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[word-lover] 【整理】2008-04-20,Words and Their Stories

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      I'm Phil Murray with words and their stories , a program in special English on the voice of America. Today we tell about some American expressions that commonly used in business.
      Bell sounds, lighted messages appear, men and women work at computers . They talk on the telephone. At  times they shout and run around. This noisy place is a stock exchange. Here are expert sales people called brokers buy and sell shares of companies. 
      The shares are known as stocks. People who own stock in a company own part of that company. People pay brokers to buy and sell stockes for them . If the company earns money, it's stock increases in value. If the company does not earn money ,the stock decreases in value. 
      Brokers and investors carefully watch for any changes on the big board. That is the name given to a list of stocks sold on the New York stock exchange. The first written use of  the word with that meaning was in a newspaper in Illinois in 1837. It said:" the sales on the board were 1700 dollars in American gold. "
      Investors and blocks watch the big board to see if the stock market is a bull market or a bear market. In the bear market prices go down, in a bull market prices go up.
      Investors in a bear market promise to sell the stock in the future at a set price. But the investor does not own the stock yet , he or she waits to buy it when the price drops.
     The meaning of a bear market is thought to come from an old story about a man who sold the skin of a bear before he caught the bear , an English dictionary of 1600 said "to sell a bear is to sell what one has not". Word experts dispute the beginnings of the word "bull" in the stock market. But some said it came from a long connection of  the two animals ,bulls and bears.  In sports that were popular years ago in England.
      Investors are always concerned about the possibility of a company failing. In the modern world, a company that does not earn enough profit is said to go belly up.  A company that goes belly up dies like a fish. Fish turn over on their backs when they die. So they are stomach or belly up.
     Stock market investors do not want that to happen to a company . They want a company whose stock they own to earn more profit than expected. This would sharply increase the value of the stock.
      Investors are hoping for a windfall. The word windfall comes from England of centuries ago .There poor people were banned from cutting trees  in forest owned by rich land owners . But if the wind blew down the tree , a poor person could take the wood for fuel. So a windfall is something wonderful that happens unexpected.
      This special English program words and their stories , was written by Jerry Watson , This is Phil Murray.
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