日期:2018-07-14 15:44



From VOA Learning English, this is Words and Their Stories.

Today we continue our discussion of common Latin words and expressions in American English.

This is not an impromptu discussion. We have been planning it for weeks. In contrast, impromptu means you do something without preparing ahead of time.

Here's another example. Let's say you recently graduated from college and moved to New York City for your first job. Then one day you run into a group of your college friends in Times Square. You and your friends have an impromptu reunion. You didn't plan it. It just happened.

You and your friends are very happy to see each other. You talk about what you are doing now. But soon you start telling stories about the old days at your alma mater. This doesn't mean you are from the same "nourishing mother," even though that is the Latin meaning. When we use alma mater it means school, college, or university you once attended.

Perhaps some of your friends were really good students in college. They graduated with honors. "Laude" in Latin means praise. When talk about graduating from college or university, laude is often translated as honor.

Cum laude means graduating with honors, magna cum laude means graduating with great honor and summa cum laude means graduating with highest honors.

Speaking of good students, many people who do well on tests have good memories. They are able to listen to a lecture and then repeat it back verbatim, or word-for-word. Others can repeat poems verbatim. They know them by heart.

You can also write down someone else's words verbatim. But in some situations, doing this can get you in trouble. If a student copies someone else's work verbatim, it's called cheating.


In fact, let's say two of your old college friends -- we'll call them Marco and Amelia -- were once caught cheating on an exam. The professor asked them, "So, was it Marco who cheated off Amelia or vice versa?"

Vice versa means the reverse, or the other way around.

When you and your friends remember that story, you might say you were not surprised. You knew that Marco was in love with Amelia and vice versa. Since Marco loved Amelia, and Amelia loved Marco, maybe that is why they helped each other cheat.

If Marco and Amelia were so much in love that they talked about each other ad nauseam, they talked about each other non-stop. Ad nauseam is when something or someone goes on and on and on to the point that others feel sick. That's the nauseam part. If you feel nauseated you feel dizzy in your head and sick to your stomach.

Some would say that is very similar to how love feels.

But love is one of those things that makes life extraordinary.

In the 1989 movie "Dead Poet's Society," Robin Williams plays a teacher at a private school for boys. He uses the Latin phrase carpe diem, or "seize the day," to inspire his students to make their lives extraordinary.

'Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old time is still a' flying,

And this same flower that smiles today tomorrow will be dying.'

"Thank you, Mr. Pitts."

'Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.' The Latin term for that sentiment is carpe diem. Now, who knows what that means?

Carpe diem. That's 'seize the day.

Very good. Mr... ?

Meeks. Another unusual name. Seize the day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

Today, I hope all our readers and listeners carpe diem!

That's all for this Words and Their Stories.


1.In contrast 与此相反
In contrast, Asians often do not direct conflict, but rather gently through a relatively high status of a third party to clear.

2.alma mater 母校
The alma mater, is what we called it a day one thousand times, while others are not allowed to insult a school.

3.the other way around 反过来;相反地
"After WWII they decided to hang the leaders but not to punish the nation," says Prof Harrison. "But in WWI it was the other way around. "

4.seize the day 把握当下
Tomorrow is so far away, seize the day. Thank you.






见到彼此,你和你的朋友们都很开心。你们聊到了现在在做什么。但很快你们就开始讲起了在alma mater(母校)时的事情。这个词汇不是说你们都有一个“养母”,即使它的拉丁语含义就是这样的。我们用alma mater时,其含义就是你曾经上过的学校、院校或者大学。


Cum laude的意思是以优等成绩毕业,magna cum laude的意思是以非常优异的成绩毕业,而summa cum laude的意思则是以最优异成绩毕业。




Vice versa的意思就是反之,反过来。


如果马克和阿梅利亚很爱对方,以至于他们之间说的话已经ad nauseam(到了令人作呕的程度),也就是他们会一直不停地说话。Ad nauseam指的就是某事物或某人一直持续进行到让其他人感觉难受的程度。那就是nauseam(令人厌恶)的那个点了。如果你觉得nauseam,意思就是你会感觉脑袋发晕,胃犯恶心。



在1989年的电影《死亡诗社》中,罗宾·威廉姆斯饰演一所私立男子学校的一位教师。他就用到了拉丁短语carpe diem(把握当下),来鼓励他的学生们让自己的生活变得非凡起来。



Gather ye rosebuds while ye may(要摘玫瑰得趁早)。这种感慨用拉丁语说就是carpe diem。现在,谁知道它的含义是什么?

Carpe diem。意思就是把握当下。



今天,我希望我们所有的读者和听众都能carpe diem!