英语四级

听力入门英语演讲VOA慢速英语美文听力教程英语新闻名校课程听力节目影视听力英语视频

词汇掌故:Hobson's Choice 根本没有选择

kira86 于2008-12-15发布 l 已有人浏览
增大字体 减小字体
Hobson's Choice: When There Is Really No Choice at All迅雷专用 Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……
Hobson's Choice: When There Is Really No Choice at All


迅雷专用 

Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.

(MUSIC)

Making choices is necessary, but not always easy. Many of our expressions tell about this difficulty.

One of these expressions is Hobson’s choice. It often is used to describe a difficult choice. But that is not what it really means. Its real meaning is to have no choice at all.

The Hobson in the expression was Thomas Hobson. Mister Hobson owned a stable of horses in Cambridge, England.

Mister Hobson often rented horses to the students at Cambridge University. But, he did not really trust them to take good care of the horses. So, he had a rule that prevented the students from riding his best horses. They could take the horse that was nearest the stable door. Or, they could not take any horse at all.

Thus, a Hobson’s choice was really no choice.

Another expression for having no real choice is between a rock and a hard place. It is often used to describe a difficult situation with few choices, none of them good.

For example, your boss may ask you to work late. But you have plans to go to a movie with your girlfriend. If you refuse to work, your boss gets angry. But if you do not go to the movies with your girlfriend, she gets angry. So what do you do? You are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Another expression, between the devil and the deep blue sea, also gives you a choice between two equally dangerous things.

Its meaning seems clear. You can choose the devil and his burning fires of hell. Or, you can choose to drown in the sea. Some word experts say the expression comes from the days of wooden ships.

The devil is a word for a seam between two pieces of wood along the water-line of a ship. If the seam or crack between the two pieces of wood begins to leak, then a sailor must fix it. The sailor ordered to make the repairs was in a dangerous situation. He was hanging over the side of the ship, working between the devil and the deep blue sea.

There is still another expression that describes a situation with only bad choices, being on the horns of a dilemma.

The dictionary says a dilemma is a situation in which you must make a decision about two equally balanced choices. When your dilemma has horns, a choice becomes impossible. When you are on the horns of a dilemma, no matter which horn you choose, something bad will happen.

(MUSIC)

This VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stores, was written by Marilyn Christiano. Maurice Joyce was the narrator. I’m Shirley Griffith.

Hobson是17 世纪中叶英国的一间马匹出租屋的老板,专门出租马匹给人家使用。但是他怕顾客选马的时候专门挑那几匹好马,而造成了马儿过累,所以提出一个严格的规定就是:顾客只能选最外边的一匹马。这样,马就可以轮流的被选中了。他的这种坚持居然一炮走红,所以人们就用“哈伯森提供的选择”来比喻被迫作某事,或者根本没有选择。

 1 2 下一页

分享到

添加到收藏

VOA慢速排行