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新编大学英语教程第四册Unit 02

时间:2011-09-21 03:37来源:互联网 提供网友:gmeng   字体: [ ]


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 suppler1 must be our command over a range of English styles, each of witch we know how to use consistently. A haphazard2 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 “slovenly3” 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 naivety4 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 awfully5 nice to get your note the other day.’ Here are the words that would greatly pleased the receiver with their warmth and friendliness6, yet they include awfully ,get and nice, three words which have been condemned7 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 disapprove8 of the English used if we were greeted by a party with the words, “I apprehend9 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 retirement10 pension, renting a leisure garden and, presumably, immortal11 because Ishall never die—I shall merely pass away.
According to encyclopaedia12 Britannica , “Euphemisms14 are considered overly sqeamish and affected15 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 administrators16, 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 sufficiently17 offbeat18 to be funny. Dilettante19 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 moors20 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 uncouth21 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 collapse22 and coma23; if he says he’s “proper poorly”, there will be a funeral in the near future.
These more robust24 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 euphemism13 quickly aquires the stigma25 of the words it replaved.I, and probably others, do not feel younger because I am called a “senior citizen”.
By Bryyan Heath


1 suppler a2eb73cc9ca310ef2fd9dfe01d13328d     
(身体)柔软的( supple的比较级 ); 灵活的; 易弯曲的; 柔韧的
  • It also increases flexibility of distribution of profits between suppler and retailer. 同时对扰动的及时处理也增加了供应商和零售商之间利润分配的柔性。
  • To take part in supplier assessment and appraisal and to assist in suppler over-all development. 参与对供应商的审核和考评,并监督和帮助供应商全面提高。
2 haphazard n5oyi     
  • The town grew in a haphazard way.这城镇无计划地随意发展。
  • He regrerted his haphazard remarks.他悔不该随口说出那些评论话。
3 slovenly ZEqzQ     
  • People were scandalized at the slovenly management of the company.人们对该公司草率的经营感到愤慨。
  • Such slovenly work habits will never produce good products.这样马马虎虎的工作习惯决不能生产出优质产品来。
4 naivety 0FLxO     
  • Mozart's music is characterized by its naivety and clarity.莫扎特的音乐特色是纯朴兴清澈。
  • She has lost none of her naivety.她丝毫没有失去那份天真烂漫。
5 awfully MPkym     
  • Agriculture was awfully neglected in the past.过去农业遭到严重忽视。
  • I've been feeling awfully bad about it.对这我一直感到很难受。
6 friendliness nsHz8c     
  • Behind the mask of friendliness,I know he really dislikes me.在友善的面具后面,我知道他其实并不喜欢我。
  • His manner was a blend of friendliness and respect.他的态度友善且毕恭毕敬。
7 condemned condemned     
adj. 被责难的, 被宣告有罪的 动词condemn的过去式和过去分词
  • He condemned the hypocrisy of those politicians who do one thing and say another. 他谴责了那些说一套做一套的政客的虚伪。
  • The policy has been condemned as a regressive step. 这项政策被认为是一种倒退而受到谴责。
8 disapprove 9udx3     
  • I quite disapprove of his behaviour.我很不赞同他的行为。
  • She wants to train for the theatre but her parents disapprove.她想训练自己做戏剧演员,但她的父母不赞成。
9 apprehend zvqzq     
  • I apprehend no worsening of the situation.我不担心局势会恶化。
  • Police have not apprehended her killer.警察还未抓获谋杀她的凶手。
10 retirement TWoxH     
  • She wanted to enjoy her retirement without being beset by financial worries.她想享受退休生活而不必为金钱担忧。
  • I have to put everything away for my retirement.我必须把一切都积蓄起来以便退休后用。
11 immortal 7kOyr     
  • The wild cocoa tree is effectively immortal.野生可可树实际上是不会死的。
  • The heroes of the people are immortal!人民英雄永垂不朽!
12 encyclopaedia Jp3xC     
  • An encyclopaedia contains a lot of knowledge.百科全书包含很多知识。
  • This is an encyclopaedia of philosophy.这是本哲学百科全书。
13 euphemism DPzzJ     
  • Language reflects culture and euphemism is a mirror of culture.语言反映文化,而婉语则是各种文化的一面镜子。
  • Euphemism is a very common and complicated linguistic phenomenon.委婉语是一种十分常见而又非常复杂的语言现象。
14 euphemisms 2e52618fe6be3b868598f3bec8c0161d     
n.委婉语,委婉说法( euphemism的名词复数 )
  • No point is in mincing words or hiding behind euphemisms. 没有必要闪烁其词或者羞羞答答。 来自辞典例句
  • No point in mincing words or hiding behind euphemisms. 没必要闪烁其词或者羞羞答答。 来自辞典例句
15 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
16 administrators d04952b3df94d47c04fc2dc28396a62d     
n.管理者( administrator的名词复数 );有管理(或行政)才能的人;(由遗嘱检验法庭指定的)遗产管理人;奉派暂管主教教区的牧师
  • He had administrators under him but took the crucial decisions himself. 他手下有管理人员,但重要的决策仍由他自己来做。 来自辞典例句
  • Administrators have their own methods of social intercourse. 办行政的人有他们的社交方式。 来自汉英文学 - 围城
17 sufficiently 0htzMB     
  • It turned out he had not insured the house sufficiently.原来他没有给房屋投足保险。
  • The new policy was sufficiently elastic to accommodate both views.新政策充分灵活地适用两种观点。
18 offbeat oIZxe     
  • She adores old,offbeat antiques.她非常喜欢那些稀奇古怪的老古董。
  • His style is offbeat but highly creative.他的风格很不寻常但非常有创造力。
19 dilettante Tugxx     
  • He is a master of that area even if he is a dilettante.虽然他只是个业余爱好者,但却是一流的高手。
  • I'm too serious to be a dilettante and too much a dabbler to be a professional.作为一个业余艺术爱好者我过于严肃认真了,而为一个专业人员我又太业余了。
20 moors 039ba260de08e875b2b8c34ec321052d     
v.停泊,系泊(船只)( moor的第三人称单数 )
  • the North York moors 北约克郡的漠泽
  • They're shooting grouse up on the moors. 他们在荒野射猎松鸡。 来自《简明英汉词典》
21 uncouth DHryn     
  • She may embarrass you with her uncouth behavior.她的粗野行为可能会让你尴尬。
  • His nephew is an uncouth young man.他的侄子是一个粗野的年轻人。
22 collapse aWvyE     
  • The country's economy is on the verge of collapse.国家的经济已到了崩溃的边缘。
  • The engineer made a complete diagnosis of the bridge's collapse.工程师对桥的倒塌做了一次彻底的调查分析。
23 coma vqxzR     
  • The patient rallied from the coma.病人从昏迷中苏醒过来。
  • She went into a coma after swallowing a whole bottle of sleeping pills.她吃了一整瓶安眠药后就昏迷过去了。
24 robust FXvx7     
  • She is too tall and robust.她个子太高,身体太壮。
  • China wants to keep growth robust to reduce poverty and avoid job losses,AP commented.美联社评论道,中国希望保持经济强势增长,以减少贫困和失业状况。
25 stigma WG2z4     
  • Being an unmarried mother used to carry a social stigma.做未婚母亲在社会上曾是不光彩的事。
  • The stigma of losing weighed heavily on the team.失败的耻辱让整个队伍压力沉重。
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