the tree of language
a world with out language
it may be that when the world was young, no one knew how to talk. people had to learn to speak just like babies do. when no one knew how to tell, how did anyone learn? that is a mystery that remains unsolved even today.
the stories behind words
lunch lunch perhaps comes from an old spanish word lonje , a slab of1 ham. we may get our word from a lump of bread, but whether lunch comes from ham or bread, it meant a hunk of something to eat.
atlas an atlas is a strong man, and also a book of maps. the story of this word begins a long time ago in greece. the ancient greeks believed that their gods had once been a race of giants2 called titans. the titans fought with another group of gods called olympians, and the olympians won. atlas was a titan. he was punished for fighting be having to stand at the western end of the world, holding the sky on his head and hands, so that it would not fall on the world and smash everything.
after the ancient greek religion died out, the idea of atlas changed. from holding up the sky with his head and hands, he came to be thought of as holding the world on his shoulders. mercator3, a map maker of the sixteenth century, used a picture of atlas on the cover of a book of maps, so a book of maps came to be called an atlas.
the word has still another meaning. the top bone of the neck is called atlas because it supports the head.
good-bye or good-by good-bye is a blessing; originally it was god be with ye, and in the course of time it became one word. many of our greetings are good wishes, but we say them with so little thought that we forget this. when we say good morning, good evening, good night, and so on, what we are really saying is,“ i hope you will have a good morning ( or evening, or night) . ”
daisy the daisy has a little golden eye , like a tiny sun . perhaps this is the reason the english people named it day’s eye, or perhaps they chose the name because the english daisy closes at night. the english loved their daisies, which were pink and red, as well as 028 white. six hundred years or so ago, the english poet chaucer4 said:
the daisy, or else the eye of the day, / / the queen, and prettiest flower of all
Ⅰ. according to the passage , find the correct meanings of the words under lined :
1. with an atlas, tom can find the place he wants to go easily.
a. a strong man b. the top bone of the neck c. a book of maps d. a name of god
2. when you say good-bye to your friend, what do you really mean?
a. never see him / her again b. a good wish to express that god be with him / her c. good luck d. break up with him / her
3. after a long vacation, he looks as fresh as a daisy like before.
a. look like the flower b. a kind of drink c. a first-class man d. vigorous and lively
Ⅱ. question :
after reading this passage, what can you infer from the stories of the words?
Ⅰ. 1. c 2 . b 3 . d
Ⅱ. ( 略)
没有语言的世界 世界形成之初, 可能没人知道怎么说话。人们不得不像婴儿一样学着开口讲话。既然 无人知晓如何诉说, 人们又怎么学习呢? 这个谜团至今尚待解决。
词语背后的故事 lunch ——— lunch ( 午餐) 可能来源于古西班牙语lonje 一词, 意思是一块火腿。也许这个 词源指一块面包。但是, 无论lunch 一词源指火腿还是面包, 它的意思都是一块可以吃的东西。
atlas ——— atlas ( 阿特拉斯) 既可以指身强体壮的人也可以指地图册。这个词的故事起 源于很久以前的希腊。古希腊人相信他们信奉的神灵曾是被称为提坦的一种巨人。提坦 巨神与另一支号称奥林匹斯的神灵作战, 奥林匹斯神获胜了。阿特拉斯是提坦巨神之一。 他被罚站在西天用头和双手支撑起苍天, 不让天塌下来砸碎万事万物。