Reading in the Digital Age (２)
Hughes says he and his wife are worried about their kids because they seem to spend so much time watching TV. Shiga says searching Internet is really more active than watching television. Kinkaid's worried about that the way kids write down computers and websites are harm their actual English ability.1) I feel for you ... 気持ちはわかります。
"I feel for you" is a phrase people often use to show a little bit sympathy. If you wanted to make it a little stronger, you could say "I feel sorry for you, Melinda." or "I understand your trouble, Melinda." So, a little bit lighter is "I feel for you, Melinda."2) hunker down ... やる気を出す
Hughes used various phrases that are kind of interesting. First, he talks about "hunker about." To hunker is to squat or to crouch, to get down low near the ground. It's also used to mean "take shelter" or "channel
into doing something," so in this case, that's a meaning he is using here.3) hit the books ... 熱心に勉強する
The next phrase he used is "hit the books." "Hit the books" means study. The verb "hit" is used in a similar way with some other nouns. For example, you can "hit the hay" or "hit the sack" and those mean go to bed. You can "hit the bottle," which means "drink alcohol to excess usually. You can "hit the road," which means "leave."4) idiot box ... テレビ
Finally, he mentions the "idiot box." That's a fairly common idiom to refer to television. Other words people use are "small screen" which is actually more positive than "idiot box." It's comparing to "large screen" or "movies." Another phrase people use is "boob tube," which is much more similar to "idiot box." I wonder what'll happen to "big tube," though, because now more and more people are getting flat, panel television and the cathode-ray tube sort of the original TVs are slowly disappearing.5) elliptically ... 省略が多くてわかりにくい
Kinkaid mentions "elliptically plotted stories." "Elliptically" is a word you don't see too often in English, depending on the context to have various kinds of meanings. It's used often mathematics and （ ） like that. In this case, it has two possible meanings. One is extreme a （commonly??） speech or writing, meaning that writers and speakers dropped out absolutely everything, that is, absolutely not necessary. The second meaning is that's related to something that's deliberately obscure, you've written or spoken in a way that makes it very difficult for the reader or listeners to understand what you are talking about.
ここの解説は、うまく聞きとれませんでした。原因はもちろん、語彙不足です。6) texting ... 書き方
Kinkaid also uses the word "text" as a verb. That's pretty new, probably it's only come up with the last a few years since you could do texting with cellphone. I think it might have started with cellphones, although it could be computers. But in any case, until the Internet and such electronic media, the word "text" was a noun.7) shorthand for ... ～の略語
"Shorthand for " in English actually refers to style of writing that has many set abbreviations so that after you've studied it, you can write just about as quickly as people speak. In the past, before computers and recording devices, secretaries and administrative assistants had to take down dictation. They had to write quickly memos and letters that their bosses were speaking to them. Shorthand, however, is often used also to mean abbreviation or shortening.
★本多さんのＨＰ ＮＨＫラジオ 実践ビジネス英語で英語をマスターしよう！【ライバルの勉強部屋】