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VOA慢速英语[词汇典故]致命的弱点

2016-02-25    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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 Hello! And welcome to Words and Their Stories, a VOA Learning English program about American expressions.

 
The Greek poet Homer has given us many phrases. A famous one is “Achilles' heel.”
 
On your body, your Achilles' heel is the tendon on the back of your ankle. In spoken English, your Achilles' heel is your weak spot. You can say either “Achilles' heel” or “Achilles'(s) heel.” Both are correct.
 
The Greek story of Achilles' heel is the one Homer tells in the long poem called “The Iliad.” Here is how the story goes.
 
When Achilles was a baby his mother bathed him in the river Styx. She believed the river had magical powers. Bathing her son in its waters, she thought, would make Achilles immortal, deathless, like a god.
 
But one part of his body did not get wet: his heel, where his mother held him. His heel, therefore, was the one spot where Achilles could be hurt.
 
Achilles grew up. He became a great warrior. During the Trojan War, he fought with the Greek army.
 
None of the Trojan weapons was able to hurt Achilles. The god Apollo, however, knew of Achilles' weak spot. Apollo told the prince of Troy, named Paris, all about it. While not actually written in “The Iliad,” legend says Paris shot an arrow at Achilles' heel and killed him.
 
We all have an Achilles' heel. Even the toughest among us has a weak spot. This weakness may change as we get older. For many young people their ego, or over-confidence, could be their Achilles' heel. For others perhaps greed is their Achilles' heel.
 
If I am trying to lose weight but love to eat ice cream, you could say that my love of ice cream is my Achilles' heel.
 
And for many people, love is their Achilles' heel. Love leaves us helpless. Love makes us weak. People in love may find themselves doing foolish things. They may open themselves up to hurt or embarrassment.
 
And a person who is head over heels in love is really in a weak position. This phrase, however, does not come from Greek literature. It was first used in the 14th century to mean turning a cartwheel or somersault.
 
Today, head over heels means something that is not in its natural state or something that is felt very deeply or strongly. It is usually used to describe someone who has fallen – possibly foolishly – in love.
 
Head over heels gives a clear picture of one who has fallen deeply and passionately in love. Close your eyes and picture what a person may look like if he or she is spinning like a wheel, turning over and over.
 
That is heads over heels.
 
Let's hear this expression used in an example:
 
Hey, have you noticed something different about John recently?
 
What do you mean?
 
Well, he is usually such a good student. But lately he never has his assignments done. And he seems unable to focus in class.
 
Well, you know he has a new girlfriend. And he is head over heels in love with her.
 
Oh. That explains why he has been acting so strange lately.
 
Perhaps being head over heels in love has never been your Achilles' heel, but you can probably imagine how powerful the feeling is. Like in this song by Tears for Fears, something just happens and you are head over heels.
 
I'm Anna Matteo.
 
文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2015-12-27

 大家好,欢迎收听美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目时间。

 
古希腊诗人荷马给我们留下了很多短语,其中著名的一个就是"Achilles' heel"
 
Heel则是人身体上靠脚脖子的位置。在英语口语中,Achilles' heel,“阿奇里斯的脚跟”,既是“人的弱点”。“Achilles' heel” 或者“Achilles'(s) heel.”,这两种说法都是正确的。
 
在希腊故事里,阿基里斯的脚踝来源于荷马史诗伊利亚特。故事里是这样说的:
 
在阿基里斯还是个婴儿的时候,他的母亲将他的身体浸入冥河里沐浴。她坚信冥河的河水有着神奇的力量。她的儿子在这水里洗过澡,就会像神一样,刀枪不入,永生不死。
 
然而,阿基里斯只有一个部位没有浸入冥河水,那就是他的母亲用手抓着的部位,脚踝。因此,脚后跟成了阿奇里斯身上唯一会受伤、甚至会致命的弱点。
 
阿基里斯长大后,果然成为了英勇的战士。在特洛伊战争中,为希腊联军打仗。
 
特洛伊人没有任何武器可以伤害阿基里斯。然而,太阳神阿波罗却知道阿基里斯的弱点并告诉了特洛伊王子帕丽斯。尽管在伊利亚德里没有具体的描写这件事,但是根据传说,是帕丽斯用弓箭对准阿奇里斯的脚后跟射出一箭,杀死了他。
 
我们都有各自的弱点,即便是最坚强的人也有。弱点也许会随着年龄的增长而改变。年轻人的弱点也许是自负,过于的自信。其他人的弱点,也许是贪婪。
 
如果我正尝试在减肥,却又爱吃冰激凌,那么你可以说冰激凌是我的Achilles' heel,也就是我的弱点。
 
对于许多人而言,爱情则是他们的弱点。爱让我们变得无助,爱让我们软弱。处于爱情当中的人会做很多傻事,从而让自己受伤,或陷入尴尬的境地。
 
"a person who is head over heels",一个人若是爱得神魂颠倒,就真的处于一种弱势地位。而这句短语并非源于希腊文学,它最初是在14世纪被用来表示侧手翻。
 
如今,head over heels表示一些非比寻常的,或是很深或很强烈的感受。往往形容一个人爱到无可救药。
 
head over heels清楚地描绘了一个人深深地陷入爱情时状态。闭上眼,想象一个人如果像车轮一样在旋转会是什么样子。
 
这就是我们所说的“神魂颠倒”。
 
下面来听一些关于这个表达的例子。
 
最近你注意到约翰有什么不同吗?
 
你什么意思?
 
他平常都是一个很好学生。但是最近他常常不完成作业,并且上课的时候也是心不在焉的。
 
是这样,你知道他交了一个女朋友吧。他现在简直为她神魂颠倒了。
 
喔,难关他最近表现地怪怪的。
 
也许你从未对爱谁爱得神魂颠倒,但是你可以想象一下这种强烈的感情。就像这首歌曲所唱,爱情就这么发生了,然后你就无法自拔了...
 
我是Anna Matteo.


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