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[Report] SENEWS-2007-08-19 Report

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Now the VOA Special English Program, Words and their Stories.

Making choices is necessary, but not always easy. Many of our expressions tell about this difficulty.One of these expressions is H's choice. It often is used to describe a difficult choice. But that is not what really means. Its real meaning is to have no choice at all.

The H is in the expression was Thomas H. Mr.H. owned a stable of horses in Cambridge,England.Mr.H often rented horses to the students at Cambridge's university. But he did not really trust them to take good care of the horses.So he had rule that prevented the students from renting his best horses.They could take the horses that was neareat the stable door.Or they could not take any horse at all.Thus a H's choice was really no choice.

Another expression were having no real choice.It's between a rock and hard place.It is often used to describ the situation with few choices,none of them good.For example,your boss may ask you to work later but you have planned to go to the movie with your girlfriend.If you refuse to work,your boss gets angry.But if you do not go to the movie with your girlfriend.She gets angry.So what do you do?You are caught between the rock and hard place.

Another expression,"between the devil and deep blue sea. " also give you a choice between two equally dangerous things.Its meaning seems clear ,you can choose the devil and its burning fires of hell.Or you can choose to drop in the sea.Some word experts say the expression comes from the days of wooden shops.The devil is a word for a sin between two pieces of wood along the water line of a ship.If seam or crack between the two pieces of wood,began to link,then the sailor must fix it. The sailor ordered to make repairs was in dangerous stiuation.He was hanging over the sider of ship working between the devil and deep blue sea.

There's still another expression that describe a stiuation with only bad choices:"Being on the horns of a dilemma".The dictionary says , a dilemma is a situation in which you must make a decision about two equally balance choices.When your dilemma has horns the choice became impossible.When you are owns on horns of the dilemma .No matter which horns you choice ,something better will happen.

This VOA Special English Program Words and their Stories was written by Mrilyn Rice Christiano. Morris Joys was the narrator. I'm Shirley Griffith.


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