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中级美语教程第7课

所属教程:中级美语教程

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Lesson 73 Don't Be a Fish out of Water

Do you sometimes have a hard time understanding what Americans are talking about among themselves? Do you want to know why? The answer is, Americans are crazy about using slang. They tend to over do it, though.

Otherwise, slang is fun to use. You should try it. And some slang is easy to understand. For example, if someone is "off the hook," it means that he is no longer in trouble. The "hook" is a fish hook. If a fish is on the hook, of course, it is in trouble. If it is "off the hook," then it is out of danger. Didn't we tell you slang is fun? Besides, it should at least help you feel more at home and not like a fish out of water when you speak to Americans.

 

Lesson 74 Get with It, Bob

Bob, who is Chinese, is speaking to his American classmate, Jill.

J: Hi, Bob. What's up?

B: I don't see anything up in the sky. Do you?

J: No, Bob. "What's up?" is slang for "What's happening?"

B: Well, why didn't you just ask me that in the first place?

J: Get with it, Bob. Everyone uses slang in America. It makes speech more colorful.

B: I'm having enough trouble learning English.

J: But you should give it your best shot, Bob.

B: Why?

J: How else can you get to meet American chicks?

B: What chick? I don't like eggs.

J: "Chicks" mean "girls," you fool.

B: Oh, I give up!

 

Lesson 75 The Amish

In the heart of America, in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, live some people who are not your typical Americans. In order to lead simple lives, they don't use cars. Instead, they drive horse-drawn buggies. They don't use electric lights, either, not to mention telephones. They make their own clothing, which looks ancient. And, to make matters worse, they don't speak English but German among themselves.

These people are the Amish. They settled in America almost 300 years ago. Most of them are farmers who stay away from the temptations of the city. As modern life becomes more and more complicated, the Amish way of life seems to make more and more sense.

 

Lesson 76 Live and Let Live

Paul and Wendy are talking about the Amish.

P: What do you plan to do in the summer, Wendy?

W: To be frank, I haven't made any plans. What about you?

P: I'm thinking of going to Indiana.

W: What on earth for?

P: To tell the truth, I want to see how the Amish people live.

W: What for? From what I hear, they're boring people. To be honest, I think they're kind of weird.

P: Nonsense! In fact, their simple way of life is quite appealing to me.

W: Well, to each their own, I guess.

P: Exactly, I wish more people would just live and let live.

 

Lesson 77 Think Before You Speak

Sometimes we say things without thinking. Very often a thoughtless remark may hurt others' feelings or cause a misunderstanding or an embarrassment. We must, therefore, always think before we speak.

 

Once I told an old friend how beautiful his girlfriend looked when I saw them together at a movie theater the other day. Unfortunately, I made a mistake. It happened that she wasn't with my friend. She was with someone else. I had let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. I'd never been so embarrassed in my life. I certainly learned my lesson, but at a very high price. His girlfriend never spoke to me again! And to make matters worse, it is rumored that they eventually broke up.

 

Lesson 78 Believe it or Not

My friend, Andy, is talking to his girlfriend, Jenny, about what I said in the previous lesson.

A: So who did you go to the movies with?

J: Nobody.

A: What do you mean NOBODY?

J: Don't shout at me. Allow me to explain.

A: I'm waiting.

J: Uh… that was my uh… brother.

A: Do you expect me to believe that?

J: You can believe what you want.

A: I'll never get you to tell me the truth, I guess.

J: Why don't you believer me?

A: Because I had dinner with your brother last night!

 

Lesson 79 The Weaker Sex

Who says that women are the weaker sex? Sixteen-year-old Kelly Williams from St. Petersburg, Florida is the first female wrestler to fight against boys and beat them. Who would have thought that possible not so very long ago? Her success, though, has angered some people. They say she should have been banned from wrestling because it will cause the boys to think impure thoughts.

When asked about this, Kelly said, "People live in their own worlds and nobody has the right to force their values on others." Should women be allowed to wrestle with men in competition? What do you think?

 

Lesson 80 Girls versus Boys

Daisy is talking with Samson about Kelly Williams, the female wrestler.

D: What do you think, Samson? Should girls be allowed to wrestle with boys?

S: I don't see anything wrong with that.

D: Well, wrestling is a contact sport. It's very physical.

S: So? I thought you women always wanted to be equal to men.

D: Yes. But this is different. They'll be grabbing each other. And to win, one wrestler has to lie on top of his or her opponent.

S: So what?

D: It's disgusting. Girls just shouldn't wrestle with boys.

S: Gee, Daisy! Maybe you ought to be a nun.

D: That's not funny! You sex maniac!

 

Lesson 81 Being around Nature

Ruby is trying to get her friend, Tony, to go bird-watching with her.

R: You really should get some exercise, Tony. Why don't you come bird-watching with me this weekend?

T: That sounds boring. What's bird-watching all about anyway?

R: Bird watchers study birds in their natural surroundings. It's a great hobby.

T: What's the fun in that?

R: We enjoy listening to different birds sing, looking at them fly and watching how they behave.

T: What else?

R: Well, it's also relaxing to be around nature. And walking in the mountains helps keep you fit.

T: Nothing's more relaxing than watching TV in my air-conditioned room.

R: You're hopeless!

T: And you're birdbrained!

 

Lesson 82 Man's Best Friend

Of all the animals of the Chinese horoscope, the dog really stands out. Which other animal can compare to the dog? The horse? No, he's always horsing around. The monkey? No, he's always monkeying around.

The dog is a loyal companion. He makes us feel safe. He helps us keep thieves out of our homes. The dog has also helped us with our English. For example, if there were no dogs, how could people complain about leading a dog's life? And how could the weatherman say, "It's raining cats and dogs?"

The dog is truly man's best friend. So the next time a dog lifts a leg to your car, don't get angry. Just let it obey the call of nature.

 

Lesson 83 Being around Nature

Ruby is trying to get her friend, Tony, to go bird-watching with her.

R: You really should get some exercise, Tony. Why don't you come bird-watching with me this weekend?

T: That sounds boring. What's bird-watching all about anyway?

R: Bird watchers study birds in their natural surroundings. It's a great hobby.

T: What's the fun in that?

R: We enjoy listening to different birds sing, looking at them fly and watching how they behave.

T: What else?

R: Well, it's also relaxing to be around nature. And walking in the mountains helps keep you fit.

T: Nothing's more relaxing than watching TV in my air-conditioned room.

R: You're hopeless!

T: And you're birdbrained!

 

Lesson 84 Oh My God!

Two animals, Porky the pig and Donald the duck, see something strange to them.

P: What's that four-legged furry thing?

D: Beats me. Why don't you get him to tell us who he is?

P: OK, Let me try. Hey! Hi, idiot.

D: Hey, Porky! Look at the tag hanging around its neck. It says G-O-D, God! You're in big trouble.

P: Oh, please forgive me. I didn't mean to call you an idiot, God.

D: Wait a minute! I read the tag backwards. It says D-O-G. DOG?

P: Oh my God! What a relief! By the way, where did you learn to read English?

D: Uh… I'd better not say.

 

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