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VOA慢速[词汇典故]不要恐慌 Don't panic

2015-04-16    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.

Have you ever felt pure fear, a fear that makes you act in a way you normally would not?

That is panic. Panic is a great fear that makes otherwise normal people do abnormal things.

To hit the panic button means to panic suddenly. Another common expression is widespread panic. It describes an event that causes panic among large numbers of people. For example, "The spread of disease caused widespread panic throughout Europe during The Middle Ages."

The origin of the word panic comes from the Greek word "panikos." According to Greek myth, Pan was the god of flocks and shepherds. Greek legend says that Pan was half human and half goat. He lived in the woods and in the fields. His angry voice was so scary that it caused panic to anyone who was unlucky enough to be nearby.

According to one Greek myth, Pan fell in love with a beautiful nymph. A nymph is a spirit that takes the shape of young woman and lives in the mountains, forests, meadows and water. Pan tried to capture her, but she ran away. The nymph hid in a river taking the form of a reed, a thick, hollow grass that lives in the water.

The wind made a song as it blew across the hollow reeds.

Pan did not know which reed was the nymph. So, he took a handful and joined them together side-by-side and carried it with him to hear the music it played.

Today, we call this instrument a pan flute.

Of course, this is just the Greek story. Pan flutes also have a long history in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Just like the pan flute, panic can be found everywhere.

Mental health experts treat people with panic disorders. The American Psychological Association defines a panic attack as "a sudden surge of overwhelming, or extreme, fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason."

The word panic also describes economic or financial disasters.

The most infamous financial panic in the U.S. was the stock market crash of 1929. Some people on Wall Street where stocks were traded were so panicked that they jumped from their office windows.

Panic is also a great literary tool.

Jack London was an American writer who wrote "The Sea Wolf." He left school at age 14 to become a seaman. Published in 1904, "The Sea Wolf" has a panicked ship-wreck scene that is partly based on Mr. London's experience as a sailor in the Pacific Ocean.

Two ships crash together in the ocean. Women passengers scream with panic as the ship goes down into the freezing ocean waves. As one man finds himself adrift alone in the sea, another type of panic takes hold of him.

"I was alone. I could hear no calls or cries--only the sound of the waves, made weirdly hollow and reverberant by the fog. A panic in a crowd, which partakes of a sort of community of interest, is not so terrible as a panic when one is by oneself; and such a panic I now suffered. ... I confess that a madness seized me, that I shrieked aloud as the women had shrieked, and beat the water with my numb hands."

Panic is a powerful tool in myth or literature but not so much in real life. So, next time you feel extreme fear taking hold of you, causing you to lose all reason, remember to remain calm. And don't panic.

I'm Anna Matteo. Christopher Jones Cruise read the passage from Jack London's "The Sea Wolf."

文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2015-03-29
 


现在是美国之音慢速英语词汇掌故节目。

你有没有感觉过纯粹恐惧?一种让你行事不像平常的恐惧。

这就是恐慌。恐慌是一种巨大的恐惧,让平时正常的人做出不正常的事情。

To hit the panic button是指突然惊慌失措。另一句常用语是widespread panic,它用于描述引发大量人恐慌的事件。例如,“中世纪时期疾病蔓延导致了欧洲各地普遍恐慌。”

Panic这个单词起源于希腊语词汇panikos。根据希腊神话,潘是羊群和牧羊人之神。希腊传说中称潘是半人半羊。他住在山林和田野间。他愤怒的声音是如此可怕,造成了不巧在附近的人们的恐慌。

在一则希腊神话中,潘爱上了一位美丽的仙女。仙女是居住在山林水泽之间,形若年轻女子的仙子。潘试图抓住她,但她跑了。这位仙女藏在河边,变成了芦苇。芦苇是一种生活在水边的厚实的空心草。

风从空心的芦苇中吹过时奏起了一首歌。

潘不知道哪根芦苇是仙女。所以他摘了一把芦苇,将它们并排着排在一起,并随着携带着,听它奏起的音乐。

如今我们称这种乐器为排箫。

当然这只是希腊神话故事。排箫在欧洲、亚洲、非洲和美洲都有着悠久历史。

就像排箫一样,恐慌也随处可见。

心理健康专家治疗恐慌症患者。美国心理学会定义恐慌症是“一种巨大或极端的恐惧突然涌起,没有任何警示也没有任何明显原因。”

恐慌这个词也用于形容经济或金融灾难。

美国最臭名昭著的金融大恐慌是1929年股市暴跌。股票交易场所华尔街的一些人是如此恐慌,他们从办公室窗户跳了下去。

恐慌也是一种伟大的文学手段。

杰克·伦敦(Jack London)是一位美国作家,他写了《海狼》这本书。他十四岁时退学成为了一名海员。发表于1904年的《海狼》里有一场恐慌的沉船场景,这些内容某种程度上是基于伦敦先生在太平洋担任水手时的经历。

两艘船一起沉没在海洋之中。船沉入冰冷的海浪之中时,女乘客们恐慌尖叫。正如一位男子发现自己独自漂流在海上,另一种恐慌笼罩了他。

“我独自一人,听不到任何呼喊,只有海浪的声音,雾气带来古怪的回响。恐慌在具有某种共同利益的人群之中并不如独自一人面对时那么恐怖。现在我就面临这样一种恐慌,我承认我疯了,我像之前尖叫的妇女一样大声地尖叫,并用麻木的双手拍打着水。”

恐慌在神话和文学中是一种有力的手段,但在生活中并非如此。所以,下次当你感觉到极度恐惧笼罩了你,让你失去理智,记得保持冷静。不要惊慌。

我是安娜·马特奥(Anna Matteo)。克里斯托弗·琼斯·克鲁斯(Christopher Cruise)朗读了伦敦先生《海狼》一书的节选。



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