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2005年考研英语真题第4篇 The Evolution of English - Talking down

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Text 4

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Americans no longer expect public figures, whether in speech or in writing, to command the English language with skill and gift.

美国人已不再期待公众人物在演讲或写作中能运用技巧和文采来驾驭英语.

Nor do they aspire to such command themselves.

而公众人物自己也不渴望这样。

In his latest book, Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care, John McWhorter, a linguist and controversialist of mixed liberal and conservative views, sees the triumph of 1960s counter-culture as responsible for the decline of formal English.

语言学家麦荷特喜好争论,他的观点混杂着自由派与保守派的看法。在他最近的书《做我们自己的事:语言和音乐的退化,以及为什么我们应该喜欢或在意?》中,认为60年代反文化运动的胜利要对正式英语的退化负责。

Blaming the permissive 1960s is nothing new, but this is not yet another criticism against the decline in education.

责备放纵的六十年代不是什么新鲜事,但这次算不上是对教育衰落的又一场批判。

Mr. McWhorter's academic speciality is language history and change,

麦荷特先生的学术专长在于语 言史和语言演变。

and he sees the gradual disappearance of “whom, ” for example, to be natural and no more regrettable than the loss of the case-endings of Old English.

举例来说,他认为“whom”一词的逐渐消失是自然的,并不比古英语中词格尾缀的消失更让人惋惜。

But the cult of the authentic and the personal, “doing our own thing, ” has spelt the death of formal speech, writing, poetry and music.

然而,“做自己的事”这一对事务真实性和个人性的崇高信条,已经导致了正式演讲、写作、诗歌及音乐的消亡。

While even the modestly educated sought an elevated tone when they put pen to paper before the 1960s,

在 20 世纪 60 年代以前,仅受过一般教育的人在下笔时都会寻求一种更高雅的强调;

even the most well regarded writing since then has sought to capture spoken English on the page.

而那之后,即使是最受关注的文章也开始出现口语话的用语。

Equally, in poetry, the highly personal, performative genre is the only form that could claim real liveliness.

同样的,对于诗歌来说,非常个性化和富有表现力的创作风格成为了能够表达真实生动含义的唯一形式。

In both oral and written English, talking is triumphing over speaking, spontaneity over craft.

无论作为口语还是书面语的英语,随意言谈胜过雅致的言辞,自我发挥也压过了精心准备。

Illustrated with an entertaining array of examples from both high and low culture, the trend that Mr. McWhorter documents is unmistakable.

麦荷特显示先生从上层和下层文化中列举了一系列有趣的例子,从而说明他记录的这种趋势是确凿无误的。

But it is less clear, to take the question of his subtitle, why we should, like, care.

但就书中副标题中的疑问:为什么我们应该、喜欢或在意,答案却不够明确。

As a linguist, he acknowledges that all varieties of human language, including non-standard ones like Black English, can be powerfully expressive --

作为语言学家,麦荷特认为各种各样的人类语言,包括像黑人语言这样的非标准语言,都具有强大的表达力――

there exists no language or dialect in the world that cannot convey complex ideas.

世上所有的语言和方言都能传达复杂的思想。

He is not arguing, as many do, that we can no longer think straight because we do not talk proper.

不像其他大多数人,麦荷特先生并不认为我们说话方式不再规范就会使我们不能够准确的思考。

Russians have a deep love for their own language and carry large chunks of memorized poetry in their heads,

俄罗斯人深爱自己的语言,并在脑海中存储了大量诗歌;

while Italian politicians tend to elaborate speech that would seem old-fashioned to most English-speakers.

而意大利的政客们往往精心准备演讲,即使这在大多数讲英语的人们眼里已经过时。

Mr. McWhorter acknowledges that formal language is not strictly necessary, and proposes no radical education reforms --

麦荷特先生认为正式语言并非不可或缺,也没有提出要进行彻底的教育改革――

he is really grieving over the loss of something beautiful more than useful.

他其实只是为那些美好事务而不是实用品的消逝而哀叹。

We now take our English “on paper plates instead of china. ”

我们现在用“纸盘子”而非“瓷盘子”装着我们的英语大餐。

A shame, perhaps, but probably an inevitable one.

真是惭愧啊, 但很可能已无法避免。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
craft [krɑ:ft]

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n. 工艺,手艺,狡诈,航空器,行会成员
vt

 
illustrated ['iləstreitid]

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n. 有插画的报章杂志 adj. 有插图的 v. 阐明;

 
decline [di'klain]

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n. 衰微,跌落; 晚年
v. 降低,婉谢

 
claim [kleim]

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n. 要求,要求权;主张,断言,声称;要求物

 
strictly ['striktli]

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adv. 严格地

 
triumph ['traiəmf]

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n. 凯旋,欢欣
vi. 得胜,成功,庆功

 
spontaneity [.spɔntə'ni:iti]

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n. 自然性,自生,自发

联想记忆
X
单词spontaneity 联想记忆:
spont个人意志,自愿+aneity,来自aneous,表名词,表示“性质,状态”→自发,天性
 
cult [kʌlt]

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n. 宗教膜拜仪式,异教,狂热崇拜,个人崇拜

联想记忆
X
单词cult 联想记忆:
cult读:靠他:这里主要指在心灵上的依靠,法轮功弟子们把李宏志当作神来狂热崇拜,妄图依靠他获得圆满..
 
authentic [ɔ:'θentik]

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adj. 可信(靠)的,真实的,真正的

联想记忆
X
单词authentic 联想记忆:
源于author作者-属于原创作者的-真正的
 
command [kə'mɑ:nd]

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n. 命令,指挥,控制
v. 命令,指挥,支配

联想记忆
X
单词command 联想记忆:
com一起,mand命令
 


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