The palm-forward“V”sign, formed by raising andspreading the first two fingers1 ,has three differentmeanings in American culture.The most popularmeaning of the“V”sign was invented in 1941 by aBelgian, Victor De Lavalaye. Wanting a symbol forresistance to the Nazi2 occupation, he came upwith the single letter“V”, which stood not only for hisown first name3, but also for English victory, Flemish virijheid, and French victoire. Thesymbolism of the sign spread very quickly, and Winston Churchill4 used it constantly in publicappearance. Thus throughout the 1940 s and 1950 s, the gesture meant simply“victory”.Thesecond meaning came in the 1960 s. Because of its military implication, Americanantiwarprotestors used the sign sarcastically against the arms, so that it became known as the“ peacesign”. In the 1970s, the“V”sign , which had lost its military implication, was a commongreeting among freedom lovers, acid heads5, political radicals, and ultimately, young people ingeneral. 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”, whichresembles“ horns”, behind friends’heads in group snapshots. The are unknowingly reproducingsomething that southern Europeans would find highly offensive. This mischief, called“horns ofthe Devil”, is a variant of the European“ horns”gesture, which is obscene. Here the“V”signmeans“Your wife has been cheating on you ”or, when placed behind another’s head,“His wifehas been cheating on him”. In the United States, the gesture is typically given with the palmfacing the viewer. The British use both this version and an older, palm-backward version; thelatter is obscene in American culture, and corresponds to the American“ finger”6 . Churchill gotsome surprised stares in 1941 when, evidently unaware of the vulgar usage, he gave thepalm-backward“V”to British troops. In England today you could have to be a social hermit notto understand the distinction. Astonishingly, however, Margaret Thatcher7 repeatedChurchill’s error after her victory in the 1979 election.


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 . Theyare______________________ 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 theEuropean

“ horns”gesture, which is______________________ 淫秽的 .

Ⅱ. Exp lain the fo llowing phras es in bold typ e in yo ur own words :

1. If you kee p yo ur fin ge rs crossed , you ______________________.

2. If you are all fin ge rs a nd thumbs , you ______________________ .

3. If you ha ve a finger in every pie , you______________________ .

4. If you thumb a lift, you______________________.


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

2. 1. hope that something will happen the way youwant2. 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


手势 “V”

掌 心向外, 竖起食指和中指, 并向两边展开, 这样就构成了一个V 形手势。V 形手势在美国文化中有三个不同的含义。V 形手势最为普及的一个意思是在1941 年由比利时人维克托· 德· 拉维雷创造发明的。他伸出双指, 作出字母V 的手势来表示他对纳粹占领比利时的反抗。这个V 不仅代表他的名字, 而且还象征英语victory 胜利 、佛兰芒语virijheid 胜利 和法语victoire 胜利 这三个单词。这一手势的象征意义迅速地传播开来, 温斯顿· 邱吉尔在公众场合就曾多次使用。因此, 在20 世纪40 年代和50 年代, 这个手势只是表示“ 胜利”的意思。V 形手势的第二个意思出现在20 世纪60 年代。由于这个手势含有军事方面的意思,美国反战者就讽刺性地用这个手势来反对战争, 于是, 这个手势开始被称为“ 和平的标志”。20 世纪70 年代, V 形手势失去了军事方面的含义, 成为热爱自由的人、嗜用迷幻药的人、政治激进主义者们见面问候时常用的手势, 并最终在广大年轻人流传开来。也就是说, 大约到20 世纪70 年代中期, 这个手势就不再表示使用者的人生观了。V 形手势的第三个意思最为古老, 也少为人用。在集体照相的时候, 美国孩子常开玩。笑 地在朋友的脑袋后面摆出手势V, 样子就像动物的角一样。他们无意中做出了一个被南欧人视为相当无礼的动作。这种被称作“ 魔鬼之角”的恶作剧是欧洲“ 角形”手势的变体,这种手势被认为具有淫秽的意味。在南欧, 手势V 表示“ 你的老婆对你不忠”。在别人脑袋后面做出这种手势, 如同在说“ 他的老婆对他不忠”。

在美国, 人们通常将掌心向外, 面向对方做出这个手势; 而英国人有时将掌心对着别人, 有时则像前人那样, 掌心向内。掌心向内的V 形手势在美国文化里被看成是下流动作, 与美国人竖起中指一样具有淫秽的含义。1941 年, 邱吉尔掌心朝内, 向英国军队摆出了V 形手势。一些士兵吃惊地盯着他看, 显然他对这个手势的下流含义还全然不知。如今, 在英国, 如果你还不知道掌心向内和向外的差别的话, 你一定是个不问世事的隐士。然而, 令人惊讶的是, 玛格丽特· 撒切尔在赢得1979 年的选举之后, 又重蹈邱吉尔的覆辙, 做了一个掌心向内的V 形手势。


The Ar t Of Bowing

The degree to which a bowing or lowering of thebody is emphasized varies from one culture toanother . In many cultures today the full bow orother dramatic lowering of the body is generallyreserved for formal occasions such as greeting ahead of state or monarch. For example, Britishcommoners standing before the queen or beinghonored by royalty in a ceremony of knighthood would be expected to bow, curtsey, or kneel.As part of their religious practices some Christians kneel, Catholics genuflect, and Muslimskowtow3 , an extreme form of body lowering in which the forehead is brought to the ground.Although bowing, as a worldwide phenomenon, has been on the decrease in recent decades, ithas survived in German culture and exists to an even greater degree in modern Japan, wherebows are an integral part of everyday social interaction . In the United States, however,bowing or any type of submissive body posture is particularly irritating, for it tends toconnote undue formality, aristocracy, and a nonverbal denial of egalitarianism. Nowhere isbowing more important to the process of communication today than in Japanese society. Asan indication of how pervasive bowing is in present-day Japan, some experts point out that“some female department store employees have the sole function of bowing to customers atdepartment store escalators and that many Japanese bow repeatedly to invisible partners atthe other end of a telephone line”. Bowing initiates interaction between two Japanese , itenhances and embellishes many parts of the ensuing conversation, and it is used to signalthe end of a conversation. Although Westerners, in a very general

sense, understand the meaning attached to bowing, appropriate bowing in Japan is anintricate and complex process. Reciprocal bowing is determined largely by rank. In fact, it ispossible to tell the relative social status of the two communicators by the depth of their bows the deeper the bow, the lower the status . When bowing deeply, it is conventional to leanslightly to the right to avoid bumping heads. The person of lower status is expected toinitiate the bow, and the person of higher status determines when the bow is completed.People of equivalent status are expected to bow at the same depth while starting andfinishing at the same time.


Ⅰ. Are these statements True or False a ccording to the article ?

1. Nowadays the full bow or other dramatic lowering of the body is still widely acceptedaroundthe world.

2. Bowing is prevalent in Japan while the situation is quite different in America.

3. It is customary to lean slightly to the left to avoid bumping heads when bowing deeply.

Ⅱ. Complete the sentence s with the proper forms of the words given in parentheses :

1. There is a __________ tend that more and more people will move from cities to thecountryside.

2. He __________ repeat fails to pass the exam.

3. A spirit of hopelessness__________ pervasive the country.

4. He is such a chauvinist that he expects his wife to be meek and __________ submit.

5. The government has__________ initial a new house-building program.


Ⅰ. 1. F 2. T 3 . F

Ⅱ. 1. tendency 2. repeatedly 3 . pervaded 4 .submissive 5. initiated



文化不同, 鞠躬或弯腰的角度也大不相同。在今天的许多文化里, 深深鞠一躬或大幅度弯腰通常只有在正式场合中才会出现, 比如向国家元首或君主致意。举例来说, 英国平民站在女王面前或被王室加封为爵士时应该鞠躬, 或行屈膝礼, 抑或屈膝下跪。在一些宗教仪式里, 基督教徒会下跪, 天主教徒会行屈膝礼, 而穆斯林则会跪拜叩头, 即将身体弯曲到极限, 直到前额贴地为止。作为一种世界性的文化现象, 近几十年使用鞠躬这种礼节的人却越来越少, 但鞠躬却在德国文化中保存下来, 在现代日本社会更是大为盛行, 在那里鞠躬已成为日常社会交往不可缺少的一部分。然而, 在美国, 鞠躬或任何一种谦恭的身体姿势都让美国人极其反感, 因为这些举动往往意味着不必要的繁文缛节、贵族习气, 以及对平等主义的一种非语言性否定。当今, 没有哪一个社会像日本社会一样, 鞠躬在人际交往过程中如此重要。为了显示鞠躬在当今日本社会根深蒂固的程度, 一些专家指出,“ 在日本百货商店里, 一些女雇员的工作就是在商店的自动扶梯边向顾客鞠躬, 而且有许多日本人会向电话线另一端看不见的人 不停地鞠躬。”鞠躬是两个日本人交往的开端, 在随后的对话里鞠躬还起到推波助澜和锦上添花的作用, 它还被用来暗示对话的结束。尽管西方人大致明白鞠躬所包含的意思, 但在日本, 恰到好处的鞠躬是非常复杂、很难把握的过程。互相鞠躬主要是由社会等级决定的。事实上, 我们可以通过两个人鞠躬的幅度来判断他们相对的社会地位 鞠躬幅度越大,社会地位就越低 。当两个人互相深鞠一躬的时候, 按照常规他们会把头微微斜向右边, 以避免碰到对方的脑袋。两个人中社会地位低的那个人应该首先开始鞠躬, 而地位高的人决定鞠躬结束的时间。地位相同的人互相鞠躬的时候, 鞠躬的幅度相同, 并且同时开始, 同时结束。


Posture Talks

In the United States, where“casualness”is considereda great virtue, people often sit with feet on chairs oreven desks. They sometimes sit with their backsides buttocks on tables and desks as a way ofexpressing their individuality or career attitude.They feel comfortable crossing their legs and sittingwith one ankle on the other knee . Poor posture —slumping oneself over while sitting in a chair and placing feet on whatever object is around — isa common U. S. behavior. It is designed to show that the person is casual, honest, sincere,and“ just one of the folks ”. In the United States, even millionaires, corporation presidents,government leaders, and movie stars try to pretend they are ordinary people by using“the U.S. slouch ”and“ the feet-on-the -furniture”maneuver.

Unfortunately, other countries interpret this behavior as being sloppy and as reflecting ageneral lack of alertness, interest, and respect. People from the United States do not usuallyrealize that what they regard as casualness is viewed very differently and very negatively bymany people around the world.

People in many cultures are expected to sit erect. Such cultures include many countriesin LatinAmerica, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In the United States, slouching is acceptable and isa positive sign of being casual and friendly. In the United States, crossing legs is a sign of goodetiquette . Many cultures say thatcrossing legs is okay, but placing the ankle on the knee whilecrossing one’s legs is totally unacceptable .

One reason for not putting the ankle on the knee is that when you do so, one foot or the soleof the shoe is usually pointing at someone . This is a very severe insult in many countriesaround the world, especially Muslim countries. Under few circumstances should you point yourfoot at anyone , because the foot is cons idered the least sacred part of the body in manysocieties. In some countries such as Nepal, pointing the foot at a cow is an outrage , becausethe cow is a sacred animal. In Buddhist countries, pointing the foot at statue of the Buddha isa severe offense. Moving objects with the feet is very rude in Thailand, Nepal, and Taiwan. InBangladesh, you should not touch books with a foot or shoe; if you do, you must make anelaborate apology.

As you can tell, posture is a very strong messenger. It conveys much about a particu larperson. Posture in many cultures says something about the person’s honesty, alertness,intelligence, religiousness, respect, and overall decency — or the opposite of all of these !Posture tells people whether they want to get to know a stranger, and it also tells what to thinkabout the people already known.


Translate the sentences into English with the words in parentheses :

1. 这座纪念碑是为内战中牺牲的烈士们而建立的。 erect

2. 我希望他不会因为我拒绝他的邀请而觉得受到了侮辱。 insult

3. 他把我的沉默看作是软弱的标志。 interpret


1. This monument was erected in honour of the martyrs during the civil war.

2. I hope he won’t feel insulted if I turn down his invitation.

3. He interpreted my silence as a sign of weakness.



在 美国, 人们坐着的时候常常把双脚放在椅子甚至桌子上, 在那里“ 不拘小节”被认为是一种优良品德。有时, 他们坐在工作台或办公桌上, 以此来表达自己的个性或职业态度。美国人坐着的时候常会两腿交叉, 他们觉得将一只脚踝放到另一条腿的膝盖上很舒服。懒散地坐在椅子上, 并将双脚随便搁在近旁的一个东西上——— 这种姿势很不雅观, 但在美国相当普遍。人们摆出这种姿势旨在表明自己的随意、诚实和真诚, 告诉别人自己是“ 一个实在人”。在美国, 即使是百万富翁、公司总裁、政府领导以及电影明星都会做出“ 美国式的懒散样子”和“ 脚放在家具上”的姿势, 借这种方式来表现自己也是一个普通人。不幸的是, 在其他国家里, 这种行为方式被视为邋遢随便, 反映了摆出这种姿势的人缺乏活力、兴趣以及对他人的尊敬。美国人往往意识不到, 他们视为不拘小节的姿势在世界上许多人的眼里却具有截然不同的、甚至十分消极的意义。许多文化认为人坐着的时候要腰板挺直。持有这种观点的国家包括拉丁美洲、亚洲、欧洲和中东的许多国家; 而在美国, 懒散的姿势是可以接受的, 是随意和友好的明确标志。在美国, 交叉双腿是有礼貌的标志, 而许多文化认为, 交叉双腿是可以的, 但在交叉双腿的时候将脚踝放到膝盖上是令人无法接受的。不能将脚踝放到膝盖上的一个原因是, 当你这样做的时候, 你的脚或鞋底通常是指向别人的。在许多国家里, 这种行为被视为是对别人的一种极大的侮辱, 特别在穆斯林国家里更是如此。你不应将脚指向任何人, 因为在许多社会里, 脚被视为身体中最不神圣的一个 部位。在尼泊尔这样的国家里, 将脚指向一头牛是一种暴行, 因为牛在那里被视为圣物。

在佛教国家里, 将脚指向佛祖的塑像是对佛教的极大冒犯。在泰国、尼泊尔和台湾, 用脚移动物体是粗鲁的行为。在孟加拉国, 你不能用脚或鞋接触书籍。如果这样做了, 你必须要认真道歉。

如你所知, 身体姿势能传播很多信息。在许多文化里, 姿势可以告诉人们一个人具有以下品质——— 诚实、机敏、聪明、信奉宗教、彬彬有礼、大方得体; 姿势也可能让人们知道这个人根本不具备这些美德! 身体姿势告诉人们一个人是否想跟陌生人交往, 同样也让人们了解了一个已经认识的人。



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