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Material for Feb  

2012-02-07 17:54:45|  分类: 金锁匙 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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1> A New Year Resolutions

The New Year is a time for resolutions. Mentally, at least, most of us could compile formidable lists of 'dos' and 'don'ts'. The same old favorites recur year in year out with monotonous regularity. We resolve to get up earlier each morning, eat less, find more time to play with the children, do a thousand and one jobs about the house, be nice to people we don't' like, drive carefully, and take the dog for a walk every day. Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. If we remain inveterate smokers, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure. Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. We also make the fundamental error of announcing our resolutions to everybody so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways. Aware of these pitfalls, this year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself. I limited myself to two modest ambitions: to do physical exercise every morning and to read more of an evening. An all-night party on New Year's Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on the first day of the year, but on the second, I applied myself assiduously to the task.
    The daily exercises lasted only eleven minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before anyone had got up. The self-discipline required to drag myself out of bed eleven minutes earlier than usual was considerable. Nevertheless, I managed to creep down into the living room for two days before anyone found me out. After jumping about on the carpet and twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me. The next morning the whole family trooped in to watch the performance. That was really unsettling, but I fended off the taunts and jibes of the family good-humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea. However, my enthusiasm waned. The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. Little by little the eleven minutes fell to zero. By January 10th, I was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning, I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home formwork Resisting the hypnotizing effect of television, I sat in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to book. One night, however, feeling cold and lonely, I went downstairs and sat in front of the television pretending to read. That proved to be my undoing, for I soon got back to my old bad habit of dozing off in front of the screen. I still haven't given up my resolution to do more reading. In fact, I have just bought a book entitled How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute. Perhaps it will solve my problem, but I just haven't had time to read it!
New words and expressions 生词与短语
     resolution
n.   决心
     mentally
adv. 内心里
     compile
v.   编辑,编制
     formidable
adj. 令人畏惧的
     recur
v.   再发生,又出现
     regularity
n.   规律性
     accomplishment
n.   成就
     attainment
n.   达到
     inveterate
adj. 根深蒂固的
     self-improvement
n.   自我完善
     scheme
n.   简单的计划,方案
     ambitious
adj. 雄心勃勃的
     pitfall
n.   意外的困难,易犯的错误
     modest
adj. 要求不过分的
     assiduously
adv. 刻苦地
     self-discipline
n.   自我约束
     frame
n.   躯体
     betray
v.   暴露,显露
     troop
v.   成群结队地走动
     unsettle
v.   使不安
     taunt
n.   嘲笑,奚落人的话
     jibe
n.   嘲弄,挖苦
     good-humouredly
adv. 和气地,心情好地
     wane
v.   逐渐变小,变弱
     hypnotize
v.   使欲睡,使蒙胧
     undoing
n.   祸根,毁灭的原因
     screen
n.   电视机屏幕
2>Do it yourself

So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingIy less dependent on specialized labour. No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself publications. Armed with the right tools and materials, newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes. Men, particularly, spend hours of their leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture. Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their own computers. Shops cater for the do-it-yourself craze not only by running special advisory services for novices, but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home. Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, but unfortunately not all of us are born handymen.

Some wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and can fix anything. Even men who can hardly drive a nail in straight are supposed to be born electricians, carpenters, plumbers and mechanics. When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety, pipes get clogged, or vacuum cleaners fail to operate, some women assume that their husbands will somehow put things right. The worst thing about the do-it-yourself game is that sometimes even men live under the delusion that they can do anything, even when they have repeatedly been proved wrong. It is a question of pride as much as anything else.

Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn mower. It had broken down the previous summer, and though I promised to repair it, I had never got round to it. I would not hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself. One Saturday afternoon, I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it. As far as I could see, it only needed a minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new. Inevitably the repair job was not quite so simple. The mower firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it. The garden was soon littered with chunks of metal which had once made up a lawn mower. But I was extremely pleased with myself. I had traced the cause of the trouble. One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had snapped. After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again. I was not surprised to find that the machine still refused to work after I had reassembled it, for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which did not seem to fit anywhere. I gave up in despair. The weeks passed and the grass grew. When my wife nagged me to do something about it, I told her that either I would have to buy a new mower or let the grass grow. Needless to say our house is now surrounded by a jungle. Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn-mower which I have promised to repair one day.

So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingIy less dependent on specialized labour. No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself publications. Armed with the right tools and materials, newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes. Men, particularly, spend hours of their leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture. Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their own computers. Shops cater for the do-it-yourself craze not only by running special advisory services for novices, but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home. Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, but unfortunately not all of us are born handymen.

Some wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and can fix anything. Even men who can hardly drive a nail in straight are supposed to be born electricians, carpenters, plumbers and mechanics. When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety, pipes get clogged, or vacuum cleaners fail to operate, some women assume that their husbands will somehow put things right. The worst thing about the do-it-yourself game is that sometimes even men live under the delusion that they can do anything, even when they have repeatedly been proved wrong. It is a question of pride as much as anything else.

Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn mower. It had broken down the previous summer, and though I promised to repair it, I had never got round to it. I would not hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself. One Saturday afternoon, I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it. As far as I could see, it only needed a minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new. Inevitably the repair job was not quite so simple. The mower firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it. The garden was soon littered with chunks of metal which had once made up a lawn mower. But I was extremely pleased with myself. I had traced the cause of the trouble. One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had snapped. After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again. I was not surprised to find that the machine still refused to work after I had reassembled it, for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which did not seem to fit anywhere. I gave up in despair. The weeks passed and the grass grew. When my wife nagged me to do something about it, I told her that either I would have to buy a new mower or let the grass grow. Needless to say our house is now surrounded by a jungle. Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn-mower which I have promised to repair one day.

plead v. 找(借口),辩解
ignorance n. 无知,不懂
publication n. 出版物
newlyweds n. 新婚夫妇
gaily adv. 愉快地,高兴地
leisure n. 空闲
keen adj. 热心的,渴望的
advisory adj. 咨询的
novice n. 新手
consumer n. 消费者,顾客
assemble v. 装配,组装
outlet n. 出路
creative adj. 创造性的
handyman n. 手巧的人,能工巧匠
resourceful adj. 足智多谋的
fuse v. 由于烧断保险丝而短路
rickety adj. 要散架的,晃动的
clog v. 堵塞
delusion n. 错觉
adjustment n. 调整
screw n. 螺丝钉
dismantle v. 拆卸
chunk n. (厚)块
snap v. 绷断
insurmountable adj. 不能克服的,难以对付的
jigsaw n. 线锯
nag v. 唠叨不休
rust v. 生锈

3> possession amassing colletcing

People tend to amass possessions, sometimes without being aware of doing so. Indeed they can have a delightful surprise when they find something useful which they did not know they owned. Those who never have to move house become indiscriminate collectors of what can only be described as clutter. They leave unwanted objects in drawers, cupboards and attics for years, in the belief that they may one day need just those very things. As they grow old, people also accumulate belongings for two other reasons, lack of physical and mental energy, both of which are essential in turning out and throwing away, and sentiment. Things owned for a long time are full associations with the past, perhaps with relatives who are dead, and so they gradually acquire a value beyond their true worth.

Some things are collected deliberately in the home in an attempt to avoid waste. Among these I would list string and brown paper, kept by thrifty people when a parcel has been opened, to save buying these two requisites. Collecting small items can easily become a mania. I know someone who always cuts sketches out from newspapers of model clothes that she would like to buy if she had the money. As she is not rich, the chances that she will ever be able to afford such purchases are remote; but she is never sufficiently strong-minded to be able to stop the practice. It is a harmless bait, but it litters up her desk to such an extent that every time she opens it, loose bits of paper fall out in every direction.

Collecting as a serous hobby is quite different and has many advantages. It provides relaxation for leisure hours, as just looking at one's treasures is always a joy. One does not have to go outside for amusement, since the collection is housed at home. Whatever it consists of, stamps, records, first editions of books, china, glass, antique furniture, pictures, model cars, stuffed birds, toy animals, there is always something to do in connection with it, from finding the right place for the latest addition, to verifying facts in reference books. This hobby educates one not only in the chosen subject, but also in general matters which have some bearing on it. There are also other benefits. One wants to meet like-minded collectors, to get advice, to compare notes, to exchange articles, to show off the latest find. So one's circle of friends grows. Soon the hobby leads to travel, perhaps to a meeting in another town, possibly a trip abroad in search of a rare specimen, for collectors are not confined to any one country. Over the years, one may well become an authority on one's hobby and will very probably be asked to give informal talks to little gatherings and then, if successful, to larger audiences. In this way self-confidence grows, first from mastering a subject, then from being able to take about it. Collecting, by occupying spare time so constructively, makes a person contented, with no time for boredom.

【New words and expressions】

  ●amass v. 积聚
  ●indiscriminate adj. 不加选择的
  ●clutter n. 一堆杂物
  ●string n. 细线
  ●requisite n. 必需品
  ●mania n. 癖好
  ●sketch n. 草图,图样
  ●remote adj. (机会,可能性)少的,小的
  ●strong-minded adj. 意志坚强的
  ●relaxation n. 休息,娱乐
  ●verify v. 查证,核实
  ●bearing n. 关系,联系
  ●like-minded adj. 志趣相投的
  ●specimen n. 标本
  ●constructively adv. 有益的,积极的
  ●contented adj. 心满意足的
  ●boredom n. 烦恼,无聊

  ◆amass v. 积聚
  gather: (小型)聚集
  assemble: (大型) 集会
  amass: (书面化)积聚, 所积累的东西有很高的价值
  accumulate
  collect: 收藏
  collect stamps
  collect matchboxes
  collect tax
  collect parcel
  store / hold up: 大量贮藏

  ◆◆indiscriminate adj. 不加选择的
  Eg: He is indiscriminate in making friends.
  uncritical 不加以评判的
  critical :批评的,批判的

  Eg: He is uncritical while going shopping.
  unselective 不加以选择的
  haphazard adj. 任意的,无计划的
  make haphazard remarks 妄加评论,随口乱说
  random adj. & n. 任意的, 胡乱的
  at random
  Eg: This is my random guess.
  casual adj. 随便的(漫不经心)
  casually adv.
  undiscriminating adj. 不加以区别的
  discriminate: 加以选择
  Read: undiscriminating; unselective; uncritical; haphazard; random; casual; at random; desultory
  desultory : 随意的(无条理)
  Eg: The careful study of a few books is better than the desultory reading og many.

  ◆clutter n. 一堆杂物
  piles of junk / clutter litter that floor

  ◆string n. 细线
  string : 连锁的
  a string of: 一串

  ◆requisite n. 必需品
  living resquisite
  necessity: 生活必需品,必不可缺的因素

  ◆◆mania n. 癖好
  have a mania for doing sth.: 有做某事的癖好 (狂热)

   craze: 狂热,时尚
  be crazy about
  hobby: 很重视(不会忽略)
  mania: 癖好(老年人)
  desire: n. 做某事的强烈愿望
  have desire for (to do ) sth.
  madness n. 疯狂的行为
  be mad about
  insanity n. 疯狂(=madness)
  insane adj. 失支理智的
  Eg: His insanity is unexpected.

  ◆sketch n. 草图,图样
  ◆remote adj. (机会,可能性)少的,小的
  slight
  possibility / chance
  Eg: The chances are remote that he will pass his examination.
  good
  The chances that he will leave the hospital for new year celebration are good.

  ◆strong-minded adj. 意志坚强的
  ◆relaxation n. 休息,娱乐
  entertainment

  ◆◆◆verify vt. 查证,核实
  Eg: You must verify the numbers / statistics.
  verify the facts
  certify : 证明,保证
  confirm: 证实
  Eg: My boss can confirm that I was here at that time.
  文档 n. 文件; v. 用文件证明
  Eg: Please 文档 what you said just now.
  I don’t believe you. I only believe in 文档.
  substantiate: 证明(某事有根据)

   Eg: I can substantiate it.
  validate: 使生效,确认,证实
  valid: 有效的
  Eg: We must validate the law.
  When we use a new teaching method, we must validate it at first.
  prove: 证明证实是否怎样
  Read: verify / certify / confirm / 文档 / validate / prove / substantiate
  check
  Eg: Please check the figures / statistics.


  ◆bearing n. 关系,联系
  relation / connection
  association: 联想

  ◆like-minded adj. 志趣相投的
  Eg: We’d like to make friends with like-minded people.

  ◆specimen n. 标本
  ◆constructively adv. 有益的,积极的
  ◆◆◆contented adj. 心满意足的
  pleased / satisfied / delighted
  Eg: Robert was not only pleased with my arrival but also delighted with my little gift.
  be contented with sth. / sb.

  ◆boredom n. 烦恼,无聊
  monotonous / tedious / tired / tiresome / bored


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