选这篇文章也有我自己的个人喜好的因素，这是VOA Special English的新闻播报节目In The News里当时对Michael Jackson的报道。这篇文章也希望同学们仔细听每个细节，尤其是开始不久那里有一段电话录音，那是最真实的英语。我们一般学习英语的过程中是很难接触到真正的现实生活中的英语的。比如我们大多是从一些英语教学的录音里、电影、电视、收音机等等地方听到的模拟场景的声音，而我们在生活中遇到英语国家的人的时候，他们给我们说话时经常会不由自主地放慢语速，尽量吐字清楚并且使用简单的词汇及句型。所以这篇文章中的那段电话录音是个很好的材料。在那段录音中有这么一句"OK, OK. How old is he?"，而实际上我们听到的是"OK, OK. How’di?"这是个很严重的略读现象，并且把is给全省没了，我们要说他发音错了都不为过。而实际上呢，电话另一头的人一点都没有迟疑，立刻回答"He’s uh, he’s 50 years old, sir."。所以各位同学，请放心大胆地把该省的音省掉，该连的音连起来，该弱读的音就弱读。咱们中国人可能听不明白，但只要你不是乱说的，英语为母语的国家的人们反而会感觉到听你的英语很亲切！
This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. (MUSIC) Fans around the world are remembering the man who called himself the King of Pop. Michael Jackson died Thursday in Los Angeles. This was the emergency call from the house where he was living. CALLER: "We have a gentleman here that needs help and he’s not breathing. He’s not breathing and we’re trying to pump him but he’s not –” OPERATOR: "OK, OK. How old is he?" CALLER: "He’s fifty years old, sir." OPERATOR: "Fifty, OK." A personal doctor was with him at the house. Michael Jackson would have celebrated his fifty-first birthday in August. He was just days from launching what he hoped would be a comeback — a series of fifty concerts in London. More than seven hundred fifty thousand tickets sold out within hours of going on sale in March. The shows were set to begin July thirteenth. There were questions, though, about whether his health could handle the extended tour. And after he died there were more questions — this time about his use of painkillers. Medical examiners did an autopsy on Friday, but tests for drugs in the body normally take weeks. Around the world, fans like this one reacted to news of his death. WOMAN: "Somebody like Michael Jackson who’s done so much for the world and stuff, you think almost like he’s invincible." (MUSIC) "Thriller," his nineteen eighty-two album, earned a place in Guinness World Records as the best selling album of all time. It produced hits like "Beat It" and "Billie Jean." (MUSIC) Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. He was five years old when he and his brothers began performing in the Jackson 5. He was eleven when they had their first album — "Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5" — in nineteen sixty-nine. Their album "ABC" followed less than a year later. (MUSIC) In nineteen seventy-one, Michael Jackson began his solo career. He went on to sell an estimated seven hundred fifty million albums. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — twice. But as talented and successful as he was, he was also deeply troubled. His behavior and appearance grew increasingly strange. He was heavily in debt. He was childlike. But in nineteen ninety-three, a thirteen-year-old boy accused him of child molestation. The case was settled out of court. Later, another accusation led to a criminal trial. But four years ago this month a jury cleared him of all charges. Michael Jackson left his mark on popular culture. His music, his videos, his dance moves and moonwalking, the hand in a sequined white glove, the father of three was even married for a time to Elvis Presley’s daughter. Now, he leaves behind family, friends and fans to mourn his death. In a sad way he did make a comeback. His death has pushed sales of his music back to the top of the charts again. And that’s IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by June Simms. I’m Steve Ember.
Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Today I will tell about expressions using numbers. Let us start with the number one. Numbers can be tricky. On the one hand, they are simply numbers. On the other hand, they have meanings. I for one use these expressions a lot.
Many people consider themselves number one, the most important person. They are always looking out for number one and taking care of number one. It is as if they are the one and only person on Earth. Some people however, are not so self-centered. My brother is such a person. It is true – no joke. I am not trying to pull a fast one on you.
First, you have to understand that my brother is one in a million. He is such a nice person. All his friends like him. They consider him one of the boys. Recently, my brother had a bad day at the office. It was just one of those days. Nothing went right. So he stopped at a local bar — a drinking place — after leaving work. My brother planned to have a glass of beer with his friends — a quick one – before he went home. But a quick one turned into one or two, and soon those became one too many.
As my brother was leaving, he ordered a last drink — one for the road. His friends became concerned. One by one, they asked him if he was able to drive home safely.
Now my brother is a wise and calm person. He is at one with himself. He recognizes when he has had too much alcohol to drink. So he accepted an offer for a ride home from a female friend.
At one time in the past, my brother had been in love with this woman. She is a great person — kind, thoughtful and intelligent — all good qualities rolled up into one. But sadly their relationship did not work. He always used to say "One of these days, I am going to marry this girl." But that never happened.
For one thing, she did not love him as much as he loved her. It was just one of those things. The situation was regrettable and my brother had to accept it. But even now, he considers her the one that got away.
However, they are still friends. And because my brother had been kind to her, she felt that one good turn deserves another. He was good to her and she wanted to help him in return. So she drove him home.
If my brother had driven home from the bar that night, his number would have been up. Something bad would have happened. Thankfully he made it home safely. And, he and the woman are back to square one. They are back to where they started – being friends.
This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Jill Moss. I’m Faith Lapidus.
Americans love parties, and most people choose to entertain in their homes. A gathering can be just a small dinner party for friends. Or it may be a big celebration of a special occasion like a birthday or a wedding anniversary.
One special kind of party, called a shower, celebrates an upcoming wedding or birth. Usually only women attend a wedding shower or baby shower. At the party, women “shower” the bride-to-be or mother-to-be with gifts. Everyone plays games, watches the guest of honor open her gifts, and enjoys refreshments.
A potluck is another popular kind of party that can be held for any reason. At a potluck, everyone brings a dish to share. It might be a main dish, salad or dessert. Sometimes the hostess will tell people what kind of food to bring – so everyone won’t bring the same thing.
Whatever the reason for the party, people enjoy sharing food and conversation with their friends.
A story using expressions with the word hair. Transcript of radio broadcast: 02 May 2009
Now, the VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
A listener named Rita wants to learn about expressions with the word "hair." So we will tell a story.
Yesterday when I woke up, I looked in a mirror. I looked very neat and organized. Not a hair was out of place. But today when I woke up, I knew I was going to have a bad hair day. My hair was standing up in all the wrong places. I thought I would be unhappy all day and things would not go well. I work at home so I just hoped that my computer would work right and not have a bad hair day also.
An advertisement for the musical "Hair"
I was very tired because I did not sleep well last night. I made the mistake of watching a horror movie on television. The movie really made my hair stand on end. It was about a house possessed by evil spirits. The thought of having to live alone in a house like that was so frightening it was enough to curl your hair. I will say it another way: watching that movie was a hair-raising experience.
I prepared a meal for my children but they were behaving badly. I turned on the television so they would be quiet. I did not want them to be difficult or to get in my hair while I was working on the computer.
My children were making so much noise that I could not work. I was getting angry. In fact, I was ready to pull my hair out. I told them to please be quiet or I would punish them. But they knew I would not harm a hair on their heads.
I decided to make myself some strong coffee so I could work better. But my drink was so strong that it could put hair on your chest.
Finally, I got back to work. I was writing a proposal for a project. I knew that I was very close to finishing the proposal. Success was very close – within a hair’s breadth. My supervisor called me to discuss the project. She wanted to argue about very small differences and unimportant details. But I told her not to split hairs.
Later, I got a telephone call from a friend whom I had not seen in a long time. In fact, I had not seen hide nor hair of him in months. So I was glad to know that he was all right.
I worked all day and finished my project. So I decided to celebrate, have some fun and let my hair down. I played some old recordings, and my children and I danced around the room. The recordings are from my favorite musical, a show called "Hair." It takes place during the nineteen sixties when many young people wore their hair very long.
This VOA Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust. I’m Faith Lapidus. You can find other WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.
Expressions With the Word “Hair”
Not a hair was out of place：干净利索，一丝不乱
bad hair day: “头发糟糕的日子”，暗示一整天都不顺利，心情不好。<
made one’s hair stand on end:使人毛骨悚然
curl one’s hair：令人惊诧，令人惊恐
get in one’s hair:激怒某人
pull one’s hair out：生气，发怒
harm a hair on one’s heads:不伤某人一根毫毛
put hair on one’s chest:使人具有男子气概；（饮料）富含酒精的；（食物）使人健康、强壮的