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[Report] 2008-03-16

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Now the VOA special English program: words and their stories.

Cold weather has a great effect on how our minds and our bodies work. Maybe, that is why so many expressions that use the word cold. For centuries, the body's blood has been linked closely with the emotions. People who show no human emotions or feelings, for example, are said to be cold blood. Cold blood people act in cruel ways. They may do brutal things to others and not by accident. For example, a newspaper says the police are searching for a cold blood killer. The killer murdered someone, not in self-defence, or because he was reacting to anger or fear. He seems to kill for no reason and with no emotion. As if taking someone's life meant nothing.

Cold can affect other parts of the body, the feet, for example. Heavy socks can warm your feet if your feet are really cold. What there isn't the expression? To get cold feet that has nothing to do with cold or your feet. The expression means being afraid to do something you had decided to do. For example, you agree to be president of the organization, but end, you learn all the other officers have resigned or the work of the organization will be your responsibility, you are likely to get cold feet about being president when you understand this situation.

Cold can also affect your shoulder. You give someone the cold shoulder when you refuse to speak to them. You treat them in a distant cold way. The expression probably comes from the physical act of turning your back toward someone instead of speaking to him face to face. You may give a cold shoulder to a friend who has not kept the promise he made to you or to someone who has lied about you to others.

A cold fish is not a fish. It is a person, but it is a person who is unfriendly, unemotional, and shows no love or warmth. A cold fish does not offer much of himself to anyone. Someone who is a cold fish could be cold hearted.

Now a cold hearted person is someone who has no sympathy. Several popular songs in recent years were about cold hearted men or cold hearted women, who without feeling broke the hearts of their lovers.

Out in the cold is an expression often heard. It means not getting something that everybody else got. A person might say that everybody but him got a pay raise, that he was left out in the cold. And it is not a pleasant place to be.

 

This VOA Special English program: words and their storied was written by N.C. M.J. was the narrator. I am S.G

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