Archive for the '咬文嚼字' Category

3月 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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2月 22 2009

In the firing line

Published by under BBC,咬文嚼字

《泰晤士报》负责读者反馈的编辑 Sally Baker 在星期六的专栏中有这么一段:

Allowed a front-page headline “Bankers in the firing line” when, as Robert Colbeck, among others, pointed out: “If you are in the firing line you are the one doing the shooting. If you are being shot at (presumably the image the headline-writer was striving for) you are either under fire or in the line of fire.”

原来我也一直以为 in the firing line 是指“面对炮火”,遭到攻击的意思。经以上这位读者解释,in the firing line 其实是指处于“射击线”上向目标开火。一个是被打,一个个打别人,意义大相径庭。

但是把这个意思搞错的不只《泰晤士报》一家,几个例子:

Forbes.com: Britain’s Bonuses in the Firing Line 说的是银行奖金遭攻击

Daily Mail: Defenc funding in the firing line 说得是国防开支缩减

但在 BBC网站上的新闻标题是用对了这个词组:

BBC: Child soldiers in the firing line 说得是非洲的未成年士兵参战

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12月 23 2008

Foreigner’s English

Published by under 咬文嚼字

最近在看美国电视剧 Gilmore Girls,其中一段女主角 Rory 对男朋友 Logan 发火,因为在他的同事聚会上,她觉得受到了冷落,特别是他的英国女同事,会说:“I’m going to the loo”。

Rory: This is America. So speak English!

Rory 是耶鲁大学学生报纸的主编,所以这么说只是借题发挥。不过美国作家 Bill Bryson 还真遇到过这样的事。Bill Bryson 在英国住了20多年后,决定回国居住一段时间。他开车横跨美国,在中西部某个小镇下车吃饭。女招待过来,问他从哪里来,他答到从英格兰来。几句话后,女招待恭维他:

As a foreigner, you English is good.

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12月 23 2007

misspell misspelled

Published by under 咬文嚼字

《卫报》上的更正启事

misspelled

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11月 22 2007

如何说“不谢”

Published by under 咬文嚼字

当别人对你说“谢谢”时,如何恰当地回复?Philip Howard 在《泰晤士报》上作了回答

Q: I am never satisfied with the acknowledgements to “thank you” in English. “Y’a welcome” – too American. “It’s nothing” – too Spanish. “Don’t mention it” – too awful. “My pleasure”, “that’s all right”, “any time” – not always appropriate. Can you help?
–Ann Irving, Guildford

A: Interesting. The most common reply to “thank you” in England is “cheers”. And common it is. Indeed, Charlie. But it is not always necessary to return the shuttlecocok when somebody says “thank you”. Much can be done with a self-deprecating smile. I fear that I may somtimes say “okey dokey”. The form of words does not matter as much as the warmth of your reponse by gesture and meaning.

这里我唯一看不懂的,是 Indeed, Charlie 这一句。除了以上说法,回应别人的 thank you,还可以用 no problem, no bother 这样的说法。用 okey dokey 倒是比较少见。其中还是有些细微的差别。

说 thank you 还有其它说法,thanks 是明显的变化。要加强,可以说 thank you very much 或 thanks a lot, many thanks 等。我记得刚到英国时,很疑惑地发现很多人在该说 thank you 的场合说 cheers。这好像只有在英国澳大利亚这样的地方流行,来源不明。如果你在苏格兰,还可以说 ta 。两种都是比较随意的说法。

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6月 14 2007

Where are the doctors?

Published by under 咬文嚼字

Doctors

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5月 19 2007

错字连篇

Published by under 咬文嚼字

《卫报》(The Guardian)的报纸版面设计我认为是英国报纸中最好的,然而,错字也不少。出版时间紧迫,也许出错难免,但是如果评论版头版的题头位置出现明显的错误,实在有点说不过去了。

The Guardian

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5月 17 2007

双语城市

Published by under 咬文嚼字

租房中介经常会在待租房屋门口树块牌子,还是第一次看到这种双语版本。猜猜是哪国语言?

2007-05-08rentsign1s.jpg

2007-05-08rentsign2s.jpg

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5月 17 2007

咬文嚼字

Published by under 咬文嚼字

我在找有关汉语学习的网站资料时,见过一个很有趣的网站叫 Signese 。作者是一个生活在北京的英国人,搜集街头巷尾随处可见的汉字。有些我们视而不见的路标、招贴、涂鸦的可爱或好笑之处,那些学习汉语反而更加敏锐地捕捉到了。汉字本身的优美和汉语的含糊简约和多重语义也提供了许多可能性。

受此启发,我想把日常生活中见到的有趣的文字、图片、标志摘录下来,主题不限。欢迎加入,可以把你的照片发到 newlight at Gmail.com。标题就叫“咬文嚼字”吧。

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