they banned smoking inside the office, but I wish I didn’t have to smell it while walking on the street. It makes me feel nauseous. I simply can’t understand why a person would want to smoke.

H: well….I used to smoke. I quit about 20 years ago.

M: Yeah…I would assume at this point in history – especially given what we know about the dangers of smoking – most people would have quit already!

Marissa 說,每天早上來上班,大樓門口都有很多煙民在 puffing away 吞雲吐霧,she can’t take it. 實在讓她受不了,煙味讓她覺得反胃 nauseous, nauseous is spelled n-a-u-s-e-o-u-s, nauseous 意思是噁心,反胃。她覺得,現在吸煙的危害已經眾所周知,怎麼還會有人吸煙,真是讓人匪夷所思。Hank 20年前也抽煙,我們看看他是怎麼說的。

H: You know the saying, “old habits die hard.” I think I would add that bad habits die even harder. You know, you could always move to Bhutan.

M: Bhutan? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it.

H: It’s a small kingdom located in the Himalayan Mountains….near Nepal. In 2004, Bhutan banned tobacco altogether.

M: Cool! Did it work? If I go to Bhutan will I never smell cigarette smoke?

H: Actuall….no. I read a recent report that said there’s a lot of loopholes in the law….and if you go to restaurants and bars you’ll still see lots of people lighting up.

M: (Sighs) So I guess I’m just have to learn to put up with it.

俗話說得好,old habits die hard. 積習難改。Hank 覺得,壞習慣更難改。他開玩笑,建議 Marissa 搬到 Bhutan不丹去,因為不丹2004年就全面禁止煙草了。不過,這項法律其實還是有很多可以鑽的空子,loopholes, 所以,在不丹的餐館和酒吧里,還是能看到很多人 light up 點煙抽。

H: Things are changing, however. Smoking rates are dropping all around the world. Just the other day there was a newspaper report that said New Zealand is raising prices on a pack of cigarettes to US$15 by the year 2016!

M: US$15!? Wow! That’s really expensive. But is there any proof that high prices are a deterrent?

H: There have been quite a few studies that show that every time a country raises cigarette taxes and prices, a certain percentage of smokers quit.

不過,情況也在逐漸向好的方向轉變, Smoking rates are dropping all around the world. 世界各地的吸煙人口比例都在下降。Hank 看到一篇報道說,紐西蘭2016年之前,要把一包香煙的價格提高到15美元的天價。Mimi 問,有證據證明漲價能起到抑制作用嗎? Deterrent is spelled d-e-t-e-r-r-e-n-t, deterrent 意思是起到阻止和威懾效果的因素。Hank 說,有不少研究都發現,一個國家每一次給香煙漲價或是提高稅率,都會有一部分煙民戒煙。

A: Old habits die hard. 一點沒錯。我哥原來就抽煙,怎麼也戒不掉,最後我嫂子威脅說,不戒煙就不生孩子,他才把煙給戒了。

B: How did he do it?

A: He went cold turkey. 什麼辦法也沒用,生戒。

B: Where there』s a will, there』s a way. Let』s keep on listening to the second half of

Business Etiquette.

Business Etiquette 264

Topic: Antismoking campaigns Part II

Marissa 和同事 Hank 正在討論吸煙的問題。Hank 說,有不少研究都發現,漲價確實能起到一定的抑制作用,促使一部分人戒煙。Marissa 說,

M: I see. The high prices act as “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Smokers that have been meaning to quit see the price increase and it gives them a little push.

H: Yeah. But on the other hand, prices are already quite high in many places. A pack of cigarettes in London costs about US$10… in New York a pack costs roughly 8 dollars…. and in Norway it’s already around $14….but I was in London not that long ago and I saw plenty of smokers!

M: Yeah. The last time I was in New York there also seem to be plenty of smokers. I guess there are some people who are wealthy enough to afford whatever price.

因此說,給香煙漲價就好像是 the straw that broke the camel’s back 壓倒駱駝的最後一根稻草,幫了那些本來就想戒煙的煙民一把,give them a little push. 但是高價格也只能對某些人發揮作用。現在倫敦一盒煙賣十美元,紐約賣8美元,挪威賣14美元,可抽煙的人還是很多,看來價格再高,也攔不住那些經濟上能負擔得起的煙民。

H: Definitely. I think the best way forward is to push education efforts for young people. If we can convince the next generation that smoking isn’t “cool”, eventually we might be able to eradicate smoking.

M: I suppose you’re right. You can pass all the laws you want but that doesn’t mean people will follow them. People’s attitudes need to change.

H: Exactly! In the 1920s they banned alcohol in America, but of course people didn’t stop drinking. Instead, lots of people got sick and even died from drinking industrial alcohol.

Hank 覺得,要真想杜絕吸煙,the best way forward 接下來最好的辦法還是要通過宣傳和教育,讓年輕一代覺得,抽煙不是一件很酷的事情。Marrissa 表示同意,不管你通過多少項法律,只要大家的觀念沒有發生變化,法律就無法得到有效執行,就好像美國20年代時的禁酒令,並沒有讓人們停止飲酒,反而有很多人因為沒有酒喝,結果飲用工業酒精而死亡。

M: I would imagine that as cigarettes get more expensive, smokers looking for a cheaper option will turn to counterfeit ones. I wonder if those would be even worse than the originals!

H: You’re probably right. But I do think smoking will not be nearly as common a couple decades from now. That article about New Zealand said that country hopes to eradicate smoking by 2025.

M: That’s not that long from now! Maybe I should start thinking about moving to New Zealand!

H: (Chuckles) Perhaps you should!

Marissa 覺得,如果香煙價格不斷上漲,很多經濟上負擔不起的煙民,恐怕就會轉向 cheaper option, 相對便宜的替代品,也就是 counterfeit ones, 假煙,counterfeit is spelled c-o-u-n-t-e-r-f-e-i-t, counterfeit 是假冒偽劣的意思。這些假煙的危害八成比正品的危害還要大。Hank 覺得,未來的前景還是很樂觀的,紐西蘭就打算在2025年之前,徹底剷除煙草。也許,Marissa 真的可以考慮移民到紐西蘭去。

A: 哈哈,為了躲開二手煙移民,這還是第一次聽說。

B: What would it take you to move to another country?

A: 這我還真沒想過。唯一的可能是,如果孩子長大去了別的地方,我賴著過去伺候他們啊。

B: Haha. You』re a typical helicopter parent.

A: Guilty as charged. Ok,let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 8 sought after

今天我們要學的詞是 sought-after. Sought-after is spelled s-o-u-g-h-t, sought, and after, a-f-t-e-r, after, sought-after. Sought-after 有受歡迎的,被追捧的意思。聖誕季節將至,Every year, the Toy Retailers Association releases a list of what it predicts will be the most sought-after toys of the Christmas season. 美國玩具零售商協會每年都會公布一份清單,預測當年聖誕季節最搶手的玩具都有哪些。CBS has won the bidding war for one of the most sought-after comedy projects this year. 美國哥倫比亞電視台通過競標,拿到了今年最搶手的喜劇節目之一的播放權。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 sought-after, sought-after, sought-after….

A: 每年到了這會兒,搶手的玩具就會脫銷。

B: You can say that again. The most sought-after toys are really hard to find now.

A: Mike, 你今年準備給女朋友買什麼?

B: I was trying to land either an Xbox One or a Playstation 4, but couldn』t find any. Now I am back to the drawing board.

A: sigh you don』t understand women at all do you? Well at least you just introduced our next segment.

B: Yeah, let』s check out words and idioms and see what 「back to the drawing board」 means!

Words and Idioms 892 back to the drawing board

美國習慣用語第 892 講

我是Douglas Johnson.

明天是我女兒生日,我們要給她開個Party。今年,我打算自己做生日蛋糕。這是我頭一次做這麼大的蛋糕,所以下足了功夫。昨天晚上,蛋糕胚子終於烤好了,奶油也抹上了,眼看就要大功告成,誰知道一個不小心,蛋糕掉在了地上,被砸癟了一大塊兒! 啊呀,我這個心疼啊! 沒辦法,我只好從和面開始,一點點重來了! 這個倒霉的經歷讓我想到了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: 「Back to the drawing board. Drawing is spelled d-r-a-w-i-n-g. Drawing. Board is spelled b-o-a-r-d. Board. Back to the drawing board.」

Drawing board 指的是繪圖板,back to the drawing board 表示在做事的過程中遭遇失敗,於是「從頭再來」,「重起爐灶」。就好比我做蛋糕,蛋糕被摔爛了,小規模的修修補補是不行的,只能一切重來。雖然很倒霉,但是和下面這段話中的科學家們相比,我這點挫折真不算什麼。我們來聽聽,火星探測器出了什麼問題:

M: “We spent five years and I don’t want to tell you how much money on designing and constructing that little video camera on wheels. And now that we’ve lost contact with it, well, it’s BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.”

這段話意思是:這個火星探測器輪子上的小攝像頭是我們花了5年時間搞成的,花在設計和製作上的錢更是不計其數,可現在,探測器和地球失去了聯繫,沒辦法,我們只能一切從頭開始。

哦,我想起來了,在探測火星的過程中,那個像玩具吉普車一樣的探測器曾經給地面上的科研人員發回了一張張珍貴的火星表面圖片,可是有一天,探測器突然中斷了和地球的聯繫,什麼都不發了。也許,是火星人看到這個玩具吉普,拿走玩兒去了! 好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “We spent five years and I don’t want to tell you how much money on designing and constructing that little video camera on wheels. And now that we’ve lost contact with it, well, it’s BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.”

Back to the drawing board 這個說法起源於二次世界大戰時「紐約客」雜誌上的一副漫畫。在漫畫中,很多軍人奔向一架墜毀的飛機,而設計這架飛機的工程師把圖紙夾在胳膊底下,默默地走開了。漫畫的標題是:「唉,只好重新拿起繪圖板了」。意思是,設計師看到他的飛機在戰場上墜毀,只好從頭再來,再設計一架。在生活中,很多東西需要多次嘗試才能找到正確的途徑,比如,下面這個公司,就在為營銷策略頭疼:

M: 「I think we’re going to have to fire our marketing director. None of our new promotions have worked. I think we need to reconsider our entire marketing strategy. I’m afraid it’s BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.”

這段話的意思是:我覺得,我們得解僱現在的這位市場總監。我們新推出的這幾次促銷都不奏效。我認為,我們需要重新考量整個市場營銷的戰略。恐怕,我們要做出一些根本性的改變,重新制定一套戰略。

聽起來,這個公司的營銷部門可有的忙了! 如果是戰術上的修補和改變,還好說,可要是戰略上的更新,哈,換掉總監可能只是其中最簡單的一步! 所以,每次聽到別人用 “back to the drawing board”,您就知道了,很多工作等著呢! 好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: 「I think we’re going to have to fire our marketing director. None of our new promotions have worked. I think we need to reconsider our entire marketing strategy. I’m afraid it’s BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.”

聽眾朋友,今天我們學習的習慣用語是 back to the drawing board, 意思是從頭開始,重來。其實,「從頭再來」雖然聽起來麻煩,但是因為你已經從先前的失敗中領悟了教訓,增長了經驗,所以這次一定能做得更好! 當然了,我們還是希望您能一次成功,順利達到目標!

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第135課

B: Welcome to American English Mosaic, I’m Mike Bond!

A: And I’m 蔚然。楊琳休假,我帶班。

B: Losing a job is a horrible experience. So, how do you make the most out of it?

A: 頭胎生的孩子比弟弟妹妹有出息?你同意這種結論嗎?

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “to death” and “to no avail” mean!

A: All coming up on this edition of American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn-a-word!

Learn A Word 1898 giveaway

今天我們要學的詞是 giveaway. Giveaway is spelled g-i-v-e-a-w-a-y, giveaway. Giveaway 是名詞,意思是免費贈品。Fast food chains always use cheap toys and giveaways to draw in kids. 快餐連鎖店往往依靠廉價玩具和免費贈品吸引孩子們前來消費。In order to lure students into coming to its women’s basketball season opener, Kansas State University is offering a giveaway that they cannot refuse–free bacon. 為了吸引學生前來觀看女子籃球校隊的賽季首場比賽,堪薩斯州立大學讓看比賽的學生免費享用培根,使他們無法拒絕誘惑。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 giveaway, giveaway, giveaway….

A: 免費白送的贈品,大家都喜歡。

B: Yeah. But remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch. For that little something you get, you usually end up spending a lot more.

A: 是啊,天底下沒有免費的午餐,天上也不會掉餡餅。

B: There was this one time that I got a couple of giveaways from a pet store. I gave them to my dog Furball, but they made him sick!
A: You must have been worried to death!

B: Yeah, I love Furball to death, and I WAS worried to death. Let』s check out today』s words and idioms, to death!

Words and Idioms 893 to death

美國習慣用語第 893講

昨天晚上,我和先生一起去他們公司的Party, 席間遇到一位女士,拉著我們聊個沒完。我們跟她並不熟,可是她一直在大談自己的孩子,向我們炫耀她兒子考上了好大學,又是游泳健將,還受女孩子歡迎,blah blah blah。她倒是說得滔滔不絕,可我差點睡著了。我當時的感覺,有個習慣用語可以形容,那就是:

M: To death. Death is spelled d-e-a-t-h. To-death. To death.

death,大家都知道,是「死亡」,所以,把to death和某個形容詞放在一起,就表示「到極點」、「如何如何得要命」。比如,我在party上遇到的這位女士沒完沒了地炫耀自己的孩子,她自己可能覺得很享受,可我簡直bored to death – 快被煩死了! 不過,我寧願無聊,也不想經歷下面這段話描述的心驚膽戰:

M: “I remember walking late at night in New York City years ago. A stranger came up behind me and pointed a gun at my back. He told me to hand over my wallet. I said that I didn’t have it on me, which was the truth. I was scared TO DEATH he was going to shoot. I’d never been so afraid in my life! Fortunately, he ran and disappeared into a crowd. ”

這段話意思是:我還記得,幾年前的一個深夜,我在紐約的街上走路。一個陌生人出現在我身後,用一把槍頂著我的後腰。他讓我把錢包交給他,可我真的沒帶錢包,只好實話實說。我當時真嚇死了,怕他會開槍。我這輩子都沒那麼害怕過! 幸運的是,這個人跑掉了,消失在人群中。

被人用槍指著! 好傢夥,聽著都害怕! 我沒有過這種經歷,不過倒是體會過什麼叫scared to death–怕得要死。上個周末,我帶我侄女去看了場恐怖電影。在屏幕上,一個變態殺人狂血腥地殺戮。我侄女看得津津有味,可是我坐在電影院里直打冷戰,I was frightened to death – 嚇死了! 好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “I remember walking late at night in New York City years ago. A stranger came up behind me and pointed a gun at my back. He told me to hand over my wallet. I said that I didn’t have it on me, which was the truth. I was scared TO DEATH he was going to shoot. I’d never been so afraid in my life! Fortunately, he ran and disappeared into a crowd. ”

在生活中,總是會有一些「要命」的事兒。比如,意外收到大禮包,你會trilled to death–高興得要命;遇到暴風雪,天氣–freezing to death–冷得要命;家人生病住院,你worried to death–萬分擔心。再比如下面這位會計師,我們來聽聽他遇到了什麼要命的事兒:

M: “A lot of my friends like to get away when the weather starts warming up. But there’s no way I can. That’s because I’m an accountant. From February through April, I’m busy preparing tax returns for my clients. I’m expected to stay late at the office, come in on weekends…I’m worked TO DEATH. It’s unbelievably stressful, but that’s my job.”

這段話的意思是:天氣一轉暖,我的好多朋友就都出去旅遊了。可我卻沒法這樣做,因為我是個會計師。每年二月到四月,我都忙著為客戶報稅,作退稅的準備工作。我晚上得加班,周末也不能休息…簡直是精疲力盡。壓力之大別人難以想像,可沒辦法,這就是我的工作。

美國的報稅截至日期是4月15號,所以2月到4月是會計師們最忙的時候,他們的工作壓力當然很大。不過,即使在自己家裡,你也難免要承受一些壓力。比如,我女兒前幾天把她的幾個同學帶回家,在地下室里組了個樂隊,她們叮噹五四,吹拉彈唱,練個沒完。我覺得,they’re rehearsing some of the songs to death – 她們已經把其中一些歌練得快爛了! 不過,我也不能說什麼,不能打擊她們的積極性,因為I love my daughter to death–我女兒就是我的心頭肉啊! 好了,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話吧:

M: “A lot of my friends like to get away when the weather starts warming up. But there’s no way I can. That’s because I’m an accountant. From February through April, I’m busy preparing tax returns for my clients. I’m expected to stay late at the office, come in on weekends…I’m worked TO DEATH. It’s unbelievably stressful, but that’s my job.”

聽眾朋友,今天我們學習的習慣用語是 To Death, 意思是「極端」「什麼什麼得要命」。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 我朋友 Jenny 是美髮師,逢年過節別人休息,也是她最忙的時候,大家都想在過節前美容美髮,She』s always busy to death during the holidays.

B: When I was in high school, I worked as a cashier for Walmart during the Christmas shopping season. We were worked to death!

A: I can imagine, but sometimes being busy is a good thing. A friend of mine was let go right before Christmas. I don』t know what she』s gonna do.

B: I』m sorry to hear that. Losing a job is never easy. So, how can you make the most out of a bad situation? Let』s listen to our next segment: Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette 265 Losing a job can be a positive experience

Suzanne 約朋友 Mickey 一起吃午飯。

Suzanne: Mickey! Good to see you! It’s been too long!

Mickey: Hi, Suzanne! You’re right, it has been too long.

S: Did you find something on the menu that interests you? Sorry I’m late for our lunch. Traffic was horrific.

M: Yeah….I think I’ll have the chicken Caesar salad.

S: That sounds pretty good…. hey, is everything okay? – You seem kind of down.

M: I got laid off last Friday.

S: Oh….I’m so sorry to hear that.

Suzanne 跟 Mickey 很久沒見面,發現 Mickey 心事重重,情緒不高,seem kind of down. Down 在這裡是形容詞,意思是情緒低落。原來,Mickey 上星期五被炒了魷魚,He got laid off. 也可以說,He was let go. 丟了工作,難怪心情沮喪,我們來聽聽這是為什麼。

M: They said it had nothing to do with my performance. They just need to try and save on costs. So they’re axing a bunch of jobs.

S: Ouch! Losing a job is such a nasty experience.

M: Yep….it sure is. I guess I have been a bit depressed.

S: I remember when I got fired from my job as a senior manager with a Web design company. I felt awful for weeks. But you know something? Getting fired turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Mickey 被解僱是因為公司要削減開支,所以 they axed a bunch of jobs. Ax is spelled, a-x, 或者 a-x-e, 做為動詞,是砍的意思。他丟了工作,心情十分抑鬱,depressed. Suzanne 安慰他說,自己也曾有過類似經歷,好幾個星期緩不過來,但是最後證明,getting fired turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. 被開除是她這輩子最幸運的事。怎麼可能,我們繼續聽。

M: And why was that?

S: It gave me a jolt that I really needed. I was just coasting along in my position day in and day out, never really thinking about my life or my career.

M: So getting fired helped you reflect on these things?

S: Absolutely! I started asking myself what I really wanted to do.

M: That makes sense. Our daily routines can turn into habits. I’ve been working at this company for almost 8 years and I have kind of been running on autopilot.

Suzanne 說,失業 gave me a jolt. Jolt is spelled j-o-l-t, jolt 在這裡是震動的意思。Suzanne 說,有工作的時候,她從來都是 coast along day in and day out. Coast along 做為片語,意思是不用花一點努力隨波逐流, day in and day out 意思是日復一日,年復一年。過著這樣的生活,怎麼還會想著如何進取呢?被解僱後,她才開始思考這些問題,to reflect on things 意思是反思。Mickey 深有同感,說自己在原來的公司已經幹了將近八年了,I have been running on autopilot. Autopilot 自動駕駛,工作已經成了一種習慣,順手就幹了,就好象是 run on autopilot. 現在沒有工作了,Mickey 下一步有什麼打算呢?我們下次繼續聽。

B: That』s why I love my job here. Being a journalist means you get to do different things every day.

A: 對,沒錯。每天的新聞都不一樣。不過說實話,失業確實會給人帶來很大的打擊。

B: At the same time, it』s also an opportunity to make changes to your life. Let』s keep on listening to the second half of Business Etiquette.

Business Etiquette 266

Losing a job can be a positive experience II

Mickey 剛失業,跟朋友Suzanne 一起吃飯,Suzanne 勸他說,這未必不是件好事。她說,

S: Back at my old job there were some days where I barely used my brain at all! I just did the same thing over and over again.

M: So what happened after you got fired? Did a new opportunity come your way?

S: Not exactly. It took me about a year to figure out that opportunities weren’t going to come my way…. I learnt that you have to create your own opportunities.

M: So that’s when you started your company.

S: Yeah! I always had an interest in gardening, so I thought to myself: There must be a lot of people who also have this interest and would like to have a garden but don’t have the time to set one up.

Suzanne 說,原來工作的時候,總是同樣的工作來回做,did the same thing over and over again. 完全不用動大腦,失業後,她用一年的時間才發現,機會不會自己找上門來,opportunities weren’t going to come my way, 還不如自己去創造機會。於是她決定自己開公司,幫助那些喜歡園藝但是沒有時間整理花園的人整理花園。

M: So now you go around making custom-designed gardens for homes and offices, right?

S: Yes! I never would’ve thought in a million years that my interest in gardening would turn into a career! If I hadn’t gotten fired, I would’ve never found my calling!

M: That’s cool….and it does offer me some hope. I guess I need to do some thinking about what I really want to do.

S: I’m not saying it’s going to be easy…. I spent almost one year doing odd jobs and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Not having a stable income can be difficult.

因此,Suzanne 開了一家公司,專門為公司和家庭 custom-design 量身定做花園。她說,要不是被解僱,她死也不會想到自己的愛好竟然會成為職業,in a million years 是一種誇張的說法,就是無論如何也不會的意思。正是被解僱,才讓她最終找到了自己的 calling, calling is spelleed c-a-l-l-i-n-g, calling, 一個人最適合的職業。Suzanne 說,不過,這個過程也很艱難,她足足打了一年零工才走出低谷,odd jobs 是零工的意思。Mickey 聽後深受啟發。

M: Yeah….right now I have some savings so I’ll be good for about six months…but if I can’t find something after that it’s going to start getting tough.

S: Do you have a “dream” or something you’ve always wanted to do?

M: Well, I have always had the idea of opening a bicycle store. I’m talking about selling rare, vintage or special custom-made bicycles.

Mickey 說,自己存款有限,撐半年還行,再久就扛不住了。Suzanne 問他有沒有什麼夢想。Mickey 說,他一直想開一家自行車店,專賣那些不多見,古香古色,或是訂做的自行車。他在這裡用的 vintage is spelled v-i-n t-a-g-e, vintage 意思是老式的,古典的。

S: Interesting! Cycling is quite a trend these days and if you can find bicycles that no one else has….it just might work!

M: I’ve always been interested in bicycles and I know a lot about them. I never thought I would have a chance to open a bike store.

S: Give it some thought! This could be your calling in life!!

M: I’ll think about it! Thanks, Suzanne! Now let’s eat!

Suzanne 說, Mickey 想開自行車店的夢想很有意思,因為現在很流行騎車, it’s quite a trend. Suzanne 覺得 Mickey 可以認真地琢磨琢磨, give it some thought 好好想想,沒準真能行。Mickey 聽了很受鼓舞,說從來沒想到,自己這輩子真能有機會開一家自行車店,實現夢想。

A: Mike, 你的夢想是什麼?

B: I』ve always wanted to become a naval officer, and I』m still working towards making it a reality.

A: 真羨慕你,我好像從來也沒什麼夢想。All through my life, I』ve been going with the flow.

B: There is nothing wrong with that. Ok, let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1899 first-born

今天我們要學的詞是 first-born. First-born, first is spelled f-i-r-s-t, first, and born, b-o-r-n, born, first-born. First-born 名詞,意思是頭胎生的孩子,老大。Time and again, research has shown that first-born children are better at a lot of things than their younger siblings. 各種研究多次顯示,頭胎孩子在很多事情上都要比弟弟妹妹強。Half of U.S. Presidents are first-born children. 美國總統里有一半都是家裡的老大。最近一項研究的作者說,First-born kids get better grades in school because their parents are stricter with them than later-born children. 家裡老大學習成績更好是因為家長對老大的要求比後面的孩子更加嚴格。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 first-born, first-born, first-born….

A: Mike, you have an older sister, right?

B: Yeah. I think the study is right in the sense that my parents were way stricter with my sister than with me. You must be a first born, right?

A: Guess again.

B: But you have all the characteristics of a first-born.

A: I have a brother who is 10 years older.

B: Oh, that makes sense. So you are a second-born who was treated like a first born!

A: 沒錯。好了,讓我們進入下面一個單元,美國習慣用語。

Words and Idioms 894 to no avail

美國習慣用語第 894講

我實在是沒轍了! 我辦公室里有一盆君子蘭,養了好幾年了,本來一直挺好的,可是最近突然不行了,葉子也枯黃了,花也不開了。我又是澆水,又是換花盆,又是給它曬太陽,可是這盆花一點沒有好轉的跡象。所以,我這些努力的結果,只能用下面這個習慣用語來形容,那就是:

M: To no avail. No is spelled n-o, and avail; a-v-a-i-l. To-no-avail.

Avail,當動詞時表示「起作用」,當名詞時表示「益處」,所以to no avail這個短語就是指「沒用,徒勞無功」。我一直在想辦法挽救我的君子蘭,可是它沒有一點起色,我只能眼看它死掉了,唉! 下面這段話中的倆夫妻,也遇到了跟我同樣無能為力的情況,不過最終,他們還是把問題解決了,我們來聽一下:

M:”Our cat had a terrible habit of ripping our sofa with his claws. First, we thought we could encourage him to use a scratching toy instead. Then we tried treating the furniture with pepper spray. When all our attempts were TO NO AVAIL, we had to have his claws removed. Success at last!”

這段話意思是:我們家的貓有個壞習慣,就是喜歡在沙發上亂抓。開始時,我們給它買了個磨爪子用的玩具,鼓勵它在玩具上抓,後來,我們又試著往沙發上噴辣椒水。可是,這些做法都沒用。於是,我們只好把它的指甲拔掉了。這下,問題終於解決了!

把貓指甲拔掉?我聽說這是很疼的,這隻貓咪可受苦了! 不過,主人要不是沒辦法,也不會出此下策! 當然了,我還是建議想養貓的人,如果捨不得自己的傢具,最好就別養貓,免得最後要去給貓拔指甲,讓寵物受苦! 我們再來聽聽剛才那段話吧:

M: “Our cat had a terrible habit of ripping our sofa with his claws. First, we thought we could encourage him to use a scratching toy instead. Then we tried treating the furniture with pepper spray. When all our attempts were TO NO AVAIL, we had to have his claws removed. Success at last!”

我這個人啊,就是熱心腸兒,喜歡給別人提建議。比如,我姨媽覺得胸悶,我就讓她趕快看醫生;女兒成績下降,我就讓她少花點時間在樂隊上;妹妹失戀,我就四處給她找對象……我這麼操心,可都是To No Avail – 徒勞無功! 因為她們誰也不聽我的! 真是辜負了我一番苦心! 下面這段話中的選民,也和我一樣,提意見沒人聽,不過,他們可不是像我這樣,抱怨兩句就算了,我們來聽聽看:

M: “We warned our senator that she wasn’t doing enough to lower taxes. Our supporters held meetings with her, organized a massive e-mail campaign and staged protest marches throughout the state. After these proved TO NO AVAIL, we started to look for a new candidate. This has been a much more productive strategy.”

這段話的意思是:我們已經警告過我們州的參議員,我們覺得她沒有竭盡全力去實現減稅。我們的支持者和她開了好幾次會,組織了一場大規模的電郵宣傳活動,還在州里各地舉行了抗議遊行。但是,這一切行動都沒有奏效,所以,我們開始物色一位新的議員候選人。這種做法比以前那些有效多了。

哇,看來選民不是好惹的! 不過,我們也得認識到,很多問題是複雜的,解決起來沒那麼簡單,而且需要時間。所以,選民們也應該更有耐心才對,不然可能會適得其反。好了,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話吧:

M: “We warned our senator that she wasn’t doing enough to lower taxes. Our supporters held meetings with her, organized a massive e-mail campaign and staged protest marches throughout the state. After these proved TO NO AVAIL, we started to look for a new candidate. This has been a much more productive strategy.”

聽眾朋友,今天我們學習的習慣用語是 To No Avail, 意思是「徒勞無功」。我想跟大家說的是,如果你復出努力,卻發現 your efforts are to no avail–收不到成果,那也不要灰心。就好像學英語,遇到挫折和瓶頸時,還是應該堅持。日積月累,總會有收穫!

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第136課

B: Welcome to American English Mosaic, I’m Mike Bond!

A: And I’m 蔚然。楊琳休假,我帶班。

B: What is the word of the year for 2013? We will find out.

A: 人靠衣服馬靠鞍,這句話在職場是是否適用呢?禮節美語為您介紹。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “too close for comfort” and “won』t do something to save your life” mean!

A: All coming up on this edition of American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn-a-word!

Learn A Word 1900 selfie

今天我們要學的詞是 selfie. Selfie is spelled s-e-l-f-i-e, selfie. Selfie 名詞,自拍照片。From Oct 20 to 27, “selfie” was mentioned in Facebook status updates over 368,000 times. 10月20到27號這段時間裡,臉書用戶狀態更新里提到自拍字眼的就有36.8萬次。Many drivers are using their smart phones to take selfies while driving. 現在很多人一邊開車一邊用智能手機自拍。Experts warn that people taking driving selfies are putting their safety and that of those around them in danger. 有關專家警告說,邊開車邊自拍的人讓自己和周圍人的安全都受到了威脅。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 selfie, selfie, selfie….

A: 不要說拍selfie, 方向盤後面的開車一族真是幹什麼的都有。

B: Yeah. My sister always puts on her makeup while on the way to work.

A: I even saw people playing candy crush saga 糖果粉碎遊戲 behind the wheel?

B: I….may have tried that once, and ended up almost kissing the car in front of me! I must say, it was too close for comfort.

A: 真是太危險了。不過,你正好介紹了我們下面要學的習慣用語。一起來聽。

Words and Idioms 895 too close for comfort

美國習慣用語第895講

我剛才和表姐吃午飯,她告訴我一個好消息,那就是,她們公司的裁員大潮她躲過去了!這一個月來,和她資歷接近的同事一個一個被炒魷魚,她本來以為下一個就輪到自己,沒想到,裁員結束了,而她留了下來。雖然保住工作,但她這些日子提心弔膽的心情讓我想到一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Too close for comfort. Too is spelled t-o-o, close; c-l-o-s-e, and comfort;c-o-m-f-o-r-t. Too-close-for-comfort.

Close是「接近」的意思,comfort表示「舒服」,too close for comfort字面的意思就是「過於接近,太相似了,讓人不舒服」。根據語境,too close for comfort 有時可以表示「險些遇到不好的結果」。比如,我表姐在這次裁員潮中,離被炒魷魚就是 too close for comfort–險些就丟掉工作了!

在生活中,我們或多或少會做一些「打擦邊球」的事兒。就是明知道有危險,也抱著僥倖心裡去做。比如,開車的時候打手機,甚至發簡訊! 我們來聽聽下面這個司機的遭遇:

M:”I should have been more careful. Driving home, I was answering a text message. I had only looked away from the road for a couple of seconds. But when I looked up, the car ahead of me had stopped abruptly. That was TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. I barely missed plowing into him.”

這段話意思是:我當時真該小心點! 那天,我開車回家,邊開車邊回簡訊,雖然只有幾秒鐘沒看路,可當我重新把目光轉迴路上時發現,我前面的車已經突然停住了! 太危險了! 我差點就撞上它了!

打電話、發簡訊、上網這些事情請您不開車的時候盡情做,開車的時候可需要全神貫注! 車禍往往就是司機分心造成的,幾秒鐘的注意力不集中就可能導致車毀人亡的慘劇! 剛才那個司機離車禍已經很近了,too close for comfort! 我們再來聽聽剛才那段話吧:

M: “I should have been more careful. Driving home I was answering a text message. I had only looked away from the road for a couple of seconds. But when I looked up, the car ahead of me had stopped abruptly. That was TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. I barely missed plowing into him.”

剛才我們說到,開車需要全神貫注。在下面這個句子中,一個學生意識到,上學也得專心。上課走神不行,要逃學就更不成了! 我們來聽聽他是怎麼說的:

M: “I’ll never skip school again. When I stopped at a restaurant for lunch I saw the assistant principal sitting across from me. Luckily, I managed to slip out the door without being noticed. The risk of getting caught was TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. I learned my lesson.”

這段話的意思是:我再也不會逃學了。那天,我逃課去飯館吃飯,結果看到副校長就坐在我對面! 幸運的是,我趁他沒注意,從門口溜走了。我差一點就被副校長抓個正著! 這下我可長記性了。

這孩子,因為差點被抓到才不敢繼續逃課! 其實,就算沒有「巧遇」副校長,他也應該想想,還有那麼多孩子想上學卻上不起、上不了,和他們相比,他真應該珍惜受教育的機會才對。好了,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “I’ll never skip school again. When I stopped at a restaurant for lunch I saw the assistant principal sitting across from me. Luckily, I managed to slip out the door without being noticed. The risk of getting caught was TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. I learned my lesson.”

有時候,有些東西太像了,也會讓人不舒服。比如,我一個朋友總說她男友多浪漫,多會寫詩,她小心地保留每一首他寫的情詩。可後來她發現,這些詩和一本叫「情詩大全」的書上的內容相差無幾。She finds it all too close for comfort–內容太像了,男友的情詩明顯都是抄書抄來的! 你說,我這朋友能不生氣么?!

好的,今天我們學習的習慣用語是 TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT,表示「太接近了,太像了,讓人不舒服。」

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, 你上學時是不是經常逃課?

B: What? No! I never played hookie. But I was sent home once for wearing a T-shirt with inappropriate words on it.

A: What did it say?

B: I….probably shouldn』t say. But I did learn my lesson. Dressing properly is important no matter who you are. Let』s listen to our next segment: Business Etiquette and learn more.

Business Etiquette

Topic: You Are What You Wear

Cathy 早上上班見到同事 Adam.

Cathy: Hi, Adam, nice tie.

Adam: Thanks.

C: By the way, can I ask you a personal question?

A: Ask away!

C: How come you’re the only one at the office who wears a tie to work every day? I’m not criticizing your fashion choices, and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.

A: No. I’m happy to answer that question! I assume you’re like most people: you prefer to wear comfortable clothing whenever possible, right?

Cathy 問了 Adam 個personal question 私人問題,問Adam 為什麼每天上班都西裝領帶的,而公司的著裝標準並不嚴格,所以其他人一般都是怎麼舒服怎麼穿。Cathy 還補充說,I’m not criticizing your fashion choices. 意思是說我不是想對你的穿著指手劃腳,而是好奇。Cathy 承認,平時如果沒事,他就會穿得很隨便。

C: Absolutely! If it’s a special event or a business meeting or something, then sure, I’ll put on a suit or a nice business dress. But I much prefer to dress more casually.

A: I understand that logic. But of course you’ve heard about “power-dressing,” no?

C: Yeah….if you wear nicer looking clothes, people take you more seriously, right?

A: That’s the idea. I think everybody knows that the clothing we wear affects how others perceive us. But I’ve also discovered that what I wear affects how I think.

C: Really? That’s an interesting idea. What exactly do you mean?

Cathy 說,如果有什麼特別活動或是要開會,She’ll put on a suit or a nice business dress. 穿西裝或套裝,否則的話,她還是喜歡穿得隨便些,to dress more casually. Adam 問 Cathy 有沒有聽過 power-dressing 的說法,也就是說,如果穿得正式,別人就會更把你當回事。Adam 說,他發現,power-dressing 不僅會影響別人對自己的看法,同時也會對他自己的精神狀態產生影響。

A: Well, there’s a lot of research out there that says the position of our bodies affects our thoughts.

C: I’ve heard about that. I read an article that said if you sit up straight your thoughts become sharper than if you were slouching.

A: Exactly! But there are some new studies that show what you are wearing can also affect your thoughts.

C: Give me an example.

A: Scientists found that students who were wearing white lab coats performed better on tests than students who were wearing their own clothes.

C: Ah! So because the white lab coat has an association with intelligence, the students’ brains actually got more intelligent?

有很多研究顯示,一個人身體的姿勢,往往會對人的思維產生影響,比如,坐直了就比窩著的時候思維更敏銳。Slouch is spelled s-l-o-u-c-h, slouch 意思是很放鬆地窩在那裡,蜷在那裡。Adam 補充說,現在的一些新的研究結果發現,what you are wearing can also affect your thoughts. 一個人的穿著也會對他的思維產生影響。比如說,穿著實驗室白大褂的學生,考試往往比穿日常衣服的學生成績好,因為穿著白大褂,會讓學生覺得自己智商更高,因此考試時大腦的表現也就更出色。

A: 英語里有句話叫,You are what you wear. 沒錯吧?

B: Absolutely. For instance, if you wear casual clothes to an interview, you pretty much have blown your chances of landing that job.

A: 我看到有研究說,第一印象的形成只需要三到五秒。

B: Therefore, image management is very important. Let』s keep on listening to the second half of Business Etiquette.

Business Etiquette

Topic: You Are What You Wear II

Cathy 跟同事Adam 正在討論,一個人的穿著是否會對他的精神狀態產生影響。Adam 說,

A: Have you ever heard the saying, “clothes make the man”? It might be truer than we imagine.

C: When a police officer or firefighter puts on their uniform it must affect their psychology. It probably gives them a sense of responsibility and authority.

A: Absolutely. When a judge puts on that heavy black robe it transmits an image of power, but it also serves as a reminder to the judge of the responsibility of their position.

C: I know when I’m wearing a nice suit I feel a lot more confident. If I’m going out for a night on the town and I’m all dressed up I feel a lot better about myself than if I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

英語里有一種說法叫 clothes make the man. 相當於中文裡說的人靠衣服馬靠鞍。Adam 說,這句老話恐怕比我們想的更有道理。警察穿上警服,消防員穿上消防服,法官穿上黑色長袍,都會平添一種使命感和權威感,Cathy 說,她每次穿西裝,也會倍感自信,還說,晚上出去吃飯消遣時,如果 dressed up 精心打扮,就會自我感覺更好。Cathy說的, go out for a night on the town, 是一種固定說法,意思是出去吃飯,喝酒,看節目,消遣。

A: Yeah, I think everyone recognizes that part about the power of clothes….but that’s not exactly why I wear a tie to work every day.

C: You wear it because you think it makes you smarter.

A: Yes. I think putting on a shirt and tie actually affects the way my brain works. C: That’s a very interesting concept!

A: My eyes look down and see what I’m wearing and my brain gets a reminder that I’m a businessman…. and I think the brain responds to expectations.

Adam 說,他每天都穿西裝打領帶,不是給別人看的,更多的是在提醒自己,隨時提醒自己是商界人士,這樣大腦就會做出反應,做出的事,說出的話都會更加得體。

C: It’s kind of like an actor trying to play a role…you have to have the right costume!

A: I think that’s a good way of expressing it! I’m sure it’s much harder for actors and actresses to get into character before they put on the right costume.

C: Yeah….but after the clothes and the makeup go on, they look in the mirror and their brains are able to shift into the role.

A: The symbolic meaning of a tie is “business” and so for me it’s an identifying symbol that I think affects both how others see me and how I see myself.

C: Interesting…..hmm…..maybe I should start wearing a suit.

這就跟演員穿上戲服,才能進入角色一樣。Adam 覺得,這樣比喻恰如其分,that’s a good way of expressing it. 演員穿上戲服,化好妝,看著鏡子里的自己,他們的大腦就會做出反應,help them to shift into the role. 幫他們進入角色。Adam 最後說,西裝領帶,對他來說就是一種定位的象徵符號,不僅影響到別人對他的看法,也會影響到他自己的精神狀態。 Clothes make the man, 也可以說,you are what you wear, 人靠衣服馬靠鞍。

A: Adam 說,穿西裝打領帶,不光是給別人看,也是隨時提醒自己,說話做事都要符合身份,這一點我倒真沒想到。

B: I agree that whenever I dress formally, my self-image does go up a notch.

A: 看來,以後上班真要改變形象,不能穿得這麼隨便了。

B: Yeah. It』s always better to overdress than to underdress. Ok, let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1903 relinquish

今天我們要學的詞是 relinquish. Relinquish is spelled r-e-l-i-n-q-u-i-s-h, relinquish. Relinquish 動詞,意思是放棄。Tina Turner recently filed paperwork to relinquish her American citizenship. 蒂娜.特納最近遞交了申請文件,放棄自己美國公民的身份。華爾街日報的報道說,Experts believe increased tax enforcement is the major reason for a record number of U.S. taxpayers relinquishing their citizenship or green cards this year. 有關專家認為,稅法的嚴格執行是造成今年放棄公民或綠卡的美國納稅人人數創下新高的主要原因。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 relinquish, relinquish, relinquish….

A: Mike,你那天還在抱怨交稅太多,不如放棄公民吧。

B: haha…Maybe one day I』ll become filthy rich. Then I will think about it.

A: 好了,讓我們進入下面一個單元,美國習慣用語。

美國習慣用語第 896 講

昨晚我作東請客,親自下廚,請表弟和他的女朋友來我家吃飯。誰知道我辛苦做的紅燒鯉魚,表弟的女友卻一口不吃! 因為,這位小姐不吃薑,而我在魚里放了薑絲。唉,雖然我白辛苦了一場,但趁這個機會,可以給大家介紹一個新的習慣用語:

M: To save one’s life. Save is spelled s-a-v-e, and life; life. To-save one’s life.

Save one’s life 這幾個詞大家應該都很熟悉,放在一起,不就是「救命」的意思么?說得沒錯,可是,我們今天介紹的不是這個用法。當我們把一個有否定含義的句子和to save one’s life放在一起,意思就變成「寧願死也不做某事」,「絕對不做某事」。我表弟的女朋友不吃薑,打死也不吃,就可以說 She wouldn’t eat ginger to save her live.
在生活中,總會有一些事情是我們絕對不做的。比如,讓你身上綁跟繩子,從飛機或懸崖上跳下去,看似有驚無險,可能有些人會願意挑戰看看,可還有一些人是絕對不會做的。比如下面這個人:

M: “Adventurous, I am not. I’d rather die than go bungee jumping, skydiving or mountain climbing. No one could get me to practice any of those sports TO SAVE MY LIFE. I’ll let the thrill seekers have their fun. There’s simply no possibility of me ever doing anything that’s really dangerous.”

這段話意思是:我不是一個愛冒險的人。讓我去蹦極、高空跳傘或是攀岩,還不如讓我死了算了!任何人都休想讓我去玩兒這些東西。那些喜歡尋求刺激的人,盡可以去玩兒你們的。我是絕對不會做這些危險的事情的。

哇,這人還真沒有冒險精神! 他大概只喜歡坐在家裡安靜地看書吧。當然,人各有志,自己高興就好! 我們再來聽聽剛才那段話吧:

M:”Adventurous, I am not. I’d rather die than go bungee jumping, skydiving or mountain climbing. No one could get me to practice any of those sports TO SAVE MY LIFE. I’ll let the thrill seekers have their fun. There’s simply no possibility of me ever doing anything that’s really dangerous.”

很多人夢想上電視,當名人,不過,電視節目也不是好上的。聽聽下面這段話,您也想一想,這樣的電視節目如果請您去,您會答應么?

M: “My girlfriend has been watching that new game show. Contestants have one minute to succeed at completing outrageous tasks. They might have to wrap all the toilet paper from a roll around their bodies or shake their heads over 170 times. Even for lots of money, my girlfriend would never try those things. She wouldn’t look ridiculous on TV TO SAVE HER LIFE.”

這段話的意思是:我女朋友很愛看電視上那個新的遊戲節目。參賽者要在一分鐘內完成一些非常難的任務。比如說,他們可能要把整卷衛生紙纏在身上,或者要不停搖頭170多下。就算電視台給我女朋友很多錢,她也不會去做這些事情。她可絕對不願意在電視上出洋相。

有些人不願意在電視上出醜,可也有人不在乎。比如,現在很流行的歌手選秀節目,有些參賽者啊,唱的還真是難聽! They are not able to sing to save their lives! 根本就是五音不全! 可是人家還是很有勇氣地登上舞台了啊! 好了,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “My girlfriend has been watching that new game show. Contestants have one minute to succeed at completing outrageous tasks. They might have to wrap all the toilet paper from a roll around their bodies or shake their heads over 170 times. Even for lots of money, my girlfriend would never try those things. She wouldn’t look ridiculous on TV TO SAVE HER LIFE.”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是 TOO SAVE ONE’S LIFE, 把這個短語加在有否定含義的句子後面,表示「絕對不做某事」。好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 剛才那個例句讓我想起楊琳,我記得她在最近一集視頻美語怎麼說里說過,不化妝,打死也不上電視。

B: Haha, I remember that episode too. She wouldn』t show her face without makeup to save her life!

A: 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


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