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2018年12月英语六级阅读专练3

2018-08-31 11:09

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  The "V" Sign

  The palm-forward "V" sign, formed by raising and spreading the first two fingers, has three different meanings in American culture. The most popular meaning of the "V" sign was invented in 1941 by a Belgian, Victor De Lavalaye. Wanting a symbol for resistance to the Nazi's occupation, he came up with the single letter "V" , which stood not only for his own first name, but also for English victory, Flemish virijheid, and French victoire. The symbolism of the sign spread very quickly, and Winston Churchill used it constantly in public appearance. Thus throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the gesture meant simply "victory". The second meaning came in the 1960s. Because of its military implication, American antiwar protestors used the sign sarcastically against the arms, so that it became known as the "peace sign". In the 1970s, the "V" sign , which had lost its military implication, was a common greeting among freedom lovers, acid heads, political radicals, and ultimately, young people in general. So by about the middle of the 1970s, it ceased to give clue to the user's philosophy. The third meaning is the oldest and least common. American children jokingly put "V", which resembles "horns", behind friends' heads in group snapshots. They are unknowingly reproducing something that southern Europeans would find highly offensive. This mischief, called "horns of the Devil", is a variant of the European "horns" gesture, which is obscene. Here the "V" sign means "your wife has been cheating on you" or, when placed behind another's head, "his wife has been cheating on him". In the United States, the gesture is typically given American "finger" . Churchill got some surprised stares in 1941 when, evidently unaware of the vulgar usage, he gave the palm-backward "V" to British troops. In England today you could have to be a social hermit not to understand the distinction. Astonishingly, however, Margaret Thatcher repeated Churchill's error after her victory in the 1979 election.

  阅读自测

  Ⅰ. Fill in the blanks with proper words :

  American children______________________ ( 开玩笑地) put "V", which______________________ ( 类似) "horns", behind friends' heads in group ______________________( 快照) . They are______________________ ( 无意中地) reproducing something that southern Europeans would find highly______________________ ( 无礼的) . This mischief, called "horns of the Devil", is a ______________________( 变体) of the European "horns" gesture, which is______________________ ( 淫秽的) .

  Ⅱ. Explain the following phrases in bold type in your own words :

  1. If you keep your fingers crossed , you ______________________.

  2. If you are all fingers a nd thumbs , you ______________________ .

  3. If you have a finger in every pie , you______________________ .

  4. If you thumb a lift, you______________________.

  参考答案

  I. jokingly / resembles / snapshots / unknowingly / offensive / variant / obscene

  II.

  1. hope that something will happen the way you want

  2. are clumsy or awkward with your hands

  3. are involved in everything that is happening

  4. try to get a free ride in a motor vehicle ; hitchhike

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