Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
Each week we take a closer look at words and expressions commonly used in American English. We explain how to use them in conversation. We also explore their origins and histories. For that part, we need to look back.
And that is the topic of today's program: looking back.
When you look back you are remembering the past. The past is where we keep our memories, our mistakes and our successes.
We begin with an expression about the past: What is old is new again. This expression means that trends popular decades ago often become popular again. Younger generations "rediscover" past trends and make them new again.
This expression brings us to a word that is very popular today – retro.
Retro describes clothes, furniture, music and pop culture from an earlier time that are in fashion again. Retro is Latin for "back," "behind" or "backward."
Here is a short dialogue using the word "retro."
Wow! I love the way you've decorated your living room. It looks like the 1960s in here. The furniture is so retro! Is that a real turntable? And are those actual albums?!
Yep. I brought them from my parents' house. They were up in the attic just collecting dust.
I can't believe people used to listen to music with this equipment. It's so ... complicated.
I know. But I love the retro look and they actually sound great. Turn it up!
"I think to myself what a wonderful world."
"Retro" is also the first part of another useful word in American English: retrospect. "To retrospect" is to review or consider past events.
A retrospective is a display of an artist's entire body of work. And in conversation, when you want to say that you have been thinking about the past, you can begin with "in retrospect."
For example, "In retrospect, I should've saved more money for my house. Now, all I can afford is a very small condo." Or, "In retrospect, he should've studied something different at college. It is not easy to find a well-paying job in ancient basket weaving."
When we look back at past events, we are also using our hindsight. Hindsight is knowledge and understanding we have about an event only after it has happened.
We can say "in hindsight" to express that we should have known something was going to happen.
For example, "In hindsight, I should have known that the party was going to be terrible. Everyone there had been working on the losing political campaign. It was no party at all. It was more like a funeral!"
That example brings us to another "looking back" expression: Hindsight is 20/20. The saying may only be three words. But it is loaded with meaning.
First, let's explain 20/20. If your eyesight is perfect, you have 20/20 vision. So, if something has already happened you can, of course, see it clearly.
We often say "hindsight is 20/20" in a sarcastic way. It means a person is unfairly judging the wisdom of someone else's decision using information that was only available later.
You can also use this expression in a kind way.
For example, "If I had known that I love teaching English so much, I would have started sooner. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20."
Used this way, you can forgive yourself or others for a misguided decision in the past.
We have another expression with a similar meaning: Monday-morning quarterbacking.
To understand this expression, you first need to know that during American football season many American football teams play on Sundays. So, when Monday morning around, sports commentators and football fans discuss what happened the day before.
You also need to know the job of the quarterback.
The quarterback leads the team. He talks to the team on the field and decides what actions the players will take to win the game.
So, Monday-morning quarterbacks are people who are not actually quarterbacks – they are not even players. But after the game is over, they say what the team should have done, especially if the team lost.
In other words, Monday-morning quarterbacks analyze the mistakes others have made after everyone knows the results.
Monday-morning quarterbacks have a bad reputation because they present themselves as having better solutions, even though it is impossible to know what they would have done in the same situation.
The term "Monday-morning quarterbacking" is not limited to American football, or even sports. We use this expression after any competition, such as military battles or political elections.
After the 2016 presidential election in the United States, talking heads, or commentators, filled the news with their Monday-morning quarterbacking. They debated about which side lost or won and why.
However, while the campaigns were actually happening, many of these same commentators said things that were quite different.
In retrospect, perhaps the public should not have paid so much attention to them.
But then again, hindsight is 20/20.
And that brings us to the end of this Words and Their Stories.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.turn it up 打开它；步入殿堂；放胆去做；官方版本
Switch on the radio or hifi and turn it up to a comfortable volume.
2.be loaded with 装上
Most computer ads used to be loaded with technical specifications, virtually unreadable to the average consumer.
3.talking heads (在电视讨论或访谈节目中的）专家，权威的评论家
Some talking heads fear they could not hide their feelings if they personally feel the public should be informed.
每周我们都会仔细研究美语里的单词和常用表达。我们阐释交谈中它们的使用方法 。我们也探究它们的起源与历史 。涉及那部分的时候，我们就需要往前追溯了 。
我们从一个和“过去”有关的表达开始：“What is old is new again。”这个表达的意思是十几年前的潮流趋势经常会再一次流行起来 。年轻一代“重新发现”过去的趋势，并让它们再次成为新的趋势 。
是滴。我从我爸妈那拿来的 。它们一直在阁楼上积灰尘 。
“Retro”也是美语里另一个很有用的单词的第一部分：“retrospect（回想）”。“To retrospect”即回顾或者思考过去的事情 。
(艺术家作品)回顾展是艺术家的全部作品的一个展览。在谈话中，当你想说你正回忆过去，你可以用“in retrospect”开始表达 。
例如，“我以前真该多攒点钱买房的。现在，我只能买一个小公寓 。”或者，“回想起来，他上大学的时候真该学点别的 。想找古代编篮方面高薪的工作不好找啊 。”
例如，“事后看来，我本该知道这个聚会会很糟糕的。”那里的每个人都致力于失败的政治竞选 。那根本就不是一个聚会 。那更像一个葬礼！”
这个例子牵出了我们另一个“回想”的表达：“Hindsight is 20/20”。这个表达虽然只有仅仅三个字，但它充满了意义 。
首先，让我们来解释“20/20”。如果你的视力没问题，那你的视力就是20/20 。所以，如果事情已经发生了，那么你当然能看清这件事 。
我们经常富有嘲讽意味地说“hindsight is 20/20”。意思是一个人用后来才出现的信息，不公正地去评判另一个人之前所做的的决定明智与否 。
词组“Monday-morning quarterbacking”不限于使用在美式足球或者体育方面。我们可以在任一个比赛之后使用这个表达，例如军事战役或者政治选举 。