Learn something new: Augean, plot ratio, the plot thickens

1. Augean: 【翻译】肮脏至极, 积年老泥, 积重难返 (非大动作无法清除)

Shorter OED: “Abominably filthy; resembling the stables of Augeas, King of Elis, that had not been cleaned for thirty years until Hercules turned the River Alpheus through them.

Merriam-Webster Vocabulary Builder: “Leaders of many of the newly formed nations in Eastern Europe found that the old governments of their countries had become Augean stables they must now clean out.

Words originating from Greek and Roman myths are very expressive and effective because they all have some self-evident stories behind them and can provoke emotional feelings among native English readers who are well versed in the stories.

2. Plot ratio: 【翻译】容积率

Shorter OED: [It’s a number] representing the density of building in a specified area of land.

A plot ratio is the result you get when you divide the gross floor area by the land area. For the residents, the lower density a housing project has the greater comfort. However, for developers, the higher density it has the bigger profit.

3. The plot thickens:  【翻译】情况越来越复杂了, 激战正酣

Shorter OED: (Esp. of the plot in a book etc.) become more complex or intricate; increase in intensity. L17. C. Rayner The silence they left behind thickened.

OxfordDictionaries.com: used when a situation is becoming more and more complicated and puzzling.

If this happens when we read a novel, we can’t possibly put down this page-turner (令人爱不释手的书). If it happens when we translate a document, we’ll have to make a greater effort to grasp or deal with it.


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