Why are cat videos so popular? 我們為什麼愛看貓咪影片?

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上網時,你有沒有過這樣的經歷:在不知不覺中陷入了看貓咪影片的循環中,無法自拔……為什麼和其它萌寵相比,與貓有關的視頻往往更受歡迎?聽 「隨身英語」 節目探討搞笑貓咪視頻讓人無法抗拒的魅力。

詞彙: cat videos 貓咪影片

We’ve all been there. One minute you’re searching for something serious, like a recipe for dinner, or something for work, and the next you’ve been sucked in by endless videos of cats doing funny things after seeing a catchy title in your suggested videos column. They’re compelling, engrossing and captivating, and you can end up spending hours watching kittens make funny noises or mistiming jumps. But why do these videos so often end up going viral? What makes them so enthralling? And why are they more popular than dog videos?

First, let’s talk about stereotypes. When many of us think about dogs, we imagine them rolling over onto their backs, tongues hanging out, or making a mess. They seem trusting and innocent – and they do silly things. Cats, on the other hand, seem somewhat more refined and independent. There’s a reason we have an expression 『cool cat』. In short, cats seem more serious – and savvy. If we can get one over on a cat and make them do something like get in a box that slides down a hill, it’s comical. But with a dog, it’s not as funny because they trust you – and it’s easier. Tricking a cat, due to their wiliness, has more payoff.

The internet is filled with videos of cats making funny faces or reacting strangely. But why are they so funny? Well, simply – it’s unexpected. If you saw a cat walking down the street coolly or observing and preparing to attack a mouse, it wouldn’t be funny. But if that cat was walking sideways, wearing a silly costume, or becoming best friends with the mouse, suddenly we might start to laugh. Watching a cat that is normally majestic walk clunkily or pull a bizarre face is hilarious because it’s not something we would normally associate with that animal. It’s like watching someone who is normally very serious get the giggles. In some ways, we’re all laughing at their fall from grace.

So the next time you see one of those many memes of cats in awkward situations or videos that make you chuckle, try to remember why it’s so funny. And spare a thought for all those dogs that are trying to entertain us too.

詞彙表

suck in 陷入
compelling 引人入勝的
engrossing 非常有趣的
captivating 令人著迷的
viral (在網絡上)迅速傳播的
enthralling 吸引人的
stereotype 成見
refined 優雅的
cool cat 時尚的人
savvy 精明的
get one over on 捉弄
trick 戲弄
wiliness 狡猾
unexpected 意想不到的
majestic 高貴的,有威嚴的
clunkily 笨拙地
pull a face 做鬼臉
the giggles 咯咯傻笑,笑個不停
fall from grace 失態
meme (用當下流行文化素材配上文字的)自製表情包

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What might we have been doing before we started watching cat videos?

2. What do many of us think are the characteristics of dogs?

3. What do many of us think are the characteristics of cats?

4. Why is it not as funny to trick a dog?

5. Why is it funny to watch a cat pull a funny face?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. I can’t stop laughing – I’ve got the _______.

majestic                      wiliness                      giggles                       tricking

2. I thought she was so kind, but when I found out she had been spreading bad rumours, it really was a _______ from grace.

plumet                         rise                            fall                              jump

3. Wow! Your video has so many views. I think it went _______.

virology                       virus                           viral                            virologist

4. I find these sorts of videos really _______. I can’t stop watching them.

clunkily                       engrossing                  pull a face                  cool cat

5. Stop sending me _______. My inbox is overflowing with silly images!

refined                        savvy                          get one over on          memes

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。 

1. What might we have been doing before we started watching cat videos?
We might have been doing something serious like looking for recipes or something for work.

2. What do many of us think are the characteristics of dogs?
Many of us think dogs are innocent, trusting and silly.

3. What do many of us think are the characteristics of cats?
Many of us think cats are independent, smart and untrusting.

4. Why is it not as funny to trick a dog compared with a cat?
Because dogs are trusting, it’s easy to trick them. Cats on the other hand don’t seem as trusting – so when you trick them, there’s more payoff.

5. Why is it funny to watch a cat pull a funny face?
Because it is unexpected and out of character.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. I can’t stop laughing – I’ve got the giggles.

2. I thought she was so kind, but when I found out she had been spreading bad rumours, it really was a fall from grace.

3. Wow! Your video has so many views. I think it went viral.

4. I find these sorts of videos really engrossing. I can’t stop watching them.

5. Stop sending me memes. My inbox is overflowing with silly images!