练习 | VOA词汇掌故:Smart知多少

练习 | VOA词汇掌故:Smart知多少

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VOA词汇掌故:Smart知多少

燕山大学 刘立军 编写

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Now, it's time for Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.

 

On this program we talk about words and expressions that we use in everyday conversation.

 

Today, we will talk about the word "smart". Like many words, "smart" has lots of different meanings, depending on how and when you use it.

 

For example, "smart" can describe someone who is very neat-looking. A person wearing an official uniform with shiny shoes and buttons can look very smart.

 

We can also use "smart" as a verb. Used this way, it means "to feel pain." That pain could be physical or emotional.

 

So, if you hit your thumb with a hammer by accident, you might yell out, "Oh, that smarts!" This would be a very polite thing to yell when you experience extreme physical pain. Many of us probably wouldn't be that polite. We would probably yell something quite different.

 

Okay, so that's the physical part. But a hurtful comment or remark can also smart. Those hurt in an emotional way.

 

In another use of the word, we add "smart" to the names of devices and tools. This means that they are enabled by computers - like a smartphone.

 

But, by far, the most common definition of "smart" is to be very good at learning and understanding things. So, when students do well at school and get good grades, we can call them "smart."

 

Being smart, however, goes beyond the classroom. People can be smart in different ways.

 

If you have attended school for many years and have many degrees, people might call you book-smart. Book-smart people are well-read. They often know the names of great thinkers, scientists and other famous people in history. They have read classical literature. They know facts and information that many other people don't. Usually people with book-smarts are good at things like trivia games and crossword puzzles.

 

However, being book-smart is not everything. Sometimes people who are very educated are not so smart when it comes to life skills and people skills.

 

On the other hand, people who are good at dealing with practical life problems have lots of street-smarts.

 

People who have street-smarts may not have read as many books or earned college degrees. But they have something just as valuable - the ability to use their experiences in many different situations. They are very aware of their surroundings.

 

Okay, so whether you are book-smart, street-smart or both, being smart is a good thing.

 

Usually. It may surprise you, but getting smart is not good.

 

In conversation, "getting smart" does not mean gathering knowledge. It means you are being rude or impolite. It is very common to hear parents say to their children, "Do NOT get smart with me!"

 

And that's not the only "smart" expression that can get you into trouble.

 

We often pair "smart" with "off" to make a very useful phrasal verb - to smart off. Smarting off to someone means you are saying rude comments and showing a lack of respect.

 

In this context, the adjective "smart" is not good. If a child has a smart mouth, they often say disrespectful, rude things. In the classroom, students who give smart answers are trying to be funny by saying rude or inappropriate things.

 

Let's say there is a student who has a really smart mouth. She gives the teacher a smart answer in class one too many times. The teacher may say to her, "Do not get smart with me, young lady!" Or "Do NOT smart off in class!" Both mean, "Do not be rude!"

 

There is another type of "smart" that is bad.

 

Okay, we have all met someone who thinks they know everything about everything! Well, you can call that person a smarty-pants. These know-it-all types can be really annoying.

 

But please note that this insult can sound a bit childish.

 

So, being smart - whether book-smart or street-smart - is a great thing to be ... except when it's not!

 

And that's it for this Words and Their Stories.

 

I'm Anna Matteo.

 

 

VOCABULARY

1. smart adj. 

 

A. CLEAN / NEAT 整洁

① (especially British English) (of people 人) looking clean and neat; well dressed in fashionable and/or formal clothes 衣冠楚楚的;衣着讲究的。例如:You look very smart in that suit. 你穿上这套衣服显得很精神。

② (especially British English) (of clothes, etc. 衣服等) clean, neat and looking new and attractive 整洁而漂亮的;光鲜的。例如:They were wearing their smartest clothes. 他们都穿了最讲究的衣服。

B. INTELLIGENT 聪明

③ (especially North American English) intelligent 聪明的;机敏的;精明的。例如:

She's smarter than her brother. 她比她哥哥聪明。

That was a smart career move. 那是个人事业发展上的一着妙棋。

OK, I admit it was not the smartest thing I ever did (= it was a stupid thing to do). 好吧,我承认那件事我办得很不漂亮。

C. FASHIONABLE 时髦

④ (especially British English) connected with fashionable rich people 时髦人物的;高档的。例如:

smart restaurants 高档餐馆

She mixes with the smart set. 她跟那帮时髦人物交往。

D. QUICK 快速

⑤ (of a movement, etc. 动作等) quick and usually done with force 快速的;敏捷的;迅速而有力的  brisk 例如:

He was struck with a smart crack on the head. 他头上突然被猛击了一下。

We set off at a smart pace. 我们快步出发了。

E. COMPUTER-CONTROLLED 计算机控制

⑥ (of a device, especially of a weapon / bomb 尤指武器、炸弹等装置) controlled by a computer, so that it appears to act in an intelligent way 智能的。例如:

smart bombs灵巧炸弹

This smart washing machine will dispense an optimal amount of water for the load. 这台智能洗衣机会根据衣物多少适当安排进水量。

 

2. smart verb.

① smart (from sth.) to feel a sharp stinging pain in a part of your body 感到剧烈刺痛。例如:His eyes were smarting from the smoke. 他给烟熏得两眼生疼。

② smart (from/over sth.) to feel upset about a criticism, failure, etc. (因批评、失败等)难过,烦恼。例如:They are still smarting from the 0-4 defeat last week. 他们仍为上星期0:4惨败而难过。

 

QUESTIONS

Read the statements. Then listen to the news and check the true (ü) or false (û) statements.

 

 

1. "Smart" has lots of different meanings, depending on how and when you use it.

2. "Smart" can be used as a verb, which means "to feel pain" physically or emotionally.

3. The most common definition of "smart" is to be very good at learning and understanding things. 

4. People are smart in the same way.

5. Book-smart people are well-read, and usually they are good at things like trivia games and crossword puzzles.

6. Sometimes people who are very educated are not so smart when it comes to life skills and people skills.

7. People who are good at dealing with practical life problems have lots of street-smarts.

8. Whether you are book-smart, street-smart or both, being smart is a good thing.

9. In conversation, "getting smart" means gathering knowledge. 

10. Smarting off to someone means you are saying polite comments and showing respect to him/her.

11. If a child has a smart mouth, they often say nice things. 

12. If someone thinks they know everything about everything, we can call that person a smarty-pants. 

 

KEY 

Read the statements. Then listen to the news and check the true (ü) or false (û) statements.

 

þ 1. "Smart" has lots of different meanings, depending on how and when you use it.

þ 2. "Smart" can be used as a verb, which means "to feel pain" physically or emotionally.

þ 3. The most common definition of "smart" is to be very good at learning and understanding things. 

ý 4. People are smart in the same way. 

          (正确表达) People can be smart in different ways.

þ 5. Book-smart people are well-read, and usually they are good at things like trivia games and crossword puzzles.

þ 6. Sometimes people who are very educated are not so smart when it comes to life skills and people skills.

þ 7. People who are good at dealing with practical life problems have lots of street-smarts.

þ 8. Whether you are book-smart, street-smart or both, being smart is a good thing.

ý 9. In conversation, "getting smart" means gathering knowledge. 

     (正确表达) In conversation, "getting smart" does not mean gathering knowledge. It means you are being rude or impolite. 

ý 10. Smarting off to someone means you are saying polite comments and showing  respect to him/her. 

     (正确表达) Smarting off to someone means you are saying rude comments and showing a lack of respect.

ý 11. If a child has a smart mouth, they often say nice things. 

     (正确表达)  If a child has a smart mouth, they often say rude things. 

þ 12. If someone thinks they know everything about everything, we can call that person a smarty-pants. 

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  • 时长:6.3分钟
  • 语速:110wpm
  • 来源:刘立军 2020-02-16