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【美文诵读】第82课: privacy as border 隐私如国境  

2016-05-12 10:24:30|  分类: 【英语】阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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There are quite a few questions that are supposed never to be asked about. It is impolite or rude even to mention them in a conversation. These topics include one’s age, income, marriage, religious belief and political position as well as any other fields of privacy.

In order to understand the American or western idea of a personal concept of privacy, one may think of theconcept of “territory”. As well known, a nation has borders or boundaries with other countries and everything within the border belongs to the nation alone and no one else.

One’s home - one’s castle

Is one able to enter another country without a passport - a permit from another? Absolutely not. It is thesame for one’s home.

If one enters someone else’s home without asking for permission, he is likely to be charged with trespassing or even burglary. Inside the house everything is within the territory of the owner, no one else. A bedroom is his or her castle. No one may visit it without permission.

Inside the room - confidential

No one has the right to open a closet, desk or drawer in the room - these are something secret in the hostor hostess’ castle. On top of the desk there may be letters, business papers or exercise books, these tooare within the owner’s territory. Never touch them or read them! Similarly never read over one’s shoulder when he or she is reading something!

You don’t want to behave like a spy, do you? Anything one is reading is his or her private property. Don’t invade it!

Income - a top secret

In the United States, one’s income is the top secret. Never even try to ask any questions about it! Avoidasking for dishonor. In the same way, it is impolite to inquire about one’s property or the cost of some articles. You may say how cool something is, but never ask about the price.

Age - taboo for everyone

Age is considered a taboo, especially for the ladies. They hate any topics about age, simply because they hate to get old, because they want to stay young forever! They are very sensitive to questions like: “When were you born?” or “Do you have artificial teeth?”

Never make any comment like “You have grey hair”, otherwise the males and females alike will beat you black and blue.

Religion - sensitive

Religion is what one believes in personally. It is totally a personal matter. Never ask,“Why do you worship as a Christian”, it is none of your business. Everyone has the freedom to believe as they choose in belief.

Politics - big men’s affairs

Politics is a sensitive topic too. It’s completely of personal opinion. There is no argument about taste,anyway. Besides, such questions as “Do you believe Israel will accept the conditions for peace talks?” should be on the agenda of those “big men”, not for a “nobody” like you and me.

有一些话题在谈话中永远不要涉及,提一提都是无礼、甚或粗鲁的行为。这些话题包括一个人的年龄、收入、婚姻状况、宗教信仰、政治立场以及其他个人领域的事物。为了理解美国以及其他西方国家有关个人隐私的观念,我们不妨从“领土”这个概念说起。众所周知,一国总以边境或边界与他国为界,而之内的一切亊物仅属于该国所有,别国不得侵犯。

住宅—个人城堡

假如没有护照(进入一国的许可证),任何人能够进入他国吗?绝不可能。同理,进入他人住宅也必须得到许可。

如果未经允许就闯进别人家里,轻则告你“撞闯民宅”,重则告你“入室行窃_”。同样,家里的一切都是主人领土上的财产,他人不得擅动。而卧室简直就是他或她的"城堡"——未经允许不得参观。

室内——保密

任何人都无权乱翻他人室内的衣柜、书桌或者抽屉——这些是主人城堡里的秘密!书桌上也许有信件、商务文函或练习本——这些也是他人境内的财产。千万别碰它们,也别拿来读。同样,当别人在阅读什么的时候,千万不要站在别人后面“偷”看!你不想成为一个间谍,是吧?别人正在阅读的一切都是他的私人财产,千万不要侵犯!

收入——最高机密

在美国,个人收入是最高机密。你甚至不要试图去打听有关的问题,不要自讨没趣!同样,询问他人的财产或某件物品的价格也是不礼貌的。你可以说某样东西多么多么酷,但就是别问价格!

年龄-个人禁忌

年龄是一个非常忌讳的问题,对于女士尤其如此。她们讨厌任何与年龄有关的话题,只因为她们害怕衰老,总想永葆青春!她们对和年龄有关的问题十分敏感,诸如“您什么时候出生的?”或者“您戴假牙吗?”。千万不要说"您的头发都白了一类的话,否则人家会把你揍得鼻青脸肿!

宗教——敏感的话题

宗教纯粹厲于个人信仰,其完全是个人的亊情。千万别问“您为什么信仰基督教”之类的话,这不关你的亊。再者说,人人都有信仰自由。

政治——大人物的亊

政治也是一个敏感的话题。它完全属于个人看法,无论如何也没什么好争论的。更何况,诸如“您认为以色列会接受和谈条件吗?”之类的问题是“大人物"们关心的事,不是你我这样的 "无名小卒"该管的。



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