Anyone who goes to the supermarket regularly will have noticed the recent price hikes of even ordinary items. Price hikes of items such as hand sanitizers are understandable because there is a global shortage. But there is no global shortage of items such as frozen fish, frozen chicken, canned tuna and even cheese. So why have Hong Kong's supermarkets hiked the prices of these items? It is common knowledge our supermarkets have long been shamelessly fleecing the people. Supermarkets can fleece the people because there are no laws against it. The Consumer Council is a toothless tiger. That's why supermarkets thumb their noses at the Consumer Council because it only names and shames supermarkets in a wishy-washy way.
The expression “price hike” means increasing the price of something. The word “fleece” means the thick, wooly covering of a sheep. A jacket made from such wool can also be called a fleece. But to “fleece the people” means to cheat them by charging them too much. Supermarkets always fleece the people when they have sales. They cross out a higher price and put a lower price to pretend there is a sale. But the items have never been sold at the crossed-out higher price. The Consumer Council exposed this fleecing of the people some time ago but in a wishy-washy way. The expression “wishy-washy” means lacking in decisiveness or strength. That’s why supermarkets thumb their noses at the Consumer Council.
If you “thumb your nose” at someone, it means you don’t respect that person or don’t care what that person thinks. There is a global health crisis. The coronavirus, which began in Wuhan, has now spread across the world. Hong Kong people, like people all over the world, are scared. Many Hong Kong people have lost their jobs. Instead of fleecing the people, supermarkets should be helping the people. Hong Kong’s two main supermarket chains are owned by two of Hong Kong’s biggest companies. They should have a conscience during these difficult times instead of fleecing the people. The Consumer Council should name and shame them more forcefully.
任何恆常光顧超市的人都會留意到，最近連日常用品都是物價高企（price hikes）。酒精搓手液一類的物品價格上漲（price hikes）是可理解的，因為全球都短缺；但急凍魚、急凍雞、罐頭吞拿魚甚至芝士，可沒有全球缺貨啊，那麼香港的超級市場為何會大幅提高這些貨物的價格（hiked the prices）？人所共知，我們的超市長期無恥地敲詐人們（fleecing the people）。超市得以敲詐人（fleece the people），因為現時沒有法例規管制止。消費者委員會是無牙老虎。因此，超市對消委會都是嗤之以鼻（thumb their noses），因為它只會用軟弱無力的（wishy-washy）手法點名譴責一下那些超市。
習語“price hike”是指某物價格上漲。Fleece是指那層厚厚的、毛茸茸的羊毛；以那些羊毛製成的抓絨外套也叫作fleece。但to “fleece the people”則是指以過高的價格欺詐人們。超市減價的時候，就常常蒙騙人們（fleece the people）。他們會劃掉一個較貴的「原價」，再展示一個低價來裝成是特價，然而其實那件貨物從未以被劃去的高價發售。消委會在前些日子就曾揭發這種欺詐人們（fleecing the people）的手法，但都是軟弱無力的（wishy-washy）。習語“wishy-washy”是指猶疑不決或無力的。因此超市都對消委會嗤之以鼻（thumb their noses）。
若你“thumb your nose” at someone，意即你不尊重那人，亦不在乎那人怎樣看。全球衞生危機已現，起源於武漢的新型冠狀病毒，現已擴散至全世界。香港人，一如世界各地的人，都會驚恐，許多香港人亦已失業。超市好應幫助人，而不是敲詐市民（fleecing the people）。香港的兩大連鎖超市是由香港兩個最大的財團所擁有。他們在這艱難的時期好應存有良知，而不是去敲詐人們（fleecing the people）。消委會應該更有力地點名譴責它們。[email protected]
＊只須用手機掃描 QR code，就可以聆聽我朗讀專欄的錄音，希望這能幫助大家改善英文字詞的發音。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧