36:chip in; snail mail

Michael和李华好几天没见了,今天刚好在校园里碰到,两个人就聊起来了。李华会学到两个常用语:to chip in和snail mail。

L: 嗨,Michael,Bob明天开生日party, 你去吗?

M: Yes, I'm going with a few friends. We decided to chip in and buy him a leather jacket. He's been talking about buying a jacket for a long time.

L: 你要和几个朋友一起去参加 party,还要给他买一件皮夹克。可是皮夹克很贵,你们是不是准备大家凑钱给他买?你刚才说chip in是不是就是这个意思呀?

M: That's right. To chip in, means to each contribute money to buy something.

L: 那就是我们中国人说的凑钱买东西。

M: Usually you say "chip in" if each person in a group of people gives some money to buy someone a present.

L: 要是每个人都出一些钱给谁买个礼物,人们一般就会说to chip in。

M: To give you another example, my mother said her colleagues always chip in to buy gifts to celebrate someone's birthday or when someone has a new baby.

L: 你妈妈的同事往往会凑钱买礼物给过生日的同事,或者给刚生孩子的同事。这跟上面你说的几个朋友凑钱给Bob买皮夹克差不多。To chip in还可以用在其它什么场合吗?

M: You can also use "to chip in" if you are going out with a group of people for dinner or a drink.

L: 噢,几个朋友一起出去吃饭,喝酒,每个人出一些钱来付帐也可以说是chip in。

M: Yes, the guys and I usually each chip in a few dollars when we go out for pizza on Friday nights。Last week, I paid 10 dollars, Bob chipped in $4, John gave $2. There is one guy who never chips in. He's cheap. It really makes me mad.

L: 等等,上星期五你们几个人出去吃比萨饼,你付了十美元,Bob出了四美元,John出了两美元。还有一个小气鬼,从来不出钱。他真好意思!Why don't you ditch him, 甩了他不得了!

M: Oh, we've been friends for many years, and it's only a few bucks!

L: 哟,既然朋友多年,也就几块钱的事,你不愿意甩了他,那你就别生气啊!Michael, 你手里拿的是什么?好象是信吧!现在还有人写信呀?

M: I got two letters today from a couple of old friends! I hardly ever get snail mail anymore.

L: 你收到两个老朋友给你的来信。你说什么?Snail mail, snail不就是蜗牛吗?mail 就是信。 信和蜗牛又有什么关系呀?

M: "Snail" is an animal known for its slow movement. "Snail mail" means real letters that you get in your mailbox.

L: 噢,我知道了。蜗牛走的很慢,所以snail mail就是指通过邮局寄的信。以前怎么没有听说snail mail这个说法呢?

M: Well, ever since e-mail became popular, people have used "snail mail" to talk about paper mail, because it is slower than e-mail.

L: 对,邮局寄的信和电子邮件相比真是要慢多了。叫它"蜗牛信"倒也挺形象的。

M: Yes, everyone is so busy nowadays, no one seems to have time to write snail mail anymore.

L: 你说得一点不错。大家都很忙,没有多少人还会坐在那儿写信。邮局里送来的邮件不是账单,就是广告。这些也能叫做snail mail 吗?

M: No, only a letter written to you by a friend or family member can really be called "snail mail".

L: 噢,人们只有把亲友写的信叫做snail mail。说起写信,我真是应该给我爸爸妈妈写信了。

M: I'm just too lazy to write snail mail. I think I'll go write some e-mails.

L: 你的亲友都在美国,都有电脑。我的父母在中国,他们还没有电脑,所以,I have to write snail mails to them。我得走了,下回再聊吧!

M: Okay, bye!

李华今天学到两个常用语,一个是:to chip in, 意思是凑钱买什么东西,或者是凑钱付大家一起吃饭的钱。另一个是:snail mai,这是指通过邮局寄的信。今天的[流行美语]就学习到这里,我们下次节目再会。

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