L: 嗨， Michael，刚才我听到历史课的教授在对你嚷嚷，什么事呀？
M: I argued with him because I thought that a book he's assigning us to read is no good. I guess I was out of line.
L: 你说教授指定要我们看的书不好！你真是没有分寸。嗯，你刚才还说什么来啦？Out of line? Line, 是l-i-n-e这个字吗？那不是排队的意思吗？
M: No, "to be out of line" means to speak or act when it is not appropriate, especially when dealing with someone who is your superior.
M: Well, in America, you're not always out of line when you disagree with your teacher. Still, I was wrong to criticize our professor so loudly in front of the whole class.
L: 我知道，美国学生和老师辩论是很正常的。可是，象你那样在全班同学面前对教授大声嚷嚷，那才是出了格，out of line。Michael，out of line只是指你和长辈说话没有分寸吗？
M: Not always. For instance, I once told my classmate he should break up with his girlfriend. The two of them had been together for many years. I was not a close friend of this guy, so I was out of line to say that.
L: 你要你同学和他女朋友分手？你跟这个同学又不熟。哎哟，你不仅是out of line， 你简直是疯了-- out of your mind!
M: Well, I really trashed the book he was asking us to read. I probably should have been a little more tactful.
M: What are you talking about? I didn't throw anything in the trash. I said I "trashed the book". That means I said really bad things about it.
L: 噢，to trash the book不是把书扔到垃圾桶里，而是把它说成一钱不值。
M: Last year I made a professor angry because I trashed General MacArthur in a history class. I wrote a paper on his mistakes in the Korean War.
L: 去年你写了一篇论文例举了麦卡瑟将军在韩战中的种种错误？我怎么不知道呀？Michael, 你不能老是这么贬低历史人物嘛！对了，除了书和人以外，to trash something还能用在别的地方吗？
M: You can trash anything. For instance (sips coffee), this coffee is horrible! It tastes like dishwater.
M: Not really. That's the problem with Americans. We don't have good taste in food or drink. Americans don't understand what good cheese, bread or chocolate taste like. We always eat junk.
L: 你听听，现在你又在贬低美国人了，说他们不知道什么是好吃的，不懂得什么是好的奶酪、面包和巧克力，老是吃那些垃圾食品。 Now you're "trashing" your own country.
M: Hey, this is a free country. I can trash America anyway I want.
L: 把自己的国家说得一钱不值似乎也有点out of line了。你这个人啊，就是爱看到反面的东西。嗨(sighs) Whatever.
今天李华学到两个常用语，一个是：out of line, 意思是没有分寸，出格。另一个是：to trash something, 是把什么东西说成一钱不值。