来源:普特英语听力 2019-01-27
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Now, the VOA Learning English program, Words and Their Stories.

Today's word, pan, takes us back to the days of the gold rush in California.
On January twenty-fourth, eighteen forty-eight, a man named James Wilson Marshall discovered gold in the territory of CaliforniaThe news spread quicklyThousands rushed westThey traveled on foot, by horseback and by boat to reach the gold fieldsBy eighteen forty-nine, the great gold rush was on.
Towns and cities grew overnightThroughout the territoryin the mountains, along the streams and riversthousands of people searched for goldThey had food to eat and blankets to cover themThey also had mules to ride, and picks and pans to search for gold.
Some found areas of mountain rock thick with goldThese men got richBut such areas were few and quickly claimed by the first men to find themOthers searched for gold in the rivers coming down the mountainsThey were after pieces of gold that the rains had washed down from above.
The only way to find this gold was by panningFirst a gold miner put dirt in a metal pan and added waterThen he shook the pan so that the water would wash the dirtSlowly, he poured the water out of the panIf he was a lucky miner, pieces of gold would remain.
Across the nation, newspapers carried stories of the gold being foundOne told how thousands of people climbed the mountains looking for goldSome stories told how others followed the rivers and streams with pansEach one hoped that the place he claimed panned out wellhad some gold.
For many, gold mining did not pan outFor a few, it panned out wellBut in time, huge machines were built that could wash many tons of dirt at a timePanning died out.
The word, however, remained in the languageToday, Americans still say, "It panned out well," when something they have done pleases themA business, a discovery, a simple event pans out well if it is successfulUnhappily, sometimes things do not pan out.
In recent years, the word pan has taken on another meaningToday, it also means to criticizeHow it got this meaning is hard to discoverBut the job of a critic is to sometimes pan the work of a writer, artist or singer.
Sometimes, critics may pan a movie or play so severely that no one will go to see itThere are times, however, when a play became highly successful, even though most of the critics panned it without mercyThe pans should have washed out the playBut, as actors have pointed out, sometimes a critic's pan turns up gold.
This VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES was written by Herb SutcliffeI'm Warren Scheer.

文本来源于LK英语乐园[report整理] SENEWS-2015-01-04


1848年1月24日, 一名叫James Wilson Marshall的人在加利福尼亚州境内发现了黄金。这一新闻很快传开了。成千上万的人或徒步,或骑马,或乘船冲向西部加利福尼亚州。1849年,伟大的淘金热开始了。




全国各大报纸都报道了淘金热的故事,有的报道人们是怎样在山上寻找金子的,而有的报道人们是如何带着锅顺着河流溪水寻找金子的。每个人都希望他 们占有的地方能淘到金子。


然后,这个词语在语言中保留下来了,如今,美国人借此表达结果理想。生意、发现、小事成功了就用这个短语“pans out well”,但是如果不成功就用“do not pan out”。



本期美国之音慢速英语词语典故节目由Herb Sutcliffe撰写,我是Warren Scheer