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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES(6) - TO TOUCH ALL BASES

时间:2006-03-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:sqp   字体: [ ]
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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - TO TOUCH ALL BASES
By

Broadcast: Sunday, February 22, 2004

Now the VOA Special English Program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES

American English is full of colorful expressions. One such expression is to touch all bases. It comes from the sport of baseball. There are four bases in baseball. First, second and third. The fourth is home plate. Together, the bases form a diamond shape. When a baseball player hits the ball, he must run to each base in order and touch it with his foot. It is the only way to score a point. If the player hits the ball and fails to touch all the bases, the point would not be counted.

The importance of touching1 all the bases was shown at the start of the 1974 baseball season. Hank Aaron was a player with the Atlanta Braves team. He was seeking the record for hitting the most homeruns. A homerun is a ball that is hit over the wall. Aaron needed just one homerun to equal the record held by Babe Ruth, the greatest hitter in baseball history. Aaron got that homerun the very first time he had a chance to hit the ball. He sent the ball over the wall that surrounded the playing field. That gave him 714 homeruns, the same as Babe Ruth.

After that day, baseball fans held their breath2 every time it was Hank Aaron's turn to hit. When would he hit home run number 715? The wait was not long. In the second week of the season, Aaron again hit the ball over the wall. He had beaten Babe Ruth's record. But first, he had to run around the four bases. The other players on his team watched carefully to make sure he touched each one. If he did not, the homerun would not have counted. There would have been no new record.

So, "to touch all bases" means3 to do what it is necessary to complete an activity. The expression is used in business and politics4. No business deal or political5 campaign6 is really complete until you discuss all the issues7 involved, or as it is said until you touch all bases. Even professional8 diplomats10 use this expression as well as others that come from baseball. A diplomat9 in reporting on negotiations11 with diplomats from different countries may say they touched all bases during many hours of talks.

This means they explored all issues involved in the situation. Perhaps they did this after expressing hope that they could play ball with each other, meaning that they could learn to cooperate12. Sports reporters write about fast moving lively events. They must develop a way of writing that goes straight to the point. Their duty is to give the reader a complete picture of the event in as few words as possible. They must touch all bases as quickly as they can.

This VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES was written by Mike Pitts. This is Bob Doughty13.


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1 touching sg6zQ9     
adj.动人的,使人感伤的
参考例句:
  • It was a touching sight.这是一幅动人的景象。
  • His letter was touching.他的信很感人。
2 breath 9SCyv     
n.呼吸,气息,微风,迹象,精神,一种说话的声音
参考例句:
  • I'm just going out for a breath of fresh air.我正要出去呼吸新鲜空气。
  • While climbing up the stairs the old man always loses his breath.那老人上楼时总是气喘吁吁的。
3 means 9oXzBX     
n.方法,手段,折中点,物质财富
参考例句:
  • That man used artful means to find out secrets.那人使用狡猾的手段获取机密。
  • We must get it done by some means or other.我们总得想办法把它干完。
4 politics gOyxG     
n.政治,政治学;政纲,政见,策略
参考例句:
  • They seldom talk on politics in those days.那时人们很少谈论政治。
  • The two brothers differed about politics.这兄弟俩政见不同。
5 political g2dzY     
adj.政治上的,政党的,政略性的,政治的
参考例句:
  • He was forced to leave his homeland for political reasons.因为政治原因他被迫离开自己的祖国。
  • In ideas those two political parties are worlds apart.那两个政党在思想上有巨大分歧。
6 campaign LTxyl     
n.运动;竞选活动;战役;vi.参加运动;进行竞选;作战
参考例句:
  • The election campaign heated up in that state.该州竞选运动激烈起来了。
  • The campaign had begun during his absence.在他不在期间运动已经开始了。
7 issues fe5fe0415fc3e0ff4942d8454f363d2c     
(水等的)流出( issue的名词复数 ); 出口; 放出; (特别重要或大众关注的)问题
参考例句:
  • Let's start with the more easily addressable issues. 我们先从较容易处理的问题着手。
  • Employment and taxation are the bread-and-butter issues of politics. 就业和征税是很重要的政治问题。
8 professional T1ZzR     
adj.专业的;职业的;n.专业人员;职业运动员
参考例句:
  • He is a professional tennis player.他是一名职业网球运动员。
  • I need a professional to sort out my finances.我需要专业人士为我管理财务。
9 diplomat Pu0xk     
n.外交官,外交家;能交际的人,圆滑的人
参考例句:
  • The diplomat threw in a joke, and the tension was instantly relieved.那位外交官插进一个笑话,紧张的气氛顿时缓和下来。
  • He served as a diplomat in Russia before the war.战前他在俄罗斯当外交官。
10 diplomats ccde388e31f0f3bd6f4704d76a1c3319     
n.外交官( diplomat的名词复数 );有手腕的人,善于交际的人
参考例句:
  • These events led to the expulsion of senior diplomats from the country. 这些事件导致一些高级外交官被驱逐出境。
  • The court has no jurisdiction over foreign diplomats living in this country. 法院对驻本国的外交官无裁判权。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
协商( negotiation的名词复数 ); 谈判; 完成(难事); 通过
参考例句:
  • negotiations for a durable peace 为持久和平而进行的谈判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 谈判未能达成任何妥协。
12 cooperate tZByR     
vi.合作,协作,相配合
参考例句:
  • We hope we can cooperate even more closely in the future.希望我们今后能更加密切地合作。
  • I hope you can cooperate on this matter.我希望你在这件事上能给予合作。
13 doughty Jk5zg     
adj.勇猛的,坚强的
参考例句:
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
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