6月 18 2010

Foxes and immigrants

Published by under 英语阅读

Simon Hoggart’s Week 是《卫报》的“议会写生员”(parliament sketch writer)--专职报道议会发生的新闻和趣闻--的周六专栏,一般是几则传闻花絮和小故事小笑话等,看起来十分轻松。


Have you noticed how the coverage of urban foxes – including the ones who are thought to have horribly wounded two little girls in London – resembles what’s so often written about immigrants? They come over here, into our cities, they steal our food, they swagger down the street like hoodies, they know no fear, they ignore our way of life and the authorities seem powerless and unwilling to stop them. Do you think they might be a sort of stand-in?

另外一则是前一周上的小笑话,有关正在竞选工党领袖的 Miliband 兄弟的:

Now that David Miliband is standing for Labour leader, and we learn that his brother Ed might stand against him, it’s time to reprise the great line from Linda McDougall, the wife of Austin Mitchell MP, and a family friend of Ralph Miliband. “I’m afraid I can’t take either of the Miliband brothers seriously. I changed both their nappies.”

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8月 02 2009

Daily Quote: switch off your mobile

Published by under Daily Quote

手机网络 Orange 的电影院广告最后打出的字幕总是:

Don’t let a mobile phone ruin your movie. Please switch it off.

在星期六的《卫报》上,Simon Hoggart 引用了一条读者发给他的一句话,是这位读者在西班牙的一家教堂外看到的,翻译为英语就是:

Please turn off your mobile. God will not call you on it.

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6月 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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6月 06 2009

Daily Quote: As such

Published by under Daily Quote

《卫报》的Simon Hoggart今天在他的文章中议论新工党(New Labour)喜爱的拗口难懂的句子结构和用词,其中提到了前工党内阁大臣 James Purnell 的辞职信

I always thought that New Labour regarded the English language as an enemy – or at least an impertinent incovenience, to be bullied into submission. Hence all those terrible terms from management-speak, such as “stakeholder”, “pathway project” and “the patient journey”, sometimes leading to weird, unexpected images. For example, no minister could ever say “we are trying to find ways of improving children’s diets” when she could – and did – say “we are rolling out fresh fruit in primary schools.”

Worst of all, they don’t listen to themselves. Take James Purnell’s resignation letter: “I am therefore calling on you to stand aside to give our party a fighting chance of winning. As such, I am resigning from the government.”

“As such”? What on earth does that mean? Why not “for that reason”? Or “since that is how I feel”? Or just “so”? As I say, they never seem to pay any heed to what they are saying, still less writing.

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5月 15 2009

Daily Quote: used car salesman

Published by under Daily Quote

今天《卫报》上 Simon Hoggart 形容英国下议院议员开支管理处(fee office)为“伦敦东区的二手车推销员”。在议员津贴丑闻中,许多议员的形形色色的报销要求都被批准了,让人怀疑这个管理处是怎么工作的。

The fees office, which approved so many of these bizarre claims, seems to have been run on the lines of an East End used car dealership. “If you got cash, I can knock the VAT off, mate … Now this is a lovely motor. Don’t worry about the blood on the back seat, we can clean that up for you.”

Simon Hoggart: Expenses continue to haunt MPs.

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5月 06 2009

Daily Quote: Joanna Lumley’s yes

Published by under Daily Quote

《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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4月 05 2009

Daily Quote: dark side of the moon

Published by under Daily Quote

G20伦敦峰会在伦敦东郊的ExCel会议中心举行。这里是原来的伦敦港口码头(Dockland),已经离伦敦市中心很远了,周围也很荒凉。《卫报》记者Simon Hoggart 在他的文章中把这个地方形容为 dark side of the moon – 无人居住,不见天日。

This summit took place on the dark side of the moon.

We…were ushered into a series of buses, swept past driverless trains, deserted roundabouts, abandoned building sites, empty docks, with not a single human being visible except for groups of police, holding back nobody.

《泰晤士报》记者 Ann Treneman (她和 Simon Hoggart 一样,正职都是“议会写生员” – parliament stretch writer,专门描写议会活动的) 没有直接写会议中心周围的景物,而是说:

The best way to explain the ExCel centre is to imagine a giant tin can on its side. We could not see out, which, given the view, may not have been such a bad thing.


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10月 10 2008

Daily quote: Your call is important to us

Published by under Daily Quote

Guardian’s Simon Hoggart recreated the scene of the communication between British Chancellor of Exchequer Alistair Darling and his Iceland counterpart:

(Later, Alistair Darling told us that he was at sea. “Getting information out of Iceland is quite difficult,” he said. Imaging their attempts. “The British Treasury here. Can you tell us what is going on?”

“You call is important to us. Please hold.” Then half an hour of Vivaldi.)

A happy day. For Labour at least.

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6月 09 2008


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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3月 24 2008

Daily Quote: floored

Published by under BBC,Daily Quote

Simon Hoggart described the strangeness of last week’s Prime Minister’s Question Times (PMQ) in the Guardian:

It was a question time full of jollity. David Cameron floored Gordon Brown by agreeing with him. In private they probably concur on many things, but it doesn’t do to say so in front of the children, so this came as a surprise.

他用了两个比喻,floored 和 in front of the childre,形象地解释了 PMQ 的意义。

Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQ) 是英国首相每周一次来到议会辩论厅,面对全体议员回答问题的时刻。PMQ 的作用,让我想起我们看古代演义小说时,常出现的两军对阵,主将出马单挑的情形。如果一方主将被“斩于马下”,马上全军“阵脚大乱”、“望风而逃”。当然我们知道仗不是这么打的,将军们只要坐阵指挥,无需单挑比武功。但是演义小说如果没了武将单挑,便少了一大乐趣,现代政治也是一样。于是 PMQ 虽然名义上是给予所有议员质询首相的机会,但看点其实是反对党领袖如何单挑首相,连回合都规定好了,有6次机会。上周 David Cameron 把布朗打翻在地 (floored),保守党这边自然是“旌旗招展”、欢声雷动。

Simon Hoggart 接着又用反喻,把 PMQ 比作夫妻吵架--原应回避孩子们,但 PMQ 时,众议员们象是一群习惯了父母吵架的孩子,看着父母和和睦睦反而莫明其妙了。

It doesn’t do 是一种因为老式而有趣味的表达方法。在 BBC 的古装剧 Cranford 中,古板的 Deborah 就爱用这种表达方法,特别是当她觉得某种行为不合礼仪的时候。

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