LL: Laura has been acting really strange lately, but every time I try to ask her what's bothering her, she just clams up.
LH: 我也注意到了，Laura最近是有点怪怪的。我也问过她怎么回事，她就是不肯说....对了，Larry，你刚才说clam up，那是什么意思啊？
LL: To clam up is to become silent and refuse to talk about something.
LH: To clam up就是闭紧了嘴巴，不肯把心里的事告诉别人。可是Larry，clam不是一种蛤蜊吗？这跟说不说话有什么关系？
LL: Yes, in fact, that's where the expression comes from. Clams can close their shells very tightly. If a person refuses to talk, his lips are closed just like a clam's shell.
LH: The problem is that Laura has clammed up about whatever is bothering her, which means that we have no way of helping her out.
LL: That's probably the only thing we can do.
LL: A lot of people clam up when something is bothering them. I tend to clam up when I'm really nervous.
LL: That's like my mother. She could clam up for days when she is angry with my father.
LL：Whenever my mother clams up, he clams up too.
LL: I found out what was bothering Laura. She was upset because the last play she wrote tanked. Everyone criticized it.
LH: 大家都批评她最近写的剧本。为什么？你说她写的那个剧本tanked，那是什么意思？Tank， 不就是打仗用的坦克吗？
LL: No, this has nothing to do with the tank used in war. This "tank" is a verb. When something "tanks" that means that it is a complete failure.
LH: 噢，这个tank 和军用坦克毫无关系。这里说的tank是个动词。意思是完全失败。所有的剧评家都批评Laura的舞台剧。那真是太惨了。可怜的Laura!
LL: Yeah, no wonder she clammed up. I wouldn't want to talk about it if one of my projects tanked, either.
LL: I have no idea. I haven't seen or read her play, so I have no way of judging her work. Laura is a good playwright, I don't understand why her work tanked.
LL: Even if the play really is terrible, we could at least show our support by going to see it.
LL: Let's go this Friday. Originally, I had planned to see a movie this Friday, but the movie I wanted to see tanked, so I might as well go and see Laura's play.
今天李华学到两个常用语。第一个是clam up，是指一个人不肯把心里的话告诉别人。另一个常用语是to tank，也就是失败的意思。