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[Report] SENEWS-2007-12-30 Report

提高英语听力能力 找对方法很重要!
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I am Susan Clark with Special English Program: Words and their Stories.

A woman from Japan was telling a friend about her trip to the United States. The woman had visited the major business and invests company in New York City and Chicago. "I studied English before I left home", she said, "but I still was not sure that people was speaking English. Her problem is easy to understand.

Americans in business are like people who are in business anywhere. They have a language of their own. Some of the words and expressions deal with the special areas of their work. Other expression are borrowed from different kinds of works, such is the theatre and move industry.

One such saying is "get your act together". When things go wrong in a business, an employer make angry. He may shout: "stop making the mistakes, get your act together". Or if the employer is calmer, he may say, "let us get our act together". Either way the meaning is the same. Getting your act together is getting organized. In business, it usually means to develop a calm and orderly plan of action.

It is difficult to tell exactly where the saying begins, but it is probable that is in the theatre or movie industry. Perhaps an actor was nervous and makes a lot of mistakes. The director may have said, “calm down now, get your act together".

Word expert James Rodger says the expression was common by the late 1970s. Mr. Rodger says the Manchester Guardian Newspaper used in 1978. The newspaper said a reform policy required that British government get its act together. Now this expression is heard often when officials of a company meet. One company even called its yearly report, "getting our act together".

The Japanese visitor was confused by another expression used by American business people. It is "cut to the chase". She heard that expression when she attended an important meeting of one company. One official was getting a very long report. It was not very interesting. In fact, some people at meeting were falling asleep. Finally, the president of the company said, "Cut to the chase." "Cut to the chase" means to stop spending so much time on detail or unimportant material, hurry and get to the good part.

Naturally this thing was started by people who make movies. Hollywood producers believed that most Americans want to see action movies. Many of their movies show scenes in which the actors chase each other in cars or in airplanes, or on foot. Cut is the director's word for stop. The director means to stop filming, or leave out some material and get to chase scene now. So if your employer tells you to "cut to the chase ", be sure to get the main point of your story quickly.

This words and their stories program was written by Jerry Watson. I am Susan Clark.
Happy Christmas, everyone.
Nothing is impossible if you set your mind to do it.
Confidence in yourself is the first step on the road to success.
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