Stories Behind Popular Sayings
Comfort food
We all know that food is an essential thing because it provides human beings with the nutrients and energy to grow. Food is not only necessary for our body's health but also beneficial to our mental well-being. Thus, some people take “comfort food” to make themselves feel better when they are in a bad mood. The authoritative Oxford English Dictionary added a definition for this modern term in 1997:  “food that comforts or affords solace; hence, any food …… that is associated with childhood or with home cooking.”  What food gives you emotional consolation when you feel upset ? Comfort food may vary from person to person, and from country to country. A British woman may want a chocolate brownie with hot custard, while a Hong Kong man may prefer a bowl of beef brisket noodle.  This popular term appeared as early as 1966 in an article about obesity in an American newspaper, The Palm Beach Post:  “Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called ‘comfort food’—food associated with the security of childhood, like mother’s poached egg or famous chicken soup,”  Some scientists have conducted research on why people eat comfort food. One of the most important reasons is the psychological benefit. A lot of people take comfort food to reduce stress and loneliness. It is not surprising that comfort food is often the favourite food from our childhood or it is positively associated with a specific person, place or time.  Mum always cooked me special fried rice. This has become my comfort food (安慰食物; 暖心食物) even now I am studying abroad.  Glossary Nutrients  營養素 Beneficial  有益 Mental well-being  心靈健康 Mood  心情 Consolation  安慰 Obesity  癡肥 Psychologica  心理上的 Stress  壓力  
If you were...
What would you do if you were Owen ?
" Why is the lift stopping at almost every floor ? I will be so late !"  It's the annual(年度)Sports Day today and Owen has to travel to another district for the event. In the morning, his mother listened to the news and learned that there was a bad traffic jam(交通擠塞)and brought to Owen's attention(提醒Owen)that he had to leave some buffer(儲備時間)so as to arrive without delay(延遲). Owen had so much to pack and bring while the clock ticked the minutes(時鐘滴答滴答地報時). He checked an app on his cell phone that the bus he needed to ride on would be coming in a few minutes. He just had to flee(匆忙離開)and rush to the bus stop as fast as possible, otherwise waiting for the next bus would take another 15 minutes.  As Owen lives on the top level(頂層)of the building, the lift of course arrives empty all the time, so getting in is never a problem. But Owen did not know there are so many more neighbours leaving at the same time just half an hour later than his usual hour. The lift stopped at a good number of(好多)floors and was quite packed. Each time the lift stopped, Owen's heart sank(沉)a little. When it reached the fourth floor, the door swung(打開)open again. This time there was an old man in a wheel chair and a caretaker(照顧者)was trying to push the wheelchair in. The caretaker made a few attempts(幾次嘗試)but failed to manipulate(控制)the wheelchair. She was not giving up though. Owen had ants in his pants(心急如焚), and he had to do something in order not to miss the bus.     What would you do if you were Owen ?   I'd tell the caretaker most politely that the lift was full and request her to wait for the next round.  I'd just leave the lift and let them in and I’d run at my top speed(最快速度)down the stairs to the lobby and flee for the bus stop. On one hand, I’d not have to waste time to explain, the other, I’d be doing a kind act making people feel good. 
Stories Behind Popular Sayings
Under the weather
If an English-speaking friend tells you that he is under the weather, does it mean that he is standing under the sky ? At that moment, is the weather rainy, sunny or windy ?  I don’t want to play football with you this morning. I’m feeling a bit under the weather.  “Under the weather”is a popular idiom which describes someone who is feeling unwell or in low spirits.  It is hard to complete a big project on time when you are under the weather.  The written form of the expression appeared as early as 1827 in an American publication.  Scholars believe that this maritime expression comes from the sea rather than from the sky. Many years ago, when a sailor was feeling sick, he would be sent to stay below the deck to protect himself from the weather.  Similarly, in the past, people had to travel on ships for many days if they wanted to go to a faraway place. It was very easy to become seasick on the high seas when the weather was bad. They would be told to go down to the cabins in order to relieve the symptoms.  Nowadays, what can people do when they are under the weather (不舒服;精神不好)on a ship? Doctors advise that passengers should sit in the middle of the boat, look straight ahead at the horizon, or try some ginger sweets and ginger tea. They should not read or use electronic gadgets. They should also avoid eating heavy meals before or during travel.    Glossary  Low spirits  情緒低落 Maritime  海事的 Deck  甲板 Seasick  暈船 Cabins  船艙 Symptoms  癥狀 Horizon  地平線 Gadgets  玩意  
Stories Behind Popular Sayings
Too many cooks spoil the broth
It is very common for teachers to request students to do group projects. What are the advantages and disadvantages of project-based learning? Do you enjoy working with your classmates? While projects may allow students to share their knowledge and skills among themselves, the results can be disastrous. As a proverb says,“too many cooks spoil the broth.”  “Broth”is soup consisting of bones, meat or vegetables simmered slowly. Imagine that many cooks are trying to prepare the same soup in the kitchen. The first one wants it salty; the second one wants it spicy; the third one wants it thicker; the fourth one prefers more meat; and the last one likes a lot of vegetables. During the process, there are arguments and quarrels because everyone wants to be the boss to control or influence the final product. So what will the broth taste like in the end ?  The earliest version of this proverb appeared in a writing by George Gascoigne, an English poet, in 1575.  “There is the proverb, the more cooks the worse potage.”  “Potage” is a thick soup of French origin or character.  Nowadays, while“too many cooks spoil the broth”(人多手腳亂)is most common, there are many different versions.  We couldn’t finish the English project on time because there were too many cooks.  There are too many cooks in the kitchen, and everyone wants to be the leader.  Since too many cooks spoil the stew , we should limit the number of participants in this meeting.  Glossary Disastrous  不堪設想 Simmered  用溫火煮 Spicy  辛辣 Thicker  更濃 Arguments  爭論 Broth  湯 Potage  濃湯 Stew  燉煮的菜肴