又中又英——The sun shines on a dead fish.

  An American politician from the Democratic Party used a very interesting expression last week which I want to share with you. His name is Chuck Schumer. He is a US senator and the Senate leader of the Democrats in the US Congress. Schumer accused President Donald Trump of proposing tax cuts that would benefit the rich and hurt the poor. He used a scathing (very critical) quote to accuse Trump of wanting to hide details of the tax cuts bill (proposed law) by trying to rush it through the US Congress. This is what he said: “This bill is like a dead fish. The more it sits in the sun, the more it stinks”.

  When I heard Schumer say this on an American TV news channel, I laughed. It was a very clever quote. He compared Trump’s controversial tax cuts bill to the sun shining on a dead fish. When the sun shines on a dead fish for a long time, the fish will start to stink more and more. To stink means to have a very bad smell. By using this scathing quote, Schumer meant the longer the details of Trump’s tax cuts bill are examined by the public, the clearer it will become that it is a bad bill. He used the brightness of the sun to say that if it shines on the bill, the details that Trump doesn’t want the public to see will be clearly seen and the public will know the bill stinks. The word “stink” used this way means “lousy” or “unacceptable”.

  Schumer’s quote also made me think of salted fish drying in the sun. It made me wonder why when salted fish dries in the sun, it doesn’t stink. I like to eat salted fish, a traditional Cantonese food, but all my friends tell me I should not eat too much for health reasons. One of my favourite dishes is fried rice with salted fish and small pieces of chicken. I don’t eat it too often because I know it is unhealthy.

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  來自美國民主黨的一名政客,上星期用了一個非常有趣的習語,讓我跟大家分享一下。他的名字叫查克.舒默(見圖),是一名美國參議員,也是美國國會參議院民主黨領袖。舒默指責總統特朗普所建議的稅率減免,只會惠及富人而損害貧窮階層。他引用了一句很尖刻(scathing)的話,來指責特朗普匆匆要國會通過減稅議案(bill),是為了隱藏當中的細節。這是他所說的話:「This bill is like a dead fish. The more it sits in the sun, the more it stinks」。

  當我在一個美國電視新聞頻道上聽到舒默說這句話時,我不禁發笑。這是一句相當聰明的話。他將特朗普那具爭議性的減稅議案(bill),比作日照下的死魚。當一條死魚長時間在日頭下暴曬,那條魚就會愈來愈臭(stink)。To stink就是發出惡臭。舒默用上這句尖刻(scathing)的話,意思是指特朗普的減稅議案(bill),那些細節被公眾審議的時間愈長,就愈發顯明它是個差劣的議案(bill)。他用到日頭的光芒去說明,要是議案(bill)給曝光,特朗普不欲公眾看到的細節就會顯露無遺,公眾便知道這個議案(bill)是糟透的(stinks)。Stink一字在這裏解作令人厭惡、糟糕透頂的。

  舒默所引用的話也令我聯想到那些在烈日下乾曬的鹹魚。這令我不解,為何鹹魚在烈日下暴曬,卻不見發臭(stink)?我喜歡吃廣東傳統食物鹹魚,但我身邊所有朋友也都勸我說,為着健康的緣故我不應吃太多。我最喜愛的其中一味是鹹魚雞粒炒飯。我也不是常常吃,因為我知道它不太健康。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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