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敢说名人演讲英语:无意中的剽窃 马克·吐温

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Unconscious Plagiarism by  Mark Twain

     Mr.Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I would have traveled a much greater distance than I have come to witness the paying of honors to Dr. Holmes. For my feeling toward him has always been one of peculiar warmth.When one receives a letter from a great man for the first time in his life, it is a large event to him, as all of you know by your own experience. You never can receive letters enough from famous men afterward to obliterate that one,or dim the memory of the pleasant surprise it was, and the gratification it gave you. Lapse of time cannot make it commonplace or cheap.

     Well, the first great man who ever wrote me a letter was our guest---Oliver Wendell Holmes. He was also the first great  literary man I ever stole anything from (laughter), and that is how I came to write to him and and he to me. When my first book was new a friend of mine said to me, "The dedication is very neat." " Yes," I said, " I thought it was." My friend said:" I always admired it, even before I saw it in the 'Innocents Abroad.'" I naturally said, " What do you mean? Where did you ever see it before?" " Well, I saw it first some year ago as Dr. Holmes's dedication to his ' Songs in Many Keys." " Of course, my first impulse was to prepare this man's remains for burial (laughter),but upon reflection I said I would reprieve him for a moment or two, and give him a chance to prove his assertion if he could. We stepped into a bookstore, and he did prove it. I had really stolen that dedication, almost word for word. I could not imagine  how this curious thing had happened; for I knew one thing, for a dead certainty,---that a certain amount of pride always goes along with a teaspoonful of brains, and that this pride protects a man from deliberately stealing other people's ideas.That is what a teaspoonful of brains will do for a man, ---and admirers had often told me I had nearly a basketful, though they were rather reserved as to the size of the basket.(Laughter)

     However, I thought the thing out and solved the mystery. Two years before I have been laid up a couple of weeks in the Sandwich Isalands,and had read and reread Dr .Holmes's poems until my mental reservoir was filled up with them to the brim.The dedication lay on top and handy (laughter), so by and by I unconsciously stole it. Perhaps I unconsciously stole the rest of the volume, too, for many people have told me that my book was pretty poetical, in one way or another. Well, of course, I wrote Dr.Holmes and told him I hadn't meant to steal, and he wrote back and said in the kindest way that it was all right and no harm done; and added that he believed we all unconsciously worked over ideas gathered in reading and hearing, imagining they were original with ourselves. He stated a truth, and did it in such a pleasant way, and salved over my sore spot so gently and so healingly, that I was rather glad I had committed the crime, for the sake of the letter. I afterward called on him and told him to make perfectly free with any ideas of mine that struck him as being good protoplasm for poetry.(Laughter) He could see by that that there wasn't anything mean about me; so we got along right from the start.

     I have met Dr. Holmes many times since; and lately he said, ---however, I am wandering wildly away from the one thing which I got on my feet to do: that is, to make my compliments to you, my fellow teachers of the great public , and likewise to say I am right glad to see that Dr.Holmes is still in his prime and full of generous life; and as age is not determined by years,but by trouble and infirmities of mind and body, I hope it may be a very long time yet before any can truthfully say, " He is growing old".(Applause)

plagiarism

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n.

1. 抄袭;剽窃

 

peculiar\

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a.

1. 奇怪的;乖癖的;罕见的

He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.

他用一种奇特的眼神看着我。

2. (个人或团体)特有的,独具的;独特的[(+to)]

This style is peculiar to him.

这一风格是他独有的。

I have my own peculiar way of doing things.

我有自己独特的做事方式。

3. 特别的,特殊的

It is a matter of peculiar interest.

这是一件有特殊意义的事。

4. 【口】有点不舒服的[F]

I'm feeling a bit peculiar -- I think I'll go and lie down.

我感到有点儿不舒服--我想我要去躺一躺。

n.

1. 特权;特有财产

obliterate\

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vt.

1. 擦掉...的痕迹;冲刷(掉);消灭

The heavy rain obliterated all footprints.

大雨冲掉了所有的脚印。

2. 忘掉,忘却

Anne was eager to obliterate her error.

安妮极想忘却她的错误。

dim\

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a.

1. 微暗的;暗淡的

The light is too dim for me to read.

光线太暗,我无法看书。

2. 模糊的,朦胧的

A dim sound came from the next room.

从隔壁房间隐约传来声音。

3. (眼睛)模糊的,看不清楚的

Her eyesight grew dim with age.

她的视力因年岁的增长而变差了。

4. 【口】头脑迟钝的

He is a bit dim about her sarcastic remarks.

他不太领会她的挖苦话。

5. 悲观的,怀疑的

vt.

1. 使变暗淡;使变模糊

The new economic policy dimmed the popularity of the president.

新的经济政策使总统的声望下降。

vi.

1. 变暗淡;变模糊

Her eyes dimmed with tears.

她的眼睛被泪水弄模糊了。

gratification\

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n.

1. 满足;满意;喜悦[U]

To my immense gratification, he fell into the trap.

令我极为满意的是,他中了圈套。

2. 使人满意之事;可喜的事物[C]

His son's success was a great gratification to him.

他儿子的成功是令他深感快慰的事。

lapse\

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n.[C]

1. (时间的)流逝,间隔[(+of)]

Her grief over her child's death was not at all relieved by the lapse of time.

时间的推移并未减轻她的失子之痛。

2. 小错,失误

I had a lapse of memory.

我记错了。

3. 跌落,下降

a lapse of confidence

信心的丧失

4. 失检;偏离[(+from)]

5. 【律】(权力等的)消失,权力失效

vi.

1. 失检;背离[(+from)]

He sometimes lapses from good behavior.

他有时行为失检。

2. 陷入[(+into)]

We talked nonstop at first, but soon lapsed into silence.

开始我们谈个不停,但过不多久我们陷入了沉默。

3. (时间)流逝

Several hours lapsed before he woke up.

过了好几个小时他才醒。

4. (权力等)终止,失效

The lease has lapsed.

这一租约已经失效。

commonplace\

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n.[C]

1. 司空见惯的事

Jet travel is now a commonplace.

乘喷射机旅行现在是寻常的事。

2. 老生常谈;陈词滥调

3. 【古】备忘札记

a.

1. 平淡无味的;平凡的,普通的;陈腐的

The fashionable remarks of today often become the commonplace expressions of tomorrow.

今天流行的时髦话明天常常成为陈腐之言。

dedication\

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n.

1. 奉献,供奉[U]

2. 献堂典礼;揭幕仪式[C]

The archbishop attended the dedication of the new church.

主教出席了奉献新教堂的典礼。

3. 专心致力,献身[U][(+to)]

His dedication to teaching gained the respect of his colleagues.

他专心致力于教学的精神赢得了同事们的尊敬。

4. 献辞,题辞[C]

 

reprieve

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n.

1. 缓刑;暂缓;暂免

vt.

1. 暂缓对...处刑;暂时解救

assertion\

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n.

1. 断言,言明[C][+(that)]

We do not believe his assertion that he is innocent.

我们不相信他关于自己是无辜的声明。

2. (权利等的)主张,维护;(意见等的)坚持[U]

assertion of one's rights

对自己权利的维护

sore\

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a.

1. 痛的;疼痛发炎的;一碰就痛的[(+from)]

I have a sore throat.

我喉咙痛。

2. 惹人生气的;引起反感的[B]

His origins were a sore subject with him.

他的出身是个使他难堪的话题。

3. 【口】生气的,恼火的[F][(+at/about/over)]

She was sore at him for not inviting her to the party.

她因他没有邀请她去参加聚会而生他的气。

4. 痛心的,伤心的,悲痛的

The suffering of the refugees makes her heart sore.

难民的苦难使她心痛。

5. 极度的,剧烈的

She lived in sore poverty.

她过着极度贫穷的生活。

n.[C]

1. (身体上的)痛处;疮,溃疡

2. (精神上的)痛处,恨事,伤心事

Let's not reopen old sores.

我们可别再提旧时的伤心事

protoplasm

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n.

1. 【生】原生质[U]

infirmity\

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n.

1. 体弱,虚弱[U]

The old woman was suffering from age and infirmity.

那个老妇人受年老体弱之苦。

2. 疾病,病症[C][P1]

the infirmities of age

老年疾病

3. (意志等的)薄弱;弱点;缺点[C][P1]

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