Archive for 三月, 2009

24 2009

England defend the selection of King

Published by under BBC,咬文嚼字

今天在BBC Radio 5 Live 的新闻更新 newsflash 上看到短短一行字:

England defend the selection of King

难道英格兰要另立中央,选择自己的国王?而且已经引起冲突(假设是和现任大不列颠和北爱尔兰王国女王),要采取防御姿态?

其实这是典型的缩略句,全句应该是

England national football team defend the selection of Ledley King as a member of the team.

在体育报道中,用 England、France 等国家名代表英格兰队、法国队是通行的做法。这个缩略句还玩了另一个小花招,defend – Ledley King 的位置是中卫或前卫,是一个典型的防守队员 defender

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16 2009

The crisis of credit visualized

Published by under 化繁就简

美国互动媒体设计师 Jonathan Jarvis 设计制作的短片,用浅显的语言和动画,解释复杂的 credit crisis, sub-prime mortgage 等概念:


The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

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15 2009

Lady-in-waiting

Published by under Word by Word

Princess Beatrice in The Young Victoria

在英国电影 The Young Victoria 中,电影监制 Sarah Ferguson 把自己的女儿 Princess Beatrice 安排进去担任了一个没有台词的角色,一个维多利亚女王登基时的 Lady-in-waiting。

Lady-in-waiting 这个词读起来很有味道,似乎充满了神秘感和怀旧味道。Lady-in-waiting 有翻译成“侍女”、“仕女”、“宫女”的,其实“女侍官”是最合适的,但是就少了原文的那种婉约感。Lady-in-waiting 是英国宫廷内女王、王后、公主、和高等女贵族身边的女随从,但不是女仆,她们其实是主人的忠诚陪伴、闺中密友、私人秘书、助手等等的混合体,本身也必须是贵族身份、比主人的等级低、可以倾心交谈又不会对主人的地位造成威胁--当然有例外,比如大名鼎鼎的 Anne Boleyn。

现代英国皇室中,依然有 Lady-in-waiting,候选人依然是贵族出身或是贵族后代,从事的工作,也是陪伴、皇家仪式时的随从、以及部份秘书的工作。在 BBC 2007年的纪录片 Monarchy: The Roayl Family at Work 中,女王的 Ladies-in-waiting 的工作之一是阅读平民寄给女王的信件(其中有许多是生日卡),并一一做出回复。

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06 2009

Buzzword: quantitative easing

Published by under Buzzword

Quantitative easing 扩大货币发行量,其实就是政府用印钞票来“造钱” - printing money。这是英格兰银行行长 Mervyn King 在3月4日宣布的最新刺激经济措施,数量是750亿英镑。当然现在“造钱”很简单,只要英格兰银行在自己的账户上加上750亿就行。

报章头条:

The Daily Telegraph: Quantitative easing: the modern way to print money or a therapy of last resort?

The Guardian: Time to start printing money – Bank’s last throw of the dice

The Times: What is quantitative easing? How it works

《每日电讯报》网站上最近出现了编辑对着镜头说话式的视频。这里就有一段由 Robert Miller 解释 quantitative easing 的视频:

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05 2009

In line of fire

Published by under 咬文嚼字

《泰晤士报》3月4日头版标题:

Sport in line of fire as terrorists target Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore

2009-03-04times

In the firing line

In the firing line, agian

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02 2009

In the firing line, again

Published by under 咬文嚼字

在同一期的读者反馈上,《泰晤士报》的Sally Baker说自从上周有读者指出 in the firing line 是指“开火”而不是“被打”之后,又有读者来信说,in the firing line 也可以用来形容“被打”,证据是在《牛津简明英语辞典》上:

The Concise OED definition of ‘in the firing line‘ is: ‘1. The front line of troops in a battle; 2. A position where one is subject to criticism or blame.’

但是显然Sally Baker的字典(Collins English Dictionary)上没有这种说法。《卫报》的“文字规范”(Style guide)显然支持她的观点。原因很简单:他们用的同一本字典。

firing line
the people who do the firing; if they are aiming at you, you are in the line of fire not in the firing line.

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02 2009

None of these

Published by under 咬文嚼字

我其实一直有这个疑惑,在适用 None of these 这样的词组时,后面跟的动词照理应该是单数形式,但是 None of them has this skill 这样的句子看上去不是太顺眼。这个星期六《泰晤士报》的读者反馈上 Sally Baker 对此进行了一番调查发现:

It is a mistake to suppose that the pronoun is singular only and must at all costs be followed by singular verbs or pronouns.

以及:

Use a singular verb where possible but if the notion of plurality is present a plural verb has been optional since the OE period and in some circumstances is desirable. The type ‘none of them have finished their essays’ is better than the clumsy ‘…has finished his or her essay’.

原来 None of these, None of them 这样的词组之后的动词,可以适用单数形式,也可以适用复数形式,取决于上下文。

我又查了《卫报》的“文字规范”(Style guide),同样写道:

none
It is a (very persistent) myth that “none” has to take a singular verb: plural is acceptable and often sounds more natural, eg “none of the current squad are good enough to play in the Premiership”, “none of the issues have been resolved”

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