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21英语教师网 > 备课资源 > 美文阅读 > 正文
[高三]What are we ‘like’?
作者:21ST    来源:21世纪学生英文报·高三版第401期    日期: 2010-11-12
What are we ‘like’?

英美青少年最流行的口头禅是什么?

YOUNG Britons have been getting stick recently – for what? Some people think they don’t speak properly. Apparently, they’re too influenced by the speech of American TV and movies, and are letting down the language.

If you have watched a US youth soap (肥皂剧) like Gossip Girl you may have heard a character make use of the slang (俚语) term “like”. A teenage girl criticized by her parents might say to them in protest (抗议): “That’s, like, so unfair.”

The transfer of the use of such informal language to the UK has British actress Emma Thompson *up in arms. In an interview she told reporters: “[Young people] make themselves sound stupid by speaking slang outside of school.” She is so angry when she hears someone say “like” or “innit” [isn’t it?] she feels “insane” (荒唐的).

Thompson thinks young people need to return to “proper English”.

But John Ayto, editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, is more understanding of teenage culture. He explains that “like” is an example of what linguistics (语言学家) call a “filler” term.

“The fillers are a way we all stall (拖延) for time when speaking and historically always have,” he said to the BBC. He believes that we all use fillers because “we can’t keep up highly-grammatical language all the time”. “We all have to pause and think,” he said.

He doesn’t agree with the accusation that it is a lazy use of language. Instead, the filler words make sentences run smoothly. The fillers in English are nothing new. People have used “um”, “ah” and “well” for a long time.

But “like” can do more than plug a gap (空隙) in a sentence. Slang is meant to be “something that keeps groups together and keeps people out”, Aaron Peckham, the founder of urbandictionary.com, told The New York Times.

Language specialist Professor Clive Upton, from the University of Leeds, agreed. For him, using “like” this way is also about “signaling membership of a group”. “It’s a way that they signal they belong in a group, the way that they fit in,” he said.

Bonus

*词组have/be/get up in arms

意为 “让某人很生气、招致某人强烈反对”(when there is strong opposition or anger against something) 。例如:We heard the news over the radio at lunch break and I tell you, we were really up in arms about it.



关键词:高三 What are we ‘like’?



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