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随身英语

In defence of shyness 为害羞的人辩护

 

 

在竞争激烈的现代社会中,性格羞涩似乎被当作缺点,而那些善于表达、自信满满的人则更有可能实现个人目标。本期《随身英语》探讨害羞能给人带来的益处。

课文内容

词汇: 性格

English is full of colourful phrases to describe shyness. Someone timid might be called shrinking violet or a wallflower , while for especially nervous types we have the curious expression: they wouldn’t say boo to a goose .

None of these are traditionally seen as positive descriptions, even if you like geese. In a culture of go-getting high achievers, shy people don’t come first.

Or that's what the self-help industry would have you believe. Bookshops are filled with weighty tomes that promise to help beat social fears and find success in life, love and business.

Which is why one book, Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness, bucks the trend. It made a splash across English-language media recently for its new take on bashfulness.

Author Joe Moran says that despite struggling with shyness and craving solitude all his life, being timid can also be "a gift". Freed from the persistent urge to participate and compete in social situations, people are liberated to look at the world in new ways, and gain fresh insights.

Indeed, many of the world's great thinkers and artists are introverts. Scientists Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein preferred their own company; actress Keira Knightley often finds herself tongue-tied at parties; and Harry Potter author JK Rowling claims she used to be too nervous to even borrow a pen – a reticence she says forced her to delve deep into the world of her imagination.

Moran told BBC Future: "I think shyness probably does turn you into an amateur anthropologist, really – you are more likely to be an observer."

So, while extroverts make all the noise, they don't necessarily have the best ideas.

If you're shy, you've probably known this for a long time. You just don't shout about it. 

词汇表

timid 胆怯的
shrinking violet “含羞草”,怕羞的、腼腆的人
wallflower “壁花”,在社交场合因害羞而一言不发的人
not say boo to a goose “对鹅都不敢嘘一声”,形容非常胆小
go-getting 敢做敢为的,有野心的
self-help 自救的
would have you believe 希望你相信的
tome 大部头
buck the trend 逆势而上
make a splash 一炮打响
bashfulness 羞赧,羞涩
crave solitude 渴望孤独
gift 天赋,馈赠
urge 冲动
introvert 性格内向者
tongue-tied (由于紧张而)张口结舌的
reticence 缄默,寡言少语
delve 深入地探索
anthropologist 人类学家
extrovert  性格外向者

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Does the self-help industry see shyness as a business opportunity?
2. Is it a good thing to be called a shrinking violet?
3. How does Joe Moran think shyness can help people?
4. In what way did shyness help create Harry Potter?
5. True or false: Joe Moran prefers to be by himself.

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

1. __________ feel happier when with other people.

Introverts  Extroverts       Shrinking violets                Geese


2. Marek _________. He's so bashful.

is a go-getter     wouldn't say boo to a goose    would say boo to a goose      is a real extrovert


3. I see my blindness as a _________. It sharpens my other senses and makes me a better listener.

present                          gift                 disability                                self-help


4. This new fat-only diet really _________ - all other diets require you to eat less fat.

shrinks violets       delves deep             makes a splash            bucks the trend


5. I really _________ time by myself. I need at least four hours a day on my own.

crave                             urge               buck                                        delve

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Does the self-help industry see shyness as a business opportunity?
Yes, the article says bookshops are full of books claiming to help people overcome shyness.

2. Is it a good thing to be called a shrinking violet?
No, traditionally it's not been seen as a positive thing.

3. How does Joe Moran think shyness can help people?
He thinks that being liberated from the desire to take part in social events can give people space to have fresh insights and ideas.

4. In what way did shyness help create Harry Potter?
Harry Potter author JK Rowling says her early shyness forced her to deeply explore the world of her imagination.

5. True or false: Joe Moran prefers to be by himself.
True. He "craves solitude", according to the article.

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

1. Extroverts feel happier when with other people.

2. Marek wouldn't say boo to a goose . He's so bashful. 

3. I see my blindness as a gift . It sharpens my other senses and makes me a better listener.

4. This new fat-only diet really bucks the trend - all other diets require you to eat less fat.

5. I really crave time by myself. I need at least four hours a day on my own.


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