Unit Two

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Unit Two: 

Unit Two All the Cabbie Had Was a Letter


Culture Note: Halloween One story says that, on that day, the disembodied(脱离肉体的) spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts(凯尔特人) believed all laws of space and time were suspended(暂停) during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle(混合) with the living. Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed(占有,控制). So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish(熄灭) the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable(不受欢迎). They would then dress up(装扮) in all manner of ghoulish(似鬼的) costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess. Some accounts(解释, 说法) tell of how the Celts would burn someone at the stake who was thought to have already been possessed, as sort of a lesson to the spirits. Other accounts of Celtic history debunk(揭穿)these stories as myth The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo(地狱边缘) for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite(加快, 促进) a soul's passage to heaven.


He must have been completely lost in something he was reading… -- He must have been absorbed in his reading. must have been/done: --To indicate a definite presumption about the things happened be lost in sth. – thinking so hard about something, or being so interested in something, that you do not notice what is happening around you Harry just stood there, lost in thought . Amy lay on her bed, totally lost in her book.


Is your cab available? – Is your car ready to go? 1. something that is available is able to be used or can easily be bought or found Tickets are available from the box office. available to do something Funds are available to assist teachers who want to attend the conference. available for No figures are available for the number of goods sold. 2. not busy and has enough time Collins was not available for comment on Thursday night.


…then said apologetically as I settled into the back seat.. -- He said with regret as I got into the back seat. settle--to put yourself or someone else in a comfortable position settle yourself in/on etc something Donna did not dare settle herself too comfortably into her seat, in case she fell asleep. The dog settled on the grass to enjoy its bone. --to end an argument or solve a disagreement settle a dispute/lawsuit/conflict/argument etc settle with She finally settled with her former employers for an undisclosed sum.


come to think of it /come to that (spoken) --used to mention something you have just realized or remembered 'Were there any letters for me?' 'Yes there were, come to think of it.' Come to think of it, George did seem a bit depressed yesterday. He had never expected to have a wife, or even a girlfriend come to that.


It might just as well have been a family. -- it might be regarded as a letter from a family member. may/might/could (just) as well a) used to mean that another course of action would have an equally good result The taxi was so slow we might just as well have gone on the bus. b) informal used when you do not particularly want to do something but you decide you should do it I suppose we may as well get started.


I’m not much of a hand at writing. --I’m not very good at writing letters. not be much of a something: to not be a good example of something or not be very good at something I'm not much of a dancer, I'm afraid. It wasn't really much of a storm.


correspondence— 1. the letters that someone sends and receives, especially official or business letters A secretary came in twice a week to deal with his correspondence. 2. the process of sending and receiving letters The magazine is unable to enter into any correspondence on medical matters. (be in) correspondence with somebody He had been in correspondence with her for several years before they finally met. All correspondence between us must cease. 3. a relationship or connection between two or more ideas or facts correspondence between There was no correspondence between the historical facts and Johnson's account of them.


I take it he’s someone you’ve known quite a while. --I guess he’s someone you’ve long known. take somebody/something for something: assume Of course I won't tell anyone! What do you take me for? (=what sort of person do you think I am?) I take it (=I assume) you've heard that Rick's resigned.


So we go way back. -- so we were together for a long time. way back --a long time ago We first met way back in the 70s.


You kind of lose touch…--you are just like out of touch with each other. kind of =sort of (spoken) a) used to say that something is partly true but does not describe the exact situation I sort of like him, but I don't know why. 'Do you know what I mean?' 'Sort of.' b) used when you are trying to describe something but it is difficult to find the right word or to be exact Then they started sort of chanting. It was sort of like really strange and mysterious, walking round this empty building. c) used to make what you are saying sound less strong or direct Well, I sort of thought we could go out together sometime. It was sort of a shock when I found out.


But things come up… --But things appear… come up—to appear or start to affect 【synonym】 arise I'm afraid I'll have to cancel our date -- something's come up . The same problems come up every time.


shrug--to raise and then lower your shoulders in order to show that you do not know something or do not care about something I just shrugged my shoulders and ignored him. Melanie shrugged and walked away. shrug something off --to treat something as unimportant and not worry about it We can't just shrug these objections off.


mean--to intend to do something or intend that someone else should do something mean to do something I've been meaning to ask you if you want to come for a meal next week. I didn't mean to upset you. mean somebody/something to do something I didn't mean this to happen at all.I never meant you to find out. mean for somebody to do something I didn't mean for her to get hurt. I'm sure she didn't mean it He may sound a bit rude at times, but he means well (=intends to be helpful or kind, even if it does not seem like that) .


It had references to things that probably meant something to the driver…--It referred to things that probably were important to the driver. mean—used to indicate how important somebody/something is [not in progressive] mean something to somebody I know how much your work means to you. The medal meant a lot to him. mean the world to somebody/mean everything to somebody (=be very important to someone) He meant the world to her. Time meant nothing to me while I was travelling. Of course the relationship meant something to me.


…there are fewer and fewer still around… --there are less and less people coming. around--existing British Equivalent: about That joke's been around for years. Manson has a reputation as one of the most stylish designers around.


awful— 1.very bad or unpleasant 【synonym】 terrible The weather was awful. He is a pretty awful driver. That fridge smells awful. The last six months have been awful for her. 2. [only before noun] spoken used to emphasize how much or how good, bad etc something is An awful lot of people (a large number of people) died in the war. He made me feel an awful fool. 3. Adverb. (American spoken English) --very That kid's awful cute, with her red curls.


…he seemed to be all choked up… -- he seemed to be so sad that he couldn’t go on talking. choke --to be unable to breathe properly because something is in your throat or there is not enough air 1.choke somebody up--to make someone feel very upset and unable to talk This song really chokes me up. I was really choked up when I saw her again. 2.choke something up --to fill a place so that things cannot move through it be choked up with something The stream was choked up with weeds.


… then the entire class was laughing, and not in contempt and ridicule… --…the entire class was laughing but with respect. 1. a feeling that someone or something is not important and deserves no respect The contempt he felt for his fellow students was obvious. How could she have loved a man who so clearly held her in contempt ? 2. law disobedience or disrespect towards a court of law He was jailed for 7 days for contempt of court . He was found in contempt of the order.

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