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21世纪大学英语读写基础教程 Unit9

时间:2006-02-21 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:yxdzgd5   字体: [ ]
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Unit 9

Text A

In the U.SA., Christmas has long been characterized by piles of presents and lavish1 parties. Not long ago, a group of people urged the public to give up extravagant2 Christmas celebrations and spend the holiday simply.

In Defense3 of a Simple Christmas

Bill McKibben

I know what I will be doing on Christmas Eve. My wife, my 4-year-old daughter, my dad, my brother and I will snowshoe out into the woods in the late afternoon, choose a suitable tree and saw it down. I have had my eye on three or four likely candidates all year.
We will bring it home, shake off the snow, decorate it and then head for church, where the Sunday school class I help teach will perform this year's pageant4. And then it is home to hang stockings, stoke the fire and go to bed. Our Christmas celebration is as traditional as it gets, except that there is no sprawling6 pile of presents under the tree.
Several years ago, a few of us in northern New York started a campaign for "$100 holidays." We decided7 to urge people not to spend more than $100 per family on presents and to rely instead on simple homemade gifts. That first year, I made walking sticks for everyone. Last year, I made spicy8 chicken sausage. My mother has embraced the idea by making calendars illustrated10 with snapshots she has taken.
The $100 figure was a way to explain to children why they weren't getting everything on their list. So far, our daughter, Sophie, does fine at Christmas. Her stocking is exciting to her. The tree is exciting. Skating on the pond is exciting. It is worth mentioning, however, that we don't have a television, so she may not understand the degree of her impoverishment11.
This holiday idea may sound modest. It is modest. And yet at the same time, it is pretty radical12. Christmas, it turns out, is a bulwark13 of the nation's economy. Many businesses do a third of their volume in the months just before Dec. 25. And so it hits a nerve to question whether we should celebrate the birth of a man who said we should give all that we have to the poor by showering one another with motorized tie racks.
When we began the $100 campaign, merchants writing to the local newspapers made it clear to us what a threatening idea it was. Newspaper columnists15 thought it was pretty extreme, too. One said that while our message had merit, it would do too much damage to business.
And he was right, or at least not wrong. If we all backed out of Christmas excess, we would sink many a gift shop. If we threw less lavish office parties, caterers would suffer — and florists18 and liquor wholesalers and so on down the feeding chain. But we have to start somewhere if we are to climb down from the unsustainable heights we have reached, and Christmas might as well be it.
When we began to spread our idea about celebrating Christmas in a new way, we were earnest and sober. Big-time Christmas was an environmental disgrace — all that wrapping paper and all those batteries. The money could be so much better spent: The price of one silk necktie could feed a village for a day. And struggling to create a proper Christmas drives poor families into debt. Here in New York, January finds many people cutting back on heat to pay off their Christmas bills.
Those were all good reasons to scale back. But as we continued our campaign, we found we really weren't interested in changing Christmas because we wanted fewer batteries. We wanted more joy. We felt cheated by the Christmases we were having — so rushed, so busy and so full of hype that we couldn't relax and enjoy the season.
You may be too late for this Christmas. You already may have bought your pile of stuff. In fact, turning the focus of Christmas back to Christ is a long and patient effort. But to judge from our family's holidays in recent years, it is well worth the effort.
(644 words)

New Words

defense
n. the act or process of defending 维护,保卫;辩护

snowshoe
vi. 穿雪鞋行走
n. (用于在雪地上行走的)雪 鞋

saw
v. 锯,锯开

candidate
n. 候选者;候选人

decorate
v. add sth. to (an object or place), esp. in order to make it more attractive 装饰
pageant
n. a show or ceremony, usu. out of doors, in which there are people wearing rich dress or in which historical scenes are acted 盛大的庆曲;(露天演出的)历史剧

stocking
n. 长袜,袜子

stoke
v. stir up and feed fuel to (a fire, etc.) 添加燃料拨旺(炉火)

celebration
n. the act of celebrating 庆祝

sprawl5
vi. spread out irregularly over a large area (杂乱无章地)蔓生,蔓延,扩展

campaign
n. a planned set of actions intended to realize a particular goal 运动

urge
vt. try very hard to advise or ask (sb.) to do a particular thing 力劝;敦促

per
prep. for each 每,每一

rely
vi. (on) depend on sb. or sth. 依靠

homemade
a. made at home, locally or at the place bought 自制的

spicy
a. having or producing a pleasantly strong taste and smell 有香(料)味的;辛辣的

sausage
n. 香肠;腊肠

embrace
vt. (fml) accept eagerly [正式]欣然接受
vt. & vi. take and hold (sb. or each other) in the arms (互相)拥抱

calendar
n. 日历

illustrate9
vt. 1. add pictures to (a book, etc.) 给(书等)加插图
2. make clear by examples (用例子)说明;表明

snapshot
n. an informal photo, usu. taken with a simple camera (简易照相机拍的)快照

figure
n. 1. an amount, esp. of money (钱等的)数目
2. any of the number signs 数字符号

pond
n. an area of water smaller than a lake 池塘

mention
vt. speak about (sth.) in a few words 提及,谈起

impoverishment
n. poverty 贫穷

modest
a. 1. not large in amount, size, value, etc. 适度的,不过分的
2. having a lower opinion of one's own ability than is probably deserved 谦虚的

radical
a. extreme; thoroughgoing 激进的;彻底的

bulwark
n. any protection against danger, injury, etc. 保障;支柱

economy
n. the system by which a country's wealth is produced through trade, industry, etc. 经济体制,经济情况

volume
n. the number or amount of sth. 份量,量;额

nerve
n. 1. 神经
2. courage; determination 勇敢;决心

shower
vt. send or give (sth.) (to sb.) in great numbers 大量地给予

motorized
a. equipped with a motor 机动化的;摩托化的

rack
n. 架子,挂架,搁架

merchant
n. a person who buys and sells goods for profit 商人

threaten
v. express a threat against 威胁

columnist14
n. a person who writes a newspaper or magazine column 专栏作家

merit
n. the quality of being good 优点,长处

damage
n. injury or harm to a person or thing 破坏,损害
vt. do damage to 破坏,损害

excess
n. immoderate indulgence, as in eating, drinking, etc. (饮食烟酒等的)无节制,无度

lavish
a. very wasteful20 in giving or using 非常浪费的

caterer16
n. a person or company that provides food for large social events 酒席承办人

florist17
n. a person or company that owns or works in a shop which sells cut lowers and plants 花商;花店工作人员

liquor
n. 酒,含酒精饮料

wholesaler19
n. a businessman who sells goods in large quantities and usu. at low prices 批发商

unsustainable
a. unable to be continued in its present form 无法支撑(或维持)的

earnest
a. serious; not joking; sincere 认真的;真诚的

* sober
a. serious; thoughtful 严肃的;审慎的

environmental
a. 环境的

disgrace
n. shame or loss of other people's respect; a person or thing that brings shame, dishonor, etc. 丢脸,耻辱;丢脸的人(或事)

wrap
v. cover or enclose within a covering 包裹

battery
n. 电池

necktie
n. (esp. AmE) tie (尤美)领带;领结

debt
n. money or other things owed to sb. else 欠债,债务

scale
vt. increase or reduce, esp. by a fixed21 rate (按比例)调节
n. a set of numbers or standards used to measure or compare (测量或比较的)标准;等级

cheat
v. deceive 欺骗

hype
n. 天花乱坠的宣传

Phrases and Expressions

in defense of
supporting 维护;为…辩护

shake off
get rid of 抖落;摆脱

rely on
depend on 依靠,依赖

so far
up to the present 到目前为止

turn out
be found or known to be 结果(是);原来(是);证明(是)

hit/touch a nerve
refer to a subject that causes sb. pain, anger, etc.触及要害;触到痛处

do damage to
损害,破坏

back out
with draw 退出,撒手不干

many a
(fml) many [正式]许多

climb down
1. 往下爬
2. admit that you are wrong 认错;退让

might as well
还是…为好,不妨

drive... into
force (sb.) into a usu. unpleasant condition 迫使,逼使

cut back on
reduce 缩减,削减

pay off
pay (a debt) in full 还清

scale back
reduce (sth.) by a fixed rate 按比例缩减

Proper Names

Bill McKibben
比尔·默基本(人名)

Sophie
索菲(女子名)

Christ
基督


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1 lavish h1Uxz     
adj.无节制的;浪费的;vt.慷慨地给予,挥霍
参考例句:
  • He despised people who were lavish with their praises.他看不起那些阿谀奉承的人。
  • The sets and costumes are lavish.布景和服装极尽奢华。
2 extravagant M7zya     
adj.奢侈的;过分的;(言行等)放肆的
参考例句:
  • They tried to please him with fulsome compliments and extravagant gifts.他们想用溢美之词和奢华的礼品来取悦他。
  • He is extravagant in behaviour.他行为放肆。
3 defense AxbxB     
n.防御,保卫;[pl.]防务工事;辩护,答辩
参考例句:
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
4 pageant fvnyN     
n.壮观的游行;露天历史剧
参考例句:
  • Our pageant represented scenes from history.我们的露天历史剧上演一幕幕的历史事件。
  • The inauguration ceremony of the new President was a splendid pageant.新主席的就职典礼的开始是极其壮观的。
5 sprawl 2GZzx     
vi.躺卧,扩张,蔓延;vt.使蔓延;n.躺卧,蔓延
参考例句:
  • In our garden,bushes are allowed to sprawl as they will.在我们园子里,灌木丛爱怎么蔓延就怎么蔓延。
  • He is lying in a sprawl on the bed.他伸开四肢躺在床上。
6 sprawling 3ff3e560ffc2f12f222ef624d5807902     
adj.蔓生的,不规则地伸展的v.伸开四肢坐[躺]( sprawl的现在分词 );蔓延;杂乱无序地拓展;四肢伸展坐着(或躺着)
参考例句:
  • He was sprawling in an armchair in front of the TV. 他伸开手脚坐在电视机前的一张扶手椅上。
  • a modern sprawling town 一座杂乱无序拓展的现代城镇
7 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
8 spicy zhvzrC     
adj.加香料的;辛辣的,有风味的
参考例句:
  • The soup tasted mildly spicy.汤尝起来略有点辣。
  • Very spicy food doesn't suit her stomach.太辣的东西她吃了胃不舒服。
9 illustrate IaRxw     
v.举例说明,阐明;图解,加插图
参考例句:
  • The company's bank statements illustrate its success.这家公司的银行报表说明了它的成功。
  • This diagram will illustrate what I mean.这个图表可说明我的意思。
10 illustrated 2a891807ad5907f0499171bb879a36aa     
adj. 有插图的,列举的 动词illustrate的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • His lecture was illustrated with slides taken during the expedition. 他在讲演中使用了探险时拍摄到的幻灯片。
  • The manufacturing Methods: Will be illustrated in the next chapter. 制作方法将在下一章说明。
11 impoverishment ae4f093f45919e5b388bce0d13eaa2e6     
n.贫穷,穷困;贫化
参考例句:
  • Therefore, the spiritual impoverishment is a more fearful social phenomenon. 所以,精神贫困是一种比物质贫困更隐蔽更可怕的社会现象。 来自互联网
  • Impoverishment is compounded by many elements, and can transmit to be a pernicious cycle. 贫困是由多种因素复合而成的,并且具有传递性,形成贫困的恶性循环。 来自互联网
12 radical hA8zu     
n.激进份子,原子团,根号;adj.根本的,激进的,彻底的
参考例句:
  • The patient got a radical cure in the hospital.病人在医院得到了根治。
  • She is radical in her demands.她的要求十分偏激。
13 bulwark qstzb     
n.堡垒,保障,防御
参考例句:
  • That country is a bulwark of freedom.那个国家是自由的堡垒。
  • Law and morality are the bulwark of society.法律和道德是社会的防御工具。
14 columnist XwwzUQ     
n.专栏作家
参考例句:
  • The host was interviewing a local columnist.节目主持人正在同一位当地的专栏作家交谈。
  • She's a columnist for USA Today.她是《今日美国报》的专栏作家。
15 columnists 4b0c463dbee83e5632e77c6f9c00ae3f     
n.专栏作家( columnist的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • This story will be more fodder for the gossip columnists. 这个传闻会是闲谈专栏作家的又一素材。
  • The columnists coined the phrase \"to broderick\", meaning to rough up. 专栏作家们杜撰出一个新词“布罗德里克”意思是“动武”、“打架”。 来自辞典例句
16 caterer caterer     
n. 备办食物者,备办宴席者
参考例句:
  • My wife went to a lot of trouble; she called a caterer. 我太太花了很多心血,她找了专办派对的人来。
  • The wedding reception has been organized by an outside caterer. 婚宴由外界的饮食公司承办。
17 florist vj3xB     
n.花商;种花者
参考例句:
  • The florist bunched the flowers up.花匠把花捆成花束。
  • Could you stop at that florist shop over there?劳驾在那边花店停一下好不好?
18 florists b144baeff0a8df843a6a577e7473f3ca     
n.花商,花农,花卉研究者( florist的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The little dressmaker bought an envelope of nasturtium seeds at the florists. 那个个子矮小的女裁缝在花铺里买了一包金莲花种子。 来自辞典例句
  • I have more important things to do than petulant florists. 我有比教训坏脾气的花匠更重要的事情要做。 来自互联网
19 wholesaler 6e9z3h     
n.批发商
参考例句:
  • We're the largest furniture wholesaler in Illinois. 我们是伊利诺伊州最大的家具批发商。 来自辞典例句
  • These are used to create profiles for each wholesaler. 这是他日常的工作或通过与批发商的正式会谈。 来自互联网
20 wasteful ogdwu     
adj.(造成)浪费的,挥霍的
参考例句:
  • It is a shame to be so wasteful.这样浪费太可惜了。
  • Duties have been reassigned to avoid wasteful duplication of work.为避免重复劳动浪费资源,任务已经重新分派。
21 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
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TAG标签:   大学英语  读写教程  基础教程  unit
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