What is the exact description of police who dress as black-clad protesters? These black-clad policemen mingle (mix together) with the protesters, identify ringleaders, and arrest the hardcore protesters. The word "clad" means dressed. Black-clad, therefore, means dressed in black. A ringleader is a leader of a group. People who take part in the ongoing anti-government protests say there are no ringleaders because the movement is leaderless. The word "hardcore" used this way means a small group of people within a larger group who believe most strongly in the group's principles. When the media first found out that policemen had dressed as black-clad protesters, the English media described the policemen as decoys or undercover policemen.
As I explained in a previous column, the word "decoy" used this way can mean a policeman pretending to be something else. As I also explained, to work undercover, when applied to the police, means to work secretly to obtain information. But the police have gradually changed the English word to describe black-clad policemen. First, they used the word "disguise". This means to give a person a different or new appearance to hide the person's true identity. The police used yet another description last week when citizens videoed a black-clad policeman with a facemask at the Sheung Shui MTR station even though the station had been closed. They said the black-clad policeman was wearing plain clothes.
As I explained in my previous column, plain clothes means ordinary clothes people wear every day. It is incorrect to describe black-clad policemen with black facemasks as wearing plain clothes. Many protesters and ordinary Hong Kong people say the black-clad policemen mingling with protesters are actually agent provocateurs. The correct pronunciation of this French word should be in French. An agent provocateur is a government agent or a person secretly hired by a government to encourage people in political groups to do illegal things so they can be arrested. Many people believe black-clad policemen are agent provocateurs who cause violence or encourage protesters to cause violence so they can be arrested.
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到底要怎樣的描述，才能準確地形容那些裝扮成黑衫（black-clad）示威者的警員？這些黑衫（black-clad）警員混在（mingle）示威者當中辨認頭目（ringleaders），拘捕中堅（hardcore）示威者。Clad 即身穿、穿着；因此black-clad即穿着一身黑衣。A ringleader就是一群人的頭目、在當中為首的。在這持續的反政府示威裏，參與者都說他們沒有首領（ringleaders），因為這場運動是「無大台」、沒有領袖的。Hardcore在這裏的意思是在一個大的組織裏，最強烈相信組織原則的一小撮骨幹成員或中堅份子。當傳媒首先發現警員裝扮成黑衫（black-clad）示威者時，英語媒體都將這些警員描述為decoys或undercover policemen。
正如我在之前的文章中說過，decoy即喬裝警；我也解說過，to work undercover，套用在警方上，就是以卧底身份暗中套取情報。然而，警方已漸漸將那個形容黑衫（black-clad）警員的英文字眼轉換了。他們首先用的字是「disguise」，即是偽裝，以不同又或新的模樣去隱藏某人的真實身份。上星期，當有市民拍攝到一位戴上面罩的黑衫（black-clad）警員在上水港鐵站出現，即使該站已經關閉，警方卻又用了另一個描述：他們說那位黑衫（black-clad）警員是在穿便衣（plain clothes）。
正如我在之前的專欄中解釋過，plain clothes意即人們日常穿着的便裝。將戴黑色面罩的黑衫（black-clad）警員描述為穿便衣（plain clothes），是不正確的。許多示威者和一般的香港市民，都說那些混在（mingling）示威者當中的黑衫（black-clad）警員實質是 agent provocateurs，這個法國字的正確讀音應是用法文的讀法。An agent provocateur就是政府密探，又或是由政府暗中聘用的人員，潛入政治組織誘使其犯罪，好能逮捕他們。許多人相信，黑衫（black-clad）警員就是奸細（agent provocateurs），意圖製造暴力事件，又或鼓勵示威者訴諸暴力，好叫示威者被逮捕。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧