又中又英——A week is a long time in politics

  Before the coronavirus pandemic erupted in the US, I believed US President Donald Trump was a shoo-in for re-election in November. The economy was good, the jobless rate was low, and he was popular among Republicans. His rival, former vice-president Joe Biden, does not have the same charisma as his former boss Barack Obama. I believed it was a long shot for Biden to win. But the tide has turned. Trump is no longer a shoo-in for re-election. Opinion polls show his popularity has dropped because of his handling of the pandemic and economy. The polls show Biden's popularity has risen. It is no longer a long shot for him to win.

  If you are a shoo-in, it means you are certain to win, such as an election or competition. The word "charisma" is used to describe people with a strong personality that makes others admire them. If you have a "long shot" it means you only have a very small chance of succeeding in something that you do. The expression "the tide has turned" used this way means a complete reversal of a situation. For example, if you are winning in a tennis match but your opponent suddenly starts to score more points, you can say the tide has turned.

  The US election is still three months away. There is a popular saying that a week is a long time in politics. This means a lot can change in a very short time in politics. The tide can turn again if the coronavirus pandemic eases in the US and a vaccine is approved by November, which helps the economy to recover. If that happens, Trump will become a shoo-in again for re-election. But I think it's a long shot that a successful vaccine can be approved by US health officials before the elections. Many experts believe a vaccine will be available by the end of 2020 or early next year. Trump wants a vaccine before the election. I hope a safe vaccine can be found as soon as possible.

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  美國爆發全球大流行的新冠肺炎疫情之前,我認為美國總統唐納德‧特朗普要在十一月大選中競選連任,是十拿九穩的事(shoo-in)。當時的經濟不錯,失業率低,他在共和黨人中也相當受歡迎。他的對手,前副總統祖‧拜登,並沒有他前老闆巴拉克‧奧巴馬般的個人魅力(charisma)。拜登要贏,我相信是個很難成功的嘗試(long shot)。然而,形勢逆轉(the tide has turned),特朗普競選連任不再是穩操勝券(shoo-in),民調顯示,他的支持度已經下跌,是因着他在全球大流行疫情以及經濟方面的處理不善。各項民調亦顯示,拜登的支持度有所上升。他要贏得大選,再並非難以成功的嘗試(long shot)。

  若你是a shoo-in,意即你是穩操勝券者,例如在一個選舉又或比賽之中。Charisma是用來形容人們有非凡的個人魅力,令他人為之欣賞。若你have a“long shot”,意即在你想做的某事上,成功的機會很渺茫。習語“the tide has turned”在這裏是指局勢有了一百八十度的轉變。譬如,若你在一場網球比賽中佔盡上風,正要贏了,但你的對手卻突然開始得更多的分,你便可以說the tide has turned。

  美國總統大選還有三個月就要舉行了。有一個很流行的說法,就是a week is a long time in politics,意思即是政治一星期都嫌長,很多事情可以在短時間內改變。要是美國的新冠肺炎疫情放緩,在十一月能批出疫苗,那就能協助經濟復甦,局勢亦會再一次逆轉(the tide can turn)。若這能發生,特朗普連任又會是十拿九穩的事(shoo-in)了。

  然而,要在大選之前成功研發疫苗,獲得美國衞生官員批准量產,是很難成功的嘗試(long shot)。許多專家都相信,疫苗可在二○二○年年底或明年初左右面世。特朗普則希望在大選前有疫苗。我希望安全的疫苗可以盡早研發成功。[email protected] 中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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