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Belittle 轻视;小看人;贬低

kira86 于2018-11-16发布 l 已有人浏览
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今天要讲的词是belittle。这个词是由美国第三任总统托马斯·杰斐逊首次使用的,意思是轻视、小看、贬低他人。
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20060325 Belittle.jpg
Belittle

轻视;小看人

Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.

你正在收听的是美国之音慢速英语《词汇掌故》节目。

Today’s word is belittle. It was first used by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

今天要讲的词是belittle。这个词是由美国第三任总统托马斯·杰斐逊首次使用的。

Many years ago, a French naturalist, the Count de Buffon, wrote some books about natural history. The books were a great success even though some critics did not like them. Some critics said, “Count Buffon is more of a poet than a scientist.”

很多年以前,法国自然学家布丰伯爵写了多本有关自然史的书。尽管一些评论家不看好,但是这些书取得了巨大的成功。有些评论家称,“布丰伯爵不仅是一个科学家,更像一个诗人。”

Thomas Jefferson did not like what the Count had said about the natural wonders of the New World. It seemed to Jefferson that the Count had gone out of his way to speak of natural wonders in America as if they were unimportant.

托马斯·杰斐逊不喜欢伯爵对美洲大陆种种自然奇观的说法。在杰斐逊看来,伯爵对美洲自然奇观的描述脱离了他一贯的方式,说得好像美洲大陆的自然奇观无足轻重一样。

This troubled Thomas Jefferson. He too was a naturalist, as well as a farmer, inventor, historian, writer and politician. He had seen the natural wonders of Europe. To him, they were no more important than those of the New World.

这让杰弗逊非常烦恼。因为他也是一个自然学家,同时还是农学家,发明家,历史学家,作家和政治家。他曾游览了欧洲自然景观。对他来说,那些自然景观并不比美洲大陆的自然奇观强多少。

In seventeen eighty-eight, Thomas Jefferson wrote about his home state, Virginia. While writing, he thought of its natural beauty and then of the words of Count de Buffon. At that moment, Jefferson created a new word – belittle. He said, “The Count de Buffon believes that nature belittles her productions on this side of the Atlantic.”

在1788年,杰弗逊描述了他的家乡弗吉尼亚州。当他写作时,他想到了家乡的自然美景以及布丰伯爵的描述。在那一刻,杰斐逊创造了一个新词—belittle。他说:“布丰伯爵认为大西洋这边的自然景观激不起她创作的欲望。”

Noah Webster, the American word expert, liked this word. He put it in his English language dictionary in eighteen-oh-six. ‘Belittle – to make small, unimportant.’

美国词汇专家诺亚·韦伯斯特很喜欢这个词。他于1806年把这个单词收入他的英语词典。单词Belittle释义为小看,轻视"。

Americans had already accepted Jefferson’s word and started to use it. In seventeen ninety-seven, the Independent Chronicle newspaper used the word to describe a politician the paper supported. “He is an honorable man,” the paper wrote, “so let the opposition try to belittle him as much as they please.”

美国人已经接受了杰斐逊的这个单词,并开始使用它。1797年,独立纪事报用这个词来描写一个他们支持的政治家。 “他是一个高尚的人,”报纸写到,“因此,反对党怎么贬低他他都无所谓。”

In eighteen forty-four, the Republican Sentinel of Virginia wrote this about the opposition party: “The Whigs may attempt to belittle our candidates … that is a favorite game of theirs.”

1844年,弗吉尼亚州的共和党哨兵报这样描写反对党:“辉格党可能试图贬低我们的候选人……那是他们惯用的伎俩。”

In eighteen seventy-two, a famous American word expert decided that the time had come to kill this word. He said, “Belittle has no chance of becoming English. And as more critical writers of America, like those of Britain, feel no need of it, the sooner it is forgotten, the better.”

1872年,一位知名的美国词汇专家认为:是时候取缔这个单词了。他说:“Belittle不能成为英语。随着更多的美国作家开始和英国作家一样,觉得它没什么用,它越早被忘记越好。”

This expert failed to kill the word. Today, belittle is used, not only in the United States and England, but in other countries where the English language is spoken. It seems that efforts to belittle the word did not stop people from using it.

这位专家没能让这个词消失。今天,belittle不仅在美国和英国使用,还在其他的英语系国家得到了广泛应用。 看来贬低这个词也没能阻止人们使用它。

You have been listening to the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES. I’m Warren Scheer.

你在收听的是美国之音慢速英语特别节目《词汇掌故》。我是华伦·希尔。

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