又中又英——Omnishambles

  Legislative Council member Abraham Shek Lai-him often speaks in English rather than Cantonese during council meetings. I wish more councillors would sometimes speak in English too. Shek Lai-him spoke in English last week during a Legco debate to impeach Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Even though pro-government legislators slammed the chief executive for her failure to end months of civil unrest, they said she should not be impeached. Shek Lai-him, who is often pro-government, was among the legislators who slammed the chief executive. He used a very unusual word to slam the government. He said Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's government was an "omnishambles".

  The word "slam" can be used in several ways but used this way it means to angrily criticize someone. As I have explained before, the word "omni" means everywhere or everything. The word "shambles" means a situation of total disorder, untidiness, or confusion. The word "omnishambles", which combines "omni" with "shambles", means a situation that is bad in every way caused by total mismanagement and numerous mistakes. Shek Lai-him described the government as an "omnishambles" for failing to provide a political solution to the many months of protests. What he meant was Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had made so many mistakes with her extradition bill and managed the situation so badly after she withdrew the bill that the government is now in a total mess.

  The word "omnishambles" was named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary in 2012. It was coined (invented) in 2009 by the writers of a BBC political comedy show called The Thick of It. Shek Lai-him also slammed the chief executive for being aloof and uncompromising. If you are "aloof", it means you are not friendly, keep away from other people, and do not take part in things. Many people have criticized the chief executive for being aloof since the protests started six months ago. She stayed away from ordinary people and was seldom seen in public.

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  立法會議員石禮謙在議會中,較常以英語多於用廣東話發言。我希望有更多議員也會間中用英語發言。上星期立法會就彈劾特首林鄭月娥進行辯論期間,石禮謙便用了英語發言。雖然親政府的議員抨擊(slammed)特首在制止連月的社會動亂上失職,他們仍說她不應被彈劾。通常都是親政府的石禮謙,也是其中一位大力批評(slammed)特首的立法會議員。他用了一個很不常見的字去抨擊(slam)政府。他說,林鄭月娥的政府是個「omnishambles」。

  Slam一字有許多用法,但在這裏它是指憤怒地批評某人。正如我以前解釋過,「omni」是指到處、遍地、一切。「Shambles」則是指毫無秩序、一團糟、一片混亂的狀態。「Omnishambles」結合了「omni」與「shambles」,就是指各方面都糟透的境地,由於管理不善和無數的錯失、誤判,造成全面失控的局面。石禮謙將政府形容為omnishambles,就是指它未能為多月示威提供政治解決方案。他的意思是,林鄭月娥在《引渡條例》一事上犯了那麼多的過錯,撤回草案後在控制亂局方面也非常失敗,導致現在的政府完全是一團糟。

  Omnishambles一字被《牛津英語詞典》選為二○一二年的年度代表字。它是二○○九年由英國廣播公司一個政治諷刺喜劇《幕後危機》的編劇所創(coined)。石禮謙也抨擊(slammed)特首過於aloof及強硬不妥協。若你是aloof,即是指你並不友善,冷漠得像生人勿近一般,也不願參與活動。許多人也批評特首自六個月前示威抗議開始以來,她都是那麼的孤僻冷漠(aloof)。她一直疏遠普通市民,也很難在公開場合見到她。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧






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