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[Report] SENEWS-2007-09-30 Report

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Every people have its own way of saying things. It's own special expressions. These are the living speech of people. And a story can be told about each of them.

The white swan with its long graceful neck is among the most beautiful of birds. The swan is mostly silent through its life. It flows quietly on the water, unable to sing sweet songs like most other birds. In ancient time, however, people believed that the swan was given a special gift of song at the end of its life. They believed a swan sings are most beautiful song just before it dies. The ancient great philosopher Socrates talked of this 2300 years ago. Socrates explained that the swan was singing because it was happy. The bird was happy, because it was going to serve the Greek god Apollo. Swans were holy to Apollo the god of poetry and song.

The story of the swan's last song sound a place in the works of other writers, including the early english writters Chaucer and Shakespeare. And the expreesion swan song has long been a part of the english language. At first, swan song meant the last work of a poet, musician or writter. Now, it means the final effort of any person, someones swan song usually is also considered that person's finest work.

A political expression with a similer meaning is the last/ .The expression may be used to describe a politician's last campain. His final attempt to win the chairs and votes of the people. The last/ ,also can mean the last acts of a politician before his term in office ends. Writter / made the expression popular in 1956, he worte a book about the final years in the political life of a long time mayor of Boston Massachusetts. He called his book the last /.

Some language experts say the expression came from a name given to noise supporters of Andrew Jackson America's 7th president. They cheered / so loudly for Andy Jackson during his presidential campain that they became known as the / boys. Jackson / boys also played a part in the election to choose the next president. Jackson's choise was his vice president /. A newspaper of the / reported the / was elected president in its words by the / boys, and those who knew just enough to shout / for Jackson. So president Jackson realy heard his last/ in the campain of another candidate the man who would replace him in the White House.

This VOA Special English program Words and their Stories was written by Mariline Chritiano. Morris Joyce was its narrator I `m Shirley Geffen.

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