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随身英语

Too much stuff 物质主义和简约主义

你是追求物质主义者还是喜欢样样从简?环视你家里四周,需要来一次大扫除吗?如果让你彻底成为极简主义者,能做到吗?本期《随身英语》探讨我们是否拥有太多个人物品和财产?对于那些多余的、不必要的物品我们应该怎么处理?

课文内容

词汇: Possessions 个人物品、财产

Do you have too many pairs of shoes or old gadgets lying around your home? I'm sure many of us have too much stuff that we don't really use and when it starts getting out of hand, it really is time to do some spring cleaning to de-clutter our lives.

However, deciding which items to get rid of can be tricky especially if you are materialistic, believing that physical possessions are the most important thing in life. Also, some people are sentimental about letting go of their personal property. But if you haven't got room in your house to move, it's time to evaluate what is really important to you and decide what are your prized possessions and what is just junk.

Instead of just chucking it away and filling up landfill sites, items could be recycled or given to a charity to re-sell. You could also make some money by using websites where people are willing to pay for second-hand goods. Some people have taken a minimalist approach, deliberately trying to keep life simple. Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home, has done this. She says "we've asked really true questions, and evaluated every single thing that we have. There is nothing that we overlooked. I even came to look at my vegetable peeler for example and asked myself, 'do I really need that vegetable peeler'?"

Of course, if you're a shopaholic or a fashion-victim it's hard to stop buying and shopping online makes purchasing stuff very easy. James Wallman is a writer and journalist – he questions what we actually need. He says "I'm not anti-stuff – stuff is good. I'm anti too much stuff and I'm anti the wrong stuff. Don't go out and buy that labelled good that you think is going to make people think something more of you. That's not going to make you happy."

This sounds like good advice. It's good to take stock of what we have and what we really need. But there are still some things I just can't face parting company with; my CD collection, even though I now download my music, and my childhood teddy bear. What about you – have you got something that you just can't throw away?

词汇表

getting out of hand 失去控制
spring cleaning 彻底打扫,大扫除
de-clutter 整理,清除杂物
get rid of 扔掉、丢弃
materialistic 追求物质的,拜金的
sentimental 感情用事的,多愁善感的
prized possessions 珍贵的财产、物品
junk 垃圾、没用的东西
chucking it away 把它扔掉
landfill sites 垃圾填埋场
recycled 回收利用的
minimalist  简约主义的
overlooked 忽略了,没有考虑到的
shopaholic 购物狂
fashion-victim 盲目追求时尚的人
labelled 贴了(名牌)标签的
take stock 仔细考虑,作出判断
parting company 与…分离

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Is this true or false? If you are sentimental you attach an emotional or personal feeling to something.

2. Name something you could do with your unwanted possessions?

3. What do you call someone who is addicted to shopping?

4. What phrase is used to describe goods or items that are not new and have already been used by someone else?

5. Why does James Wallman think buying branded or designer goods won't make you happy? 

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。从每个表格中选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. Look at all this _________, I can hardly move in this house!

de-clutter     minimalism     clutter     spring cleaning

2. The photographs we lost in the fire were of great __________ value; we'll never be able to replace them.

sentimental     sentimentalistic     sentiment     mental

3. Mum really wanted to keep hold of the old black and white TV but I told her to __________, it didn't work anymore! 

overlook it     part company     chuck it away     take stock

4. My life is going so quickly, I really need to stop and _________ before I move on.

stock take     take stock     took stock     take stockings

5. Jane is such a fashion victim, she likes to wear all the latest _________ but to be honest, they don't suit her!

lapels     labelled     stock     labels

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Is this true or false? If you are sentimental you attach an emotional or personal feeling to something.
True. This is the meaning of sentimental.

2. Name something you could do with your unwanted possessions?
Recycle them, sell them, give them to a charity or just throw them away.

3. What do you call someone who is addicted to shopping?
A shopaholic.

4. What phrase is used to describe goods or items that are not new and have already been used by someone else?
Second-hand.

5. Why does James Wallman think buying branded or designer goods won't make you happy?
He says you think it is going to make people think something more of you – or like you - but it won't.

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。从每个表格中选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. Look at all this clutter, I can hardly move in this house!

2. The photographs we lost in the fire were of great sentimental value; we'll never be able to replace them.

3. Mum really wanted to keep hold of the old black and white TV but I told her to chuck it away, it didn't work anymore!

4. My life is going so quickly, I really need to stop and take stock before I move on.

5. Jane is such a fashion victim, she likes to wear all the latest labels but to be honest, they don't suit her!

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