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The language of smartphone addiction 从“手机瘾”衍生出的新词

手机和现代人的生活越来越紧密,最近,很多语言中都衍生出了和手机文化有关的词语,比如,中文里的“低头族”指的是边走路边看手机的人,这类人在德国被称作“手机僵尸 smombies”。跟随本集《随身英语》,了解和智能手机文化有关的知识。

课文内容

Vocabulary: modern culture 词汇: 现代文化

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Do you check your phablet in the middle of the night? Do you post to social media as you stroll along the pavement? 

If you do the latter, you would be called a ‘smombie’ in Germany. It’s a portmanteau word which combines ‘smartphone’ and ‘zombie’, and refers to the familiar sight of someone pottering along, eyes glued to the phone in their hand, oblivious to the world around them. The term was chosen as Youth Word of the Year in Germany in 2015.

Indeed, just as mobile phones have changed the way we communicate, they’ve also enriched the stock of slang that describes human behaviour.

Another such term is ‘phubbing’. Again, it’s a combination of two individual words, this time ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing’. Picture the scene: you’re out at a cafe with a friend, but instead of listening to your scintillating conversation, he’s engrossed in his mobile phone. We’ve all been there.

Then there’s a phrase which comes from Chinese: the ‘bowed head tribe’. This describes not a mere, singular smombie, but the legions of people we see stooped over mobile phones.

And over in Japan, one blogger describes the groups of people dangerously traversing busy intersections as ‘dumbwalkers’, but who somehow manage to avoid crashing into each other.

While many of these terms are light-hearted, there’s a serious side. In the German city of Augsburg one phone user was killed after being hit by a tram as she crossed the road. It prompted authorities to install ground-level traffic lights for those looking down at their phones.

And the risks with phones don’t end there. The desire for increasingly daring selfies has led to the deaths of over 120 people since 2014. That’s more than have died from shark attacks.  

It may come as no surprise to hear, therefore, that we’re more addicted to our phones than ever before, according to a survey in the UK by Deloitte. Phones are our cameras, our calendars and our windows into the constantly updating lives of friends across social media.

Without our phones by our side, surely we’d miss out on all this fun? And yes, you guessed it, there’s a slang term for that mentality too: ‘fomo’, or the ‘fear of missing out’.

词汇表 

phablet 平板手机
to post (在网上)发布
the latter (上文提到的两者中的)后者
portmanteau 组合的
zombie 僵尸
to potter 闲逛
to be glued to something 目不转睛地看
oblivious (对周围发生的事)毫无察觉的
to enrich 使充实
to snub 冷落
scintillating 妙趣横生的
engrossed 全神贯注的
we’ve all been there 我们都能感同身受,我们都是过来人
bowed 弯腰的
legions of 数量庞大的、大批的(人)
light-hearted (风格、题材等)轻松愉快的
to update 更新(网上的内容)
to miss out 错过(机会、好处、趣事)
mentality 心态,心理

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. What is a ‘smombie’?  

2. Why have traffic lights been placed at ground level in Germany?

3. What does it mean if you ‘phub’ someone?

4.Which word means: ‘photographs you take of yourself’?

5. True or false: ‘Fomo’ is a portmanteau word.

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. He never listens to what I say. He’s just _________ in his smartphone!

pottering     snubbing      phubbing      engrossed

2. She said I had to choose between her and my friends. I chose __________.

the later     later     the latter     latter

3. Mark wanders around like a zombie all day with his eyes _________ his smartphone.

glued to     glue to     glued     glued on

4. Our CEO doesn’t like to give serious speeches. They’re always _________.

light-hearted     oblivious     daring     engrossing

5. After working all night I felt like a _________ in the office today.

legion     phubber     zombie     smombie

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. What is a ‘smombie’?
     A ‘smombie’ is a ‘smartphone zombie’. It’s a slang term from Germany and it refers to people who walk around gazing at their smartphones.

2. Why have traffic lights been placed at ground level in Germany?
    Traffic lights have been placed at ground level to attract the attention of those looking down at their phones, to minimise the risk of accidents.  

3. What does it mean if you ‘phub’ someone?
    It means you ignore someone because you are using your mobile phone.    

4. Which word means: ‘photographs you take of yourself’?
    Selfies.    

5. True or false: ‘Fomo’ is a portmanteau word.
    False. ‘Fomo’ is an abbreviation of ‘fear of missing out’.

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. He never listens to what I say. He’s just engrossed in his smartphone!

2. She said I had to choose between her and my friends. I chose the latter.

3. Mark wanders around like a zombie all day with his eyes glued to his smartphone.

4. Our CEO doesn’t like to give serious speeches. They’re always light-hearted.

5. After working all night I felt like a zombie in the office today. 


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