新编大学英语教程第四册Unit 02

Y.O.Y.O. 2008-03-28 5710 阅读
分享

感谢大耳朵网友“tina_89”提供听力原文



Englishes

Of course a scale of of styles exists in all our use of English.Each of us works not just with one English but with many Englishes,and the wider the range of our life and the more various the contacts we have,the wider and suppler must be our command over a range of English styles, each of witch we know how to use consistently. A haphazard knowledge of several styles may be worse than useless if we do not know the type of occasion on which each is appropriate,or if we do not know when we are sliding from one to another.We do not say, “It was extremely gracious of you to invite me,Lady Jones,and I’ve had bags of fun ”,because “bags of fun” does not mix with “extremely gracious”,and because to use an expression like “bags of fun,” we should need to knoe Lady Jones well enough to be addressing he by first name.

It is not—we must never tire of insisting—that bags of fun can be labelled “bad” or “slovenly” English, “a lazy substitute for thought”. “Bags of fun” is no more a lazy substitute for thought in its approprite setting than is “extremely gracious”in the seting that is appropriate for this expression.As we have seen repeatedly, it is the height of naivety to go round with a single yardstick,measuring English as “good” or “bad”. Take the opening suggested earlier for an informal letter: “My dear Frank, it was awfully nice to get your note the other day.’ Here are the words that would greatly pleased the receiver with their warmth and friendliness, yet they include awfully ,get and nice, three words which have been condemned so often that many people cannot write them without having a slightfreeling of guilty.They have been called “slovenly” and even “meaningless”. Such an attitude is plainly ridiculous and can do nothing but harm to the good use of English.

But it would be equally ridiculous to reverse the judgement just as flatly.It is the type of judgement that is wrong : it is not merely that the judgement is faulty in this particular instance. If we were studing a review and found the comment “This is an awfully nice book,” our reaction to the words in this situation might well be to call them slovenly and meaningless. We do not want merely po;ite noises in a review: we want some precise observations about the book’s content and quality.Equally, however,we should disapprove of the English used if we were greeted by a party with the words, “I apprehend an atmosphere of spontaneous delight with your arrivlal,” wheras “Awfully nice to see you here” would strike us as just right.

Stop Being Coy

I am an old cripple,drawing an old-age pension,working hard to raise vast quantitise of vegetables on an allotment and well aware that, one of these days,I shall die. All this is fact.

If, however,I listen to the voice of officialdom, it turns out that I am a disadvantaged senior citizen,registerd as disabled, drawing a retirement pension, renting a leisure garden and, presumably, immortal because Ishall never die—I shall merely pass away.

According to encyclopaedia Britannica , “Euphemisms are considered overly sqeamish and affected by contemporary writers, unless used for humorous effect,” This may be so among the cognoscenti but there is little evidence to show that the massses, especially the administrators, have read their encyclopaedia.

To support the argument by using the cliches which pour from the lips of trade union leaders would be too much like shooting sitting birds. “Withdrawing our services” or “ taking industrial action” equals “going on strike” and “working to rule” aquals “being bloodyminded”.

Some euphemisms,too are sufficiently offbeat to be funny. Dilettante ornithologists, for example, may have wondered hoe one of our summer residents, Oenanthe oenanthe, acquired its popular name of “wheatear”. The bird is common on the moors and fells of the north and the locals knew it by a name that described the white rumo which it shows as it flies away.In their uncouth northern fashion , they called it “white arse”but “Wheet Earse” was how they pronounced it . And “Wheatears” they have remained.

Examples of gross understatement may also appeal to most of us . A native of the Lake District who describes himselfe as being “nobbut middlin’” is approaching a state of collapse and coma; if he says he’s “proper poorly”, there will be a funeral in the near future.

These more robust euphemisms may,for all I care,stay. But let is , please, do away with the following:“lowerincome bracketd”(poor),”under the weather”(ill), “low IQ”(stupid),”unemployment benefit”(dole), “Ministry of Defence”(Ministry of War), “have a dialogue”(talk) and “companion animal”(pet).

All this effort to avoid unpleasantness is certain to fail, because the euphemism quickly aquires the stigma of the words it replaved.I, and probably others, do not feel younger because I am called a “senior citizen”.

By Bryyan Heath
感谢大耳朵网友“tina_89”提供听力原文 Englishes Of course a scale of of styles exists in all our use of English.Each of us works not just with one English but with many Englishes,and the wider the range of our life and the more various the contacts we have,the wider and suppler must be our command over a range of English styles, each of witch we know how to use consistently. A haphazard knowledge of several styles may be worse than useless if we do not know the type of occasion on which each is appropriate,or if we do not know when we are sliding from one to another.We do not say, “It was extremely gracious of you to invite me,Lady Jones,and I’ve had bags of fun ”,because “bags of fun” does not mix with “extremely gracious”,and because to use an expression like “bags of fun,” we should need to knoe Lady Jones well enough to be addressing he by first name. It is not—we must never tire of insisting—that bags of fun can be labelled “bad” or “slovenly” English, “a lazy substitute for thought”. “Bags of fun” is no more a lazy substitute for thought in its approprite setting than is “extremely gracious”in the seting that is appropriate for this expression.As we have seen repeatedly, it is the height of naivety to go round with a single yardstick,measuring English as “good” or “bad”. Take the opening suggested earlier for an informal letter: “My dear Frank, it was awfully nice to get your note the other day.’ Here are the words that would greatly pleased the receiver with their warmth and friendliness, yet they include awfully ,get and nice, three words which have been condemned so often that many people cannot write them without having a slightfreeling of guilty.They have been called “slovenly” and even “meaningless”. Such an attitude is plainly ridiculous and can do nothing but harm to the good use of English. But it would be equally ridiculous to reverse the judgement just as flatly.It is the type of judgement that is wrong : it is not merely that the judgement is faulty in this particular instance. If we were studing a review and found the comment “This is an awfully nice book,” our reaction to the words in this situation might well be to call them slovenly and meaningless. We do not want merely po;ite noises in a review: we want some precise observations about the book’s content and quality.Equally, however,we should disapprove of the English used if we were greeted by a party with the words, “I apprehend an atmosphere of spontaneous delight with your arrivlal,” wheras “Awfully nice to see you here” would strike us as just right. Stop Being Coy I am an old cripple,drawing an old-age pension,working hard to raise vast quantitise of vegetables on an allotment and well aware that, one of these days,I shall die. All this is fact. If, however,I listen to the voice of officialdom, it turns out that I am a disadvantaged senior citizen,registerd as disabled, drawing a retirement pension, renting a leisure garden and, presumably, immortal because Ishall never die—I shall merely pass away. According to encyclopaedia Britannica , “Euphemisms are considered overly sqeamish and affected by contemporary writers, unless used for humorous effect,” This may be so among the cognoscenti but there is little evidence to show that the massses, especially the administrators, have read their encyclopaedia. To support the argument by using the cliches which pour from the lips of trade union leaders would be too much like shooting sitting birds. “Withdrawing our services” or “ taking industrial action” equals “going on strike” and “working to rule” aquals “being bloodyminded”. Some euphemisms,too are sufficiently offbeat to be funny. Dilettante ornithologists, for example, may have wondered hoe one of our summer residents, Oenanthe oenanthe, acquired its popular name of “wheatear”. The bird is common on the moors and fells of the north and the locals knew it by a name that described the white rumo which it shows as it flies away.In their uncouth northern fashion , they called it “white arse”but “Wheet Earse” was how they pronounced it . And “Wheatears” they have remained. Examples of gross understatement may also appeal to most of us . A native of the Lake District who describes himselfe as being “nobbut middlin’” is approaching a state of collapse and coma; if he says he’s “proper poorly”, there will be a funeral in the near future. These more robust euphemisms may,for all I care,stay. But let is , please, do away with the following:“lowerincome bracketd”(poor),”under the weather”(ill), “low IQ”(stupid),”unemployment benefit”(dole), “Ministry of Defence”(Ministry of War), “have a dialogue”(talk) and “companion animal”(pet). All this effort to avoid unpleasantness is certain to fail, because the euphemism quickly aquires the stigma of the words it replaved.I, and probably others, do not feel younger because I am called a “senior citizen”. By Bryyan Heath
3g.bigear.cn 用手机随时随地学英语
分享