Archive for 六月, 2008

27 2008

Daily quote: lost the deposit

Published by under Daily Quote

今天是布朗担任英国首相一周年,然而新闻头条却是工党如何在英格兰地区 Henley 的议会议员补选中,如何被羞辱,“lost the deposit”。

参加英国议会议员选举,担任候选人,除了需要10个当地选区选民签字提名外,还需要事先缴纳500镑押金。如果在选举中得票太低,押金则不能收回。这种做法是让担任候选人有一定的严肃性,虽然还是不能防止这次有头戴香蕉的独立候选人参选。至于如何界定“得票太低”,标杆是低于总选票的5%。

Henley 是传统保守党重镇,工党原来就没报任何希望,但是工党的候选人Richard McKenzie最后只得到1066张选票,甚至排在极右政党BNP后面,仅仅得到3%选票,丢了500镑的押金。

所以用 lost the deposit,最形象地形容了布朗领导下的工党的窘境。中文中其实有一句同样形象,但更加刻薄、不太友好的话:“把裤子都输光了”。

BBC: Labour candidate Richard McKenzie lost his deposit as he trailed in behind the Greens and the British National Party.

The Times: Gordon Brown’s first anniversary as Labour leader began with the party securing only 1,066 votes, losing its £500 deposit.

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24 2008

Esq

Published by under Word by Word

Philip Howard 在《泰晤士报》上谈姓名后面各种缩写的正确次序时,提到了男人名字后面可以加的缩写 Esq。Esq 即 esquire,最早是用来指地位仅近低于“骑士”(knight),但高于“绅士”(gentleman)的男子,后来又有多种用法,现在基本上已经没有意义,是个男人都可以说是 esquire。不过在美国却专门用于律师,不论男女。如果非要用 Esq,最重要的是记得 Esq 是只能用于书面形式的对他人的尊称,而且用了这种过时的尊称对方也不见得高兴。

在《泰晤士报》上刊登的英格兰地区 Sheriff 任命名单上,每个男人的名字后面还是跟 Esq 的。

Philip Howard on the use of Esq:

Indeed there are rules. These are largely obsolescent. An esquire was at first “a young man of gentle birth, who, as an aspirant to knighthood, attended upon a knight, carried his shield, and rendered him other services”. It became also “a man belonging to the higher order of English gentry, ranking immediately below a knight”. Several classes of men became entitled to be called esquires — younger sons of peers, eldest sons of knights; judges, barristers-at-law, and many others. By now Esq has lost all sense of rank, and can be attached (in correspondence) to the name of any adult male. In the US, Esq is often used by lawyers, both male and female, when referring to or addressing one another in writing. The suffix is dying, let it die.

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22 2008

Soup of letters

Published by under Word by Word

上周《卫报》(Guardian)介绍英国一位因为给两位同性恋教士主持婚礼(civil partnership)而受到教会指责的牧师 Martin Dudley 时,开头第一句是这样的:

Until last Sunday few people had heard of the Reverend Dr Martin Dudley BD MSc MTh PhD FSA FRHistS AKC.

中国人喜欢在名片上加一堆头衔,英国人正式起来,就会在名字后面加一串学历职称资格头衔的缩写,弄出一堆让人莫名其妙的缩写来。

而且加缩写还是有规矩的。《泰晤士报》(Times)上的Philip Howard做了一个很有用的介绍,简单地说就是学历在先,从医资格(如果有的话)在后。但是如果还有御准非御准的头衔的话,就更复杂了。

The short answer is that university degrees precede medical qualifications in the position of letters after the name. The long answer is that Bt or Bart (for a baronet) and Esq, if applicable, precede all other letters. Then orders and decorations conferred by the Crown. Then appointments such as Privy Counsellor, Aide de Camp to Her Maj, Honorary Physician to the Queen. Then university degrees. Then religious orders. Then medical qualifications. Then fellowships of learned societies. Then secondary (ie non-royal) appointments, such as QC, JP, DL, MP. Finally membership of one of the armed forces, such as RN or RAF. Phew. I should take Occam’s Razor to all such alphabet soup of letters after names. Abbrevs and honorifics, like entia, non sunt multiplicanda.

回头看 Martin Dudley 的头衔,我知道 MSc = Master of Science,MTh = Master of Philosophy,PhD = Doctor of Philosophy,能猜出 FRHistS = Fellow of Royal Historic Society,其它就猜不出了。

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21 2008

Daily quote: colour orange

Published by under Daily Quote

ITV 的 Jon Champion 今晚解说 Euro2008 四分之一决赛荷兰对俄罗斯。当 Van Nistelrooy 85 分钟为荷兰扳平时,他喊道:

The orange is bright again, and has a future!

然而荷兰的 future 只持续了 20 分钟,当加时赛结束,荷兰 1:3 失利时,他又说:

Tonight in Basel, orange faded into black.

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09 2008

Radiant

Published by under Word by Word

Tony Blair 最近以中东四方特使的身份回到英国众议院参加某个委员会的听证会。《卫报》的 Simon Hoggart 用了 radiant 来形容这位前首相:

He looked, and I choose this word with care, radiant. His skin glowed with the warmth of the sun we at home rarely see. His teeth gleamed so brilliantly that you could use any one as a tiny shaving mirror, for a vole. His hair is slightly shorter, trimmed to keep the formidable Blair brain cool and whirring in the Middle East. He looked far more relaxed than at any time I’ve seen him since his 1997 election victory.

Relaxed and radiant return for the global superstar

Radiant (容光焕发) 这个赞美之词,也不是随便用的。在《每日电讯报》上,上次用 radiant 形容某人是用在法国前第一夫人 Cécilia 身上。

Radiant Cécilia puts Sarkozy in the shade

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