VOA詞匯大師 - UNSV英語學習頻道 VOA詞匯大師http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/http://www.599158.live/images/unsv.gifWordMaster是美國之音推出的一檔英語教學節目,邀請美國英語教育專家對現代英語流行詞匯、俚語、習慣用語、語法以及英語教學等展開討論。http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/zh-CNhttp://www.599158.live60版權所有?2003-2011 UNSV.COM英語學習頻道,保留所有權利。Sun, 12 Jul 2020 03:01:01 UTC <![CDATA[美語方言:美國本土的各式英語 | The Many Ways to Speak American English]]>Stephen Kaufman如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
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Y’all就是“你們大家”(=You all),在美國南方常常能聽到這種說法,例如圖中肯塔基州的佛羅倫薩市(Florence, Kentucky)。
Y’all就是“你們大家”(=You all),在美國南方常常能聽到這種說法,例如圖中肯塔基州的佛羅倫薩市(Florence, Kentucky)。

When you meet Americans, can you tell which part of the country they are from simply by listening to them? Or if someone asked you to imitate an American, would you try to sound like you were from Texas, Southern California or somewhere else? Chances are, it would be an accent you heard in a film or TV show rather than what you learned in class.

當你遇到美國人時,單聽他們講話你能說出他們來自美國的哪個地方嗎?或者如果有人讓你模仿一下美國人,你會試著讓自己聽起來像是來自得克薩斯州(Texas)、南加州(Southern California)或其他某地嗎?你模仿的口音多半是你從某部電影或電視劇中聽到的,而不是在課堂上學到的。

The American accent most nonnative speakers learn is just one among many used daily across the United States. Known as General American (GenAm), it is the same accent you would typically hear on network news, nationally syndicated radio, films and other media where the speakers do not want to draw attention to their background.

絕大部分母語不是美語的人學說的美國口音只不過是美國各地形形色色的地方口音中的一種。它被稱為美國普通話(General American, GenAm),和你通常在電視新聞、全國性廣播電臺、 電影和其他媒體中聽到的美語一樣,因為這些媒體機構的人員不想特別突出自己的家鄉口音。

GenAm has its roots in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other areas that make up “the Rust Belt,” and it followed settlers westward through the Midwest to California and the Pacific Northwest. The rise of radio and television in the 20th century led media outlets to investigate which American accent seemed the most “neutral” to the public and would therefore be understood by the widest audience.

美國普通話源于賓夕法尼亞州(Pennsylvania)、俄亥俄州(Ohio)和組成“鐵銹地帶”(Rust Belt)的其他地區,它跟隨開拓者穿越中西部西行到加利福尼亞和太平洋西北部沿岸。20世紀廣播電視的興起促使媒體機構開始調查哪一種美國口音讓公眾聽起來最為“中性”并能讓最廣泛的受眾聽懂。

While most Americans can easily identify a Southern or New England accent, for example, GenAm has become the national standard, even though its native speakers are confined to a small area of the Midwest.

雖然大部分美國人能夠輕而易舉地分辨出南方口音或新英格蘭口音,但美國普通話已成為全國的標準話,盡管操這種口音的人局限在中西部一個小區域內。

Most Americans grow up speaking the same way as their parents and neighbors, but sometimes they adopt more common language characteristics to sound less regional or better educated. For example, as a child with a strong Mid-Atlantic background, I once pronounced the U.S. capital city as “Warshington” and the nearby city of Baltimore as “Bawldimer.” My Virginia-born grandfather also worked hard to lose his Southern accent when he moved to New York, since regional accents often invite biased social judgments about the speaker.

大部分美國人在成長過程中形成與父母和鄰居相同的口音,但他們有時采用更常用的語言特點,以便聽起來少一點地方口音或顯得受過良好教育。例如,我童年時有濃厚的大西洋中部口音,曾經將美國首都(Washington)說成“Warshington”,并將附近的巴爾的摩(Baltimore)說成“Bawldimer”。我祖父出生在弗吉尼亞州,搬到紐約后竭力想改掉他的南方口音,因為操地方口音的人多半會招來社會上歧視性的評判。

BRITISH VERSUS AMERICAN ENGLISH

英式英語與美式英語

Like the United States, the United Kingdom has its own diversity of regional accents, and it has adopted a standard known as Received Pronunciation (RP) that is heard on the BBC and other national news outlets. If you are learning British English, you are most likely learning RP, which spread from southern England among the upper classes in the 18th and 19th centuries.

同美國一樣,英國也有自己多種多樣的地方口音。英國采用了一種標準發音(Received Pronunciation, RP),這是人們在英國廣播公司(BBC)和其他全國性新聞媒體聽到的發音。如果你在學英式英語,那么十有八九你是在學標準發音,這種發音在18世紀和19世紀流行于英國南部的上層社會。

One noticeable difference is the American use of the flat “a,” so the word "dance" does not sound like “dahnce.” Perhaps the most easily identified difference between RP and GenAm is the pronunciation of the letter “r” in some words, which phoneticians call rhotacism. For example, an American newsreader will pronounce the r in “hard,” but on British media it will sound more like “hahd.”

有一個明顯的區別是美國人使用平舌的“a”,因此“跳舞”(dance)這個詞不發成“dahnce”。也許英式標準發音和美國普通話之間最顯著的區別是一些單詞中字母“r”的發音,一些語音學者稱之為r音化(rhotacism)。例如美國的播音員在說“hard”一詞時帶很重的r音,但英國的媒體則往往把這個單詞發成“hahd”。

All Americans have some kind of an accent. Natives of a relatively small area of the Midwest are closest to the standard known as 'General American.' | 所有的美國人都有某種口音。中西部一個較小地區的居民的發音最接近美國普通話的標準發音。
All Americans have some kind of an accent. Natives of a relatively small area of the Midwest are closest to the standard known as 'General American.' | 所有的美國人都有某種口音。中西部一個較小地區的居民的發音最接近美國普通話的標準發音。

Some American accents, especially in the South, New England and New York, where port cities maintained close trading ties with England, joined their British counterparts in dropping the r sound, but 18th- and 19th-century Americans living inland, many of whom were immigrants from Scotland, Ireland or northern England where the r is pronounced, kept the rhotic accent.

某些美國口音,特別是在和英國保持密切貿易關系的港口城市所在的南部地區、新英格蘭地區和紐約地區,與英國口音一樣不發r音,但是18世紀和19世紀生活在內陸的美國人卻保留了r音,其中許多人是來自蘇格蘭、愛爾蘭或英國北部r音化地區的移民。

In fact, at the time of the American Revolution, the English language being spoken on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean was rhotic. Despite many films that show colonial Americans speaking in a modern British accent, it did not become fashionable to start dropping the r in places like Massachusetts and South Carolina until after the United States gained its independence.

事實上,在美國革命時期(American Revolution),大西洋兩岸都講r音化的英語。盡管許多電影中殖民時期的美國人都操現代英式口音,但在馬薩諸塞州和南卡羅來納州等地,直到美國獲得獨立之后不發r音才開始流行起來。

English actor Hugh Laurie, famous for his role on the TV show House, has described American r’s and l’s as the “twin demons for anyone trying to do an American accent.” In a 2012 interview with National Public Radio, he said he warms up for his character by practicing the word “really.” Laurie’s accent is so good that the executive producer of House is said to have been completely unaware that he was English when he auditioned.

因出演電視劇集《豪斯醫生》(House)而成名的英國演員休?勞瑞(Hugh Laurie)將美國英語中的r和l說成是“任何想學美國口音者都要降服的孿生妖魔”。 在2012年接受全國廣播電臺(National Public Radio)的采訪時,他說他通過練習念單詞“really”來為自己的角色熱身。勞瑞的口音極為標準,以致在他試鏡時據說連《豪斯醫生》的執行制片人都全然沒有意識到他是英國人。

Along with helping to preserve the r sound, American speech has also retained several words and expressions that have fallen out of use in the United Kingdom. For example, Americans will still use “mad” for “angry” and “fall” for “autumn.”

在幫助保留r音的同時,美式英語也保留了幾個英式英語中不再使用的單詞和詞語。例如,美國人仍然使用“mad”表示憤怒(angry),使用“fall”表示秋天(autumn)。

Thanks to American films, music, TV shows and other media, American accents are becoming more familiar to nonnative English speakers. Some of the most famous examples of regional dialect have come from U.S. politicians. Compare the New England accent of President John F. Kennedy to Arkansas-native President Bill Clinton’s Southern style of speaking. Of course, both men, like most Americans, probably grew up thinking they didn’t have any kind of an accent!

美國的電影、音樂、電視劇和其他媒體正在幫助母語不是美語的人越來越熟悉美國口音。一些最廣為人知的方言例子出自美國政客之口。你不妨將約翰?肯尼迪總統(John F. Kennedy)的新英格蘭口音和阿肯色州人比爾?克林頓(Bill Clinton)總統的南方口音做個比較。當然,他們倆人像大多數美國人一樣,在成長過程中大概以為自己說話根本沒有口音!

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<![CDATA[林書豪為什么外號Linsanity?]]>UNSV英語學習頻道如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
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【學個詞:insanity】insanity由in+sanity構成,sanity為不可數名詞,精神健康之意。而in-是英語中的反義詞前綴。所以,insanity就是精精神錯亂、瘋狂之意。最近很火的詞Linsanity即是Lin和Insanity的合體字,意為“林瘋狂”。想學英語,果斷關注最給力的UNSV.COM英語學習頻道 .

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<![CDATA[選舉常見術語 Glossary of U.S. Election Terms]]>U.S. Embassy如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
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缺席投票(Absentee voting

缺席投票能夠讓無法前往投票站投票的選民參加投票。選民可因不同原因無法在選舉日當天前往投票站,例如身居國外、身患疾病、在旅行途中或服兵役等。缺席投票讓登記選民可以郵寄自己的選票。聯邦法律《服役公民與海外公民缺席投票法》(Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act)確定了總統大選舉的缺席投票規則。所有其他類型選舉的缺席投票規則由各州制定,因而有所不同。在俄勒岡州,所有選舉投票都以郵寄方式進行,但選民也可以選擇親自前往郡投票站投票。

公民表決提案(Ballot initiative

公民表決提案(有些州使用proposition,即“提案”一詞)是美國直接民主的實例,公民可以以這種方式提出立法措施或修訂州憲法。一些提案旨在廢除現行的某項州法。各州對將提案付諸選舉投票所需要的簽名人數有不同規定。這些提案在大多數、但不是在所有情況下,需經簡單多數批準。另見公民復決(征詢民意提案)。

博客(Blog

博客為網上博客(weblog)的縮寫,是一種在線日志。候選人利用博客向瀏覽其網站的人介紹自己的活動。其他人使用博客跟蹤競選議題和動態。政治博客由博客人(blogger)編寫,他們以自身的觀點發表評論和張貼消息。政治博客如同一般博客一樣,反映多種聲音。

藍州(Blue state

藍州一詞指大多數選民通常支持民主黨候選人和民主黨政策的州。另見紅州。

巴克利訴瓦萊奧案(Buckley v. Valeo

巴克利訴瓦萊奧案導致1976美國最高法院對競選資助法作出具有里程碑意義的裁決。該裁決維持了《聯邦競選法》(Federal Election Campaign Act)中有關財務披露、捐款限制以及總統大選公共資金的規定。法院推翻了該法對競選開支的限制,但運用公共資金的總統候選人自愿接受的開支限額不在此涵蓋范圍。因此,這項裁決使國會議員候選人(無公共資金)的競選開支不受限制,也使支持或反對某一候選人——但不與任何候選人或競選活動協作——的個人或團體可以無限額地投入資金。這項裁決還確定,對沒有接受公共資金的候選人在競選活動中使用個人資金不必有任何限制。另見《麥凱恩-法因戈爾德法》。

預選會議/核心小組(Caucus

預選會議是地方級會議,在這個會議上,一個政黨在市、鎮或者郡縣中的注冊黨員對支持本黨哪一位候選人作出決定。在州選舉或全國聯邦職位競選中,這些地方會議意見的總匯結果決定了該州黨員所支持的候選人。Caucus一詞也用來指由一些民選官員基于共同目標組成的團體,旨在為支持共同的政治議程作政策規劃,例如著名的“國會黑人核心小組”(Congressional Black Caucus)和“國會拉美裔核心小組”(Congressional Hispanic Caucus)。這兩個小組的成員分別致力于討論和推進各自選民群體的利益。

挑戰者(Challenger

挑戰者指與現任官員競爭該職位的候選人。另見現任官員。

公民聯合會訴聯邦選舉委員會案(Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission

最高法院2010年對此案的裁決確立,股東和其他群體享有與他們作為個人會享有的相同權利。法院還裁定,政府不得限制這些群體為支持或批評政治候選人作出的開支規模。另見超級政治行動委員會。

非開放式初選(Closed Primary

指兩大政黨(民主黨和共和黨)將某位候選人提名為本黨競選某一職位的正式候選人的黨內選舉。非開放初選只限于舉行選舉的政黨的注冊黨員參加投票。無黨派選民收到在同日進行的有關其他事項和無黨派競選的選票。另見初選。

燕尾提舉力(Coattails

“燕尾提舉力”是從紳士長禮服后面的下擺(即“燕尾”)引申而來。在美國政治中,它指一位聲望高的在職官員或競選公職的候選人,借自己的實力給本黨其他候選人增加得勝機會的能力。也就是說,這位候選人有能力讓其他人借自己的聲望同時取勝。

代表大會(Convention

在總統大選年,當各州的初選與預選會議結束后,各政黨分別集會選舉一位總統提名人——通常情況下是在初選中獲勝并獲得最多的與會代表支持的人??偨y提名人通常選擇一名競選伙伴作為副總統候選人,但總統提名人也可以不推薦任何人選,而由與會代表推舉副總統候選人。

會后彈升(Convention bounce

指共和黨或民主黨全國代表大會決定總統候選人提名后的幾天內,民意調查表明該候選人聲望上升的現象。

選民(Constituency

一位政府官員所代表的人民就是他/她的選民。這個詞有時僅指那些投票選出該官員的選民??偨y的選民包括全體美國人民; 一位市長的選民包括該市或該鎮的居民。

辯論(Debate

有兩個或兩個以上對立方參加的安排有序的討論會。在美國政治生活中,辯論逐漸成為候選人闡述其本人及所屬政黨的觀點并回答媒體或觀眾提問的電視轉播節目。辯論也可通過廣播電臺、因特網或在社區集會場所進行。辯論可在各級政府公職人員的選舉中進行。

分掌政府(Divided government

分掌政府指總統屬于一個政黨,而國會至少有一院(參議院或眾議院)由反對黨控制的政治局面。此種情況也可能發生在州一級,即州長屬于一個黨,而州議會由另一黨控制。在美國政府制度中常常出現兩黨分掌局面。

選舉協助委員會(Election Assistance Commission

選舉協助委員會根據2002年《幫助美國投票法》(Help America Vote Act)成立,主要作為選舉信息全國交流中心和資源中心。它也審視聯邦選舉的管理和程序。

選舉團(Electoral College

總統和副總統通過選舉團制度選舉產生,這個制度規定給予每個州與其國會議員人數等同的選舉人票。哥倫比亞特區有3張選舉人票。在總計538張選舉人票中,一名總統候選人必須獲得至少270票才能當選。

聯邦競選法(Federal Election Campaign Act

這項1971年制定的法律確立了聯邦選舉的資金規則,曾于1974年、1976年及1979年三度修訂。該法要求候選人及政治委員會公開資金來源及開支情況,同時制定了聯邦選舉期間接受捐款及使用開支的規則;它還對使用公共資金資助總統競選作出了規定。

聯邦選舉委員會(Federal Election Commission

聯邦選舉委員會是一個獨立的監管機構,負責管理和執行聯邦競選財務法。聯邦選舉委員會包括在參議院建議和同意的情況下由總統任命的6名委員。聯邦選舉委員會基于1974年對《1971年聯邦競選法》的修正案設立。

前置(Front-loading

前置是指大選年中將州預選會議和州初選的日程安排越來越提前于全國大選日的做法。一個州希望通過將其初選日期提前,為該州屬意的總統候選人造成有決定意義的聲勢,以便對政黨的總統提名具有格外的影響力。

領先者(Front-runner

在任何選舉或提名過程中呼聲最高或最有可能獲勝的候選人被稱為領先者。

僵局(Gridlock

在政治運作中,一個政黨或一個派別制造障礙,阻止或嚴重阻礙就立法或政策問題達成妥協的情況被稱為僵局。

硬錢/軟錢(Hard money/Soft money

硬錢/軟錢這兩個名詞用來區分受制于和不受制于聯邦競選財務法律約束的競選資金。硬錢是指由個體或團體直接向競選聯邦職務的候選人提供的捐款。此類捐款受到法律約束。軟錢是指不受法律規定約束的捐款,只能用于公民活動,如動員選民登記、政黨建設活動、行政管理費用以及用于支持州和地方候選人。法律規定,“軟錢”捐款不得用于直接支持競選聯邦職務的候選人。美國最高法院于2003年裁決支持2002年國會通過的對軟錢捐款的限制。另見《麥凱恩-法因戈爾德法》。

《哈奇法》(Hatch Act
《哈奇法》限制美國聯邦政府行政部門和哥倫比亞特區政府的雇員,以及從事與聯邦資助項目有關工作的州和地方雇員的政治活動。根據這項立法,有關雇員可以為候選人的競選活動捐款,但是不得利用官方權勢來影響選舉,包括不得在工作時索取或接受政治捐款以及從事政治活動——其中包括穿戴或展示政治宣傳品。受《哈奇法》管轄的雇員可以在非黨派選舉中競選職位,例如參加許多學校的董事會選舉,但不得在黨派選舉中參選。

《幫助美國投票法》(Help America Vote Act
為了解決在2000年總統選舉中遇到的投票問題,國會通過了《幫助美國投票法》。這項立法鼓勵州和地方政府淘汰打卡及杠桿投票機。根據《幫助美國投票法》的規定,自2003年以來已向州撥款29億美元,用于改進選舉程序。這項立法還設立了選舉協助委員會(Election Assistance Commission),為管理聯邦選舉以及選舉法和選舉項目提供支持。

賽馬(Horse race
對競選活動的一種比喻,用于描述旗鼓相當的角逐,并傳達出人們觀看競技比賽時的激動情緒。

現任官員(Incumbent
目前在職的個人被稱為現任官員。從歷屆選舉看,現任官員獲選連任的機率高于平均水平。

無黨派人士(Independent
不屬于任何政黨的候選人或選民被稱為無黨派人士。

跛腳鴨(Lame duck
跛腳鴨是指一位處于從選舉其繼任者到其繼任者上任的這段時期內的民選官員。這位官員的政治地位因其任期將滿而減弱。

壓倒性勝利(Landslide
獲勝候選人的得票數遠遠高于競爭對手,稱為壓倒性勝利。

對等資金或公共資金(Matching funds or public funding
同意限制其競選開支的總統候選人可以獲得公共資金資助。來自個人的、總計不超過250美元的捐款可以帶來從總統選舉競選基金(Presidential Election Campaign Fund)中撥出的對等資金。此項基金來源包括由有資格的納稅人在所得稅申報表上自愿認捐的每人3美元。另見納稅人認捐機制。

《麥凱恩-法因戈爾德法》(McCain-Feingold
正式名稱為《兩黨競選改革法案》(Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act)?!尔渼P恩-法因戈爾德法》是根據兩位主要參議院發起人(亞利桑那州的共和黨人麥凱恩和威斯康星州的民主黨人法因戈爾德)命名,旨在消除“軟錢”對候選人競選聯邦職務的影響。該法取消了過去允許使用軟錢幫助候選人競選聯邦職務的“漏洞”(即立法疏漏)。另見硬錢/軟錢。

負面廣告(Negative ads

負面廣告是指為爭取選民而進行的破壞對手形象、攻擊對方人品或攻擊對手在某些問題上的政績的宣傳。

被提名人(Nominee

被其他人推選參加職位競選的人稱為被提名人。被提名人可以在初選或預選會議中產生。如果一個政黨只有一名參選人申請競選政治職位,則無須進一步選舉,該參選人直接成為該黨的被提名人。

開放式初選(Open primary
在開放式初選中所有登記選民均可投票,不論他們登記自己是民主黨人、共和黨人還是無黨派人士。另見初選。

政綱(Platform

政綱是指一個政黨有關其原則和目標的正式書面聲明,在總統選舉提名過程中形成并公布,經該黨全國代表大會通過。另一個較寬泛的用法是指候選人在一系列政治議題上的立場。

簡單多數票(Plurality
簡單多數票是選舉中確定獲勝者的方式之一。簡單多數票指的是,一個候選人獲得的選票票數多于任何對手、但可能沒有超過總票數的一半。例如,如果一位候選人贏得30%的選票,另一位候選人也贏得30%的選票,而第三位候選人贏得40%的選票,那么,第三位候選人就贏得了簡單多數票,成為獲勝者。

政治行動委員會(Political Action Committee

政治行動委員會隸屬公司、工會或其他組織,與政黨沒有直接關系。這些委員會捐款給候選人,并從事其他與選舉有關的的活動,旨在推動某些具體立法議程。政治行動委員會的資金來自會員、雇員或股東的自愿捐款。近年來,政治行動委員會在影響力和數量上有明顯增加:1976年有608個;2010年有大約5400個。

民意調查(Poll/polling

公共民意調查是指民意調查公司通過向隨機抽選的一批公民提出一系列標準問題而進行的調查。正確的調查應能反映對整體人口具有代表性的各種觀點和持這些觀點的人口比例。公共民意調查能夠顯示許多美國人如何看候選人及議題。另見導向性民意調查。

初選(Primary

初選是州一級選舉。選民在初選中選出隸屬于某一政黨、將在今后大選中與另一政黨的候選人展開競爭的候選人。初選可以是“開放式”(Open),即允許州里任何一名登記選民參加投票決定政黨候選人;也可以是 “非開放式”(closed),即只允許屬于某一政黨的登記選民投票選舉該黨的候選人。另見非開放式初選開放式初選。

提案(Proposition

選票提案公投。

抗議票(Protest vote

投給第三黨候選人的票,意不在選舉該候選人,而是表達對兩個主要政黨的候選人的不滿。

公共資金(Public funding

對等資金。

導向性民意調查(Push polling

這是一種公共民意調查技巧,通過向選民提出有關一個議題或一位候選人的某類具體問題,對可能的競選主題進行試探。另見民意調查。

選區重劃(Redistricting
指 在州內對選舉國會眾議員的選區范圍進行重新劃分。州內的民主黨人和共和黨人都力圖掌控重新劃分選區的法律和政治機制——通常是經由州立法機構,以便讓重劃選區給自己的政黨帶來選舉優勢。

紅州(Red state

紅州指大多數選民通常支持共和黨總統候選人和共和黨政策的州。另見藍州。

公民復決(Referendum
州立法機構將是否批準某一立法措施交由選民投票決定的做法被稱為公民復決,亦稱征詢民意提案,或公投。這個詞與提案或表決提案等經常交替使用。

單一席位選區(Single-member district

單一席位選區是美國選舉產生聯邦和州議員的現行體制,即每一選區有一個議員席位;得票最多的候選人當選?!皢我幌弧敝埔馕吨粋€選區只能有一個政黨獲勝。歐洲實行比例代表制(proportional system),其選區范圍相對大得多,可使數個候選人基于各黨得票比例同時當選。

軟錢(Soft money

見硬錢/軟錢。

話語片段(Sound bite

話語片段是指競選公職的候選人說過的可被引用的原話片斷,被廣播和電視新聞節目反復使用。負面廣告經常使用對立候選人的話語片段,以突出其某一不受歡迎的立場。

政治化妝師(Spin doctor

指由競選班子雇用的媒體或政治顧問,用以確保讓候選人在任何情況下都得到最佳宣傳報道。這些媒體顧問的作用是把一種情形或事件朝著對自己一方盡可能有利的方向 “發揮”。

意向測驗/投票(Straw poll/vote

指一種非正式調查投票,用于預測正式投票的結果或衡量公職候選人在未來競選中的相對實力。意向投票結果良好可以給候選人打氣,但并不一定預示著以后的成功。

搖擺選民(Swing voters

不忠于某一特定政黨的選民對一個議題或候選人的立場如何“搖擺”,可能對選舉結果具有決定作用。搖擺不定的選民經常會在今后的選舉中改變自己的選擇。

超級政治行動委員會(Super PAC

這一類型的政治行動委員會可以從選擇保持匿名的捐助者那里征集數額不受限制的捐款,但是不得直接向具體的競選活動捐款,也不得與候選人或政黨進行協調。另見公民聯合會訴聯邦選舉委員會案。

超級星期二(Super Tuesday

“超級星期二” 這一用語從1988年開始流行,當時一些南方州聯合起來,舉行了第一次有影響力的大規模地區初選,以期提升南方各州在總統候選人提名程序中的重要性,減弱艾奧瓦預選和新罕布什爾初選等早期投票結果的影響。今天,該用語的意義已經較為寬泛,多指在總統初選季節不同地區于一個或數個星期二可能舉行的數場州級初選。這些集中舉行的初選意義重大,因為這種大規模的投票結果會產生一大批全國黨代會代表,可能導致角逐總統候選人的某些人士脫穎而出或被迫出局。2012年的“超級星期二”為3月6日。但是,由于一些州已將初選日期提前,因此今年“超級星期二”的重要性將不如往年。

納稅人認捐機制(Taxpayer check-off system

納稅人認捐機制允許美國納稅人在繳納年度聯邦所得稅時捐款3美元,作為資助總統競選的公共資金。如有意提供此項捐款,納稅人只需在稅表中勾選有關欄目即可。提供此項捐款并不增加或降低個人所得稅,只意味著納稅人同意將3美元的稅款存入總統競選基金。另見對等資金。

任期限制(Term limits

任期限制指公職人員或議員可擔任某一職務的時間限度。美國總統的任期不得超過兩任(8年)。然而,對美國國會參議員或眾議員均無任期限制。某些州和地方的公職也有任期限制。

第三黨(Third party

除自19世紀晚期以來一直主宰美國政治的共和黨和民主黨以外的、擁有一定民眾支持并對選舉結果產生影響的任何一個政黨均被稱為第三黨。

拆分投票(Ticket splitting

所謂“拆分投票”是指在同一次選舉中將選票投給不同政黨的候選人,例如將總統票投給民主黨候選人,而將參議員票投給共和黨候選人。由于這些選民在同一張選票中選擇了兩個或多個政黨的候選人,因此被視為“拆分”選票。

現場交流會(Town hall meeting

現場交流會,亦稱社民會議,是指一位現任官員或一位公職候選人與通常是當地人的普通民眾舉行的非正式會議,人們在會上向官員或候選人直接提問。

跟蹤調查(Tracking survey

跟蹤調查是一種民調形式,可幫助候選人在競選活動的不同階段了解或“跟蹤”選民的情緒變化。調查開始時,民調人員連續三晚向同樣人數的選民提問,例如每晚400人,三晚共1200人。在第四天晚上,民調人員再采訪另外400人,將他們的反饋意見輸入資料庫,同時刪除第一晚的反饋意見,以此類推。因此,跟蹤調查始終保持最后三晚獲得的1200人的反饋意見。競選班子可以逐漸對整個民調資料進行分析,從中了解某些競選活動對選民態度產生的影響。另見民意調查。

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http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/2012/01/06/http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/2012/01/06/VOA詞匯大師Thu, 5 Jan 2012 16:00:00 UTC
<![CDATA['App' an Apt Word for Tech-Crazy 2010, but How Do You Even Say 'Culturomics'?]]>Rosanne Skirble, Avi Arditti如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2011/01/11/

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER: We check in with the American Dialect Society for some notable words from the past year, including the one that the group considers least likely to succeed.

RS: But we start with the word of the year for 2010 as voted Friday night at a meeting of language scholars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ben Zimmer chairs the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society.

BEN ZIMMER: "The word of the year is 'app,' a-p-p. That's, of course, an application program for a computer or a phone operating system. It's a word that has been around for a while. People might have talked about a 'killer app,' a particularly important computer application, like spreadsheets were a killer app.

"But now we use that word app just to refer to these little programs that we run on our mobile devices or on Facebook or lots of other places. People just expect anything should have some sort of associated app now."

RS: "Was app the overwhelming victor?

Ben Zimmer
Ben Zimmer

BEN ZIMMER: "Well, the word that came in second place was also a three-letter word, and the one that app beat out is 'nom,' n-o-m, which is a form of onomatopoeia. In other words, it sounds like what it's supposed to represent, in this case the sound of pleasurable eating. You can think of it a bit like 'yum.' It can be used an interjection. It can be used as a noun to refer to delicious food. You could talk about 'noms' as in 'Let's get some noms,' meaning let's get some food to eat."

AA: "When did this arrive on the scene?"

BEN ZIMMER: "Well, it's been percolating for the past few years, especially online. It also started showing up this past year a lot on Twitter, where on Twitter sometimes if you're sending a tweet while you're eating, you might append a nom on that to talk about how delicious whatever food you're eating happens to be.

"There's a lot of dispute actually about where exactly it first developed. But Cookie Monster from 'Sesame Street' seems to have played an important role in people's use of this, because Cookie Monster on that children's television show eats cookies in a very ravenous fashion. And the noise that he makes as he's eating cookies sounds like 'nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom."

AA: "Now, I'm looking at the category of least likely to succeed, and I see that the winner there, with 44 out of 85 votes cast in that category, was -- how do you even pronounce that?"

RS: "Cultur-OH-mics?"

AA: "I can never say it."

BEN ZIMMER: "Well, that's part of the problem --

RS: "Cultur-AH-mics?"

BEN ZIMMER: "People don't know how to pronounce it. The word is 'culturomics,' and it's pronounced cultur-oh-mics, spelled c-u-l-t-u-r-o-m-i-c-s. It's that o-m-i-c-s ending that confused a lot of people. Some people thought this word should be pronounced cultur-ah-mics because it seems like it might have to do with economics.

"But what this word is, it came from a paper that was published in the journal Science by a team of researchers at Harvard and Google. And it was about research that was done analyzing the history of language and culture by using the millions and millions of books and other materials that have been scanned by Google from the big research libraries.

"What's called Google Books has created a big corpus, or collection of texts, that can now be analyzed in very interesting new ways. And there are all sorts of great new applications, and Google actually presented this to the public in the form of what they called the N-gram Viewer which allows you to plug in words or phrases and see how they've waxed and waned over time. So there's all sort of really interesting applications for this research. Unfortunately the name that was given did not quite resonate with people who were trying to figure out what the heck it might mean.

"The name was a bit of a stumper, and the problem with the name is that -omics ending comes from genomics. So that's the study of the human genome and how you can find out things about evolution or population dynamics by crunching lots of data and doing what's called genomics. And so the idea here is you could crunch lots of data about the history of culture and use those similar research techniques for what they call culturomics."

RS: Ben Zimmer is executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com and the "On Language" columnist for the New York Times Magazine. He heads the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society.

AA: For links to all of their notable words of 2010 and previous years, and that N-gram Viewer we talked about, go to www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster.

RS: And that's WORDMASTER for this week. With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.

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http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2011/01/11/http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2011/01/11/VOA詞匯大師Mon, 10 Jan 2011 16:00:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Finding Comfort in Euphemisms When Words Make Us Feel Uneasy]]>Rosanne Skirble, Avi Arditti如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/21/

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER: There's a new book called "Euphemania: Our Love Affair With Euphemisms."

RS: Author Ralph Keyes defines euphemisms as comfort words that we use in place of words that make us feel uncomfortable.

RALPH KEYES: "Today we no longer feel any strong need to say 'gad' or 'golly' instead of God. And yet euphemisms reflect changing values. We're much more likely today to make euphemisms out of words for money or money-related matters, for war, for death.

"If we aren't comfortable saying we 'slaughter' meat, we 'butcher' meat, we can always say we 'process it.' I was recently at a park in California and at the entrance to the park it said 'Feral pig depredation in process.'"

AA: "Huh?"

Ralph Keyes
Ralph Keyes

RALPH KEYES: "Depredation. Yeah, huh, exactly."

AA: "Feral pig -- oh, I get it."

RALPH KEYES: "A lot of pigs are going to die. But we're not comfortable saying 'die.' If you walk through old graveyards, and I've done this, sometimes even the old, old tombstones would talk about 'Worms are eating his corpse' and 'Soon, you shall be like me.' Nowadays we wouldn't dream of using words like those. You know, people 'pass,' they 'pass on,' they 'went over,' you know, they were 'called home.'"

AA: Well, interestingly, one thing I learned from your book is what 'consumption' is. I'd been hearing that word all my life and never really knew what it was. Why don't you tell us what consumption is?"

RALPH KEYES: "Well, this one is personal to me because my great-grandmother, Myrtie Lacey, died of consumption. And it was only quite a few years later that I learned that consumption is an old-time euphemism for tuberculosis. Tuberculosis used to be the biggest killer, and so we came up with lots of euphemisms for that disease, the most common one being 'consumption' because tuberculosis 'consumed' the body."

RS: "Do euphemisms change over time? In your research did you find that?"

RALPH KEYES: "Oh, yes. ?We're always clever about finding new ways to express ourselves. One thing I saw and included in the book was the word 'canoe.' [It] showed up as an old-time euphemism for sex. Well, I've since learned that 'going canoeing' is the full euphemism.

"Now, why is that a euphemism? Well, because in a time when couples were supposed to be chaperoned when they were out together, they quickly discovered that if they went out in a canoe, there wasn't room for a third person. And today we say 'hook up.'"

AA: "Well, you know, and on a somewhat related topic, lately there was all this controversy about the new increased security measures at the airports in the US, and this new phrase 'Don't touch my junk' has become -- "

RALPH KEYES: "Isn't that amazing? Where did 'junk' come from?"

AA: "And, of course, we're talking about 'privates' Laughter

RALPH KEYES: "Privates, exactly. Thank you, Avi."

RS "'Private parts.'"

AA: "'Private parts,' to use the technical term."

RALPH KEYES: "Right."

RS: "You talk about how our values are changing. How do you see through euphemisms that our lives are changing?"

RALPH KEYES: "Well, you can tell what issues we're concerned about most. The oldest known euphemism is bear. 'Bear' is a derivation of 'bruin,' which means 'the brown one.' And some of our earliest ancestors in northern Europe were so afraid of this large, ferocious animal that they wouldn't even say its actual name. Bear has now become, of course, the standard word for this animal. We no longer know what the original word was."

AA: Today's euphemisms suggest to Ralph Keyes that people are likely to more afraid of bear markets than actual bears.

RALPH KEYES: "You don't even use the word money. You say 'assets,' 'liquid assets.' You don't 'borrow' money, you 'leverage.' You don't 'pay off' loans, you 'deleverage.' You know, markets don't 'fall,' there's an 'equity retreat' or a 'market correction.'"

AA: "'Equity' itself -- these home equity loans, the way that people were borrowing against their homes. They used to be called second mortgages."

RALPH KEYES: "Exactly. Which is a much more clear and ominous term -- a 'second mortgage.' It's like a second ball and chain, which is why it got changed to 'home equity loans' by the lending industry."

RS: "Just one last question, is focused on our audience of speakers of English as a foreign language. What would you recommend, what advice would you give for them studying euphemisms?"

RALPH KEYES: "Well, I'd listen very carefully for the ways people use euphemisms, because they do all the time, and you can get in trouble by either not understanding the euphemisms that are being used or using the wrong ones.

"And incidentally, this can happen even among English speakers. In the US, for example, 'top-shelf' refers to first rate [best quality]. In the UK, 'top-shelf' refers to pornography, because it's kept on a top shelf."

RS: Ralph Keyes is an author, speaker and teacher.? His newest book is called "Euphemania: Our Love Affair With Euphemisms." And that's WORDMASTER for this week.

AA: Archives are at www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster. With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.

]]>
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/21/http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/21/VOA詞匯大師Mon, 20 Dec 2010 16:00:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Writing Laws So Lawyers Are Not the Only Ones Who Can Read Them]]>Rosanne Skirble, Avi Arditti如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/14/

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER: Our guest is David Marcello, executive director of the Public Law Center, a joint program of the Tulane and Loyola law schools in New Orleans.

RS: For about 20 years now, the center has been training people from other countries whose job is to write legislation. More than 500 legislative drafters from 90 countries have attended a training institute held each June.

AA: David Marcello says two trends account for the need for increased skills in legislative drafting. The first: the move toward a global economy, requiring more international trade agreements.

DAVID MARCELLO: "The second is the move toward democratization, which likewise requires a new regime of domestic laws. So legislative drafting personnel -- the people who actually write the acts that are considered by legislative bodies -- have been under the gun to produce better drafts of legislation. And our program has attempted to respond to that need with the two-week training program."

RS: "How important is language?"

David Marcello
David Marcello

DAVID MARCELLO: "Language is, of course, how we communicate policy, and it's important that those communications -- particularly in the form of legislation -- be direct and simple and free as much as possible from ambiguity."

RS: "You say that it's important to be direct and to be simple. How do you teach that in two weeks?"

DAVID MARCELLO: "We like to ask our drafters at the end of the training, Which of the techniques that we have suggested can you take home next week and put into practice in your office? And then we list them: shorter sentences and paragraphs. Everyday language. Words that have ordinary meanings in dictionaries. Punctuation that is used appropriately.

"All of these things are things that drafters can do to enhance reader understanding and to eliminate ambiguity in the law. And they do not need to ask permission to do these things. They can do them because they are appropriately within the realm of the drafter's role and discretion.

"Many pieces of legislation are written in a way that suggests they only speak to one group of people: the lawyers who wrote it. In fact, legislation should speak as broadly as possible to as many people as possible, and plain English is one way of doing that -- or plain language, more generally speaking."

AA: "And I'm curious about that. Again, from language to language, culture to culture, are there some where you find it's just easier to write more plainly and directly?"

DAVID MARCELLO: "I think across most cultures the tendency to write in more complicated modes of expression has been characteristic in the past. I see it as more a measure of modernity, moving into a more modern idiom, that we move from complicated to simpler expression.

"You know, you have to have a certain confidence in your ability as a culture to express policy before you can embrace the simplest way of doing that. The law has a dignity that will not be denied by the use of plain language. It does not need outdated, complicated forms of expression in order to accomplish its purposes. And, in fact, its purposes are best accomplished by the use of plain language rather than language that keeps readers from understanding what's intended."

RS: "When you present these ideas to your students, the people who are taking your seminar from other countries, are you basically raising awareness to this point?"

DAVID MARCELLO: "I'll relate for you an anecdote that one of our former drafting participants gave to us. She said that she felt she had not been well-served by her legal education because she was taught to write in flowery language. And she realized as she looked back upon it that that might have been a deliberate strategy by a government that was not particularly governed by the rule of law, but rather by the rule of edict. The rule of law carries substance and meaning at its heart and it constrains government."

AA: David Marcello at the Public Law Center in New Orleans says legislative drafters sometimes face resistance to what they learn there. But he says some countries have invited staff from the center to come and provide follow-up training.

RS: Training not only for other drafters, but in some cases for the politicians elected to vote on what they draft. And that's WORDMASTER for this week. With Avi Arditti, I'm Rosanne Skirble.

]]>
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/14/http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/14/VOA詞匯大師Mon, 13 Dec 2010 16:00:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Seriously: 'OK' Began as a Joke in a Newspaper in Boston in 1839]]>Rosanne Skirble, Avi Arditti如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/07/

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER: We talk with Allan Metcalf, author of the new book "OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word."

RS: And not just the greatest word, in his view.

ALLAN METCALF: "America's most important word. The most successful American export to the rest of the world. And also the embodiment of the American philosophy, the American way of thinking."

AA: "All this, packed into two letters."

ALLAN METCALF: "Yes, that's the beauty of it and that's the economy of it. One of the two aspects of the American view of the world is pragmatism, getting things done. Even if they're not perfect, they're OK. And the nice thing about OK is it doesn't imply that everything is perfect or beautiful or wonderful. In fact, it's a neutral affirmation. When you say 'That's OK' or someone asks you 'How are you?' and you say 'I'm OK,' it doesn't mean that you're in perfect health. But it also doesn't mean that you're sick.

RS: "OK [is] just two letters of the alphabet. Do they stand for something?"

Allan Metcalf
Allan Metcalf

ALLAN METCALF: "Well, they do, as a matter of fact. One of the curious things about OK that makes it require a whole book to tell its story is that it began as a joke. It was on March 23, 1839, in a Boston newspaper, that the newspaper first used 'o.k.' and explained those as an abbreviation for 'all correct.' And, of course, the joke was that 'o' is not the beginning of 'all' and 'k' is not the beginning of 'correct.' So this thing supposedly all correct was not all correct."

AA: "Kind of a sarcastic joke, or what was it meant to be?"

ALLAN METCALF: "Well, it was not so sarcastic. It turned out that at that time in Boston there were all sorts of supposedly humorous abbreviations in the newspapers of that sort. And most of these abbreviations completely disappeared. And you could well imagine that they would, because they were rather stupid.

"But it turns out that in the next year, 1840, in the American presidential election of 1840, a man named Martin Van Buren was running for re-election. He happened to come from Kinderhook, New York, and so somebody thought of calling him 'Old Kinderhook' and then thought of founding clubs supporting him throughout the country, called OK Clubs. OK, Old Kinderhook, is OK, all correct or all right. And that suddenly gave continued life and prominence to OK.

"And then there was a third, very strange thing that happened. During that presidential election year, Martin Van Burne's predecessor as president had been Andrew Jackson, and so there was an attack on Andrew Jackson by an opponent of Van Buren. The attack said that Jackson couldn't spell, so that Jackson would look at a document and if he approved of it, he would write OK on it, meaning it was all correct. Now it turns out that that was a complete hoax.

"It turns out that Andrew Jackson actually could spell pretty well, and the curator of the documents of Andrew Jackson confirms that he never wrote OK on a document. But as a result of that story, within about twenty years people really began marking OK on documents, as they have done ever since. And so it took on a practical, down-to-earth aspect that ultimately developed into the OK we know today."

RS: But Allan Metcalf says the idea that OK began as a joke kept people trying to guess where it really came from.

ALLAN METCALF: "The OK-as-Andrew-Jackson's hoax was the first misleading statement of its origins. And then around the 1880s a professor decided that the true origin was from the Choctaw Indian language, where they had an expression like OK which means 'it is so,' and for various reasons that was proposed as the true explanation for OK. They spelled it 'okeh,' and the only American president ever to have a PhD, Woodrow Wilson, thought that was the correct explanation, so he would mark o-k-e-h on documents."

AA: And, as we will hear next week, there is more to "OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word." Allan Metcalf is an English professor at MacMurray College in Illinois and executive secretary of the American Dialect Society.

RS:?? ?And that's WORDMASTER for this week. Transcripts and MP3s of our program are at www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster. With Avi Arditti. I'm Rosanne Skirble.

?

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER: We're back with the author of the new book "OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word."

RS: Last week, Allan Metcalf explained how OK began as a joke on March 23, 1839. That was the day a Boston newspaper first used it as a humorous, misspelled abbreviation for "all correct." Other factors later helped propel OK into wider use.

AA: But not everyone thought OK was OK, says Allan Metcalf.

ALLAN METCALF: "Throughout the rest of the nineteenth century, it was well-known, but there were places where it was not used. And one of them was by writers of fiction. All the good writers seemed to avoid OK, like Mark Twain, who certainly used slang, and Brett Hart. Both of them could easily have used OK. They must have known it. But they avoided it."

AA: "What did they use in its place?"

ALLAN METCALF: "Just something like 'all right' or 'that will do' or whatever else. And then there's a very interesting case. Louisa May Alcott wrote a book called 'Little Women' about twenty years after OK was invented. And, in it, there's one OK in a letter from one of the girls to her sisters.

"And then that was revised for a second edition, and OK was removed and 'cozy' was put in instead. So everything is 'cozy' instead of everything is 'OK.' So there must have been some sense that OK was too silly a term to use even in fiction."

RS: "How does OK in our vocabulary represent who we are as Americans?"

ALLAN METCALF: "One way that it represents who we are is that it represents the pragmatic sense of getting it done. Maybe not getting it done perfectly, but it's OK. But the other way began with a book published in 1967 by a guy named Thomas Harris. The book is called 'I'm OK -- You're OK.' And the book happens to be about a kind of psychology known as transactional analysis.

"Now most of us have either forgotten or never heard about transactional analysis. But that brilliant statement, 'I'm OK -- You're OK,' which happens also to be the only famous quotation ever involving OK, is one that has seeped into our American consciousness.

"And I think nowadays we as a people are much more tolerant than we used to be, partly because 'I'm OK' -- that means I can do what I want. 'You're OK' -- you can do what you want. Maybe we aren't doing the same thing, but that's OK."

RS: "And speaking of OK, do you think OK also has not only a past longevity, but a future?"

ALLAN METCALF: "It's hard to imagine a world without OK, and I mean not just America without OK but any other part of the world. I've received a few anecdotes about OK once my book was published. It was used in Polish. That's one anecdote. Another in French.

"I'd be very pleased if your listeners would send me any stories about how OK is used in their countries. I'm thinking of a sequel called 'OK Around the World.'"

RS: "We'll try to help you on that."

AA: "Speaking of these other languages, you mention that there are similar terms in other languages. Did any of those come before OK, or have they all emerged since then?"

ALLAN METCALF: "The Greek language has an expression something like 'olla kalla' which means 'all good,' which has been around in Greek for a couple of thousand years. And so when OK was imported-exported to Greece, the Greeks thought 'Oh, that's an abbreviation of one of our expressions.' But there's absolutely no connection leading from Greece to the American Boston in 1839."

AA: "And there are so many ways it's written: O.K., OK without periods, o-k-a-y. Is there one you prefer?"

ALLAN METCALF: "Well, for my book, since I wanted to emphasize OK, I used capital O, capital K without periods. But those other spellings that you mention are also legitimate. The original OK was 'o.k.' And if you want to make it look more like an ordinary word, you spell it 'okay.'"

RS:?? ?Allan Metcalf is the author of "OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word."

AA:?? ?Let us know if you use OK in your language.

RS:?? ?OK?

AA:?? ?Go to www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster, click on the Contact Us link and tell us your story. We'll forward it to Allan Metcalf.

RS:?? ?That's WORDMASTER for this week. With Avi Arditti, I'm Rosanne Skirble.

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http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/07/http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/12/07/VOA詞匯大師Mon, 6 Dec 2010 16:00:00 UTC
<![CDATA['Jack and the Beanstalk,' Told With Food-Related Slang]]>Rosanne Skirble, Avi Arditti如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/11/23/

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER: Our theme is food, or more precisely, slang having to do with food. After all, Thanksgiving is just a day away, and the traditional way to celebrate the holiday is with a big, festive meal.

So we're dusting off a vintage WORDMASTER, a segment we did with our old friend David Burke, better known as "Slangman." It's a story he wrote for our listeners based on the children's classic "Jack and the Beanstalk."

DAVID BURKE: "Once upon a time, there lived a woman who was as American as apple pie. She lived in the Big Apple."

RS: "Where else."

AA: "New York."

DAVID BURKE: "New York. With her only son Jack, the apple ...

AA/RS/DAVID BURKE: " ... of her eye!"

David "Slangman" Burke
David "Slangman" Burke

DAVID BURKE: "The most important thing to her. Unfortunately, she just couldn't cut the mustard in the working world. And to cut the mustard means to succeed. So she could not cut the mustard in the working world, and Jack was such a couch ... "

RS: "Potato!"

DAVID BURKE: "Very good. A coach potato, a lazy person who does nothing but sit on the couch and usually just watch television. He was such a couch potato that there was no one to bring home the bacon, which means to earn money for food. For now, selling milk from their cow was their bread and butter, which means the only way they could earn money. But the cow they bought turned out to be a lemon, defective. [laughter] That's something you buy then you discover later that it just doesn't work."

AA: "Like a car."

DAVID BURKE: "Right, we hear that a lot, especially of course with cars. If a car doesn't work after you bought it, it's a lemon.

"But in this case, the cow was a lemon and stopped producing milk! They were certainly in a pickle -- a bad situation. I have no idea why we say that, although we do. That's the interesting thing about some of these expressions. If you ask an American 'why do you say that, where does it come from?' we don't know, we just use it. So, 'Jack,' said his mother. "I'm not going to sugar-coat this.' That means to tell it like it is, even though it may be painful for the other person to hear. Well, the mother said, 'We have to sell the cow.' 'Sell the cow?!' Jack exclaimed. 'Mother, I think your idea is half-baked!'"

RS: "Not a great idea."

DAVID BURKE: "Right, not carefully considered. It's half-baked. But Jack's mother kept egging him on, which means pushed him to do something, to encourage him. And the next morning, Jack took the cow to the city to sell it. Well, on his way to the market, Jack was stopped by a man who said 'I'd like to buy your cow, and I'll give you five beans for it.'

"And Jack said: 'What are you, some kind of a nut?' -- somebody who's crazy. We can say nutty. In fact, the movie 'The Nutty Professor' means the crazy professor. 'Ah, but these are magic beans!' said the man, 'and that's no baloney!' And baloney, which is ... "

AA: "Processed meat."

DAVID BURKE: "Processed meat. I was going to say it's a food, but it simply means in this case nonsense, 'that's baloney.' The man told Jack that if he planted the beans, by the next morning they'd grow up tall, tall, tall and reach the sky. Well, since Jack really didn't know beans about ...

SLANGMAN/RS: " ... beans!"

DAVID BURKE: "If you don't know beans about something, it means you don't know anything about it. Well, he did agree, and took the beans, then ran home to tell his mother the good news. When his mother discovered what Jack had done, she turned beet red. Now a beet is a vegetable that is really deep red. She turned beet red and went bananas, and threw the beans out the window.

"When he woke up the next morning, to Jack's surprise, there was growing an enormous beanstalk. 'Hmm, I'll see where it goes,' thought Jack, and with that he stepped out of the window on to the beanstalk to climb up and up and up.

"In the distance, he could see a big castle. When he walked in, Jack tried to stay as cool as a cucumber -- which means very calm, very relaxed. Well, it was difficult to stay as cool as a cucumber, because sitting there at the table was a giant who was rather beefy."

AA: "A big guy."

DAVID BURKE: "A big guy. Big and muscular, that's beefy. And the giant was definitely what you would call a tough cookie, a stubborn and strict person. The giant placed a goose on the table and said, 'Lay three eggs!' and out came three golden eggs!

"The giant took the eggs, and left the room. 'Wow!' thought Jack. 'If I borrow the goose, my mother and I will have no more money problems! This is going to be as easy as pie!' he thought. Which means something extremely easy to do, which is kind of strange because pie is not that easy to make. Have you ever tried to make a pie?"

AA: "That's true."

DAVID BURKE: "So he climbed up the table and grabbed the goose. The giant came running after Jack. Jack quickly climbed all the way down the beanstalk, took an ax, and chopped it down. And that, my friends, is the whole enchilada."

RS: "Enchilada."

DAVID BURKE: "That's a Mexican dish, meat and cheese, that's wrapped in a tortilla which is made of flour and water. 'The whole enchilada' -- that means that's the whole story."

AA: For more of a taste of how you can learn English with help from Slangman David Burke, you can visit his website, slangman.com. With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.

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http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/11/23/http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/11/23/VOA詞匯大師Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:00:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Lost for Words? Here Are Some Tips to Remember About Improving Memory]]>Rosanne Skirble, Avi Arditti如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/11/16/

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER some ways to help you improve your memory.

WENDI ELDH: "We don't forget, we just haven't learned it in the first place."

RS: That's Wendi Eldh. She's a communications trainer who teaches memory skills. One technique she uses she calls the three R's -- record, retain and retrieve.

WENDI ELDH: "That is, you have to say, what is the piece of information I want to learn, and you record that. Then you have to figure out where you're going to put it. I don't just throw it in my brain. Am I going to put it with car information, will I put it with insurance information. So you actually get disciplined enough to organize the information you retain in some kind of filing system. And then when you're ready to retrieve it, you know where to get it, just like filing information in a filing cabinet."

RS: "But this is your head." [laughter]

WENDI ELDH: "Exactly."

AA: "Is your brain set up that way?"

Wendi Eldh
Wendi Eldh

WENDI ELDH: "Sometimes. It takes a lot of work. And I would say that in addition to the epiphany of learning that until you learn it you can't forget it, I think the other thing to realize about memory is that it takes a tremendous amount of discipline."

RS: "Well, how do you go about doing that?"

WENDI ELDH: "Well, there are many different memory techniques. I would say that the majority of them have to do with using very intense visual images. The more elaborate, the more bright, the more it draws on all your senses, the better you'll remember. Let's say somebody's name is Campbell. How are you going to remember Campbell? Well, break it up -- camp bell. You want to see that person at a campsite. He's got a huge bell in his hand and he's ringing it. And you see that in your mind, and you hear the bell ringing, very loudly, and you smell the pine needles. Now, you're never going to forget Mister Campbell."

AA: "So you file that, what file do you put that under?"

WENDI ELDH: "I'm going to put that under names, and I would probably file it -- depending on the scenario -- under a workplace name. Now that is a danger, though, because then we have what is called 'queue dependency."

RS: "Aren't you at risk of forgetting your cue?" [laughter]

WENDI ELDH: "You definitely are, and in fact that is one of the ways that we forget. We forget from decay. If you've studied another language, you know that if you don't use it, you lose it. And we've all heard that. Another is depression. When we have either a mental or a physical illness, our ability to remember and retain information goes down dramatically."

RS: "How would you apply these techniques that you've been talking about, the three R's -- record, retain and retrieve -- to learning a foreign language?"

WENDI ELDH: "I think that I would use a lot of the pneumonic devices where you make associations with words. I would also use the device that we use where you use the first letter of each of the words that you have to memorize. I'll give you an example: In America, we have what are known as the Great Lakes. Of course, we all know that. How do we remember the Great Lakes. Can either one of you remember how you ... "

AA: "Let's see, Huron, Michigan, Superior -- what are the other two?" [laughter]

RS: "Erie."

AA: "Erie, right, of course."

WENDI ELDH: "Now, I'll tell you an easier way to memorize this. You take the H for Huron, the O for Ontario, the M for Michigan, the E for Erie and the S for Superior and you make the word homes. Now you don't stop there -- and this is what I really want people to get from this information, that you don't just stop at homes, you don't just stop at an acronym, you take it further. You see homes -- it can be floating homes, on the lake, and you see people talking about their homes on the lake, and they're saying 'aren't these lakes beautiful that we float around on in our homes.' And so you can see you deepen the image that you have."

RS: "At one point in my life, I really, really wanted to be good at telling jokes. I never told many jokes and I thought it would be really fun to do that. And so what I did is -- but I could never remember the punch lines of the jokes that I'd hear. So I would write the punch lines down or a word or two, and all of a sudden I had a repertoire of jokes. So I think that writing down reinforces in some ways the things you're trying to remember."

AA: "Assuming you can remember where you put the paper. You know that situation ... "

WENDI ELDH: "Absolutely."

AA: "You write something down and you can't -- is there a simple way to remember where you put the paper?"

WENDI ELDH: "Ahhh ... "

RS: Memory and communications trainer Wendi Eldh. Now let's see if you can remember some addresses.

AA: The first address is our Web site: www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster. Next, our e-mail address. That's word@voanews.com. And, finally, our postal address. It's VOA Wordmaster, Washington DC 20237 USA.

RS: With Avi Arditti, I'm Rosanne Skirble.

MUSIC: "Thanks for the Memory"/Bob Hope and Shirley Ross, from the film "The Big Broadcast of 1938"

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http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/11/16/http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/11/16/VOA詞匯大師Mon, 15 Nov 2010 16:00:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Taking the Frustration Out of Phrasal Verbs]]>Rosanne Skirble, Avi Arditti如果想下載文章的MP3聲音、PDF文稿等配套英語學習資料,請訪問以下鏈接:
http://www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster/scripts/2010/11/09/

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on Wordmaster -- English teacher Lida Baker joins us from Los Angeles to talk about phrasal verbs. The first word is a verb. The second word, sometimes even a third, is usually a preposition. Phrasal verbs have a reputation for being tough for English learners.? So what does Lida Baker think?

LB: "I think that is a myth."

RS: "Really."

LB: "Phrasal verbs are not hard to learn, as long as you learn them in a context.? I think what has given phrasal verbs a reputation for being difficult is the way they are traditionally taught, which is that students are given long lists of verbs -- you know, for instance every phrasal verb connected with the word 'go.'? So 'go on,' 'go up,' 'go out,' 'go in,' 'go away,' 'go through,' OK?? That's a very tedious way of learning anything."

RS: "Well, give us some of your strategies."

Lida Baker
Lida Baker

LB: "All right.? Well, one thing we should keep in mind about phrasal verbs is that they are used a lot more in conversational English than they are in formal English.? So you are going to find a lot of phrasal verbs in conversational settings such as ... "

RS: "Come on [laughter]."

LB: " ... television programs, radio interviews, and pop music is a wonderful, wonderful source for phrasal verbs.? I think the best way to learn, or one of the best ways of learning phrasal verbs is to learn them in everyday contexts.? One good one is people's daily routine.? We 'get up' in the morning, we 'wake up,' we 'put on' our clothes in the morning, we 'take off' our clothes at the end of the day, we 'turn on' the coffee maker or the television set, and of course we 'turn it off' also.? After we eat we 'clean up.'? If we're concerned about our health and our weight, we go to the gym and we ... "

RS: "Work out."

LB: "There you go.? You see, so as far as our daily routine is concerned, there are lots and lots of phrasal verbs.? Another wonderful context for phrasal verbs is traveling.? What does an airplane do?"

AA: "It 'takes off.'"

LB: "It 'takes off,' that's right.? And lots of phrasal verbs connected with hotels.? So when we get to the hotel we 'check
in,' and you can save a lot of money if you ... "

RS: "Stay -- "

LB: "'Stay over,' right."

AA: "And you just have to make sure you don't get 'ripped off.'"

LB: "That's right!? I'm glad that you mentioned 'ripped off,' because a lot of phrasal verbs are slang, such as ripped off. And most of them do have sort of a formal English equivalent. So to get ripped off means to be treated unfairly ... "

AA: "To be cheated."

LB: "To be cheated, yeah.? And there are lot of other two-word or phrasal verbs that you might find, for instance, in rap
music.? For example, to 'get down' means to, uh -- what does it mean?"

RS: "It means to party, doesn't it?"

LB: "To go to parties."

AA: "Have a good time."

LB: "Right.? Another wonderful context is dating and romance. For example, when a relationship ends two people 'break up.' But when they decide that they've made a mistake and they really are in love and want to be together, they 'call each other up' ... "

RS: "And they 'make up.'"

LB: "And they make up.? Now, if your boyfriend 'breaks up' with you and it's really, really over, then it might take you a few months to 'get over it.'? But, you know, sooner or later you're going to find someone else ... "

AA: "To 'hook up' with -- "

LB: "To hook up with."

AA: " -- to use a current idiom."

LB: "Right.? Or you might meet someone nice at work to 'go out with.'"

RS: "So what would you recommend for a teacher to do, to build these contexts, so that the students can learn from them?"

LB: "I think the best thing for a teacher to do, or for a person learning alone, is to learn the idioms in context.? And there are vocabulary books and idiom books that will cluster the phrasal verbs for the student.? There are also so many wonderful Web sites.? I mean, if you go to a search engine and you just type in 'ESL + phrasal verbs,' you're going to run across -- and there's another one, 'run across' -- you're going to find lots of Web sites that present phrasal verbs in these contexts that I've been talking about.? And also grammar sites which explain the grammar of phrasal verbs, which I haven't gotten into because we just don't have the time to discuss it here.? But in doing my research for this segment I found lots of Web sites that do a really great job of explaining the grammar of phrasal verbs."

AA: Lida Baker writes and edits textbooks for English learners. You can find earlier segments with Lida at www.599158.live/voanews/wordmaster. And that's WORDMASTER for this week. With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.

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