Hello. I'm Phil Murray with Words and Their Stories, a program in Special English.
"You do not need to be a rocket scientist." Americans hear these words often. People say them in schools, offices and factories. Broadcasters on radio and television use them.
This is how you might hear the words used.
Workers in an office are afraid to try to use their new computer system. Their employer tells them not to be foolish. "You do not need to be a rocket scientist to learn this," he says.
Or, high school students cannot seem to understand something their teacher is explaining. "Come on," she says. "You do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand this."
Or, a company that makes soap is trying to sell its product on television. "You do not need to be a rocket scientist to see that our soap cleans better," the company says.
These words send a strong message. They say that you do not need to be extremely intelligent to understand something.
How did the expression begin?
No one seems to know for sure. But an official of the American space agency, NASA, says the expression just grew. It grew, he says, because rocket scientists probably are the most intelligent people around.
Not everyone would agree.
Some people might be considered more intelligent than rocket scientists. For example, a person who speaks and reads fifteen languages, or a medical doctor who operates on the brain.
Still, many people would agree that there is something special about scientists who build rockets. Maybe it has to do with the mystery of space travel.
Moving pictures from before World War II showed a man named Buck Rogers landing on the planet Mars. He was a hero who could defeat any enemy from outer space.
The rocket scientist is a different kind of hero. He or she makes space travel possible.
Rocket scientists, however, can have problems just like anyone else.
A Washington rocket scientist tells about a launch that was postponed many, many times. Finally, everything seemed right. Mechanical failures had been repaired. The weather was good.
The scientists had planned that part of the rocket would fall into the ocean after the launch. All ships and boats within many kilometers of the danger area had been warned. But in the last few seconds a small boat entered the area. Once again, the launch was postponed.
When the work goes well, most rocket scientists enjoy their jobs. One scientist said, "As a child I loved to build rockets. Now I am grown. I still love to build rockets. And now I get paid for it."
This program, Words and Their Stories, was written by Jeri Watson. I'm Phil Murray.
1.broadcaster n. 广播公司；广播员；播送设备；撒播物
A well-known broadcaster has been asked to commentate on the opening ceremony of the national games.
2.intelligent adj. 智能的；聪明的；理解力强的
Intelligent people cannot be led by the nose.
3.postpone vt. 使…延期；把…放在次要地位；把…放在后面
The match was postponed to the next day because of bad weather.
4.mechanical adj. 机械的；力学的；呆板的；无意识的；手工操作的
Several firms of mechanical engineering have been syndicated.
“你不需要成为一名火箭科学家 。”美国人经常听到这样的话，人们在学校里，办公室里和工厂里都这样说 。播音员和电视里也常用这句话 。
办公室的职员很怕去尝试使用新的电脑系统，他们的老板告诉他们不要变得愚蠢 。“你们不需要成为一个火箭科学家去学习这些，”他说 。
或者是，高中生无法明白老师正在讲的内容 。“你们不需要成为火箭科学家才能理解这些知识 。”她说道 。
做香皂的公司想要在电视上销售产品 。“你不需要成为火箭科学家才能了解我们的香皂做的更好，”公司说道 。
这些话都传达一个很强的信息 。他们再说你不需要特别聪明来理解这些事情 。
没人确切知道，但是美国航空航天局一位官员表示这句话才流行起来 。它的流行是因为火箭科学家可能是最聪明的人 。
一些人可能比火箭科学家更聪明 。比如说，一个人能说能读15种语言，或者说一个医生能进行脑部手术 。
但是，许多人都同意，能造火箭的科学家必有过人之处 。也许这与太空旅行的神秘有关 。
火箭科学家是另一种英雄 。他们让太空旅行成为可能 。
一位华盛顿火箭科学家表示一个发射被推迟了数次 。最终，所有的一切似乎都是对的 。机械故障被维修好 。天气也好 。
科学家们计划好火箭的部分将要在发射后掉入大海 。数千米外的所有船只都被警告 。但是在最后几秒，一艘小船进入危险区域，发射被推迟 。
工作顺利时，大多数的火箭科学家都满足于自己的工作，一位科学家说，”小的时候，我喜欢造火箭 。现在我长大了，我仍然爱造火箭，我现在还能得到报酬 。”