Now, the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
Every machine is held together by its nuts and bolts. Without them, the machine would fall apart. That is also true of an organization. Its nuts and bolts are its basic, necessary elements. They are the parts that make the organization work.
In government, industry, diplomacy -- in most anything -- those who understand the nuts and bolts are the most important. Success depends more on them than on almost anyone else.
In government, the president or prime minister may plan and shape programs and policies. But, it takes much more work to get them approved and to make them successful.
There is a mass of detailed work to be done -- the nuts and bolts. This is often put into the hands of specialists. The top leaders are always well-known, but not those who work with the nuts and bolts.
This is equally true in the day-to-day operation of Congress. The majority leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives -- together with the chairmen of committees -- keep the business of Congress moving.
Behind every Senator and Congressman, however, are assistants. These people do all the detailed work to prepare congressmen to vote wisely on each issue.
In diplomacy, the chief ministers are unquestionably important in negotiations. But there are lesser officials who do the basic work and preparations on the different issues to be negotiated.
A recent book tells of a British prime minister who decided to send an ambassador to Washington to learn if details could be worked out for joint action on an issue. The talks in Washington, the minister said, would be "of nut and bolts." He meant, of course, the talks would concern all the necessary elements to make joint action successful.
In a military operation, strategy decisions are important. But much more time is spent on the nuts and bolts -- generally called logistics -- of how to transport and supply an army. It has been said that Napoleon was successful because he knew the field position of every one of his guns. He gave careful attention to the nuts and bolts of his operations.
The extreme importance of nuts and bolts was expressed by the Elizabethan poet, George Herbert. He wrote:
For want of a nail, the shoe is lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse is lost.
For want of a horse, the rider is lost.
Benjamin Franklin carried these lines even further. He wrote:
For want of a rider, the battle was lost.
For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
This VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories was written by Marilyn Christiano.
The narrator was Maurice Joyce.
I'm Warren Scheer.
1.nuts and bolts 具体细节，基本要素
You have to study the nuts and bolts of English grammar.
2.unquestionably adv. 无可非议地；确凿地
He is unquestionably the best tennis player in England.
3.logistics n. [军] 后勤；后勤学；物流
The skills and logistics of getting such a big show on the road pose enormous practical problems.
1.A recent book tells of a British prime minister who decided to send an ambassador to Washington to learn if details could be worked out for joint action on an issue.
work out 解决；算出；实现；制定出；消耗完；弄懂
Negotiators are due to meet later today to work out a compromise.
It took me some time to work out what was causing this.
每台机器都是由螺丝和螺母拧在一起的，没有螺丝和螺母，机器就会散架。一个组织也是如此，一个组织的nuts and bolts是其基本必要的元素，是维持组织运转的组成部分 。
在政府、行业、外交等几乎每个领域，那些掌握nuts and bolts(具体细节，基本要素)的人才是最重要的。取得成功更多要依靠这些人，而不是其他人 。
有大量的细节性工作要做，也就是基本细节。这些工作通常由专门人员来做 。这些高级领袖都是被人们熟知的，但那些做基本工作的就默默无闻了 。国会日常运转中也是如此 。参议院多数派领袖和众议院议长，以及委员会主席一起维持国会的运转 。
最近一本书讲述了一名英国首相决定派遣一名大使到华盛顿，去看就某事进行的联合行动的细节是否已经敲定。首相说，这场在华盛顿举行的谈判都是“基本细节” 。当然他的意思是谈判将主要围绕确保联合行动成功的必要细节 。
在军事行动中，战略决策是很重要的。但更多的时间花在基本细节上，总体上说来就是后勤，关于如何运输和供给军队 。据悉拿破仑之所以能成功，就在于他谙熟他每把枪支在战场上的位置，他小心关注军事行动的每个细节 。