又中又英——zoomplomacy and Covidiot

  Some weeks ago, while reading a magazine article, I came across the word “zoomplomacy”. It is a made-up rather than a proper word but it was not hard to guess its meaning. The word “zoomplomacy” is a combination of two words – zoom and diplomacy. Since the coronavirus started late last year in China and spread to the world, social distancing made it difficult for people to have face-to-face meetings. Many companies and even world leaders used the Zoom app for meetings. The word “diplomacy” means the management of relations between countries through their leaders or their overseas representatives, known as diplomats. The new word “zoomplomacy” means world leaders or diplomats using Zoom to discuss relations between their countries.

  I am not sure if dictionaries will classify “zoomplomacy” as a proper word but my guess is the word won’t be used much when there is a vaccine for the coronavirus because face-to-face meetings will then become normal again. The expression “face-to-face” means actually seeing each other instead of using apps like Zoom. Many other words aside from “zoomplomacy” have been invented since the coronavirus pandemic started. The word “webinar” has become popular since the virus started. It is a combination of the words “web” (internet) and seminar. One of the funniest is “covidiot”. This word is a combination of the words Covid -19, the scientific name for the coronavirus, and idiot. It means a person who disobeys social distancing rules.

  Hong Kong's tourism industry now often uses the word "staycation". This is a combination of the words "stay" and "vacation". Summer vacations have become impossible because of the pandemic. Most countries have closed their borders to tourists. Hotel rooms in Hong Kong are almost empty because foreign tourists who visit must go through quarantine. The tourism industry believes Hong Kong people can still have a good time staying here for their summer vacation. Many hotels have very affordable “staycation” offers. I was recently at the Hong Kong Disney Hotel to see friends. The hotel has affordable “staycation” offers. I plan to try it.

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  幾個星期前,我讀着一篇雜誌的文章時,遇到了“zoomplomacy”這個字。這是一個新造而非正統的字,但也不難猜得出它的意思。“Zoomplomacy”是zoom和 diplomacy這兩個字的合成體。自從新冠病毒上年年尾於中國內地爆發,再蔓延至全世界,社交距離令人難有面對面(face-to-face)交流的會議。Diplomacy是指國與國之間,透過元首或其駐外地的代表,即外交官(diplomats),所進行的外交事務。新字“zoomplomacy”就是世界領袖或外交官(diplomats),運用Zoom這個軟件,去商討國際關係事宜。

  我不確定各大字典可會將“zoomplomacy”歸類為正統的字,但我估計,當有針對新冠病毒的疫苗面世時,這個字就不會那麼常用,因為面對面(face-to-face)的會議又再恢復正常。習語face-to-face是指面對面交流,而非用Zoom這類的軟件。新冠肺炎全球大流行疫情爆發以來,在“zoomplomacy”以外也新創了許多其他字詞。自病毒出現以來,“webinar”一字就開始流行,它是“web”(互聯網)及 seminar(研討會)的合成字。“Covidiot”也是其中一個很有趣的字,它是新冠病毒的學名Covid -19及 idiot的合成字,意指不服從社交距離規則的白癡。

  香港旅遊業現在就常用到"staycation"這個字,它是"stay"和"vacation"的合成字。因着這全球大流行疫症,到外地放暑假已變得不可能;大部份國家也已封關,不容許遊客入境。香港的酒店房間十室九空,因為外地遊客訪港一定要接受隔離檢疫。旅遊業相信,香港人仍然可以在這兒放暑假,享受美好的時光。許多酒店都推出非常超值實惠的「宅度假」(“staycation”)推廣計劃。我最近就到了香港迪士尼酒店見見朋友。酒店也有實惠的「宅度假」(“staycation”)推廣,我打算一試。

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中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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