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双语有声阅读:It Never Rains but It Pours! 谚语趣谈:不

时间:2010-10-29 01:37来源:互联网 提供网友:pe7107   字体: [ ]

An hour before midnight is worth two after or so my mother used to tell me as I sat down to breakfast after a particularly late night. But is it really true that sleep before 12 p.m. is twice as good for you as sleep after that hour? At the time, like most young people, I regarded this proverb as an old wive's tale with no relevance1 to my own life. I mean, an hour is an hour … it's 60 minutes, a.m. or p.m. However, now older and wiser, I remember my mother's words as I scramble2 into bed at 11 o'clock. I am now a firm believer in the value of getting at least one hour's sleep before midnight!

Advice about how to live a healthy life is one example of the type of received wisdom which is condensed and passed on to the next generation in the form of proverbs. Proverbs also serve to express general truths in a short and colourful way, for example, There's no smoke without fire, meaning that there is generally some truth in even the wildest rumours3.

Another type of proverb acts as a reminder4 of the correct way to behave, for example, Don't wash your dirty linen5 in public. This means don't discuss personal or family problems in front of strangers or in public. Other proverbs are offered to people as means of comfort in times of trouble, for example, It's no use crying over spilt milk. This proverb advises that it really is a waste of time to weep over mistakes that have already been make. Instead, it is much better to Make the best of a bad job - to do your best whatever the situation.

Some English proverbs are native to Britain, for example, It never rains but it pours, a reference6 to the joys of the British weather! This proverb means that when one thing goes wrong, many other things go wrong as well. Another home-grown proverb is Every dog is allowed one bite. This proverb Is based on an old English law dating back to the 17th century. The law said that the first time a dog bit somebody, its owner did not have to pay compensation7 to the victim because one bite did not prove that the dog was vicious8. Hence the idea carried in the proverb, that everyone should be allowed to make a mistake without being punished for it.

Other proverbs have come into the language from Latin or Greek. Lucretius, a classical Roman author, created the proverb One man's meat is another man's poison, meaning that what is good for one person can be harmful to another. And the proverb let sleeping dogs lie meaning don't cause trouble when it can be avoided, came into English form the French in the 14th century.

As Britain came into contact with other countries and cultures, English became enriched9 with the words and wisdom of different languages. From the Chinese, we borrowed the colourful proverb He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount, meaning that if you start on a dangerous enterprise10, it is often easier to carry it through to the end than to stop halfway11.

Some proverbs have been in the language for 1,000 years, for example, A friend in need is a friend indeed. The message here is that someone who stays with you and helps you in times of trouble, rather than turning their back, is a true friend. Other proverbs, however, are much more recent, and reflect changes in the way that we live.

From the United States come the following two pieces of new wisdom, Garbage in - garbage out, from the computer world, reminds people that computers are only as good as their programs. Form big business we have There's no such thing as a free lunch, meaning nothing is free. If someone buys you lunch, they will expect a favour in return.

[本段无录音]Some English people are reluctant to sue12 proverbs in their every day conversation because they see them as vehicles of too much used wisdom. Nevertheless, proverbs are still quite common in both written and spoken English and continue to provide a homely13 commentary14 on life and a reminder that the wisdom of our ancestors may still be useful to us today.











1 relevance gVAxg     
  • Politicians' private lives have no relevance to their public roles.政治家的私生活与他们的公众角色不相关。
  • Her ideas have lost all relevance to the modern world.她的想法与现代社会完全脱节。
2 scramble JDwzg     
  • He broke his leg in his scramble down the wall.他爬墙摔断了腿。
  • It was a long scramble to the top of the hill.到山顶须要爬登一段长路。
3 rumours ba6e2decd2e28dec9a80f28cb99e131d     
n.传闻( rumour的名词复数 );风闻;谣言;谣传
  • The rumours were completely baseless. 那些谣传毫无根据。
  • Rumours of job losses were later confirmed. 裁员的传言后来得到了证实。
4 reminder WkzzTb     
  • I have had another reminder from the library.我又收到图书馆的催还单。
  • It always took a final reminder to get her to pay her share of the rent.总是得发给她一份最后催缴通知,她才付应该交的房租。
5 linen W3LyK     
  • The worker is starching the linen.这名工人正在给亚麻布上浆。
  • Fine linen and cotton fabrics were known as well as wool.精细的亚麻织品和棉织品像羊毛一样闻名遐迩。
6 reference IACzU     
  • We spent days going through all related reference material.我们花了好多天功夫查阅所有有关的参考资料。
  • I like to have my reference books within my reach.我喜欢把参考书放到伸手可取的地方。
7 compensation vXIy6     
  • Workers who have been unfairly dismissed may claim compensation.被无理开除的工人可以要求补偿。
  • Equal compensation should be given to men and women for equal work.男女同工应同酬。
8 vicious lUFzR     
  • He gave the dog a vicious blow with his stick.他朝着那只狗狠狠地打了一棍子。
  • The author portrayed his father as a vicious drunkard.作者把他父亲描绘成一个可恶的酒鬼。
9 enriched cf33fae69c615db11fe34344cb720980     
使富有( enrich的过去式和过去分词 ); 使富裕; 充实; 使丰富
  • The study of science has enriched all our lives. 科学研究丰富了我们的整个生活。
  • breakfast cereals enriched with vitamins 增加了维生素的早餐谷物食品
10 enterprise noIxr     
  • They are determined to carry forward the enterprise.他们决心把事业进行下去。
  • The enterprise has excellent prospects.这家企业的远景极其美好。
11 halfway Xrvzdq     
  • We had got only halfway when it began to get dark.走到半路,天就黑了。
  • In study the worst danger is give up halfway.在学习上,最忌讳的是有始无终。
12 sue PUAzm     
  • If you don't pay me the money,I'll sue you.如果你不付给我钱,我就告你。
  • The war criminals sue for peace.战犯求和。
13 homely Ecdxo     
  • We had a homely meal of bread and cheese.我们吃了一顿面包加乳酪的家常便餐。
  • Come and have a homely meal with us,will you?来和我们一起吃顿家常便饭,好吗?
14 commentary kXeyu     
  • He is giving the commentary on the basketball game.他正在对篮球赛作评论。
  • His running commentary on the football match was excellent.他对这次足球赛所作的实况报道十分精彩。
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