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英语:words and their stories

(2009-05-21 20:37:14)

Now, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES – a VOA Special English program about American expressions. I’m Rich Kleinfeldt with expressions that include the word face.

The first is face the music. It means to accept the results of what you have done.

Here is an example from a Reuters news report: Britain’s highest court had ruled that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was legally arrested.  Opponents of General Pinochet welcomed the news. One of them said, “We have waited for years for this man to face the music.”

No one is sure how the expression began. One story is that it came from a military ceremony held when a soldier was forced out of an army.

The buttons were cut from the soldier’s clothing. He was put on a horse, facing the back of the horse and led away.  As he left, he faced the music of a military band and the soldiers he had served with. 

Another story says the expression began in the theater. New actors, shaking with fright, were told that the only cure was to go out and face the music. The music was played by the orchestra seated in front of the stage. 

A similar expression is face up to. It means to accept something that is difficult or painful. For example, a man must face up to the fact that he lied about a business deal and will lose his job.  Or, a child must learn to face up to her responsibilities and complete her schoolwork.

Meeting someone face-to-face can be exciting, especially if the other person is famous. It is an expression one might use after visiting the White House and meeting the president face-to-face. Or a teacher might ask for a face-to-face meeting with the parents of a student in trouble. It means to talk to someone in person, not by telephone. 

Another expression is as plain as the nose on your face. It means that something is as clear as it can possibly be.

Shakespeare used the words almost five hundred years ago for a joke in his play Two Gentlemen of Verona Valentine secretly loves Lady Sylvia. His servant jokes that Valentine’s love for her is as hard to see as the nose on a man’s face.  Of course, a man’s nose cannot be hidden.

A more recent use of the expression appeared in a report in Newsday magazine.  It was about a dispute between the United States and Europe over agriculture. The United States had criticized Europeans for protecting their soybean farmers. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in return criticized the United States for its huge budget deficits. The report said the OECD seemed to be saying, “For God’s sake, it is plain as the nose on your face that you must raise taxes.”

This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Frank Beardsley.  I’m Rich Kleinfeldt.

现在来讲一下词语和他们的故事——VOA特别英语节目,美国表达方式。我是Rich Kleinfeldt,今天我们来讲包含face这个单词的表达方式。

第一个是face the music。这个短语的意思是承担你的所作所为的后果。

这里有一个例子,来自路透社的新闻报道:英国最高法院判决前智利独裁者皮诺切特依法被捕。皮诺切特
的竞争对手对此消息欢欣鼓舞。其中一人说,“我们为这个人承担后果已经等了几年了。”

没人能够确定这个短语的来源。其中一个故事说,来源于士兵被迫离开部队时代军事仪式。

他们把士兵衣服上的纽扣除下来。士兵被放在马上,面对着马背离开。离开的时候,他面对着军乐队和曾加一起服役的士兵。

另外一个故事说这个短语起源于剧院。新演员由于害怕而发抖,有人告诉他们解决这个问题的唯一方法是出去面对着音乐。音乐由坐在舞台前面的管弦乐队演奏。

另外一个类似的表达方式是face up to。意思是接受困难或者痛苦的事情。比如,一个人必须勇敢面对它在一笔生意中说谎而丢掉工作的事实。或者,一个孩子必须学会面对责任,完成家庭作业。

与某人面对面(face-to-face )可能是非常让人激动的事情,尤其是另外一个人很出名时。一个人如果参观了白宫并且面对面的见了总统,可以用face-to-face来表达。或者老师可能要求当面(face-to-face)见一个有问题的学生的家长。意思是亲自跟某人谈话,而不是通过电话。

另外一个短语是as plain as the nose on your face。意思是某件事情非常明显。

五百年前,莎士比亚在他的戏剧《维洛纳二绅士》中就已经使用过这个短语。瓦伦丁暗恋西尔维亚小姐。他的仆人开玩笑说,瓦伦丁的对她的爱就像一个人的鼻子那样明显。当然,一个人的鼻子是不可能被隐藏起来的。

最近这个短语出现在《Newsday》杂志的一篇报道上,主要是关于美国和欧洲在农业方面的争论。美国批评欧洲保护他们种植大豆的农民。经济合作和发展组织(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ,OECD)反而批评美国巨大的财政赤字。该报告称,经济合作和发展组织就好像再说,“看在上帝份上,很明显,你必须提高税收。”

face the music承担后果Come what may, I'll brace myself and face the music. I'd rather die than implicate others!好汉做事好汉当,我死就死,决不连累旁人。 face up to接受,承担She had to face up to the fact that she could not work anymore. 她不得不面对自己不能再工作这一残酷的现实。 face-to-face直接的;个人的,直接接触地;面对面地 They came face to face on the street yesterday. 他们昨天在街上面对面相遇。as plain as the nose on your face非常明显,显而易见的It's plain as the nose on your face that Mark is better educated and more intelligent than most other people.Mark学历才智都相当出众。这是一清二楚、显而易见的。因为本文本来就是介绍短语的用法,在文中,对这些短语的来源和用法都已经讲的很清楚了,而且所用语句也都非常简单,在这里就不需赘述了。

 

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