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[Report] SENEWS-2007-09-30 Report

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Now the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
Every people has its own way to saying things. It’s own special expressions. These are the living speech of a people, and the 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 salient 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 a most beautiful song just before dies. The ancient Greek Philosopher Sacruty is talkative this 2300 years ago. Sacruty 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 holly to Apollo, the god poetry the sun. The story of the swan’s last song found a place in the works of other writers including the early English writers Chorcer and Shakespeare. And the expression “swan song” has long been a part of English language.

At first, “swan song” meant the last work of a poet, musician, or writer. Now, it means a final effort of any person. Someone’s swan song usually is also considered that person’s final work.

A political expression with the similar meaning is “the last hurrah”. The expression may be used to describe a politician last campaign. It’s final attempt to win the cheers and votes of the people. “The last hurrah” also can mean the last acts of a politician. Before his term in office ends, righter Edwen Ocorner made the expression popular in 1956. He wrote a book about the final years in the political life of a long time mayer of Boston masitusers. He called his book “the last hurrah”. Some language experts say the expression came from a main given to noises of supporters of Anniu Jackson, America’s seventh president. They cheered hurrah so loudly for Anniu Jachson during his presidential campaign that they became known as the hurrah voice. Jackson’s hurrah voice also played a part in the election to choose the next president. Jackson’s choice was his vice president Moten Van Bilron.

A newspaper of the Time reported that Van Bilron was the elected the president in this voice: “by the hurrah voice and those who knew just enough to shout hurrah for Jackson.” So President Jackson really heard his last hurrahs in the campaign 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 M.C. M.J. was the narrator. I’m S.G.
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