十一 29 2009

Cuckold

Published by under Word by Word

在 BBC iPlayer 上补看了新剧 Garrow’s Law 的最后两集,这一系列很有意思,可惜太段,一共才四集。希望BBC有拍第2季的打算。

在第3集中,当 Garrow 在决斗中受伤的消息传来,早餐桌上的 Lady Sarah 花容失色。对自己的妻子和 Garrow 的关系早有怀疑的 Sir Arthur 追问 Lady Sarah:

Am I cuckolded?

Cuckold 的意思是妻子和他人有染的男人,可以做名词,也可疑做动词,词源来自 cuckoo (布谷鸟),布谷鸟会把蛋放在其它鸟的巢中,除了产生“鹊占鸠巢”的说法外,cuckoo 有时也是越轨女人的代名词。Cuckold 这个词,用“戴绿帽”来翻译最恰当不过了。

Cuckold 似乎是个比较旧的用法,很少看到在现代语境下使用。《每日邮报》中的这篇文章中说:

‘I’ve been cuckolded by my CEO’

《卫报》在报道巴西一个专爆他人婚姻隐私的博客时说道:

‘This is not a very nice joke – for people to say that your boyfriend or your husband is a cuckold.’


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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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十一 23 2008

Buzzword: fiscal stimulus

Published by under Buzzword

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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