L: 嗨，Michael，Bob明天开生日party， 你去吗？
M: Yes, I'm going with a few friends. We decided to chip in and buy him a leather jacket. He's been talking about buying a jacket for a long time.
L: 你要和几个朋友一起去参加 party，还要给他买一件皮夹克。可是皮夹克很贵，你们是不是准备大家凑钱给他买？你刚才说chip in是不是就是这个意思呀？
M: That's right. To chip in, means to each contribute money to buy something.
M: Usually you say "chip in" if each person in a group of people gives some money to buy someone a present.
L: 要是每个人都出一些钱给谁买个礼物，人们一般就会说to chip in。
M: To give you another example, my mother said her colleagues always chip in to buy gifts to celebrate someone's birthday or when someone has a new baby.
L: 你妈妈的同事往往会凑钱买礼物给过生日的同事，或者给刚生孩子的同事。这跟上面你说的几个朋友凑钱给Bob买皮夹克差不多。To chip in还可以用在其它什么场合吗？
M: You can also use "to chip in" if you are going out with a group of people for dinner or a drink.
L: 噢，几个朋友一起出去吃饭，喝酒，每个人出一些钱来付帐也可以说是chip in。
M: Yes, the guys and I usually each chip in a few dollars when we go out for pizza on Friday nights。Last week, I paid 10 dollars, Bob chipped in $4, John gave $2. There is one guy who never chips in. He's cheap. It really makes me mad.
L: 等等，上星期五你们几个人出去吃比萨饼，你付了十美元，Bob出了四美元，John出了两美元。还有一个小气鬼，从来不出钱。他真好意思！Why don't you ditch him, 甩了他不得了！
M: Oh, we've been friends for many years, and it's only a few bucks!
L: 哟，既然朋友多年，也就几块钱的事，你不愿意甩了他，那你就别生气啊！Michael, 你手里拿的是什么？好象是信吧！现在还有人写信呀？
M: I got two letters today from a couple of old friends! I hardly ever get snail mail anymore.
L: 你收到两个老朋友给你的来信。你说什么？Snail mail, snail不就是蜗牛吗？mail 就是信。 信和蜗牛又有什么关系呀？
M: "Snail" is an animal known for its slow movement. "Snail mail" means real letters that you get in your mailbox.
L: 噢，我知道了。蜗牛走的很慢，所以snail mail就是指通过邮局寄的信。以前怎么没有听说snail mail这个说法呢？
M: Well, ever since e-mail became popular, people have used "snail mail" to talk about paper mail, because it is slower than e-mail.
M: Yes, everyone is so busy nowadays, no one seems to have time to write snail mail anymore.
L: 你说得一点不错。大家都很忙，没有多少人还会坐在那儿写信。邮局里送来的邮件不是账单，就是广告。这些也能叫做snail mail 吗？
M: No, only a letter written to you by a friend or family member can really be called "snail mail".
L: 噢，人们只有把亲友写的信叫做snail mail。说起写信，我真是应该给我爸爸妈妈写信了。
M: I'm just too lazy to write snail mail. I think I'll go write some e-mails.
L: 你的亲友都在美国，都有电脑。我的父母在中国，他们还没有电脑，所以，I have to write snail mails to them。我得走了，下回再聊吧！
M: Okay, bye!
李华今天学到两个常用语，一个是：to chip in， 意思是凑钱买什么东西，或者是凑钱付大家一起吃饭的钱。另一个是：snail mai，这是指通过邮局寄的信。今天的[流行美语]就学习到这里，我们下次节目再会。