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打电话的烦恼

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小编摘要:人生烦恼事,数也数不完;一部小电话,“吓破”英雄胆。

导读:

这个世界上有多少千奇百怪的人,就有多少千奇百怪的事。有些事对有些人来说平常得仿佛一日三餐,对另一些人来说却仿佛徒步走蜀道,难似上青天。打电话就是一个典型案例。一般人会想:不就是拿起听筒,报上姓名,嘘寒问暖,叙叙别情,有事聊正事,无事唠家常吗?这有什么难的?但对于有“电话恐惧症”的人来说,事实可远非这么简单。读了下文你就会知道:人生烦恼事,数也数不完;一部小电话,“吓破”英雄胆。

打电话的烦恼

My alluring wife was a Junior Leaguer, once upon a time, and got a big laugh out of a lecture she was obliged to attend on making “cold calls”. It was the first time either of us had ever heard the term, and she was especially amused at the idea of being coached about so simple a task as picking up the phone and calling a stranger.

我那漂亮迷人的太太曾经是青年联盟成员,有一次,她不得不去参加一个有关如何打“冷电话”的讲座,每当想起这事她都觉得特别好笑。我们俩都是第一次听到“冷电话”这种叫法,而令她觉得尤其好笑的是,给陌生人打电话是多简单的事儿啊,居然会有人想到为此而接受培训。

I admit that I would not especially wish to be taught, as an adult, how to make cold calls; but an antipathy to calling strangers—and an abiding dislike of the telephone—is neither laughable nor alien to me. If either of us has to make a call on behalf of the household—whether, in phone company parlance, to a business or residence—I am happy to concede the privilege. My long-suffering spouse is alternately amused and annoyed by this reticence, and still cannot quite believe that a man of my age, given an opportunity to do his duty, would employ the Bartleby the Scrivener defense: “I would prefer not to.”

我承认,作为一个成年人,我也不太乐意让别人教我怎样给陌生人打电话,但那种对给陌生人打电话的厌恶感——那种对打电话持久不变的反感——对我来说既不可笑也不陌生。如果我们夫妻二人必须有一个要代表整个家庭打电话的话——不管是打给企业还是居民(电话公司用语)——我都很乐意让出自己的权利。对我这种畏畏缩缩的行为,我那对此忍受已久的太太时而觉得好笑,时而感到恼火。她至今仍无法相信,一个像我这把岁数的大男人,在需要履行自己职责的时候,竟然总是采取抄写员巴特比式的抵抗态度:“我不乐意。”

The Freudian in me searches for an explanation for this behavior, and the only experience I can suggest is the childhood trauma—common to nearly everyone, I would guess—of being put on the phone when some adult relation had called long-distance. The ensuing dialogue—“Hello, how are you?” “We’re fine, thanks. How’s school?” “Pretty good, thank you. I hope you and Aunt Charlotte can visit soon.” “So do we.”—was, for me, as awkward and painful as it was meaningless. Nor has adulthood smoothed out the mortification: I still freeze when the telephone’s hideous bell begins to clang, and thank whatever gods may be for answering machines and caller ID.

我骨子里那种弗洛伊德式的个性促使我对这种行为刨根问底,而我能想起的唯一经历就是童年的创伤——我想几乎每个人都曾有过类似的经历——那就是不得不去接某个成年亲戚的长途来电:“喂,你们好吗?”“我们很好,谢谢。你上学怎么样?”“我很好,谢谢。我希望你和夏洛特阿姨能早点来看我们。”“我们也希望如此。”这种对话对我来说既尴尬又痛苦,因为毫无意义。现在,尽管我早已成年,那种窘迫感却依然无法消除。每当恐怖的电话铃声丁零丁零地响起,我依然会不寒而栗。谢天谢地,现在总算有了自动应答机和来电显示。

I suppose there is a more charitable explanation. As a person of some conceit I prefer the monologue to the dialogue; and as a journalist I prefer to communicate through the written word. Indeed, if the words and phrases are in printed, rather than oral, form, I am as voluble as any cell phone user on the train: The language comes quickly; jokes abound; it’s a veritable Niagara of puns, tart phrases, and snappy repartee. Put a receiver to my ear, however, and the mind slows down, the thoughts evaporate, and one labored sentence yields sluggishly  to the next.

除此之外,我想应该还有一个更为仁慈的解释。作为一个多少有点自负的人,我更喜欢个人独白,而非二人对话;作为新闻记者,我更喜欢通过书面文字来和他人沟通。的确,如果使用书面语而不是口头形式来交流,我会像火车上任何一位手机使用者一样滔滔不绝:戏谑调侃,出口成章;巧舌如簧、言辞犀利、妙语连珠,珠玑之语犹如尼亚加拉大瀑布一般连绵不绝。然而,一旦将听筒放到耳边,我的大脑就会立刻变得迟钝起来,思想瞬间蒸发,说话磕磕巴巴,半天憋不出一个句子来。

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2011-06-08 10:44 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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