Week 2 day 1: to the point

Calvin Coolidge, our thirtieth president, was named “Silent Cal” by reporters because of his
laconic speech. One Sunday, after Mr. Coolidge had listened to an interminable sermon, a
throng of newsmen gathered around him. An intrepid reporter accosted the Chief Executive:
“Mr. President, we know that the sermon was on the topic of sin. What did the minister say?”
“He was against it,” the reticent Coolidge replied.

朗读视频:01.1100 Words you need to know - Week2 Day1 - To the point_哔哩哔哩_bilibili


音标: [ˈsɜːrmən]
释义:布道; 讲道; 讲道文章; 一大通教训;冗长的讲话

A sermon is a speech, usually religious in nature, given by a priest, preacher, rabbi, or other religious leader as part of a service.

Although most sermons focus on Bible passages, you can use the word sermon more generally to refer to any speech that contains a moral lesson. Sports coaches are known to deliver moving sermons, as are teachers and camp counselors. But if you come in late, after missing your curfew, the last thing you want to hear is a sermon by your mom on the importance of keeping your word.

That sermon really inspired me.

I’m not here to listen to a sermon.


词性:n. v.
音标: [θrɔːŋ]
释义:人群,大群人,众多;蜂拥而至; 挤满

A throng is a crowd of people or animals. On the crowded platform, the throng of passengers attempted to push their way into the already overcrowded subway car.

When used as a noun, throng means a tightly packed crowd of people or animals. As a verb, it means to push together or squeeze into an area. The science fiction movie fans thronged into the auditorium when they heard their favorite actor had entered the building. The word comes to us from the Middle English term meaning “push” or “force one’s way,” which is exactly what you’d have to do if you got stuck inside a throng of people.

I take her hand, lead her through a gyrating throng.


词性:n. v.
音标: [əˈkɔːst]
释义:走过去跟…讲话; 跟…搭讪; (乞丐等)上前向…乞讨; (妓女等)勾搭,勾引,引诱

To accost is to approach someone aggressively or confront them in an inappropriate way.

Accost describes a confrontation — one that’s often aggressive in nature. You’re likely to be accosted by angry picketers if you wear your finest fur coat to a march against animal cruelty. The paparazzi make their living by accosting celebrities, pushing in close to snap candid photos as the stars leave their limos.

And I’m accosted by two prostitutes.

Did Santa Claus accost you in the bathroom?

We need you to accost anyone who stops to talk to a child or a young woman, anyone who stops to talk to any stranger at all.

My sister, Pamela, she was just recently accosted by one of those black coons.

A decent woman gets accosted on our streets and there’s not a man here with the courage to say a thing!

I mean, some creepy girl accosting you like you’re some kind of charity.


音标: [ˈrɛtɪsənt]
释义:寡言少语的; 有保留的; 含蓄的; 谨慎的; 沉默的

Reticent means either quiet or restrained. If you’re reticent about your feelings, you like to keep them to yourself, and you’re probably quiet in rowdy groups where everyone is talking over each other.

The original meaning of reticent describes someone who doesn’t like to talk. Be careful in your context, however. Reticent can refer to someone who is restrained and formal, but it can also refer to someone who doesn’t want to draw attention to herself or who prefers seclusion to other people. Don’t confuse reticent with reluctant, which means unwilling.

Humans are very reticent to torture each other.

You know what happens the first time. People are a little shy, a little reticent.

my government is extremely reticent… to engage in military action.

I understand a certain baseline level of nervousness, you’re about to say something that you know people are going to think you’re crazy and of course, that’ll make you nervous and reticent.

Because of my reticence, they assumed I was stupid.

the sword of Damocles—any imminent danger (a king seated one of his subjects
underneath a sword that was hanging by a hair, in order to teach him the dangers a
king faces)
Although the president of the company seemed quite secure, he always complained that
there was a sword of Damocles hanging over his head.


We all have to agree to be gentlemen… but the sword of Damocles is hanging over everybody’s head.