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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES(31)- Teflon

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 - Teflon
By Frank Beardsley

Broadcast: Sunday, December 12, 2004

Now, Words and Their Stories, a VOA Special English Program about Amercian expressions. I'm Rich Kleinfeldt with the word "teflon", the way it is used to describe political leaders.

Teflon is a very successful product made by EI DuPont de Nemours and Company. It is used in many ways as plastic, film and cloth. Most people know teflon best as a covering inside pans and pots that are used for cooking. Food does not stick to the teflon on the cooking pan. Teflon makes the pan very easy to clean. Doctors use teflon products to replace damaged heart arteries1 and other body parts. Teflon is used to make clothing and shoes that can be worn in the rain. Some teflon parts were used to fix the Statue of Liberty in New York city.

DuPont developed teflon more than 60 years ago. Its chemical name is very long, Polytetrafluoroethylene. DuPont created the name Teflon and that is how it is known today. The word teflon is a trademark2 name owned by DuPont and protected by the United States government. Only its owner legally can use it. Yet sometimes, a trademark name becomes very successful, so successful that people use it to form new expressions that have nothing to do with a product. That happened with teflon. Former Democratic Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder tells how it happened in her book Twenty-four Years of Housework and the Place is Still a Mess.

She said that Democrats3 had a special problem with Republican4 President Ronald Reagan during the 1984 presidential election campaign. None of their criticisms or accusations5 of wrongdoing seemed to affect public support for Mr.Reagan. Neither unpopular policies nor mistakes seemed to make him less popular. Democrats wanted some short expressions to describe this effect. Mrs. Schroeder found one. She was cooking eggs for her children in a teflon pan and thinking about President Reagan. She realized that his political problems did not stick to him in the same way that the eggs did not stick to her teflon-covered pan. He seemed to be covered in teflon she thought. Later that day, Mrs. Schroeder made a 1-minute speech in the House of Representatives.

She spoke6 of Mr.Reagan as a teflon president. News programs later broadcast that part of her speech. And "Teflon President" became a part of the language. Mrs. Schroeder said Mr. Reagan never said anything about it to her. But she said she got a letter from DuPont's lawyers. The letter, she said, threatened legal action for using the company's trademark name. The Congresswoman said in her book that the teflon covering kept working for Mr. Reagan. He was re-elected president.

This VOA Special English Program Words and Their Stories was written by Frank Beardsley. I'm Rich Kleinfeldt.


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1 arteries 821b60db0d5e4edc87fdf5fc263ba3f5     
n.动脉( artery的名词复数 );干线,要道
参考例句:
  • Even grafting new blood vessels in place of the diseased coronary arteries has been tried. 甚至移植新血管代替不健康的冠状动脉的方法都已经试过。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • This is the place where the three main arteries of West London traffic met. 这就是伦敦西部三条主要交通干线的交汇处。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 trademark Xndw8     
n.商标;特征;vt.注册的…商标
参考例句:
  • The trademark is registered on the book of the Patent Office.该商标已在专利局登记注册。
  • The trademark of the pen was changed.这钢笔的商标改了。
3 democrats 655beefefdcaf76097d489a3ff245f76     
n.民主主义者,民主人士( democrat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The Democrats held a pep rally on Capitol Hill yesterday. 民主党昨天在国会山召开了竞选誓师大会。
  • The democrats organize a filibuster in the senate. 民主党党员组织了阻挠议事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 republican wW0xw     
n.拥护共和政体的人; adj.共和政体的,(Republican)共和党人,(Republican)共和党的
参考例句:
  • Some families have been republican for generations.有些家庭世代都支持共和党。
  • A third candidate has entered the contest for the Republican nomination.第三个候选人已经加入角逐共和党提名的行列。
5 accusations 3e7158a2ffc2cb3d02e77822c38c959b     
n.指责( accusation的名词复数 );指控;控告;(被告发、控告的)罪名
参考例句:
  • There were accusations of plagiarism. 曾有过关于剽窃的指控。
  • He remained unruffled by their accusations. 对于他们的指控他处之泰然。
6 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
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TAG标签:   word  story  word  teflon
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