Being super-rich 腰纏萬貫

Splashing the cash! What's it like to be super-rich and what do you spend your money on?

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有人說豪華游艇和轎車是有錢人的玩具,這是真的嗎?為什麼很多富人喜歡購買這種天價的商品?在英語裡,我們把富人的這類消費行為稱作什麼?本集《隨身英語》討論如今“腰纏萬貫”的人用來象徵身份及地位的方式。

課文內容

Vocabulary: money 詞彙: 金錢

 

Do you consider yourself to be rich? Do you have plenty of cash and no financial worries? Or maybe, like me, is it something you can only dream about? For most of us, the closest chance of becoming a millionaire would be to win the lottery but if you don’t buy a lottery ticket, are there others ways of becoming super-rich?

A ‘super-rich’ person is often defined as someone with over $30 million dollars of assets – so it’s not just about having a suitcase stuffed full of banknotes! They usually own property, an expensive yacht or eat in swanky restaurants. And there appear to be more and more of these people, as it’s reported that the number of super-rich is expected to increase by 43% over the next decade.

If you save your pennies, make the right investments and work hard, could you be one of them? It’s unlikely because a report last year highlighted inequality in the world, saying the richest 62 individuals owned as much as the poorest 50%. But for those lucky ones who are loaded, what is it that they splash the cash on? One academic in the UK, Emma Spence, has been researching just that – and her answer is yachts! It’s the ultimate status symbol but she also says “a superyacht is essentially a black hole of wealth” – in other words, it continually eats your money and doesn’t increase in value like an art collection might.

But if you’ve got the spare cash, why not have one! It’s an excuse to show off your wealth and position in society. Interestingly, Emma Spence found that the size of someone’s yacht shows their place in the pecking order. This is a good example of conspicuous consumption – buying something so someone else notices.

In the past you may have expected to find a super-rich, yacht-owning, billionaire to live in developed countries like the USA but now the wealthy can be found hanging out in most corners of the world. According to a report by Knight Frank, Vietnam is the country expected to have the fastest growth of super-rich over the next 10 years – an amazing 170% increase.

If all this makes you feel poor, remember that being wealthy doesn’t necessarily make you happy. You don’t have to waste time worrying about what to spend your money on. And you can feel rich in other ways by having good friends and family, good health or just a happy life – things that don’t cost the earth. And if you really want a yacht, how about a toy one to play with in the bath?! How rich do you feel today?

詞彙表

rich 富有的
financial worries 經濟上的煩惱,財政方面的困擾
millionaire 百萬富翁
lottery 彩票,抽獎
asset 資產,財產
banknote 鈔票
swanky 時髦而高檔的,奢華的
save your pennies 存錢,攢錢
loaded (口語)有錢的
splash the cash 揮霍錢財
status symbol 身份和地位的象徵
black hole (吸金的)無底洞
pecking order 等級排序
conspicuous consumption (貶義)炫耀性消費
billionaire 億萬富翁
cost the earth 花費天價

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What do you need to buy to win the lottery?

2. True or false? Super-rich people are thought to have more than $30 million in cash.

3. According to the article, why does a super-rich person buy a yacht?

4.Which country is expected to have the fastest growth of super-rich over the next 10 years?

5. What chance is there of you becoming super-rich?

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. The company was in financial trouble and had to sell $30 million of its ______ to pay off its debts.

lottery       banknotes       assets       black hole

2. My husband took me to London for my birthday where we stayed in a ______ hotel. 

millionaire       splash the cash       swanky       loaded

3. Fine wines are becoming seen as a ______ in Nigeria, with sales doubling in volume over the past six years.

status symbol       state symbol       symbol status       status symbolic

4. The survey found that rail passengers just want trains that are punctual, safe and reliable and don’t ______ to use.

splash the cash       save the pennies       cost the earth       conspicuous consumption

5. I know my place here – I always have to make the tea – there’s clearly a ______ in the office!

peck order       peking order       pecking ordering       pecking order

答案

1. 讀課文並回答問題。

1. What do you need to buy to win the lottery?
You need a lottery ticket!

2. True or false? Super-rich people are thought to have more than $30 million in cash.
False. A ‘super rich’ person is often defined as someone with over $30 million dollars of assets – not just cash.

3. According to the article, why does a super-rich person buy a yacht?
It’s an excuse for them to show off their wealth and position in society.

4.Which country is expected to have the fastest growth of super-rich over the next 10 years?
Vietnam is the country expected to have the fastest growth of super-rich over the next 10 years – an amazing 170% increase. 

5. What chance is there of you becoming super-rich?
It’s unlikely because a report last year highlighted inequality in the world, saying the richest 62 individuals owned as much as the poorest 50%.

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. The company was in financial trouble and had to sell $30 million of its assets to pay off its debts.  

2. My husband took me to London for my birthday where we stayed in a swanky hotel.

3. Fine wines are becoming seen as a status symbol in Nigeria, with sales doubling in volume over the past six years.

4. The survey found that rail passengers just want trains that are punctual, safe and reliable and don’t cost the earth to use.

5. I know my place here – I always have to make the tea – there’s clearly a pecking order in the office!

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