288 do-or-die; crator

李华和Larry在公园散步。最近全球性的经济衰退,让Larry忧心忡忡。今天我们要学两个常用语: do-or-die和 to crater.

LL: Well, Li Hua, I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying your job. But I can't help worrying about the overall economy. Last night I was out with my friend, Tom, you know.

LH: 我记得Tom, 他还在那家电脑公司上班吗?

LL: Tom lost his full-time job last month, and now he has only a part-time job at his local gym.

LH: 好可怜,谁会想到做电脑这一行的也会失业。

LL: That has happened just as his relationship with Sarah, his girlfriend, is reaching a crucial stage. Sarah is about to get her degree this June. For Tom, this is a "do-or-die" year.

LH: Do-or-Die? Tom生重病了吗?那他可真是太倒霉了。

LL: No, "Do or die" just means that Tom faces a key moment. He has to decide how he wants to handle his relationship with Sarah.

LH: 哦,你是说Tom要决定跟女朋友Sarah的关系。这跟他被公司裁员有什么直接关系吗?

LL: If he does nothing, Sarah may find a job and move to another city. If he wants to keep their relationship, he might decide to propose to her, but how can he, with only a part-time job?

LH: 我明白了,如果Tom现在不求婚,Sarah毕业会可能会在外地找到工作搬走,如果求婚,Tom现在又刚失业,没有经济财力。

LL: That's it exactly. Tom's situation is one of "do or die."

LH: 那你觉得,Tom在这种do or die的情况下,该怎么做呢?

LL: That's a tough call. Tom is doing everything he can to get a new job, but the job market is really tight now.

LH: 是啊,现在找工作真的很难,就连很多华尔街原来年薪十几万的经纪人都屈尊去做一些低酬劳的工作了。

LL: If Tom keeps his part-time job, perhaps he can slowly save up enough for an engagement ring by the time Sarah graduates.

LH: 这可能是最好的权宜之计了。不行,外面太冷,我们到对面的咖啡厅去坐坐吧。

LL: That was a good idea.


LH: 啊....一杯热咖啡下肚,我才慢慢暖和过来。你继续说,Tom怎么会被公司裁员的呢?

LL: Last November, business at Tom's company began to slow down. They tried to cut costs, first by not hiring new workers, then by asking the employees to take off every Friday, without pay.

LH: 公司让雇员每周五休息,这么说,Tom不是还能工作四天吗?

LL: That right, Tom still had his job at first, even if he was earning less. But it didn't work out. The company finally cratered and had to let everybody go.

LH: Cratered? 什么叫cratered?

LL: It means that the company went bankrupt. You see, a "crater" is a hole or pit in the ground, such as is caused by a bomb or a mine that has exploded.

LH: 哦,crater就是中文里说的弹坑。这跟公司倒闭有什么关系呢?

LL: If the company fails, it may be said to have a crash landing. And if the landing is uncontrolled, only a crater may remain.

LH: 我明白了。说公司倒闭,就好象是飞机硬着陆,如果控制不好,最后就只剩一个大坑了。I hope my company never craters. 哎,Larry, 你们公司现在情况怎么样?有可能会crater吗?

LL: I hope not. Usually there are warning signs before a company fails, such as cost-cutting measures.

LH: 对啊,倒闭也有先兆。我听说,去年美国很多大公司为了削减开支,取消了年底的圣诞派对,甚至减少了超级杯的广告经费。

LL: I'm afraid that this year and next will bring very tough times for many people, and companies, too. Even big car companies like GM and Chrysler face major problems. For them, it's also "do or die."

LH: 那政府雇员呢?他们应该没事吧。

LL: Generally, Americans believe that government jobs are stable, because the government will never "crater."

LH: 可我怎么听说加州政府为了省钱,要求雇员每个月第一个和第三个星期五不要来上班呢?这就损失了十六个小时的工资啊。

LL: Yes, but they still have their jobs.

MC: 各位听众,今天李华学了两个常用语。一个是do or die, 意思是生死关头。另一个是to crater,意思是公司倒闭。