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[word-lover] 【整理】2008-07-27 Words and Their Stories

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     Let's in VOA special english,it's words and their stories.Then we tell about for good mercial .The first African American to serve on the United States the spring called.  Transcraps and up frees about our programs all at VOAspecial english.com.
    Now the VOA special English program words and their stories.
    Today's word "pan" takes us back to the days of the gold rush in California. On January 24th,  1848, a man named Jane Willson Marcheal discoverd gold in the territory of California.The news spreaded quickly, thousands rushed west,they travelled on foot,by horse back,and by boat,to reach the gold fields. By 1849 the great gold rush was on. Towns and cities grew over night. Through out the territory ,in the mountains,along the streams and rivers, thousands of people searched for gold. They had food to eat, and blankets to covered them. They also had mules to ride and picks and pans to search for gold.  Some found area of mountain rocks thick with gold,these men got rich. But such areas were few and quickly claimed by the first man to find it.
      Others searched for gold in the rivers coming down the mountains, they were after pieces of gold that the rains had washed down from above. The only way to find these gold was by panning. First, a gold miner put dirt  in the metal pan and added water, then he shook the pan so that the water would washed the dirt, slowly he poured the water out of the pan. If he was a lucky miner ,pieces of gold would remain.
       Across the nation, newspapers carried stories of the gold been found. One told how thousands of people climed the mountains looking for gold ,some stories told how others followed the rivers and streams with pans.  Each one hope that the place he claimed paned out well, had some gold. For many ,gold mining did not pan out, for a few, it paned out well. But in time huge machines were bulit ,that could wash many tons of dirt at a time.Panning died out.
     Word ,however ,remained in the language. Today Americans still say "it paned out well" when something thy have done pleases them,a business ,a discovey, a simple event,pans out well if it is successful. Unhappily sometimes  things do not pan out.
     In recent years the word pan has taken on another meaning. Today it also means to criticize. How it got this meaning is hard to discover. But the job of a critic is to sometimes pan the  work of a writer ,artist,or singer. Sometimes critics may pan a movie or play so  that no one will go to see it .They are times ,howerer,when the play became highly successful ,even though,most of the critics paned it without mercy. The pans should have washed out of the play ,but as actors have pointed out ,sometimes a acritic's pan turns up gold.
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