又中又英——Pat yourself on the back

  For several weeks now, I have watched US President Donald Trump's daily press briefing on the coronavirus. Some of the things he says are either misleading or not scientifically factual. He often tangles (argues, quarrels) with reporters he feels are unfair. But the reporters are never afraid to ask tough questions. The daily press briefings are a good example of media freedom. Trump often uses these briefings to pat himself on the back for the way he is handling the pandemic. I watch the briefings because they are entertaining. They are like shows. I also like the way Trump uses slang words and invents words.

  Almost every day for the past few weeks he has said the US is the "king of ventilators". Recently he also started saying the US is the "king of testing". He often says "let's give it a shot" when he picks reporters he doesn't like to ask questions. He has now started using the expression "pent-up demand". The expression "pat yourself on the back" means to praise or congratulate yourself. A "ventilator" used this way is a machine that helps sick patients breathe. Like other countries, the US had a shortage of ventilators when the coronavirus pandemic started. Trump forced US companies to quickly produce ventilators. Now the US has more ventilators than it needs.

  Trump invented the expression "king of ventilators" to mean the US now has more ventilators than any other country. The US has now tested over five million people to see if they have the coronavirus. That's why he says the US is now the "king of testing". The expression "give it a shot" means to try something. Trump says this when he chooses critical reporters to ask questions. By using it, he means he knows the reporter will ask hostile questions but he will try to let the reporter ask anyway. The expression "pent-up demand" used this way means very strong consumer demand for something. Trump used it to mean US consumers want to re-open the country so they can start buying things.

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  幾個星期以來,我都有看美國總統特朗普每天有關新冠病毒疫情的新聞發佈會。他說的有些事,不是有誤導性,就是沒有科學根據。他常跟一些他認為不持平公正的記者爭論(tangles)。但記者們從未畏懼去問一些尖銳的問題。這個每日例行新聞發佈會,就是新聞自由的一個很好的示範。特朗普常用這些發佈會去自吹自擂(pat himself on the back),他在這全球大流行疫情的處理上有多好。我會看這些新聞發佈會,因為它們都很富娛樂性,就像綜藝節目一樣。我也很喜歡特朗普使用俚語和發明新詞的手法。過去幾星期,差不多每天他都會說,美國是「呼吸機之王」(king of ventilators)。最近,他又開始說,美國是「檢測之王」(king of testing)。

  當他要揀一些他不喜歡的記者去提問時,就常說「即管試試吧」(let’s give it a shot)。現在,他則開始用上習語“pent-up demand”。習語“pat yourself on the back”意即賣花讚花香,自己稱讚或恭賀自己。A“ventilator”在這裏是指幫助病人呼吸的呼吸機。在新冠肺炎疫情開始全球性爆發時,美國一如其他國家,呼吸機(ventilators)相當短缺。特朗普迫令美國公司加快製造呼吸機(ventilators)。現在,美國已有足夠的呼吸機(ventilators),多於它所需要的。

  特朗普發明了習語“king of ventilators”,去指出美國現在所擁有的呼吸機(ventilators)比任何其他國家都要多。美國現在已檢測了逾五百萬人,看看他們是否有感染新冠病毒。因此他說美國現在已成了“king of testing”。習語“give it a shot”意即去試試某事;特朗普在揀選那些甚為批判性的記者時,就會這樣說道,而他說這話的意思是,即使那位記者會問到一些帶敵意的問題,無論如何他仍會嘗試去讓那記者提問。習語“pent-up demand”在這裏是指對某事物的一個被壓抑的強烈消費需求。特朗普用此習語,是要指出美國消費者都希望國家重新開放,好讓他們可以開始購物。中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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