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(2007-02-27 10:41:08)
分类: 政治历史

From Sewage to New Age 从污水到新世纪

The history of 1)toilets 马桶的历史



sewage (n.) (下水道中的)污水


1) toilet (n.) 冲水式马桶,厕所

The world's first 1)flushing toilet was used around 1700 B.C., on the 2)Isle of Crete. If only the Cretans had 3)passed their toilet design on to others, the history of the world might have been changed. Unfortunately, the toilet was lost for more than 3000 years before being 4)reinvented in England during the sixteenth century.



1) flush (v.) 冲水
2) isle (n.) 小岛
3) pass ... on to (v.) 将……传给……
4) reinvent (v.) 再度发明

The Romans were the first group of people after the Cretans to improve on the "go-behind-a-tree" method of personal 1)hygiene that 2)dominated the world at the time. They highly valued cleanliness and bathing, and were 3)pioneers in the use of hot and cold water in bathrooms. They were also the first to use 4)lead to make longer pipes, which could carry water more 5)efficiently.



1) hygiene (n.) 卫生
2) dominate (v.) 主宰,支配
3) pioneer (n.) 先锋
4) lead (n.) 铅
5) efficiently (adv.) 有效率地

The first 1)sewers appeared in Rome around 700 B.C. By today's standards they were pretty 2)primitive, as most people still had to 3)dispose of their waste by hand. Only the very rich could afford to have a pipe connected directly to their home, but at least there was a flow of water to 4)remove everyone's waste.



1) sewer (n.) 下水道
2) primitive (a.) 原始的
3) dispose of (v.) 处理
4) remove (v.) 移走,除去

Unfortunately, after the 1)collapse of the Roman 2)Empire in the 5th century A.D., the 3)barbarians who 4)overran countries like England were not particularly interested in personal hygiene. The early 5)Christians actually considered it 6)immoral to be clean. An early Christian writer, Saint Benedict, said, "for those that are well, and especially the young, bathing shall seldom be permitted." It was clearly not a 7)period for rapid advances in toilet design.



1) collapse (v.) 崩溃,瓦解
2) empire (n.) 帝国
3) barbarian (n.) 野蛮人
4) overrun (v.) 横行,遍布
5) Christian (n.) 基督徒
6) immoral (a.) 不道德的
7) period (n.) 时期


It wasn't until a thousand years later that Sir John Harrington produced the first "necessary," for use by him and his godmother. The "necessary" was a flushing toilet similar to the ones used 3000 years before by the king of Crete. As Harrington's godmother was Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was famous for "taking a bath every month, whether she need to or not," the idea might have been expected to finally 1)catch on. It didn't.



1) catch on (v.) 流行

"Modern" countries had apparently learned very little from the Romans. In most cities there was still a complete 1)lack of even a basic sewage system. There was no real point in developing a toilet if the waste simply dropped out of a hole in the wall of your house. Even in the mid-nineteenth century, 2)residents of London and other cities were still throwing chamber pots of waste out of their windows into the street. Hats were still much more common (and useful) than toilets.



1) lack (n.) 缺乏
2) resident (n.) 居民

Only after governments 1)legislated for 2)proper sewage systems for every house did toilets improve 3)dramatically. In 1885, Thomas Twyford 4)patented the first all-5)ceramic toilet in England. After that, dozens of patents were 6)granted every year for improvements to Twyford's basic design. Within fifty years, most homes, at least in the U.S. and Europe, had 7)access to 8)communal toilets which flushed into a sewer.



1) legislate (v.) 立法
2) proper (a.) 恰当的
3) dramatically (adv.) 戏剧化地,大幅地
4) patent (v.) 取得专利权
5) ceramic (a.) 陶器的
6) grant (v.) 授予
7) access (n.) 接触,管道
8) communal (a.) 公共的

This was real progress, but toilets were still missing one thing: toilet paper. In most toilets stood a 1)bucket of salt water in which there was a stick with a sponge tied to one end. The user would clean himself with the 2)sponge and return the stick to the bucket for the next person to use. This is where the 3)expression "getting hold of the wrong end of the stick" comes from.



1) bucket (n.) 水桶
2) sponge (n.) 海绵
3) expression_r(n.) 说法

Most people today have at least one toilet, and lots of toilet paper, inside their homes. The 1)widespread use of toilets is a 2)comparatively recent thing, and one that we should be very thankful for. Apart from the convenience and hygiene, think of the money we save on hats.



1) widespread (a.) 广泛的
2) comparatively (adv.) 比较地



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