22. Literally

  What you think it means: Figuratively。你以为单词的含义是:象征地。What it really means: Actually。单词的真正含义是:确切地。

  This is something that has come about relatively recently and my generation may have helped propagate this one. Literally means actually. When something is literally true, it is actually true. If I haven’t seen my friend in literally five years then I actually haven’t seen them in five years. People use literally along with hyperbole

  to show an emotion: “I haven’t had Chinese food in literally a million years。” This is meant to denote that the person hasn’t had Chinese food in a while. The word those people actually want is figuratively. They figuratively haven’t had Chinese food in a million years. They probably literally hadn’t had it in a few days or weeks。这个单词是近些年才流行起来的,我这一代人或许起到过推波助澜的作用。Literally的意思是“确切地”。如果某事literally(确切)属实,那它就确实是真的。如果我literally(确切)有5年没见过朋友了,那就是说我的确5年都没见过他们。为了表达情感,人们会夸张地使用这个单词:“我literally(确切)有一百万年没吃中国菜了!”这是指那个人有一段时间没吃中国菜了。这些人其实是想用figuratively(象征地)这个单词,表示他们figuratively(仿佛)有一百万年没吃中国菜了。他们可能literally(确切)只有几天或几个星期没吃中国菜罢了。

  23. Can

  What you think it means: What is permissible。你以为单词的含义是:可行的。What it really means: What is possible。单词的真正含义是:可能的。

  This is one you have to nip

  in the bud in childhood because it’s much harder to correct in adulthood. When you can do something, you have capacity within you to perform that action regardless of whether or not you actually do it. I can bang my head into my desk but I absolutely will not do it. When people use can incorrectly it is because they mean to use the word “may。” When you ask someone if they can open the door, you did not ask them to open the door. You asked them if they were capable of opening the door. If you wish for them to perform the task, you should ask if they will open the door. When you ask if you can have something, you’re not asking someone to give it to you. You’re asking if you have the capacity to own it. If you need something, ask if you may have it。这个单词的使用必须在儿童时就开始注意,一旦用错,成年以后就很难纠正了。当你can(可以)做某事时,即意味着不管实际行动与否,你自身都有能力去采取那个行动。我can(可以)把头撞到桌上,但我绝对不会这么去做。有时人们错用can这个单词,是因为他们本想表达may(可能)。当你问别人是否can(可能)开门时,你其实并没有要求对方一定得开门,只是在询问对方能不能开门;要是你希望对方开门,你就会直接问“是否开门”了。当你问对方是否can(可能)有某事物,你其实并没有要求对方把它给你,你只是在问对方有没有拥有那个东西的可能性。如果你需要某物,你会直接问“是否可以拥有它”。

  24. Defective

  What you think it means: That something is broken or missing pieces。你以为单词的含义是:某物碎了或缺了部分。What it really means: Simply that it’s broken。单词的真正含义是:某物坏了。

  You’ll see this one a lot in Amazon reviews. People will say that their unit came defective because it was missing a screw

  or pieces in the box. That’s actually incorrect. What they mean to say is that their product is deficient. It’s missing pieces, it is not actually broken. The machine may work perfectly fine once the missing pieces have been re-added, which means that it actually isn’t defective at all。你会在亚马逊网评上看到很多人用这个单词。人们会说网购的产品是defective(坏的),因为盒子里缺少某个螺丝钉或部件。其实这种用法是不对的。人们本想说产品是deficient(缺陷的),产品只是缺少部件,而不是坏了,如果装上缺少的部件,或许机器就能正常运转了,所以,产品根本就不是defective(坏的)。

  25. Obsolete

  What you think it means: Old, out of date。你以为单词的含义是:旧的,过时的。What it really means: Not produced, used, or needed。单词的真正含义是:未生产的,未使用的,不需要的。

  You’ll see this one in the tech industry a lot. People in tech article comments will comment that a phone is obsolete when they really mean that it’s out of date. The literal definition of obsolete is an item that it isn’t produced, needed, or used anymore. An example of this is is the steam engine. It’s largely inefficient compared to today’s combustion engine and even more inefficient than the emerging electric engines. Thus, steam engines are not used, produced, or needed anymore. Yes, they are also old and out of date, but obsolete is kind of the next step after old and out of date。这个单词在科技行业经常出现。在科技文章评论中,人们会说某个电话机obsolete(未使用的),其实他们是想说电话机过时了。Obsolete的字面定义是指某物未被生产、不被需要或不再使用。一个例子就是蒸汽机。跟如今的内燃机相比,蒸汽机相当不给力,甚至都比不上新兴的电发动机;因此,蒸汽机是不被使用的、不被生产的或不再被需要的。没错,蒸汽机也是旧的、过时的,但obsolete是“旧”与“过时”更后一步的阶段了。

  Wrap up总结

  The English language is a finicky one but it’s also ever changing. Words are updated and definitions change. New words are added every year and some are retired. Very few people will ever master the entire language and the rest of us will just have to do the best we can!英语是一门讲究的语言,并且一直在演变。单词在更新,定义在修改。每年都有旧词废除新词增补。很少有人能把整个英语语言吃透弄懂,那我们这些芸芸大众只要尽力掌握就可以啦!

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