LL: Argh! I just got my brother's answering machine AGAIN. I've been playing phone tag with him for days.
LH: 你和你哥哥playing phone tag？那是玩什么？有电话有关的游戏吗？
LL: Well, not exactly, but it is like a game of tag.
LH: Game of tag不就是小孩子们玩的捉人游戏吗？就是，大家跑，一个人追。被追到的人再接着去追别人。我们小时候都玩过这个游戏的。
LL: Right. I'll give you an example of how phone tag works. On Monday, I called my brother and left a message on his answering machine. On Monday night, he called me back, but I was out so HE left a message.
LH: 我也碰到过这种情况，上星期我打电话给一个朋友，他不在，我就留了言。他给我回电话的时候，我又不在，所以他留了言。 这样互相留言好几次，谁也找不到对方， 真是像捉迷藏一样。Phone tag这个词太生动了。
LL: Yes, and this game of phone tag with my brother has been going on for three days! I'm getting pretty tired of it.
LH: 你们这样phone tag已经三天了， 你为什么不给他写email，发电子邮件呢？
LL: I know, Li Hua. Next time I call, if I get his answering machine again, I am going to tell him exactly when I am at home. That should solve the phone tag problem.
LH: 对，你告诉他你什么时候在家，让他到时候 打过来就行了。 你还可以给他写email发电子邮件呀。 这可比打电话要省事多了。
LL: That is a good idea, but I like hearing his voice. It makes me feel closer to him, and I really don't mind the phone tag too much.
LH: 那倒也是。通话和写信毕竟不一样。 我虽然也用email，可还是常给我爸爸妈妈打电话。
LL: I guess it would be pretty frustrating and expensive to play a game of long distance phone tag from China.
LH: 一般都是我每个星期在固定的时间打电话回家，因为从中国打到美国价钱比较贵。 So I don't play phone tag with my family.
LL: Maybe I should try that with my brother. I'm sure he is tired of playing phone tag, too.
LH: Larry， 你那么急着找你哥哥，有要紧的事吗?
LL: No, not really. I just want to chit chat.
LH: Chit chat是什么意思啊？
LL: To Chit Chat is to talk about general things that aren't very important. I don't really have anything specific or urgent to talk about.
LH: Chit Chat就是闲聊。那你和你哥哥平时都闲聊些什么呢？
LL: We chit chat about what is going on at work, what we've been doing for fun lately, and even about the weather.
LH: 嗯，聊工作，生活和天气，看来你们哥俩的关系很不错嘛。 我也喜欢和家人聊天，特别是和我妈妈。
LL: Chit chatting can be pleasant, but some times it can be annoying.
LH: 是啊，有时候聊天不仅没有乐趣反而令人烦恼，就好像昨天我正忙着写论文，我的朋友 Rachel 打电话来和我聊天。
LL: So, did you tell her you didn't have time to chit chat?
LH: 一开始我没好意思告诉他我很忙。 然后聊了一会儿以后我对她说我在忙着写论文呢。
LL: I know Rachel. She really likes to chit chat. Did she get off the phone right away, when you told her you need to work?
LL: Well, I have to say, Li Hua, I don't mind chit chatting with you.
LH: 你也喜欢和我聊天？其实我也喜欢和朋友聊天。像现在这样，边喝茶边聊，很放松也很有意思。 当然要作功课的时候就不能chit chat了。
LL: That's right! I think it's time for you to work on your paper, and I need to try to call my brother again.
今天李华学到了两个常用语。一个是phone tag，意思是打电话找人，可是来回好几次，双方还是没讲上话。还有一个常用语是chit chat，意思是闲聊。