VOA英语学习网 > 美国之音 > voa慢速英语 > 2019年VOA慢速英语 > Words And Their Stories >
缩小放大

VOA慢速英语:英语中的矛盾歧义词

关注 听力课堂微信 (tingclass123),获取更多英语听力资料。
[提示:]双击单词,即可查看词义!如果生词较多,请先学习:VOA慢速英语1500基础词汇
中英对照 听力原文

Contronyms Are 'Literally' The Best

矛盾歧义词简直是最好的

The American television series "Seinfeld" was famous for its unusual and often strange conversations. These conversations often took place in a diner - a kind of small, informal restaurant.

美国电视剧《宋飞正传》因其与众不同的并且通常还有些奇怪的对话而出名。这些对话通常发生在一家小餐馆内。小餐馆是一种小型的非正式的饭店。

In one program, the character George is sad about where he is in life. George feels that he has made poor choices. He wants to change his life around by doing the opposite of what he has done. He would like to eat different foods, be willing to talk to strangers, and so on.

在一次节目中,剧中人物乔治对他人生的处境感到很难过。乔治感觉他做了很多差的决定。他想靠做与他做过的事情相反的事来改变他的人生。他想吃不同的食物,乐于跟陌生人说话等等。

Let's listen to a few lines from the show.

让我们听几句节目的台词。

"Well, here's your chance to try the opposite. Instead of tuna salad and being intimidated by women... chicken salad and going right up to them.”

“好吧,这是你尝试相反事物的机会。”不吃金枪鱼沙拉,不被女人恐吓……不吃鸡肉沙拉,不径直走向它们。”

“Yeah, I should do the opposite, I should.”

“是的,我必须做相反的事情,必须。”

“If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."

“如果你的每个本能都是错的,那么相反的事必须是对的。”

Today, we will explore the idea of opposites. Namely, we will look at words that have at least two meanings: one meaning and an opposite meaning.

今天,我们将探讨相反的概念。也就是,我们将研究一些至少具有两层意思的词:一个意思和一个相反的意思。

We will also explore disputes around these words, like one involving the word "literally".

我们也将探究关于这些词的争议之处,像涉及“literally”这个词的争议。

English has a number of words with opposite meanings. They are called contronyms.

英语中含有一些具有相反意思的词。它们叫做矛盾歧义词。

You will hear contronyms in the news, official speeches, and everyday conversation. You will even see them in writing.

我们会在新闻中、正式演讲中和日常对话中听到这些矛盾歧义词。你甚至会在写作中看到它们。

Consider the word "sanction."

仔细考虑下“sanction”这个词。

A sanction can be a kind of punishment for disobeying a law, especially an international law.

Sanction(制裁)可能是对于违反法律尤其是国际法律的一种惩罚。

Imagine you hear a news story about the United Nations Security Council. The story might begin with the words, "Security Council votes to impose sanctions."

想象一下你听到一个关于联合国安全理事会的新闻报道。这个报道可能以这些话开始,“安全理事会投票决定要实施制裁。”

If you follow the news, you are probably familiar with this expression.

如果你继续听这个新闻,你可能会对这个词语很熟悉。

However, the word "sanction" can have an opposite meaning: an official approval for an action.

然而,“sanction”这个单词还有一个相反的意思:对某个行为进行正式批准。

For example, you might read a news story about a legal dispute. The story might say, "Critics say the policy lacked legal sanction."

例如,你可能会读到一篇关于法律纠纷的新闻报道。这篇报道可能会说:“批评人士认为这项政策缺乏法律的正式批准。”

In this case, the critics are saying that the policy did not have official approval.

在这个案例中,批评家表示这项政策没有正式的批准。

Because "sanction" has a second, opposite meaning, it is a contronym.

因为“sanction”这个单词有第二个、相反的意思,所以它是一个矛盾歧义词。

Here's another example of a contronym: the word “bill”.

这是矛盾歧义词的另外一个例子:单词“bill”。

You can have a $50 bill, or you can receive a $50 bill for medical services. In the first example, "bill" means a piece of paper money. In the second case, "bill" suggests a document that tells you how much money you owe.

你可能有一张价值50美元的钞票或者你可能收到一张50美元的医疗账单。在第一个例子中,“bill”的意思是:一张纸质的钱。在第二个例子中,“bill”的意思是:告诉你欠了多少钱的一个文件。

Americans sometimes dispute the use of a contronym. Consider the word "literally."

美国人有时对一个矛盾歧义词的用法产生争议。仔细考虑下单词“literally”。

On the internet, many stories and videos are sharply critical of this word.

在互联网上,许多故事和视频对这个词都及其挑剔。

"A lot of you out there who say 'literally' don't seem to understand what 'literally' means."

“你们中有很多人说‘literally’,似乎不明白‘literally’是什么意思。

Literally, in its traditional meaning, means "by the letter". It later took on the meaning "with the meaning of each word given exactly."

“literally”这个词的传统意思是“逐字的”。它之后又有了新的意思“给出的每个单词都是准确的即真正地、确实地”。

Americans often use it in a completely different way.

美国人经常用截然不同的方式去使用这个单词。

Imagine you hear the following conversation:

想象一下你听到了下列对话:

Did you hear Tom's story?

“你听说汤姆的故事了吗?”

“Yes, I was literally dying of laughter. It was so funny!”

“听说了,我简直快要笑死了。它太有趣了!

Here, the second speaker does not mean that she is dying. When she says "literally", she means "figuratively".

在这里,第二位说话者的意思并不是她要死了。当她说“literally”时,她的意思是“比喻的” 。

The word "literally" is like the character George from Seinfeld. "Literally", like George, spent time doing one thing. Now it is looking for a change.

“literally”这个词就像电视剧《宋飞正传》里面的人物乔治一样。像乔治一样,“literally”度过了一段时间做一件事情。现在它正在寻求一次改变。

Naturally, the word itself is not making this decision to change. English speakers are using the word in different ways.

当然,这个词本身并不能做这个决定去改变。说英语的人正在用不同的方式使用这个词。

There is nothing new or strange about this change. Many words change over time -just like people and societies.

对于这种改变并没有什么新鲜或稀奇的。很多单词的意思都随着时间而改变——就像人和社会一样。

John McWhorter is an expert on languages. He notes that English speakers use some words for what he calls common, social uses. He refers to these uses by the acronym “FACE”.

约翰·麦克沃特是一名语言专家。他指出说英语的人将这些单词的用法称为常用的社交用法。他用首字母缩写“FACE”来描述这些词。

Do not worry about all of the terms. The one we are interested in is the letter "F" in FACE. It means "factuality."

不用担心(不懂)所有术语。我们感兴趣的是FACE中“F”这个字母。它的意思是“factuality”。

McWhorter notes that English speakers use words to show how truthful or exact their statements are. In other words, they include words to show how "factual" their statements are.

麦克沃特指出说英语的人使用这些单词来表明他们的陈述是多么真实或者准确的。换句话说,它们包括表明他们的陈述是多么真实的单词。

"Literally" has become a word that shows factuality. It shows that the speaker is using an overstatement or exaggerated language.

“literally”已经变成了一个可以表明真实性的词。它表示说话的人正在使用夸张或夸大的语言。

So, when a person says "I was literally dying of laughter," they are using the word "literally" to show that they are using exaggerated language.

所以,当一个人说“我简直要笑死了,”他们正在使用“literally”这个词来表明他们正在使用夸张的语言。

If you compare this use of "literally" with the first definition of "literally," you will notice that "literally" has become a contronym.

如果你将单词“literally”的这个用法与它的第一个定义作比较,你会发现“literally”变成了一个矛盾歧义词。

McWhorter notes that this is a natural progression for the word. There is nothing wrong or incorrect about this change, he adds.

麦克沃特指出这是这个单词一个自然的进程。 他补充道对于这个改变并没有什么错或者不正确的地方。

The next time you are listening to an English speaker or reading a document in English, look for examples of contronyms.

下次当你听一个说英语的人说话时或者读一个英语文档时,找找矛盾歧义词的例子。

If you are having trouble understanding a sentence, it might be because the speaker or writer is using a less common meaning of a word.

如果你理解一个句子有困难时,它可能是因为说话的人或者作者正在使用某个单词一个不常用的意思。

Try to think about the word's context. Sometimes you can understand a contronym's meaning by thinking about the other words that come in the sentence with it.

试着思考一下单词所在的语境。有时候你能通过思考一下这个单词所在句子中其他单词的含义来理解一个矛盾歧义词的意思。

Contronyms are a strange, fun part of language. They are literally the easiest thing about the English language.

矛盾歧义词是语言中奇怪而又有趣的一部分。他们简直是英语中最简单的东西。

“I think you are you exaggerating…”

“我认为你的表述很夸张……”

I'm Jill Robbins.

吉尔·罗宾斯为您报道。

And I'm John Russell.

约翰·拉塞尔为您报道。

Contronyms Are 'Literally' The Best

The American television series "Seinfeld" was famous for its unusual and often strange conversations. These conversations often took place in a diner - a kind of small, informal restaurant.

In one program, the character George is sad about where he is in life. George feels that he has made poor choices. He wants to change his life around by doing the opposite of what he has done. He would like to eat different foods, be willing to talk to strangers, and so on.

Let's listen to a few lines from the show.

"Well, here's your chance to try the opposite. Instead of tuna salad and being intimidated by women... chicken salad and going right up to them.”

“Yeah, I should do the opposite, I should.”

“If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."

Today, we will explore the idea of opposites. Namely, we will look at words that have at least two meanings: one meaning and an opposite meaning.

We will also explore disputes around these words, like one involving the word "literally".

English has a number of words with opposite meanings. They are called contronyms.

You will hear contronyms in the news, official speeches, and everyday conversation. You will even see them in writing.

Consider the word "sanction."

A sanction can be a kind of punishment for disobeying a law, especially an international law.

Imagine you hear a news story about the United Nations Security Council. The story might begin with the words, "Security Council votes to impose sanctions."

If you follow the news, you are probably familiar with this expression.

However, the word "sanction" can have an opposite meaning: an official approval for an action.

For example, you might read a news story about a legal dispute. The story might say, "Critics say the policy lacked legal sanction."

In this case, the critics are saying that the policy did not have official approval.

Because "sanction" has a second, opposite meaning, it is a contronym.

Here's another example of a contronym: the word “bill”.

You can have a $50 bill, or you can receive a $50 bill for medical services. In the first example, "bill" means a piece of paper money. In the second case, "bill" suggests a document that tells you how much money you owe.

Americans sometimes dispute the use of a contronym. Consider the word "literally."

On the internet, many stories and videos are sharply critical of this word.

"A lot of you out there who say 'literally' don't seem to understand what 'literally' means."

Literally, in its traditional meaning, means "by the letter". It later took on the meaning "with the meaning of each word given exactly."

Americans often use it in a completely different way.

Imagine you hear the following conversation:

Did you hear Tom's story?

“Yes, I was literally dying of laughter. It was so funny!”

Here, the second speaker does not mean that she is dying. When she says "literally", she means "figuratively".

The word "literally" is like the character George from Seinfeld. "Literally", like George, spent time doing one thing. Now it is looking for a change.

Naturally, the word itself is not making this decision to change. English speakers are using the word in different ways.

There is nothing new or strange about this change. Many words change over time -just like people and societies.

John McWhorter is an expert on languages. He notes that English speakers use some words for what he calls common, social uses. He refers to these uses by the acronym “FACE”.

Do not worry about all of the terms. The one we are interested in is the letter "F" in FACE. It means "factuality."

McWhorter notes that English speakers use words to show how truthful or exact their statements are. In other words, they include words to show how "factual" their statements are.

"Literally" has become a word that shows factuality. It shows that the speaker is using an overstatement or exaggerated language.

So, when a person says "I was literally dying of laughter," they are using the word "literally" to show that they are using exaggerated language.

If you compare this use of "literally" with the first definition of "literally," you will notice that "literally" has become a contronym.

McWhorter notes that this is a natural progression for the word. There is nothing wrong or incorrect about this change, he adds.

The next time you are listening to an English speaker or reading a document in English, look for examples of contronyms.

If you are having trouble understanding a sentence, it might be because the speaker or writer is using a less common meaning of a word.

Try to think about the word's context. Sometimes you can understand a contronym's meaning by thinking about the other words that come in the sentence with it.

Contronyms are a strange, fun part of language. They are literally the easiest thing about the English language.

“I think you are you exaggerating…”

I'm Jill Robbins.

And I'm John Russell.

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

conversation – n. an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people; the act of talking in an informal way

informal – adj suited for ordinary use when you are relaxing​.

character – n. a person in a play or story

intimidated - adj. to be afraid

instinct - n. a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned; a natural desire or tendency that makes you want to act in a particular way

impose – v. to establish; to bring about as if by force

figuratively – adj. Expressing one thing normally while talking about another

refer – v. to think of; to send for treatment

factuality – n. The quality of being actual or factual: actuality, fact, factualness, reality, truth.

exaggerated - adj. to think of or describe something as larger or greater than it really is

context – n. the situation in which something happens


内容来自 VOA英语学习网https://www.chinavoa.com/show-8744-241746-1.html
Related Articles
内容推荐