又中又英——insult-fest

  It is well-known that US President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi detest (hate, loathe) each other. This became even clearer last week when Pelosi and other Democratic Party members went to the White House to discuss Trump’s decision to withdraw US soldiers from Syria. The Guardian newspaper said the meeting quickly became an insult-fest after Trump called Pelosi a third-rate politician. The slang word “insult-fest” is an occasion, such as a meeting, when people who disagree insult each other. There are many insult-fests in Hong Kong nowadays among family and friends who disagree about the violent protests. The word “insult-fest” comes from the word lovefest, which means an occasion or event when people show love and admiration for each other. The word “fest” is short for festival.

  After the insult-fest, the Democratic Party members walked out (left suddenly and angrily) of the White House meeting. They told the media the meeting with Trump was not a dialogue but a diatribe. The word “diatribe” means angry criticism using either spoken words, a speech, or an article. Columnists sometimes write diatribes against politicians or governments. Pelosi told the media Trump had a meltdown during the meeting. The word “meltdown” has several meanings. The original meaning refers to an accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor, causing radiation to escape. The word “meltdown” can also mean a disastrous situation, a collapse, or failure of something. For example, if Hong Kong’s property prices suddenly fall by 50 percent, you can say the property market is in a meltdown.

  When Pelosi said Trump had a meltdown, she meant the president had become very angry, emotional, and had lost self-control. It is common for people to have a meltdown when they are too tired or under a lot of pressure. They become angry easily and are unable to control their words or behavior. Trump is known for having meltdowns. Last week was not the first time Pelosi said Trump had a meltdown during a White House meeting. Many Hong Kong people have meltdowns when they discuss the current political situation.

***

  美國總統特朗普與眾議院議長蘭茜.佩洛西彼此憎惡(detest),是眾所周知的;上星期當佩洛西與其他民主黨黨員前往白宮,商討特朗普決定從敍利亞撤走美軍之時,這就更為明顯。《衞報》報道,在特朗普叫佩洛西為「三流政客」之後,那次會議很快就變成了一場insult-fest。俚語insult-fest是指一個場合,例如一場會議上,意見不合的人互相辱罵。今時今日,香港也上演着許多「互罵大會」(insult-fests),家人與朋友間對於激烈示威之事互不咬弦。Insult-fests源自lovefest一字,就是「愛的慶典」,人們互相表達愛與讚賞的場合或活動。Fest就是festival(節慶)的簡寫。

  在一輪互罵(insult-fest)過後,民主黨黨員從白宮會議中憤而離場(walked out)。他們對傳媒說,跟特朗普的會面不是一場對話,而是diatribe。Diatribe即指抨擊,不論以說話、演辭抑或文章猛烈批評。專欄作家有時也會寫評論抨擊(diatribe)政客或政府。佩洛西跟傳媒說,特朗普在一次會面中meltdown。Meltdown有幾個意思,原本的意思是指爐芯熔解,即核反應堆意外熔化損毁,導致放射性物質外洩。Meltdown一字也解作災難性的形勢、破滅又或某事的衰敗。譬如,若香港的樓價突然下跌百分之五十,你就可以說樓市正在崩塌(in a meltdown)。

  當佩洛西說特朗普had a meltdown,她的意思是總統變得非常暴躁、情緒化,亦已失去自控能力。人們太疲累或承受太大壓力時崩潰(meltdown),也很平常。他們會變得容易發怒,不能控制自己的言詞或行為。特朗普出了名是會有情緒失控、大發脾氣(meltdowns)的時候。上星期也不是第一次,佩洛西說特朗普在白宮會議期間情緒失控(meltdown)了。許多香港人談到現時的政治環境,也會有情緒失控(meltdowns)的時候。中譯:七刻



Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


hd