又中又英——“cabal of wackadoodles”

  Now that relations between the US and China have deteriorated, the mainland’s media often uses colourful language to criticize President Donald Trump’s administration. Last week, the mainland’s government-controlled English language China Daily used very colourful language to criticize senior US officials without naming them. The US recently expelled some mainland journalists and China did the same by expelling American journalists. An editorial in the China Daily accused the US of starting a total confrontation with China, first with trade and now with a journalists’ visa war. The editorial had a paragraph with very colourful language that English speakers don’t normally use. The expression “colourful language” means rude, offensive, or vulgar language.

  The editorial said the US was ‘‘lost in the fog of flawed recollections of the country’s past glory”. The word “fog” means a thick cloud of water droplets hanging in the air, making it difficult for people to see. The word “flawed” means not perfect or incorrect. The word “recollection” means a memory of something. The expression “past glory” means past greatness. The whole sentence therefore means the US is lost in a fog, making its memories of past greatness incorrect, meaning the US was never great. It described US officials as a “cabal of wackadoodles”. The word “cabal” means a small group of people who secretly plan to take action, especially political action, against others.

  The word “wackadoodle” means a crazy, fanatical, or irrational person. In 2014, the Oxford Dictionary added it as a new word. By describing US officials as a “cabal of wackadoodles”, the editorial meant US officials are a group of fanatics secretly plotting to destabilize China. The editorial said the “cabal of wackadoodles” was following the “decomposing” guidebook of “Reaganite” strategy. The word “decomposing” means decaying or rotting. The word “Reaganite” refers to former US President Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War against the former Soviet Union. By referring to Reagan’s guidebook as decaying, the editorial meant it could no longer be used as a strategy in a Cold War with China.

*****

  現在中美關係已然惡化,內地媒體常用上「有色語言」(colourful language)去批評美國總統特朗普的行政架構。上星期,內地英語官媒《中國日報》就用了粗鄙話(colourful language),不開名地批評美國高官。美國最近驅逐了一些來自中國的記者,而中國亦以牙還牙,驅逐了美國駐華的記者。《中國日報》的一篇社論,指控美國開啟了跟中國的全面衝突,先是貿易,現在則是新聞工作者的簽證之戰。那篇社論其中有一段,用了粗鄙話(colourful language),是說英語的人平常不會用到的。習語“colourful language”是指無禮、粗俗又或下流的話。

  該社論說,美國是“lost in the fog of flawed recollections of the country’s past glory”。句中的“fog”解作令人視野模糊不清的迷霧;“flawed”則指有缺陷或錯誤的;“recollection”就是對某事的記憶;“past glory”就是昔日的光輝。因此,全句的意思是,美國在迷霧(fog)中迷失了,以至其往昔光輝的記憶有所偏差,是不真實的,意味着美國從來沒有強大過。它形容美國官員為“cabal of wackadoodles”,“cabal”是指一個小集團有陰謀,特別是政治陰謀,去對付他人。

  “Wackadoodle”則是指瘋狂、狂熱、非理性、怪裏怪氣的人。於二○一四年,牛津字典收納了這個新字。形容美國官員是“cabal of wackadoodles”,該篇社論的意思是美國官員是一群狂熱的極端份子,暗中圖謀去使中國動盪。社論說,這個「有政治陰謀的狂熱份子集團」(“cabal of wackadoodles”)是在跟隨「正在腐爛」(decomposing)的「列根式」(Reaganite)策略手冊辦事。“Decomposing”是指正在腐爛、分解中的;“Reaganite”則是指朗奴‧列根,那位在與前蘇聯對陣的冷戰中取勝的前美國總統。當提到列根的手冊是正在腐爛的,那篇社論的意思是,它再也不能用來作為與中國冷戰的有效戰略。

[email protected] 中譯:七刻



Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


hd