.
American way: Words and Their Stories

From Couch Potato to Cabin Fever
Source: VOA


Some unusual words describe how a person spends his or her time. For example, someone who likes to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down while watching television is sometimes called a couch potato. A couch is a piece of furniture that people sit on while watching television.

Robert Armstrong, an artist from California, developed the term couch potato in nineteen seventy-six. Several years later, he listed the term as a trademark with the United States government. Mister Armstrong also helped write a funny book about life as a full-time television watcher. It is called the “Official Couch Potato Handbook.”

Couch potatoes enjoy watching television just as mouse potatoes enjoy working on computers. A computer mouse is the device that moves the pointer, or cursor, on a computer screen. The description of mouse potato became popular in nineteen ninety-three. American writer Alice Kahn is said to have invented the term to describe young people who spend a lot of time using computers.

Too much time inside the house using a computer or watching television can cause someone to get cabin fever. A cabin is a simple house usually built far away from the city. People go to a cabin to relax and enjoy quiet time.

Cabin fever is not really a disease. However, people can experience boredom and restlessness if they spend too much time inside their homes. This is especially true during the winter when it is too cold or snowy to do things outside. Often children get cabin fever if they cannot go outside to play. So do their parents. This happens when there is so much snow that schools and even offices and stores are closed.

Some people enjoy spending a lot of time in their homes to make them nice places to live. This is called nesting or cocooning. Birds build nests out of sticks to hold their eggs and baby birds. Some insects build cocoons around themselves for protection while they grow and change. Nests and cocoons provide security for wildlife. So people like the idea of nests and cocoons, too.

The terms cocooning and nesting became popular more than twenty years ago. They describe people buying their first homes and filling them with many things. These people then had children.

Now these children are grown and have left the nest. They are in college. Or they are married and starting families of their own far away. Now these parents are living alone without children in their empty nest. They have become empty nesters.



-----------------------------------------------------------
. Couch potato (noun): Người suốt ngày chỉ ngồi xem tivi
. Mouse potato (noun): Người mê, nghiện máy tính
. Cabin fever (noun): Tâm trạng u uất, trầm cảm do bị cô lập, giam cầm trong một khoảng thời gian dài
. Empty nester (noun): Cha mẹ có con cái sống xa nhà

---------------
For listening:


131053 top -

Woa, this kind of lesson is for people with high-level in English. It's as hard as rock. But it's very, very interesting!

131130 top -

Yes, cô MeoMup. The purpose of this topic is for people who are trying to improve their reading and listening skills. However, VOA always uses simple words in its articles. So, it's not that hard to understand the whole story.

131179 top -

Where Did 'OK' Come From?
Source: VOA


Millions of people all over the world use the word OK. In fact, some people say the word is used more often than any other word in the world. OK means all right or acceptable. It expresses agreement or approval. You might ask your brother, "Is it okay if I borrow your car?” Or if someone asks you to do something, you might say, “Okay, I will.” Still, language experts do not agree about where the word came from.

Some people say it came from the Native American Indian tribe known as the Choctaw. The Choctaw word okeh means the same as the American word okay. Experts say early explorers in the American West spoke the Choctaw language in the nineteenth century. The language spread across the country.

But many people dispute this. Language expert Allen Walker Read wrote about the word OK in reports published in the nineteen sixties. He said the word began being used in the eighteen thirties. It was a short way of writing a different spelling of the words “all correct.” Some foreign-born people wrote “all correct” as “o-l-l k-o-r-r-e-c-t,” and used the letters O.K. Other people say a railroad worker named Obadiah Kelly invented the word long ago. They said he put the first letters of his names -- O and K -- on each object people gave him to send on the train.

Still others say a political organization invented the word. The organization supported Martin Van Buren for president in eighteen forty. They called their group, the O.K. Club. The letters were taken from the name of the town where Martin Van Buren was born — Old Kinderhook, New York.

Not everyone agrees with this explanation, either. But experts do agree that the word is purely American. And it has spread to almost every country on Earth.

Then there is the expression A-OK. This means everything is fine. A-OK is a space-age expression. It was used in nineteen sixty-one during the flight of astronaut Alan Shepard. He was the first American to be launched into space. His flight ended when his spacecraft landed in the ocean, as planned. Shepard reported: "Everything is A-OK.”

However, some experts say the expression did not begin with the space age. One story says it was first used during the early days of the telephone to tell an operator that a message had been received.

There are also funny ways to say okay. Some people say okey-dokey or okey-doke. These expressions were first used in the nineteen thirties. Today, a character on the American television series, “The Simpsons,” says it another way. He says okely-dokely.


---------------
For listening:



--------------------------
Cho BLTC hỏi: Các bạn ở VN có vào website của VOA được không?

131979 top -

I uasually say OK, especially when I talk on the phone. But now I clearly know that how and where and when the word OK come from.

Thank you BLTC for posting this article. By the way, would you please give us the link of website of VOA?

132006 top -
@BaoLaTinhChua:

http://www1.voanews.com/
Is it right?

134903 top -

Hello, BLTC, where have you been? I haven't seen you for years!

135005 top -

Hello cô MeoMup and all,

I've been busying myself with study and attempting to prepare for the final exams on summer semester. That's why I've been so quiet and unactive lately. Hopefully I'll have more free time soon (when fall comes) so that I can share and do more activities on English with you guys regularly again.

Have a nice weekend, all!


------------------------
@woan: Yes, it's correct!

135516 top -

BLTC, good luck for the final exams on summer semester.
See you soon.
MM

135520 top -

Nicknames for Los Angeles
From the Big Apple to the Big Orange
Source: VOA


A nickname is a shortened form of a person's name. A nickname can also be a descriptive name for a person, place or thing. Many American cities have nicknames. These can help establish an identity, spread pride among citizens and build unity. Nicknames can also be funny.

Los Angeles, California is the second largest city in population, after New York City. Los Angeles has several nicknames. One is simply the city’s initials, L.A. It is also called the City of Angels because Los Angeles means “the angels” in Spanish.

Los Angeles often has warm, sunny weather. So another nickname is City of Flowers and Sunshine. New York is called The Big Apple. So Los Angeles is sometimes called The Big Orange because of the fruit that grows in that city’s warm climate.

The American motion picture and television industries are based in Los Angeles. So it is not surprising that it is called The Entertainment Capital of the World. Many films are made in the area of Los Angeles called Hollywood. Millions of people visit the area. No trip to Los Angeles is complete without seeing the word "Hollywood" spelled out in huge letters on a hillside.

Many movie stars live in Los Angeles. The city is sometimes called Tinseltown. This nickname comes from the shiny, bright and often unreal nature of Hollywood and the movie industry.

Another nickname for Los Angeles is La-La Land, using the first letters of Los and Angeles. This means a place that is fun and not serious, and maybe even out of touch with reality.

The city of Los Angeles is part of Los Angeles County. There are many smaller cities in the county. Beverly Hills, with its rich people, is one of them. So is Pasadena, with its Rose Parade each New Year's Day. So are the coastal cities of Santa Monica and Malibu, where people like to ride surfboards on the Pacific Ocean waves.

A good place for watching unusual-looking people is Venice, an area on the west side of Los Angeles. A system of waterways designed after the Italian city of Venice has been built there.

Many people love Los Angeles for its warm sunny weather, beautiful mountains and beaches, and movie stars. That includes Randy Newman, who sings about his hometown.


---------------
For listening:


135522 top -
Website đó ở Việt Nam vào được.
What is your major btw? (if you don't mind)

135544 top -

The cops in Los Angeles always shout: "LAPD! Don't move! Stay where you are!"

135549 top -

@woan: My major is nursing.

135767 top -

Nicknames for New Orleans and Las Vegas
From the Big Easy to Sin City
Source: VOA


Many cities have interesting nicknames. Nicknames can help establish the identity of a city. They can also spread pride among its citizens.

New Orleans, Louisiana probably has more nicknames than any other American city. One web site lists more than twenty nicknames. The most famous is The Big Easy. It describes the gentle, slow and easy-going way of life in New Orleans.

So how did the city get this nickname? In the early nineteen hundreds, there was a dance hall in New Orleans called The Big Easy. But the nickname did not become famous until the early nineteen seventies. That was when a Louisiana newspaper writer began calling New Orleans by this name. She compared the easy-going way of life there to the hurried pace of life in New York City.

In nineteen seventy, James Conaway wrote a crime novel called “The Big Easy.” The story was set in New Orleans. In nineteen eighty-seven, that book was made into a film which made the nickname even more popular.

New Orleans has other nicknames. One of them is The Crescent City. During the nineteenth century, new neighborhoods expanded out from what is now known as the French Quarter. These areas followed the great curve of the Mississippi River, giving New Orleans the shape of a crescent.

Another nickname is the Birthplace of Jazz because that kind of music started in New Orleans. It is also called Mardi Gras City for the wild celebrations and parades that take place there every year. And, there is a nickname that uses the short way to write New Orleans and Louisiana. It you do not want to use the complete name, you can call the city NOLA.

One of America’s most exciting cities is Las Vegas, Nevada. There you can play games of chance all night long. The city’s night clubs are also open all night for eating, drinking and dancing. So it is not surprising that Las Vegas is called The Gambling Capital of the World and The Entertainment Capital of the World.

Another nickname for Las Vegas is Sin City because you can find many kinds of adult entertainment there. Many people who come to Las Vegas in hopes of winning lots of money do not know when to stop gambling. They may lose a great deal of their hard-earned money. So the city is also called something that sounds like Las Vegas – Lost Wages.

In nineteen sixty-four, Elvis Presley starred in a movie called "Viva Las Vegas." Here he sings the title song from that movie.


---------------
For Listening:


136054 top -

BLTC wrote:Many people who come to Las Vegas in hopes of winning lots of money do not know when to stop gambling. They may lose a great deal of their hard-earned money. So the city is also called something that sounds like Las Vegas – Lost Wages.

Very interesting!

136060 top -




PRONUNCIATION

LESSON 1
LESSON 2
LESSON 3
LESSON 4
LESSON 5
LESSON 6
LESSON 7
LESSON 8


PRACTICE 1
PRACTICE 2
PRACTICE 3
PRACTICE 4
PRACTICE 5
PRACTICE 6
PRACTICE 7
PRACTICE 8
PRACTICE 9
PRACTICE 10
PRACTICE 11
PRACTICE 12
PRACTICE 13
PRACTICE 14
PRACTICE 15
PRACTICE 16
PRACTICE 17
PRACTICE 18
PRACTICE 19
PRACTICE 20
PRACTICE 21
PRACTICE 22
PRACTICE 23
PRACTICE 24
PRACTICE 25
PRACTICE 26
PRACTICE 27
PRACTICE 28
PRACTICE 29
PRACTICE 30
PRACTICE 31
PRACTICE 32
PRACTICE 33
PRACTICE 34
PRACTICE 35
PRACTICE 36
PRACTICE 37
PRACTICE 38
PRACTICE 39
PRACTICE 40
PRACTICE 41
PRACTICE 42
PRACTICE 43
PRACTICE 44
PRACTICE 45
PRACTICE 46
PRACTICE 47
PRACTICE 48
PRACTICE 49
PRACTICE 50

------


GIỌNG MỸ

------

KARAOKE 1
KARAOKE 2
KARAOKE 3

------

MOTHERS' DAY

-----

THÁI TRINH (9x VN)

-----

CARTOON 1
CARTOON 2
CARTOON 3
CARTOON 4
CARTOON 5
CARTOON 6
CARTOON 7

-----

PROUD OF YOU

-----


CALIFORNIA 1
CALIFORNIA 2
CALIFORNIA 3

-----


. Alone
. And I Love Her
. Around The World
. As Long As You Love Me
. Aubrey
. Autumn Leaves
. Baby It's You
. Billie Jean
. Blowin' In The Wind
. Broken Vow
. Brother Louie
. Careless Whisper
. Close To You
. Diana
. Everyday I Love You
. Everyday I Love You
. Everthing I Own
. Fernando
. Forever Young
. Georgia On My Mind
. Good bye
. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
. Green Fields
. Hallelujah
. Hallelujah
. Happy Together
. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
. Hold Me For A While
. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart


. I Believe In You
. I Didn't Mean To Hurt You
. I Don't Like To Sleep Alone
. I Have Nothing
. I Swear
. I Will Follow Him
. I Will Surrvive
. I'm Mr. Lonely
. If
. If Life Is So Short
. If We Hold On Together
. I'll Be There
. I Saved The World Today
. It Must Have Been Love
. Kingston Town
. Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone
. Learn To Be Lonely
. Let's Talk About Love
. Livin' On A Prayer
. Loneliness
. Love Letters In The Sand
. Love To Be Loved By You
. Love Will Keep Us Alive


. Memory
. My Destiny
. My Endless Love
. My World
. Night In White Satin
. No Milk Today
. Oh, My Papa!
. One Of Us
. One In A Million
. Over The Mountains
. Rains And Tears
. Rhinestone Cowboy
. Sleeping Sun
. So This Is Christmas


. Soledad
. Sometimes When We Touch
. SOS
. SOS For Love
. Speak Softly Love
. Summer Wine
. Sunny Came Home
. Take Me Home, Country Road
. Tears In Heaven
. Thank You For The Music
. The Day You Went Away
. The Guitar Man
. The Last Waltz
. The Piper
. The Way You Look Tonight
. The World Is Not Enough
. Too Young
. Trouble Is A Friend
. Unbreak My Heart
. YMCA
. You're Always On My Mind
. You're My Everything
. You Decorated My Life
. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
. You Light Up My Life
. You'll Be In My Heart
. You'll Be In My Heart
. You Sang To Me
. You've Got A Friend
. Wishing You Were Here
. Woman
. Words



update: 30-12-2011
PayPal về email:
[email protected]


Chi phiếu gửi về:
Jimmy Ton
4369 46 St.
San Diego, CA 92115



Việt Nam chuyển tới:
Phạm Thị Tuyết Phượng
Số tài khoản: 4973099
ACB Châu Văn Liêm, TPHCM



Ý kiến về Quỹ VietDitru

Image
Image