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[report整理] Words and Their Stories 2016-05-22

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Now the VOA Learning English Program: Words And Their Stories
There are so many expressions in American English that sound pleasant. X are not. Face the music is a good example. When someone says they have to face the music, it does not mean that they are going to a musical performance or concert. Facing the music means to accept the unpleasant results of an action. Americans often use the word “face” in this way. For example, I cannot face another night of the campaign. It’s cold and rainy. Or in life, it’s important to face your fears. “Face”, used in this way is very common. But now back to facing the music. Imagine a friend ask you to take care of her beautiful red sports car. She gives you the keys and says,” Thanks so much for watching my car while I’m away. But please, do not drive it. It is an extremely fast car. And you are not on the insurance.” But you do not listen. You want to show off to some friends and pretend the car is yours. So, you drive it around town one night. As bad luck would have it, you lose control of the car, and drive it into a stop sign. The damage is severe. When your friend returns, you must tell her what you have done and face the music. The “music” here is the consequence or result of your actions. It could be losing her friendship, or paying for repairs to her sports car, or both. Whatever the music is, you must face it. Most Americans know the expression of “Face to music”. It is more than 150 years old. As with many expressions its history is not clear, in 1851, the writer James x Cooper, reportedly explained “Face the music” as a x term. In the theater, the x often sits in front of the stage. So actors come on the stage facing the musician. Many actors are very nervous, a condition called “Stage freight”. They may want to run away. Face the music came to mean accepting stage freight, and not surrendering to it. Word experts also say “Face the music” may have come from the military. A soldier who did something terrible could be forced out of the horse x. The army drum would play a slow, sad beat. The soldier would be carried away seated backwards on the horse and facing the music of the drums. There are other American expressions that mean the same thing as “Face the music”. “To take your medicine” means to accept the results from something bad you have done. And if someone says “You made your bed, now lie on it”, they mean you created a bad situation, and now you would experience the results. Or as we say, in spoken American English, “You must deal with it”. “Pay the paper” also means the same as “Face the music”.
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