So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingIy less dependent on specialized labour. No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself publications. Armed with the right tools and materials, newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes. Men, particularly, spend hours of their leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture. Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their own computers. Shops cater for the do-it-yourself craze not only by running special advisory services for notices, but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home. Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, but unfortunately not all of us are born handymen.
Some wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and can fix anything. Even men who can hardly drive a nail in straight are supposed to be born electricians, carpenters, plumbers and me-chanics. When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety, pipes get clogged, or vacuum cleaners fail to operate, some women assume that their husbands will somehow put things right. The worst thing about the do-it-yourself game is that sometimes even men live under the delusion that they can do anything, even when they have repeatedly been proved wrong. It is a question of pride as much as anything else.
Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn mover. It had broken down the previous summer, and though I promised to repair it, I had never get round to it. I would not hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself. One Saturday afternoon, I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it. As far as I could see, it only needed a minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new. Inevitably the repair job was not quite so simple. The mower firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it. The garden was soon littered with chunks of metal which had once made up a lawn mower. But I was extremely pleased with myself. I had traced the cause of the trouble. One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had snapped. After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again. I was not surprised to find that the machine still refused to work after I had reassembled it, for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which did not seem to fit anywhere. I gave up in despair. The weeks passed and the grass grew. When my wife nagged me to do something about it, I told her that either I would have to buy a new mower or let the grass grow. Needless to say our house is now surrounded by a jungle. Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn-mower which I have promised to repair one day.
第三部分 LANGUAGE POINTS
1，So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingIy less dependent on specialized labour.
So great is out passion 为倒装语序，其正常语序是Our passion for doing things for ourselves is so great that...
Become/be dependent on 意为"依赖，依靠"
e.g. In China, farming is no longer dependent on the weather. 在中国，种田不再完全靠天了。
2，No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself publications.
plead ignorance of sth. 以不知道......为借口
e.g. He pleaded ignorance of the accident.
Not ... any longer=no longer,表示"不再"，本句中No one构成了否定形式，因此应使用any longer，不应使用no longer
a can't-be-put-down photo 一张爱不释手的照片
3，Armed with the right tools and materials, the newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes.
armed with引导的过去分词短语，在句中做方式状语，修饰embark。Be armed with意为"装备"，相当于be equipped with
embark on 开始从事
4，Men, particularly, spend hours of their leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture.
spend (in) doing sth. 句中的installing,laying out,building和making均为spend后使用的动名词形式，作宾语。
lay out 布置，设计，花钱
e.g. The word for tomorrow is all laid out.明天的工作都安装好了。
5，Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their own computers.
so...as to与so as to的区别
e.g.He worked so hard as to pass the final exams.他学习非常刻苦，以致通过了期末考试。
（2）so as to表示目的，即"为了，为的是"，同in order to
e.g.He worded very hard so as to pass the final exam.他学习非常刻苦，为的是通过期末考试。
6, Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, ut unfortunately not all of us are born handy men.
Pent up 被抑制的
Be born 意为"生来就是，命中注定"
7，As far as I could see it needed only a minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new.
句中a turn of, a little tightening, a drop of 作adjustment的同位语，说明adjustment所包含的内容。
as good as= almost, actually，意为"几乎，实际上"
e.g. The work is as good as perfect.这工作几乎是完美的。
8，The mover firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it.
9, After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again.
句中使用insurmountable和confusing两个较大的词分别修饰task和jigsaw puzzle，具有夸张意味，并以暗喻手法，将lawn mover比作jigsaw puzzle（拼图游戏）更有利于产生喜剧效果。
10，Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn mower which I have promised one day.
Buried somewhere 为过去分词作定语，修饰lawn mower。置于句首位置，一方面起到强调作用，另一方面，由于lawn mower后为which引导的定语从句，这样可使句子显得更为紧凑。