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精读Hit the nail on the head (Book 5)

Unit One Text I Hit the Nail on the Head (恰到好处;一语中的) I. Pre-reading Questions

1. It means “exactly right in words or action”.

2. The author advises that the English stud

ents should try to get the words, phrases and sentences completely right for their purposes in writing.

? III. Library Work ? 1. 1) Gustave Flaubert (1821 – 1880), French
novelist, was associated with, though not representative of, the movement of naturalism and known as one of the greatest realists of 19th-century France. He devoted his life to long hours spent in heavy toil over his work. His writing is marked by exactness and accuracy of observation, extreme impersonality and objectivity of treatment, and precision and expressiveness in style, or the principle of the mot juste. Representative work: Madame Bovary

? 1. 2) Mrs. Malaprop is a famous character in Sheridan’s comedy The Rivals (1775). She is noted for her blunders in the use of words.

? 2. Hindi(印地语)is a literary and official language of northern India. Swahili(斯瓦希里 语)is a Bantu(班图) language that is a trade and governmental language over much of East Africa and in the Congo region.

? V. Key Points of the Text
? Paragraph 1
? 1. knock over: hit … to fall 捶翻 ? 2. drive … home: force (the nail) into the right place; make something unmistakably clear 把(钉子等)打入;使。。。明确无误 ? E.g. (1). He slammed the door and drove the bolt home. ? 他砰地关上门,把门闩插好。 ? (2). drive one?s point home ? 讲清楚自己的观点

? (4). To drive home his policy, the president wrote his second letter. ? 为了阐明他的政策,总统又写了第二封信。 ? (5). You must drive it home to John that we don?t have enough money. ? 你必须使约翰明白我们的钱确实不够。 ? 3. deft: effortlessly skillful 熟练的 ? 4. hit it squarely on the head: hitting it directly on the head ? 正中要害;猜中;说得好,做得好

? E.g. : (1). Your criticism really hit the nail on the head. ? 你的批评的确是一针见血。 ? (2). In so saying, you hit the right nail on the head. ? 你这样说确实击中要害。 ? squarely: meaning “directly”, may be used both literally and figuratively. ? E.g. : (1). The boxer hit his opponent squarely on the jaw. ? 拳击手直接击中对手的下巴。 ? (2). We must face the difficulty squarely.

5. clean English: English that is exact (precise) and

clear 准确清晰的英语 6. a word that is more or less right: a word that is almost right, but not completely right

? 差不多(勉强)恰当的词语
? Question 1: Which phrase in this paragraph marks a contrast between a clumsy man and a skillful carpenter? On the other hand

? Question 2: Which sentence in Paragraph 1 establishes the link between the driving of a nail and the choice of a word? ? So with language; the good craftsman will choose words that drive home his point firmly and exactly.

? Paragraph 2

? Question 1: What does the word “this” in Sentence 1 refer to? ? Getting the word that is completely right for the writer?s purpose. ? 1. scrupulous writers: writers who are thorough, exact, and who pay careful attention to details
? 一丝不苟的作家

? scrupulous: correct even in the smallest detail; exact; painstaking; meticulous ? 严格认真的, 审慎的 ? unscrupulous: 不择手段的, 肆无忌惮的 the opposite of scrupulous, seems to be more often used to describe people who do not care about honesty and fairness in getting what they want, or who are completely without principles.

? Question 2: Do you agree with the author that there is a great deal of truth in the seemingly stupid question “How can I know what I think till I see what I say”? Why or why not?

? Yes, I do. It sounds irrational that a person does not know what he himself thinks before he sees what he says, but, as a matter of fact, it is quite true that unless we have found the exact words to verbalize our own thoughts we can never be very sure of what our thoughts are, without words, our thoughts cannot be defined or stated in a clear and precise manner.

? Paragraph 3
? 1. that constitutes his limitation: that makes or forms his shortcoming or inability in certain respects ? 2. sharp: a word that has a variety of meanings ? E.g.: a sharp (thrill) voice 刺耳的声音 ? sharp (harsh) words 刻薄的话 ? a sharp (severe) pain 剧烈的疼痛

Paragraph 4
? 1. human vs. humane: ? human: relating to or characteristic of humankind or people ? E.g.: human action: action taken by man ? 人的行为 ? To err is human; to forgive, divine. ? 犯错人皆难免;宽恕则属超凡。 ? human killer: a person or a machine that kills humans 杀人凶手;杀人机器

? humane: having or showing compassion or benevolence; characterized by kindness, mercy, sympathy ? E.g.: humane action: merciful action
? 人道的行为 ? humane killer: that which kills but causes little pain; instrument for painless slaughter of animals 牲口无痛屠宰机,牲口麻醉屠宰机 ? Paragraph 5 ? far afield: far away from home; to or at a great distance; very far away 向远处, 远离

? Paragraph 6

? 1. cowardice: lack of courage 怯懦, 胆小
? 2. rife: widespread, common 流行的,普遍的 Rife is an adjective used with something negative. ? E.g.: (2). Typhoid fever (poultry flu) is rife in this region.

? 目前这个地区伤寒(禽流感)流行。 ? (3). Corruption (Unemployment) is still rife in that country. ? 那个国家依然贪污成风(失业遍地)。

? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?

(4). The whole city is rife with rumors.

(5). This article is rife with error.

(6). The country was rife with disease and violence.

3. singularity vs. singleness: singularity: strangeness, oddity, peculiarity 奇特, 特性, 非凡 E.g.: singularity of mind 思想奇特;标新立异

? singleness: complete devotion to; holding steadfastly to 坚持,坚定 ? E.g.: singleness of mind ? 思想专一, 专心致志 ? Paragraph 7 ? 1. malapropism: an often amusing misuse of a word, such that the word incorrectly used sounds similar to the intended word but means something quite different 词语误用 (尤指误用发音相似而意义全非的词)

? 2. hold to: (cause to) follow exactly, keep to (something such as a promise); adhere to

? 坚持,遵守,忠于 ? E.g.: (1). The priest held to his beliefs in spite of cruel treatment.

? 尽管受到残酷的对待,牧师还是坚持自己的信仰。 ? (2). He holds to a simple life. ? 他坚持过着简朴的生活。

? ? ? ?

(4). He held to his own counsel.

3. draw aside: (cause to) move to one side E.g.: (1). Drawing the curtain aside, he looked down into the street.

? 他把窗帘拉开,俯视着下面的街道。 ? (2). The crowd drew aside to let the prisoner pass. ? 人群闪到一边,让囚犯通过。

? Paragraph 8 ? Question: Explain why the word “imprison” in the example given in this paragraph, though not a malapropism, is still not the right word for the writer’s purpose.

? “Malapropism” means the unintentional misuse of a word by confusing it with one that resembles it, such as human for humane, singularity for singleness. But the misuse of “imprison” is a different case. It is wrongly chosen because the user has failed to recognize its connotation(内涵). ? 1. imprison: put into prison or keep in a place or state which one is not free to leave

? 监禁, 关押; 限制, 束缚

? 2. coercion: pressure, compulsion; government by force 强迫,压制;高压统治 ? E.g.: the coercion of public opinion
? 舆论的压力 ? coerce v.t.: 强制;胁迫;迫使 ? E.g.: coerce somebody something



? 迫使某人做谋事 ? coerce uniformity
? 强求一致 ? coercive adj.

3. epitomize: be typical of; serve as the typical example of 代 表 , 象征 , 体现 , 写 … 的梗概,作 … 的纲要 ? E.g.: (1). He was the man who epitomized black resistance to the colonial government.

? 他代表着黑人对殖民地政府的反抗。 ? (2). His political creed was epitomized in this report.
? 他的政治信念就概括在这篇报告中。

? epitome n.: ① a thing or person that shows, to a very great degree, a quality or set of qualities (especially in the phrase the epitome of) 典型,象征;缩影 ? ② a short account of a book or speech 梗概;缩写,节录 ? E.g.: She is the epitome of arrogance.
? 她是傲慢的典型。

? 4. hit on: strike on: find by lucky chance or have a good idea about (偶然或忽然)发现;碰上; 找到;想到 ? E.g.: (1). I hit on this interesting book in a small bookstore. ? 我在一家小书店里偶然发现了这本有趣的书。 ? (2). The plan we hit upon was not logical, perhaps, but it worked. ? 我们想出来的那个计划也许不合逻辑,但它行之


? (3). How did you hit on the right answer so quickly?

? 5. distill: take and separate the most
important parts of (a book, a subject, etc.) 提炼 ? E.g.: distill the essence of 提取…的精华 ? 6. alive: sensitive; alert ? Paragraph 9 ? 1. disprove vs. disapprove

? disprove: prove to be contrary; refute

反驳,证明有误 ? E.g.: (1). He could not disprove the major contention of his opponents.
? 他驳不倒对方的主要论点。 ? disapprove: have a bad opinion for moral reasons (of) 不赞成;不同意;不准许;否决;不喜欢

? E.g. (1). The court disapproved the verdict.

? (3). Jim?s father disapproved of his marriage to Mary. ? Jim的父亲不赞成他与Mary的婚事。 ? (4). He disapproved of her. ? 他讨厌她。

2. expire: die; pass away; come to an end

死亡;过期;过期 e.g. The trade agreement between the two countries will expire next year.
两国之间的贸易协定明年到期。 My passport expires in a month. 我的护照下个月到期。 3. indigent: poor; lacking money and goods; poverty-stricken; penniless ? 贫困的,贫穷的

? Paragraph 10

? pace: walk with slow, steady steps, especially backwards and forwards 踱 方步 ? patrol: go at regular times round (an area, building, etc.) to see that there is no trouble, that no one is trying to get in or out illegally, etc. 巡逻,巡查 ? stride: walk with long steps or cross with one long step 大踏步地走,跨

? stalk: walk stiffly, proudly, or with long steps 高视阔步地走 ? strut: walk proudly or stiffly, especially with the chest pushed forward and trying to look important 趾高气扬地走,大摇大摆 地走 ? tread: step on 踩, 践踏 ? tramp: walk (through or over) with firm heavy steps 用沉重的脚

Paragraph 10 ? step out: (AmE) go outside or go somewhere (美口) 暂时走开 ? prance: move quickly, happily or proudly with a springing or dancing step 欢跃地走

? prowl: (of an animal looking for food, or of a thief) move about (an area) quietly, trying not to be seen or heard 潜行,暗中徘徊 ? E.g.: beasts prowling after their prey 四处觅食的野兽

Paragraph 10
? sidle: (up) walk as if ready to turn and go the other way, especially secretively or nervously(尤指鬼鬼祟祟地或胆怯地) 悄悄地走 ? E.g.: He sidled up to the stranger in the street and tried to sell him the stolen ring. 在街上,他鬼鬼祟祟地走到陌生人面


Paragraph 10
? creep: move slowly and quietly with the body close to the ground 匍匐前进,爬 行; 蹑手蹑脚地走 ? E.g.: The cat crept silently towards the mouse. 猫悄悄地向老鼠爬过去。 ? The policeman crept up on the criminal and seized him from behind.


Paragraph 10 ? plod: (especially along, on) walk slowly, especially with difficulty and great effort; trudge 沉重缓慢地 走,步履艰难 ? E.g.: The old man plods along, hardly able to lift each foot. 那老人

步履艰难地走着,双脚几乎都提不起 来。

Paragraph 10
? trudge: walk with heavy steps, slowly and with effort (plod) 步履艰难地走, 跋涉 ? E.g.: He had to trudge (for) 20 miles to get home. 他要跋涉20英里才回到家。 ? shuffle: walk by dragging one’s feet slowly along 曳足而行,拖着步子走

? stagger: walk or move unsteadily and with great difficulty, almost falling 蹒跚,摇晃,踉跄 ? E.g.: He was staggering along as if drunk. 他摇摇晃晃地向前走,好

? toddle: walk with short unsteady steps, as a small child does 蹒跚 行步,东倒西歪地走

Paragraph 10 ? stroll: walk a short distance slowly or lazily, especially for pleasure
? 散步;闲逛;溜达 ? ramble: (about, through, among) go on a long walk with no particular plan 漫游;漫步

Paragraph 10
? E.g.: They rambled through the woods. 他们




We rambled about for hours in the old city.

? roam: (through, around, about) wander without a very clear purpose 漫步;闲荡; 漫游 ? E.g.: At this height hyenas roamed about. 在这高度,有鬣狗四处游荡。

? saunter: walk in an unhurried way, and especially in a confident manner (lounge) 闲逛;漫步 ? E.g.: I sauntered along the street with nothing to do. 我在街上闲逛,无所事事。 ? meander: (of people) wander in a slow easy way 漫步, 散步 (of rivers and streams) flow slowly, turning here and there(指河川)蜿蜒而流;迂回曲折地 前进

? lounge: (especially about, around) move in a lazy, relaxed way, move in leisurely, indolent manner (saunter) 闲 逛 ? E.g.: He lounged about the house, doing nothing but getting in our way while we were working. 我们工作时,

他什么也不干,在屋子里乱转,碍手碍脚 的。

? loiter: move on or move about, stopping often 走走停停;徘徊;闲逛 ? E.g.: The policemen saw someone loitering near the shop. 警察看见有人 在商店附近徘徊.

? Paragraph 11 ? Question 1: What conclusion is drawn by the author in this paragraph?

? A good writer is not measured by the extent of his vocabulary, but by his skill in finding the “mot juste”, the word that will hit the nail cleanly on the head.

? take courage: feel hopeful and confident about something ? E.g.: It is a challenging job; but take courage and work hard at it, and you?ll be rewarded.

VI. SA to Ex. I, P. 1, Workbook ? 1. So with language; the good craftsman will choose words that drive home his point firmly and exactly. ? 2. Getting the word that is completely right for the writer?s purpose.

VI. SA to Ex. I, P. 1, Workbook
? 3. Yes, I do. It sounds irrational that a person does not know what he himself thinks before he sees what he says, but, as a matter of fact, it is quite true that unless we have found the exact words to verbalize our own thoughts we can never be very sure of what our thoughts are, without words, our thoughts cannot be defined or stated in a clear and precise manner.

VI. SA to Ex. I, P. 1, Workbook
? 4. “Malapropism” means the unintentional misuse of a word by confusing it with one that resembles it, such as human for humane, singularity for singleness. But the misuse of “imprison” is a different case. It is wrongly chosen because the user has failed to recognize its connotation.

VI. SA to Ex. I, P. 1, Workbook
? 5. human = characterizing of, or relating to man ? humane = characterized by kindness, mercy, sympathy; thus: ? human action = action taken by man ? humane action = merciful action ? human killer = person that kills humans ? humane killer = that which kills but causes little pain

VI. SA to Ex. I, P. 1, Workbook ? 6. Sensitive; alert ? 7. “We don?t have to look far afield to find evidence of bad carpentry in language.” (Paragraph 5) ? “It is perhaps easier to be a good craftsman with wood and nails than a good craftsman with words.” (Paragraph 9)

VI. SA to Ex. I, P. 1, Workbook
? “A good carpenter is not distinguished by the number of his tools, but by the craftsmanship with which he uses them. So a good writer is not measured by the extent of his vocabulary, but by his skill in finding the ?mot juste?, the word that will hit the nail cleanly on the head.” (Paragraph 11)

VII. SA to Ex. II, P. 2, Workbook ? 1. A writer who is particular about the exactness of an expression in English will never feel happy with a word which fails to express an idea accurately.

VII. SA to Ex. II, P. 2, Workbook
? 2. To a certain extent, the process of finding the right words to use is a process of perfection where you try to search for words that may most accurately express your thoughts and feelings, and words that may most effectively make your listeners and readers understand your thoughts and feelings.

VII. SA to Ex. II, P. 2, Workbook
? 3. Finding the most suitable word to use is in no sense easy. But there is nothing like the delight we shall experience when such a word is located. ? 4. Once we are able to use language accurately, we are in a position to fully understand our subject matter.

VIII. SA to Ex. III, P. 3, Workbook
? 1. After citing many facts and giving a number of statistical figures, he finally drove home his point..
? 2. It took us half a year more or less to carry through the research project. ? 3. What he said was so subtle that we could hardly make out his true intention. ? 4. His new book looks squarely at the contemporary social problems.

VIII. SA to Ex. III, P. 3, Workbook
? 5. The younger generation today are very much alive to the latest information found on the Internet. ? 6. It is a matter of opinion whether a foreign language is more easily learned in one?s childhood or otherwise. ? 7. Never loose heart in the face of a setback; take courage and deal with it squarely. ? 8. Rice, meat, vegetables, and fruit constitute a balanced diet.

TEXT II The Maker’s Eye: Reviewing Your Own Manuscripts

(作者的眼光:修改自己的手稿) ? I. Organization of the Text ? 1. The way writers should view their own writing through the maker’s eye (Paragraphs 1 – 9)

? 2. How to revise one’s own writing (Paragraphs 10 – 26) ? II. Key Points of the Text ? Paragraph 2 ? journeyman: an experienced person whose work is fairly (but not very) good 熟练工 ? craftsman: a person skilled in a job 能 工巧匠 ? prolific: productive; producing many works

? Paragraph 3 ? a progression of: a succession of

? decode: discover the meaning of (something written in a code) 解码; 译解 compare encode: turn (a message) into code ? Paragraph 4 ? detach … from: separate … from

? Paragraph 5 ? supposedly: as is believed; as it appears 想象上,据推测,大概 ? for a year to the day: for exactly a year ? discipline: control ? euphoric: extremely happy ? euphoria: a feeling of happiness and cheerful excitement 欣快症;异常欣快

? Paragraph 6 ? counsel: advise

? E.g.: a counsel of perfection 要别

人必须做到十全十美的要求; 达不 到的理想 ? darken counsel 使更加难以理解 ? take counsel of one?s pillow 通夜 思考
? excise: remove by cutting out

? a schizophrenic process: a maddening or disorderly process 混乱 的过程;前后矛盾的过程 ? schizophrenia: a mental disorder marked by a separation of a person’s mind and feelings 精神分裂症 ? Paragraph 8 ? prune: cut off, remove or shorten some of the branches in order to improve the shape, growth, production of flowers or fruit; reduce or remove (anything useless

? or unwanted) from (something) by making careful choices 修剪;删除 ? spontaneous: happening as a result of natural feelings or cause, without outside force or influence, or without being planned 自然产生的,自发的 ? spontaneity: naturalness ? Paragraph 9 ? positive: sure; having no doubt about something

? Paragraph 16 ? genre: a class of works of art, literature, or music marked by a particular style, form, or subject 类型, 流派,风格 ? Paragraph 23 ? mutter: speak (usually angry or complaining words) in a low voice, not easily heard 咕哝,嘀咕 ? in short runs: in short periods of time. Compare in long runs.

? at a stretch: without stopping, continuously ? Paragraph 25 ? connotation: (any of) the feeling or ideas that are suggested by a word, rather than the actual meaning of the word 含义,言外 之意

? denotation: the thing that is actually named or described by a word, rather than the feelings or ideas that are suggested by the word 直接意义,特定 意义

? rub against: slide something with pressure against; compare with ? E.g.: Don?t rub your coat against the wet paint. ? Paragraph 26 ? peer into: look with effort into something E.g.: She stood on the shore for some time, peering into the distance, long after the ship had gone.

III. SA to Questions for Discussion, P. 14, Student’s Book
? 1. The completion of the first draft is regarded as the end of the job by an amateur writer but as the beginning by a professional. Writers must learn to be fastidious and exacting, i.e., severely critical with their own writing.
? 2. They are information, meaning, audience, form, structure, development, dimension and voice. You can refer to Paragraphs 13 – 20 for the explanations of them.

III. SA to Questions for Discussion, P. 14, Student’s Book
? 3. Line-by-line editing. Study individually all the clauses, phrases, words, and even the punctuation marks.
? 4. Our ears are very good judges of language, being sensitive to the flow of words. He thinks that what is right should sound right, and what sounds right should be right. ? 5. This question is open to discussion.

IV. SA to Ex. 1, P. 4, Workbook
? 1. Peter F. Drucker ? Instead of calling his first draft the first draft, Drucker calls it “the zero draft,” meaning that it is only the starting point of his writing, and that only after some revisions have been made can the draft be called the first, the second … draft.

IV. SA to Ex. 1, P. 4, Workbook
? 2. Ray Bradbury ? He does not revise his writing immediately after it is done. It is put away for a whole year on purpose. Then Bradbury rereads his manuscript as if he were a stranger. This way he can be more critical about his own writing.

IV. SA to Ex. 1, P. 4, Workbook
? 3. Nancy Hale ? “What seems delightful in his own writing should be read by the author with a critical eye. What is most admirable to him must be cut out as he is likely to protect it from others? criticism.” ? 4. John Ciardi ? “The last thing to do with one?s own writing is to become the reader of the writing. It is a confusing process. The writer begins reading enthusiastically but becomes fault-finding when he comes to the end. What is more important is

IV. SA to Ex. 1, P. 4, Workbook
? that he must be hot with enthusiasm and cold with criticism at the same time / simultaneously.” ? 5. Eleanor Estes ? She advises the writer to go over his own writing with good judgment and calmness as if he were not the author. He must be ready to cut out the unnecessary parts skillfully and mercilessly. When he finishes revising his writing each time, the manuscripts must seem to be in a state of disorder --- with some parts torn out and some added to, and with words changed time and

IV. SA to Ex. 1, P. 4, Workbook
? again. In spite of all the changes, the book must keep its originality and naturalness at its first appearance. ? 6. Anthony Brugess ? He concedes that he might go over one single page many many times.

IV. SA to Ex. 1, P. 4, Workbook
? 7. Roald Dahl ? “When I am coming to the last part of a story, I will have read and reread and corrected the first part no less than 150 times. Good writing is first and foremost rewriting. I have no doubt about this / I?m very certain about this.” ? What the authors express in common is this: Of the first and foremost importance to a writer is the effort he makes at criticizing, revising, and correcting his own drafts time and again until it satisfies the maker?s eye.

V. SA to Ex. 1, P. 6, Workbook
? 1. Traditional dictionaries are said to be prescriptive because they prescribe correct patterns of usage only. They also attempt to preserve the linguistic features of the past. ? 2. More recent dictionaries are said to be descriptive because they have become less concerned with laying down rules, but more concerned with describing a language. There are also a wide range of descriptive labels such as “informal,” “slang,” or “technical.”

V. SA to Ex. 1, P. 6, Workbook
? 3. Dictionaries reflect the evolution of the language in that they keep pace with the changes that occur in language usage and the frequent introduction of words.

VI. SA to Ex. 3, P. 7, Workbook
? 1. In an ordinary dictionary, a lexicographer is defined simply as “a writer or compiler of a dictionary.” But Johnson defines him as a harmless drudge or a person doing dull work … ? 2. In an ordinary dictionary, oats is defined as a grain that provides food for people and animals. But Johnson seemed to be biased against the Scottish people, because they eat oats whereas in England, it is generally given to horses.

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