又中又英——grown into the job

  In my previous column I wrote about idioms and expressions some leading Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, used during last week’s Democratic Party convention. Both the Republican Party and Democratic Party hold conventions every four years to select their president and vice president candidates. It is uncommon for a former president to criticize the current president. Current presidents don’t normally criticize past presidents. But Trump has repeatedly criticized Obama, who stayed silent but used last week’s convention to fiercely criticize Trump. He said: “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t”. The expression “grow into” something has several meanings but used this way it means to gradually learn how to do a job successfully.

  When Obama said Trump hasn’t “grown into the job” because he can’t, he meant Trump hasn’t learned how to be a successful president because he doesn’t know how. The Democratic Party convention nominated Joe Biden as its presidential candidate for November’s election and Kamala Harris as the candidate for vice president. Biden, who will be 78 years old soon, is not as good a speaker as Obama or Harris. He looked old when he accepted the party’s nomination to be its presidential candidate but he spoke with emotion. He said: “All elections are important. We know in our bones this one is more consequential”. The expression “know in your bones” or “feel in your bones” means you believe strongly in something even though you have no proof.

  The word “consequential” used this way means significant or important. When Biden said Americans knew “in their bones” this election is more “consequential”, he meant voters believed very strongly or knew in their hearts November’s election is more important than previous elections because Trump is a very unusual and divisive president. Biden said he had to speak up because “silence is complicity”. The word “complicity” means being involved with others in an illegal activity. But used this way it means silence is morally wrong. Biden meant it is morally wrong to not openly criticize what he believes is Trump’s failed presidency.

    *   *   *   *   *

  在上一篇專欄中,我寫到一些美國民主黨領袖,包括前總統奧巴馬,在上周的民主黨大會中所用到的成語和習語。共和黨與民主黨皆每四年召開大會,去挑選他們的總統與副總統候選人。一位前總統開腔批評現任總統,並不常見;現任總統通常也不會批評歷任的總統。然而,特朗普卻一而再地批評奧巴馬,而奧巴馬一直以來都沉默以對,但就藉着上周的大會猛烈地批評特朗普。他說:「特朗普並未grown into the job,因為他不能。」習語“grow into” something有幾個意思,但在這裏是指逐漸地熟習並勝任一份工作。

  當奧巴馬說特朗普因為不能而並未“grown into the job”,他的意思是特朗普還未懂得怎樣去做一個成功的總統,因為他並不知道該怎樣去做。民主黨大會提名拜登作為代表其黨的總統候選人,出戰十一月的大選,而賀錦麗就是副總統候選人。拜登快將七十八歲了,在演說方面並不如奧巴馬或賀錦麗般好。他接受黨提名為總統候選人時,看上去頗蒼老,但他致辭的時候卻充滿情感。他說:「所有的大選都重要;但我們骨子裏都知道(know in our bones)這次是更為重大的(consequential)。」習語“know in your bones”或“feel in your bones”是指,即使你並無真憑實據,卻仍深深相信某事。

  Consequential在這裏是指意義重大又或重要的。當拜登說,美國人“knew in their bones”今次選舉是更為“consequential”,他的意思是選民強烈相信或心底裏都知道,十一月大選比歷屆大選都要來得重要,因為特朗普是個很不尋常及會製造分裂的總統。拜登說,他要大聲疾呼,因為“silence is complicity”。Complicity是串通他人去從事非法活動,但在這裏它是指,沉默在道德上是錯的。拜登的意思是,他相信特朗普當總統是失敗的,而若他不就此公開批評,那就是不道德的。

  [email protected] 中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


hd