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[Report] SENEWS-2007-09-09 Report

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Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and their stories.

Some unusual words describe how a person spends his or her time. For example, someone who likes to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down while watching television is sometimes called a potato. A couch is piece of furniture that people sit on while watching television.

Rorbet Armstrong, an artist from California developed the term ‘the couch potato’ in 1976. Several years later, he listed the term as a trade mark trademark with the united state government. Mr. Armstrong also helped to write a funny book about life as a whole time television watcher, it is called the official couch potato handbook. couch potatoes enjoy watching television just as mouth potatoes enjoying working on computers. A computer mouth is the device that moves the pointer or cursor on a computer scream. The description of mouth potato became popular in 1993, American writer Alex Court is set to have invented the term to describe young people who spend a lot of time using computers.

Too much time inside the house using a computer or watching television can cause someone to get cabin fever. A cabin is a simple house usually built far away from the city. People go to a cabin to relax and enjoy quiet time.

Cabin fever is not really a disease. However people can not experience bored and restlessness if they spend too much time inside the homes. This is especially true during the winter when it is too cold or snowy to do things outside. Often children get cabin fever if they do not go outside to play, so do their parents.

This happens when there is so much snow, that schools and even offices and stores are closed. Some people enjoy spending a lot of time in their homes to make them nice places to live, this is called nesting or cocoon.

Birds build nests out of sticks to hold their eggs and baby birds. Some insects build cocoon around themselves for protection while they grow and change.

Nests and cocoons provide security for the wild life. So people like the idea of nests too. The terms cocooning and nesting became popular more than twenty years ago. They described people buying first homes, and fill in them with many things. This people then have children. Now these children are grown, and have left the nest. They are in college or they are married and starting family of their own far away. Now these parents are living alone without children in their empty nest. They have become empty nesters.

This VOA Special English program, Words and their stories was written byJill Moss. I'm Faith Lepidus.
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