李华正为了完成一项作业而焦头烂额。她和Larry要用到两个常用语：Do something till you're blue in the face和run a tight ship.
Larry: Hey, Lihua, are you ready to go to dinner? I'm starving.
Larry: You've been sitting there for almost four hours! Let's go get something to eat, and then you can come back and think about it some more.
Larry: Look, Lihua, if you don't eat anything, you can sit there and think about your project till you're blue in the face and you still won't get any good ideas.
Larry: That's just an expression, Lihua. If you do something till you're blue in the face, you're doing something over and over again for a very long time - and making no progress.
LH: 哦，Do something till you're blue in the face，就是说反复做一件事，但一直不成功。你是说我瘪了半天也写不出论文，可还拼命地想。但是，我不管，我非写出来不可!
Larry: But, Lihua, I'm starving!
LH: Larry, 别嚷嚷了，就算你一直抱怨到you're blue in the face! 我是不会理你的。
Larry: OK, OK. I get the point. Maybe I can help you. What's the project about?
LH: 这就对了! 这个作业是美国历史课的。我们小组的每个人都要介绍一个美国历史人物，可是别的组员都是美国人，他们的历史知识当然比我丰富啊!
Larry: Don't put so much pressure on yourself. Why don't you ask your group for some help? That would be more productive than sitting here until you're blue in the face.
Larry: Hmm...I think I have an idea, Lihua. Why don't you do your report on George Washington! He was a military leader who ran a very tight ship in the American Revolution.
LH: A tight ship? 一艘很紧的船？乔治华盛顿不是美国第一任总统吗？难道他还在美国独立战争期间当过船长？？
Larry: No, he wasn't the captain of a ship; he was the Commander in Chief of the entire army! And he ran a very tight ship with his soldiers - meaning, he was a very strict leader.
LH: 原来如此! To run a tight ship就是指纪律严明的领导风格，严格管理。
Larry: That's right. He ran such a tight ship, in fact, that he was able to lead an army of largely untrained soldiers through a very harsh winter during the war.
Larry: Well, Lihua, a good leader can run a tight ship no matter how bad the situation is.
LH: Larry, 这倒让想起了我们的组长。她对我们特别严格。
Larry: It certainly sounds like your group leader runs quite a tight ship, but a good leader can command the respect of his soldiers by setting a good example, not yelling. Without that respect, you could yell until you're blue in the face and you still wouldn't be able to lead effectively.
LH: 没错! 严格管理并不等于每天冲手下人大喊大叫。我们这个小组的组长人特别厉害，可说实话没什么威信。我真希望下次分到别的组，不要再待在她的tight ship上。
Larry: I hope so, too. Now, since you have your topic, let's go eat pizza!
LH: Pizza?? 不行! 我在减肥!
Larry: Oh, Lihua, you're so skinny already! You could diet until you're blue in the face and it won't make any difference. Don't be so hard on yourself!
LH: 啊？你说我已经很瘦了，所以再怎么减肥也不会变更瘦？得了! 我现在比在中国时胖了好多，我要看牢自己的嘴，I'm going to run a tight ship，只吃健康食品!
Larry: Not another tight ship! I think I'm getting sea-sick.
今天李华学了两个常用语。一个是 Do something till you're blue in the face，意思是“重复做某事，但是不成功”。另一个是run a tight ship，意思是“严格管理”。