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Chip on Your Shoulder: What Are You Going to Do About It?

andyg 于2007-04-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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&raquo Download Audio(mp3) By Warren Scheer 2007-4-7 Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Th

» download audio(mp3)
by warren scheer
2007-4-7

now, the voa special english program, words and their stories.

(music)

every week at this time we tell the story of words and expressions used in american english. some of them are old. some are new. together, they form the living speech of the american people.

some popular expressions are a mystery. no one is sure how they developed. one of these is the expression, carry a chip on your shoulder. a person with a chip on his shoulder is a problem for anybody who must deal with him. he seems to be expecting trouble. sometimes he seems to be saying, "i'm not happy about anything, but what are you going to do about it?"

a chip is a small piece of something, like a chip of wood. how did this chip get on a person's shoulder? well, experts say the expression appears to have been first used in the united states more than one hundred years ago.

one writer believes that the expression might have come from an old saying. the saying warns against striking too high, or a chip might fall into your eye. that could be good advice. if you strike high up on a tree with an axe, the chip of wood that is cut off will fall into your eye. the saying becomes a warning about the dangers of attacking people who are in more important positions than you are.

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