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[Report] SENEWS-2007-08-26 Report

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Now the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.

Baseball is America's national sport. So it is not unsual that many popular expressions come from baseball. But first, let explain a little about the game.

Each baseball team has nine players. The pitcher of one team throws a ball to a bater? from the other team. The bater? attempts to hit the ball. If he misses, it is called a strike. If a bater? gets three strikes, he loses his turn at bat and is called "out". The bater? also is out if he hits the ball in the air and an opposing player catches it. But if a bater? hits the ball and it is not caught, the bater? trys to run to one or more of the four bases of the field. The bater? can run to all four bases if he hits the ball over the fence or out of the ball park. Such a hit is called a homerun.

Now here are some common expressions from baseball. Someone who is "on the ball" is intelligent and able to do a good job. But a person who threw a cur? ball did something unexpected. Someone who steps up to the plat? is ready to do his or her job. A pinch? hitter takes the place of someone else at a job or activity. A person who strikes out or goes down swaning? attempted something but failed. We also might tell the person that three strikes and you are out. But someone who hit a homerun or hit it out of the park did something extremely well.

Sometimes, I have to give information guickly without time to think it over, then I would say something right off the bat?. If someone who is doing an extremely good job and is very successful, you might say he or she is batting? one thousand. If I say I want to touch base with you, I will talk to you from time to time about something we plan to do. I might say I touched all the bases if I did what is necessary to complete a job or activity. And if I covered my bases, I was well prepared. However someone who is wea? off the base did something wrong or maybe even dishonest or immoral. A person with strange ideas might be described as outing left field.

Let us say I want to sell my car but I do not know exactly how much it is worth. If someone asks me the price, I might give a ball park figure or a ball park estimate. If someone offers me an amount that is closed to my selling price, I might say the amount is in the ball park. However, if I say we are not in the same ball park, I mean we can not agree because my ideas are too different from yours. Finally, when a situation changes completely, we say that is a whole new ball game.

This VOA Special English Program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES was written by Shelly G?. I'm Faith Laptus.
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