又中又英——New normal

  What will the world be like when the coronavirus pandemic is over? No one knows for sure but many people are now using the expression "new normal" to describe what the world will be like. This is not a new expression but has become popular nowadays. I used it many times during the anti-extradition bill protests. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had said many times during the protests that she wanted Hong Kong to return to normal. But I said going back to the "normal" before the protests started was impossible because the protests had created a "new normal" for Hong Kong.

  The expression "new normal" means what was not normal before has become normal. For example, before the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing and wearing facemasks were not normal. Now they are commonplace (ordinary, very common). Disease experts say social distancing and wearing facemasks will be the new normal even when the coronavirus pandemic is gone because the virus will come back. They say social distancing and wearing facemasks will no longer be the new normal only when scientists develop a vaccine to protect people. US President Donald Trump wants to go to a new normal by re-opening the country so the US can become the "comeback kid".

  Trump used the expression "comeback kid" last week at his daily coronavirus press conference. It is a common American slang expression. A "comeback kid" is a person who can always overcome bad things or failures and succeed in the end. When Trump said he wanted the US to become the "comeback kid" he meant he wanted the US to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn and succeed in the end by re-opening the country and reviving the economy. Every country affected by the coronavirus outbreak wants to be the comeback kid. Actually, the whole world wants to be the comeback kid. I believe in the power of the people. That's why I think the whole world can be the comeback kid against the coronavirus.

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  當全球大流行的新冠病毒疫情完結的時候,世界會是怎個模樣呢?沒有人確切知道,但許多人現在已在用習語“new normal”去形容世界將會變成的模樣。那不是新的習語,但今天已變得相當流行。我在反引渡條例修訂示威期間就曾多次用到它。特首林鄭月娥亦在那抗議活動期間說過很多遍,她希望香港可以回復正常。然而我說,回到示威發生之前的「正常」生活是不可能的,因為抗議運動已經為香港創立了一個「新常態」(new normal)。

  習語“new normal”是指從前不尋常的,已變成平常。譬如,在新冠病毒疫情前,保持社交距離和戴口罩並不平常,現在都是司空見慣(commonplace)的了。疾病專家指,即使當新冠病毒疫情過去,保持社交距離和戴口罩都會成為新常態(new normal),因為病毒會捲土重來的。他們說,只有在科學家研發出疫苗去保護人民,保持社交距離和戴口罩才不會成為新常態(new normal)。美國總統特朗普也想重開國家,步入新常態(new normal),好讓美國得以成為那個“comeback kid”。

  特朗普上星期在他的每日新冠病毒記者會上,用上習語“comeback kid”。那是一個很常見的美國俚語。A“comeback kid”就是東山再起、反敗為勝的人。當特朗普說,他想美國成為那個「東山再起的小子」(comeback kid),他的意思是希望美國能戰勝新冠病毒疫情和經濟衰退,靠着重新開放國家和重振經濟,最終反敗為勝。每一個爆發新冠病毒疫情而被影響的國家,都想做那個東山再起的小子(comeback kid);事實上,全世界也想反敗為勝(be the comeback kid)。我相信人民的力量,因此我認為全世界對抗新冠肺炎,也能反敗為勝(be the comeback kid)。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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