又中又英——glass hearts.

  Some of my friends recently started referring to people in mainland China as glass hearts. It’s a Chinese term used by netizens that I had never heard before. There is a similar English term, which can be either “glass-hearted” or “heart of glass”. I asked my friends why they call mainland Chinese, especially mainland netizens, glass hearts in Cantonese. They laughingly explained that mainlanders take umbrage at even unimportant things. They told me the hearts of netizens on the mainland shatter easily. Their explanation made me realize many mainland netizens indeed have glass hearts that shatter easily. But to be fair, many Hong Kong netizens also have glass hearts.

  My friends told me the internet expression glass hearts means people who get angry or offended easily by what other people say. They explained that mainland netizens are glass hearts because they get angry and demand apologies even for unimportant things that others do or say. Their hearts shatter like glass. The word “shatter” means to break into small pieces, like a piece of glass when it is dropped. A netizen is a person who spends a lot of time on the internet. To take umbrage means to get angry easily, and without proper reason, by what others say. The English expressions “glass-hearted” or “heart of glass” mostly refer to romantic situations when hearts are easily hurt or broken when couples separate, divorce, or quarrel. My friends told me the English meanings are slightly different from the “glass hearts” term they use for mainland netizens because the term they use does not refer to romance. It refers to mainland netizens who take umbrage at Western fashion and cosmetic companies which do commercials (advertisements) that mainlanders say insult their race even though no insult is intended. For example, mainland netizens took umbrage at, and demanded an apology, for a commercial by an Italian fashion company which showed a mainland model eating pizza with chopsticks. They did the same for an artistic commercial by a Spanish clothing company which showed a mainland model with little makeup. I see both commercials as imaginative, not insulting.

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  我有些朋友最近開始稱中國內地的人為glass hearts——這是網民(netizens)用到的一個中文字詞,之前我從未聽說過;其實英文亦有相近的用語,可以是“glass-hearted”或“heart of glass”。我問我的朋友們,他們為甚麼會叫內地人,尤其是內地網民(netizens)為「玻璃心」(glass hearts)呢?他們笑着解釋道,內地人即使在毫不重要的事上也會被觸怒(take umbrage);他們告訴我說,內地網民(netizens)的心很容易破碎(shatter)。他們的解釋令我意會到,許多內地網民(netizens)確實有着很易碎(shatter)的玻璃心(glass hearts)。不過,公道點說,許多香港網民(netizens)亦同樣有着玻璃心(glass hearts)。

  朋友們告訴我,網絡術語glass hearts的意思是,人們很易因為其他人說的話而憤怒或感到被冒犯。他們解釋道,內地網民(netizens)是玻璃心(glass hearts),因為他們會為其他人所做或所說的話,即使是微不足道的事情,而生氣及要求道歉。他們的心像玻璃般碎裂(shatter)。Shatter一字就是指打碎、破裂成碎片,例如當一塊玻璃跌在地上的時候。A netizen就是花很多時間上網的網民。To take umbrage就是在沒有正當理由之下,惱怒別人所說的話。英文習語“glass-hearted”或“heart of glass”通常是指在感情事上,當情侶要分開、離婚又或吵架時,心靈很易受傷或破碎。

  我的朋友們跟我說,英文字詞的意思跟他們用來形容內地網民的“glass hearts”是有些分別的,因為他們所用的詞語並非指感情事;它是指那些網民(netizens)惱怒(take umbrage)西方時裝及美容公司所做的一些廣告(commercials),即使沒有冒犯之意,內地人仍說廣告侮辱了他們的民族。譬如,一個意大利時裝品牌的廣告(commercial)中,有一名內地模特兒用筷子吃薄餅,內地網民(netizens)就很生氣(took umbrage)並要求道歉。同樣,一個西班牙服裝公司的一則富藝術感的廣告(commercial)中,一位內地模特兒只化了淡妝,他們也是一樣的反應。在我看來,兩個廣告(commercials)都很有創意,而非具侮辱性的。mickchug@gmail.com

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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