The Cold, Hard Truth

2013年11月05日 VOA, Words and Their Stories.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. brutal /ˈbru:tl̟/ (adj.)extremely cruel or harsh
  2. link /ˈlɪŋk/ (v.) to join or connect (two or more things, places, etc.) together
  3. self-defense /ˌsɛlfdɪˈfɛns/ (n.) skills that make you capable of protecting yourself during an attack
  4. resign /rɪˈzaɪn/ (v.) to give up (a job or position) in a formal or official way
  5. raise /ˈreɪz/ (n.)an increase in the amount of your pay


Words and Their Stories: The Cold, Hard Truth

* Read the text below

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 (1)Cold weather has a great effect on how our minds and our bodies work. Maybe that is why there are so many expressions that use the word cold.

(2) For centuries, the body’s blood has been linked closely with the emotions. People who show no human emotions or feelings, for example, are said to be cold-blooded. Cold-blooded people act in cruel ways. They may do brutal things to others, and not by accident.

(3) For example, a newspaper says the police are searching for a cold-blooded killer. The killer murdered someone, not in self-defense, or because he was reacting to anger or fear. He seemed to kill for no reason, and with no emotion, as if taking someone’s life meant nothing.

(4) Cold can affect other parts of the body. The feet, for example. Heavy socks can warm your feet, if your feet are really cold. But there is an expression — to get cold feet — that has nothing to do with cold or your feet.

(5) The expression means being afraid to do something you had decided to do. For example, you agree to be president of an organization. But then you learn that all the other officers have resigned. All the work of the organization will be your responsibility. You are likely to get cold feet about being president when you understand the situation.

(6) Cold can also affect your shoulder.

(7) You give someone the cold shoulder when you refuse to speak to them. You treat them in a distant, cold way. The expression probably comes from the physical act of turning your back toward someone, instead of speaking to him face-to-face. You may give a cold shoulder to a friend who has not kept a promise he made to you. Or, to someone who has lied about you to others.

(8) A cold fish is not a fish. It is a person. But it is a person who is unfriendly, unemotional and shows no love or warmth. A cold fish does not offer much of himself to anyone.

(9) Someone who is a cold fish could be cold-hearted. Now a cold-hearted person is someone who has no sympathy. Several popular songs in recent years were about cold-hearted men or cold-hearted women who, without feeling, broke the hearts of their lovers.

(10) Out in the cold is an expression often heard. It means not getting something that everybody else got. A person might say that everybody but him got a pay raise, that he was left out in the cold. And it is not a pleasant place to be.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Do you like cold weather? What kind of activities do you like to do during the cold season?
  2. Do you think weather has something to do with our feelings? Why?
  3. Have you ever got cold feet on something? Please share your experience.

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