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

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Homework by tianyuan

Next in VOA Special English is words and their stories.Then we tell T.M first African-American to serve on the United States Surprime Court.Transcripts and MP3s of our programmes are at the voaspecialenglish.com

 

Now the voa special english programme words and their stories,today's word, pan, takes us back to the days of gold rush in California.
On January  twenty-fourth eighteen forty eight, a man named James wilson M discovered gold in the territory of California.The news spreaded quickly.Thousands rushed west.They traveled on foot , by horseback and by boat to reach the gold field.By eighteen forty-nine,the great gold rush was on.


Towns and cities grew overnight, Throughout the territory-in the moutains along the streams and rivers-thousands of people searched for gold. They had food to eat and blankets to cover them.They also had mules to ride, and picks and pans to search for gold.


some found area of moutain rocks thick with gold,these men got rich. But such areas were few and quickly claimed by the first men who find it.Others search for gold in the rivers coming down the mountains.They were after pieces of gold that the rains had washed from above.
The only way to find this gold was by panning.First , a gold miner put dirt in a metal pan and added water, and he shook the pan so that the water would wash the dirt, slowly he poured the water out of the pan, if he was a luck miner, pieces of gold would remain.

 

Across the nation, newspapers carried  stories about the gold being found.One told how thousands of people climbed the moutains looking for gold, some stories told how others followed the rivers and streams with pans.Each one hoped 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 was built that could wash many tons of dirt at a time, panning died out.


The world however remained in the language,today Americans still say"It panned out well",When something they have done pleases them.A business, a discovery,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 meanings 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 sevelely that no one will go to see it.  There are times however when a play became  highly successful even though most of critics panned it without mercy.The pans should washed out the play,But as actors pointed out
sometimes a critic's pan turns out gold.

[ 本帖最后由 快乐甜甜 于 2008-9-8 10:55 编辑 ]
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