28 2010

Buzzword: bigoted

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因为布朗的一句“bigoted woman”,今天这个词成为媒体上出现最多的词,紧随其后的大概是用来描述布朗这一举动后果的“disaster”了。

布朗用“bigoted”,大概是因为这位与他面对面讨论的Gillian Duffy在对话中大谈“那些蜂拥而来的移民”“一到英国就开始领救济”等等。她是不是“bigoted”,各人可以自己判断,布朗的问题是在他微笑地与她拉家常之后,回到自己车内就是另一副嘴脸。其实谁没有做过类似的事情?

Bigoted 该如何翻译呢?这是 bigot 的形容词形式,bigot 是指思想狭隘(obstinate)、不通情理(irrational)、心怀恶意(animosity)的人。在布朗的语境下,大概可以用“那个偏狭顽固的女人”。

《泰晤士报》:

Brown’s ‘bigot’ blunder plunges Labour campaign into crisis

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十二 14 2009

Buzzword: climate change sceptics

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对于由人类活动造成的“全球变暖”(global warming)和“气候变迁”(climate change),现在已有基本的共识,但是仍然有一部份人对climate change 和人类活动的联系,持怀疑态度。目前在哥本哈根举行的全球气候峰会,以及前几周的英国 East Anglia 大学邮件被盗事件,让这个话题成为最大热门。对于那些怀疑气候变迁的人,如何称呼呢?

过去曾有 global warming deniersclimate change deniers 的说法,但是现在英国的媒体基本上弃用了这一说法,估计是因为它们的贬义性,deniers 含有不承认公认的事实的意思,比如 Holocaust deniers 就是指那些不承认纳粹屠杀犹太人这一事实的人。

现在媒体普遍采用较为中性的 global warming scepticsclimate change sceptics 的说法,sceptics “怀疑者”没有明显的褒贬。

Guardian: Gordon Brown attacks ‘flat-earth’ climate change sceptics

Telegraph: Why I am a global warming sceptic: part 92

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16 2009

Buzzword: C-word

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我在今天(9月16日)的《每日电讯报》上看到这个标题:

Gordon Brown to say the c-word and admit cuts will be made

同一条新闻在《卫报》上的标题是:

Gordon Brown admits Labour would cut spending but swears to save services

所谓 c-word,和 f-word 一样,是比较有礼貌地描述“脏话”(swear words),这就是为什么《卫报》的标题中用 swear (发誓),是在玩一个文字游戏。
那么这个 c-word 到底是什么呢?,其实《每日电讯报》的标题已经回答了这个问题。在《卫报》的另一篇文章中,Polly Tonybee 是这么解释的:

Cuts – it wasn’t hard to say the word, after all.

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16 2009

Daily Quote: yoke on the shoulder

Published by under Daily Quote

这是在上周末《卫报》上的Simon Hoggart 形容工党议员如何无法下手把自己的领导人赶下台时,用了两个比喻:套惯了马轭的马不知道怎么独立行走;放出来的骗子不知道如何面对自由的生活,要再次作案为的是能重回监狱。

They have spent so many years bending to have the yoke slipped over their shoulders they don’t know to react to  the chance of independence, like ex-cons who can’t cope with freedom and offend again in order to be sent back to jail.

他还用 apparatchiks (来自俄语的“干部”一词)来形容工党议员,因为是用了把首相布朗比作斯大林的玩笑。

The Guardian: The yoke’s on Gordon’s apparatchiks

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06 2009

Daily Quote: Joanna Lumley’s yes

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《卫报》的Simon Hoggart 在描述 Joanna Lumley 接受英国下议院国内事务委员会(the Common’s home affairs committee)有关廓尔喀(Gurkha) 老兵移居英国的权利的质询时写道:

Mr Vaz asked solicitously whether a meeting with the prime minister would be helpful, and she replied with the single syllable “yes”, but a yes so freighted with emotion and passion and unrestrained longing, that I doubt if Elizabeth Bennett replying to Mr Darcy’s proposal could have carried more meaning.

今天她得偿所愿,与Gordon Brown 见了面。

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03 2009

Buzzword: YouTube if you want to

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布朗内阁的社区和地方政府大臣(Secrectary of state for communities and local government) Hazel Blears 今天在《观察家报》(The Observer)上撰文,指称政府在与选民沟通上做得太差,虽然用的是“我们”(we),但许多人把这篇文章诠释为对布朗的批评。其中有这几句:

I’m not against new media. YouTube if you want to. But it’s no substitute for knocking on doors or setting up a stall in the town centre.

这显然是针对布朗最近的 YouTube 演出--被人称为“最吓人的微笑”(most scary smile)。这句颇为押韵的 YouTube if you want to,是来自前首相撒切尔夫人的一句政治名言 U-turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning。不知道 YouTube if you want to 会不会也会从此成为流行说法。

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04 2009

Depression

Published by under Word by Word

今天首相布朗在“首相答问时间”(PMQ)上,说了这个 D-word: depression

We should agree, as a world, on a monetary and fiscal stimulus that will take the world out of depression.

虽然英国已经正式进入“衰退”(recession),到目前还没有人用“大萧条”(depression)。什么是 depression,没有明确的定义,但一般用以形容长期的经济衰退、高失业率、和对经济前景的信心低迷。上次的 depression 是美国30年代的大萧条 The Great Depression。

我今天在PMQ现场,但就完全没有听到这个词。但在事后,保守党影子财相 George Osborne 要求首相府澄清布朗对这个词的使用,首相府发言人马上回应说是布朗“说漏嘴了”(a slip of the tongue),布朗想说的是 recession。

对一个 depression 用词的计较,反映了英国对经济前景的担忧。

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31 2009

Daily Quote: British jobs for British people

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当英国首相布朗在 Davos 大谈贸易保护主义的危险之时,英国的 Total 炼油厂工人正在举行非正式罢工,原因是炼油厂把一些工程外包给意大利和葡萄牙的公司,意大利和葡萄牙人抢了英国工人的饭碗。罢工工人举出的标语上写着 British jobs for British people,是布朗两年前在工党大会上喊出的口号,以示他为英国工人代言的形象。

但 是 British jobs for British people 不仅是保护主义,而且在欧盟内部也是不合法的。人员的自由流动,正是欧盟的重要支柱。正象昨晚 Channel 4 News 所说,正确的说法,应该是 European jobs for European people。

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30 2009

Daily Quote: student politics

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英国众议院每周三中午有30分钟的 Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQ – 我过去曾用过“首相提问时间”和“首相答问时间”两种译法,显然后者更好)。现在的趋势,根据一些议会专门报道议会辩论的记者(他们的职业称呼是 sketch writer – 议会写生员),似乎是越来越粗鲁没礼貌。原因是工党首相布朗(Gordon Brown)容易动怒又不会开玩笑骂人,而保守党领袖卡梅伦(Cameron)倒是严辞锋利,但为了避免显得夸夸其谈太轻飘,不得不时时做出激愤状。两人你来我往谁也收不住,有时弄得大家都下不了台,身后的议员们就表现得像是一群看人打架在一边拍手叫好的看客,常常裁判--Common Speaker (众议院主席)不得不介入拉架。所以本周三双方互骂对方 student politics 就显得挺应时:

The Prime Minister tried to be rude in return by accusing Mr Cameron of playing “student politics“, but the Tory leader batted this straight back: “Mr Speaker, only one of us was a student politician and he’s never grown out of it.”

Mr Brown was obsessed by student politics at Edinburgh: Mr Cameron kept out of student politics at Oxford.

Andrew Gimson on Telegraph: Sketch: Gordon Brown feels the pain of creating a brave new world

《泰晤士报》上的 Ann Treneman 则更多地感叹在世界经济危机面前,别人都团结一致,英国的议员们却东奔西散:

Student politics? We should be so lucky. This may even be sub-playground. I have seen pre-schoolers behave better. What is strange is that, in the country, the recession has brought us together. As a people, we are hunkering down, trying to ride it out. But, at Westminster, the recession has driven our politicians farther apart. Now, as surreal as a dream, they are screaming into the wind across an ever-growing abyss.

Ann Treneman on the Times: No end in sight to Gordon Brown’s global nightmare

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十一 23 2008

Buzzword: fiscal stimulus

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上星期 BBC Radio 4 上一位女主持顺口说,目前的经济危机,已经到了“Darling, do something!”的地步。这里的 Darling,当然是英国财相 Alistair Darling,他的这个奇妙的姓,是标题党们梦寐以求的。当然英语中还有许多奇妙的姓,Love 已是很普通,还有姓 Kiss 的。上次把一架忽然失去动力的英航班机安全滑翔到西思罗机场的驾驶员姓 Coward。

Daily Mail: A hero called Coward. BA pilot declares it was his deputy who landed stricken flight.

喊 Darling, do something! 是有原因的,Alistair Darling 即将在下周一公布下一年度财政预算案的预案,万众关注的,是其中的 fiscal stimulus --“财政刺激”方案。最近是首相布朗首先使用 fiscal stimulus 这个说法,为什么不说大白话 tax cut --“减税”呢?原因是:1.用术语显得比较专业;2.fiscal stimulus 听上去更正面,更象是在“采取行动”;3.避免卷进 tax cut 这个传统上左右两派的纷争。全球金融风暴暂时让意识形态乱了套,工党政府高举“减税刺激经济”大旗,保守党就跳出来说“不能不负责任的减税”。

Independent: Brown and Darling slash VAT in £18bn tax gamble

…Mr Brown is banking on tax cuts to provide the “fiscal stimulus” needed to kick-start the economy out of recession.

BBC: PM calls for global tax-cutting

He said: “It is now becoming increasingly accepted around the world that a temporary and affordable fiscal stimulus is necessary.”

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