要特别,不要只是’普普通通’ 分享到
Be Special, Not Just ’Run-of-the-Mill’ 2018-10-25201968

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Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
这里是美国之音慢速英语《词汇故事》栏目。
On this program, we explore words and expressions in the English language. We also explain how they developed and how English speakers use them today.
本节目中,我们将探讨美式英语中的常用词汇和表达。我们还要解释它们如何变化以及英语使用者如何使用它们。
We try really hard to make this program special! But not everything can be special all the time. In fact, many things are just average or normal. Today we talk about an expression often used to describe such things: run-of-the-mill.
我们努力让这个节目变的特别!但并非一切都可以是特别的。事实上,许多事情只是普通或正常。今天我们谈论一个常用来形容这类事物的表达方式:普通的。
So, why do we use this expression to mean not-so-special? To explain the meaning of run-of-the-mill, let’s talk about the word “mill.”
那么,为什么我们使用这个表达来表示不那么特别?为了解释普通一词的含义,我们来谈谈“工厂”这个词。
A mill is a place where machines make products. It is like a factory. For example, a paper mill makes paper and a steel mill manufactures steel. A mill can produce just about anything.
工厂是机器制造产品的地方。它就像一个制造厂。例如,造纸厂生产纸张,钢厂生产钢铁。一家工厂几乎可以生产任何产品。
While mills make many kinds of products, language experts are not exactly sure which type of mill is being described in the expression “run-of-the-mill.”
虽然工厂生产多种产品,但语言专家并不确定在“普普通通”这一表述中描述的是哪种类型的“工厂”。
One possible explanation begins in a clothing mill.
一个可能的解释源于服装厂。
Many years ago, all clothes were made by hand. Handmade clothes took a lot of time to make and they were generally one of a kind. None of them looked exactly the same. However, as technology improved, machines began making most clothing.
许多年前,所有的衣服都是手工制作的。手工制作的衣服需要花费很多时间制作,而且它们通常是独一无二的。它们中没有一个看起来是完全一样的。然而,随着技术的进步,机器开始制造大多数衣服。
By the early 1900s, the expression "run of the mill" described machine-made clothes. Such clothing was thought to be less "special" than handmade products.
到20世纪初,“普普通通”这一表达描述机器制造的衣服。这种服装被认为不如手工制作的衣服那么“特别”。
Now, another story simply suggests that when mills were producing products, quality control was a problem. A mill would simply make a lot of a product without much thought of quality. You could say it was a quantity over quality way of thinking -- the more, the better.
现在,另一个故事仅仅说明,当工厂生产产品时,质量的把控是一个问题。如果不考虑质量,工厂可以生产很多产品。你或许说这是一种数量优于品质的思维方式,即越多越好。
Language experts note that by the early 1920s, people began using “run-of-the-mill” to describe anything thought to be ordinary or commonplace.
语言专家指出,到20世纪20年代早期,人们开始使用“普通”来描述任何被认为是普通或平凡的东西。
Today, that meaning is unchanged. Anything that is a typical example of something, we can call “run-of-the-mill.” And this expression is widely used today.
今天,这个词义没有改变。任何东西都可用于举典型的例子,我们可以称之为是“普通的。”今天还在广泛地使用这一表达。
If you go to a show and the singer is just so-so, you could say it was a run-of-the-mill performance. Perhaps you bought a run-of-the-mill computer; you know, a model that you can find anywhere. Maybe you have a friend who moves to a run-of-the-mill town, lives in a run-of-the-mill apartment and works a run-of-the-mill job. Nothing about his new life seems very special. Hopefully, he will make some new friends or start a new activity to make his day-to-day life more interesting!
如果你去看演出,而歌手很一般,你可以说这是一场普通的演出。也许你买了一台普通的计算机,你知道,你可以在任何地方找到。也许你有一个朋友搬到一个普通的小镇,住在一个普通的公寓,并且做着一般的工作。他的新生活没什么特别。希望他能结识新朋友或开展新活动,让他日常的生活更有趣!
We have a few other expressions that have a similar meaning to run-of-the-mill. One comes from the world of food.
我们还有一些其他表达和普通的含义相似。一个就来自食物界。
If something is cookie-cutter, it is just like everything else. This comes from actual cookie cutters, the tools for cutting cookie dough into shapes.All the cookies come out looking the same.
如果有什么东西是千篇一律的话,那就和他东西都一样。该词来自饼干模具,可以将面团切成固定的形状。所有的饼干看起来都一样。
The word cookie-cutter is used to describe a group of things that look alike.For example, if a land developer develops a neighborhood using the same design for all of the houses, they may look very cookie-cutter, or all the same.
这个词用来描述一组看起来相似的东西。例如,如果土地开发商开发了一个社区,为所有房屋使用相同的设计,那么它们可能看起来一样,或者完全相同。
Another expression comes from a favorite activity of many people -- gardening.
另一个表达来自许多人最喜欢的活动——园艺。
If something is described as a garden-variety, it is average, common or mediocre. This comes from the fact that some things grow very easily. And some fruits, vegetables, flowers or plants that grow easily become popular with gardeners. They are varieties that are found in many gardens. So we call them garden-varieties.
如果某种东西被描述成是平凡的,则它是普通的、常见的或平庸的。这是因为这样的事实,即一些东西非常容易生长。一些容易生长的水果、蔬菜、花卉或植物会受到园丁的欢迎。在许多花园中都可以发现这些品种。所以我们把它们称为是普通的。
Now, let’s hear how we can use some o f these words and expressions.
现在,让我们来看看我们如何使用这些单词和表达。
A: Hey, I need a haircut, but the woman who cuts my hair just moved. Can you suggest someone?
嘿,我需要理发,但给我理发的女士搬走了。你能推荐一个人吗?
B: Well, if you want something different and unique, I would go to Renaldo at Creative Cuts. But I have to warn you, it’s going to cost you.
嗯,如果想与众不同,我会去找创剪的雷纳尔多。但我必须提醒你,那你就要破费了。
A: Maybe later I can try a really different hair style. But for right now, I just want a simple, garden-variety cut.
也许以后我可以尝试一种与众不同的发型。但就目前而言,我只想要一个简单、普通的发型。
B: In that case, go to Beatrice at Simple Cuts. The haircut won’t stand out, but it also won’t cost a lot.
这样的话,去找简单剪的比阿特丽斯。发型不会太特别,但也不会花费太多。
A: Sounds great. Thanks!
听起来不错。谢谢!
A: You must try a piece of this bread.
你必须试试这片面包。
B: Wow. This is really good! Where did you get it?
哇。这真的很棒!你在哪发现的?
A: It’s a new place down on Waterfront Street. From the outside, it looks like your average, run-of-the-mill bakery. But as soon as you enter the store, you know it’s not. They handcraft all of their breads and pastries. Nothing cookie-cutter about this place.
这在海滨街上的一个新地方。从外面看,它看起来像一家普普通通的面包店。但是一进入商店,你就知道不是。他们手工制作所有的面包和糕点。这家店极不普通。
B: Ha, ha, ha! Cookie-cutter. Get it?
哈,哈,哈!普通。知道了?
A: Yeah. That’s funny.
是的。那很有趣。
B: So, what’s the name of this unique bakery? I have to go!
那么,这家特别的面包店的名字是什么?我要去了!
A: It’s -- Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Bakery.
是为你而独特的面包店。
B: Yeah, I understand. But what’s the name?
是的,我明白了。但是这家店的名字是什么?
A: It’s -- Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Bakery.
是为你而独特的面包店。
B: I GET IT!
我知道了!
A: No, you don’t! That IS the name of the bakery.
不,你没有!那是面包店的名字。
B: Oh. Sorry.
哦。抱歉。
One last note, you can use all of these expressions -- cookie-cutter, garden variety and run-of-mill -- in any situation, with people you know well or not at all.
最后一点,你可以在任何情况下,和你熟悉或根本不熟悉的人使用所有这些表达,比如千篇一律、普通的和平庸的。
And that’s Words and Their Stories for this week. I’m Anna Matteo.
以上就是本周的《词汇故事》。安娜·马特奥为您播报。
How do you talk about ordinary things in your language? Do you have similar expressions like run-of-the-mill or cookie-cutter? Let us know in the Comments Section!
你如何使用自己的话谈论普通事物?你有和普通的或千篇一律类似的表达吗?请在评论区留言!

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