又中又英——A little bit of a hiccup

  Some people often get hiccups. Other people seldom get hiccups. I haven't had hiccups in many years. Whenever people I know get hiccups, I tell them I have an easy cure. If a friend with hiccups asks me what the cure is, I suddenly shout very loudly to scare my friend. Being suddenly frightened sometimes stops the hiccups. It is not a scientific or proven medical fact. I read about it years ago. I tried it on friends several times. Sometimes it worked, other times it did not. I feel there is no harm in trying. A hiccup is a loud noise people make in the throat without wanting to.

  It is caused by a sudden tightening of the muscle just below the chest. Some hiccups, which happen repeatedly, last for a short time. Others can last for a long time. The word "hiccup" can have another meaning. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor used it last week when answering media questions about coronavirus vaccines. The government has bought three types of vaccines but none of them have arrived. She said there has been "a little bit of a hiccup". The word "hiccup" used this way means a temporary problem that causes delays or interruptions but does not cause serious difficulties. What the chief executive meant was we should not worry too much about the delay in arrivals of the vaccines.

  She used another expression when the media asked her about enforcement of testing for the coronavirus. She said enforcement of testing was "part and parcel" of stopping the spread of the virus. This expression is used when something is a necessary and important part of an issue that cannot be avoided. For example, exercising is part and parcel of keeping fit. Avoiding unhealthy foods is also part and parcel of staying healthy. The chief executive used the expression to say we cannot avoid the enforcement of testing to control the virus.

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  有些人會不時打嗝(hiccups),另一些人則很少打嗝(hiccups)。我已經很多年沒有打嗝(hiccups)了。每當有我認識的人打嗝(hiccups),我會告訴他們我有個簡單的療法。要是有名在打嗝(hiccups)的朋友問我是何療法,我會突然大聲吼叫,嚇一嚇我這位朋友。

  突然被嚇有時可以停止打嗝(hiccups),但它並非科學的或經過醫學驗證的方法。我多年前讀到這樣一個方法,也好幾次跟朋友試過,有時可行,有時則沒用。我想,試試也無害吧!A hiccup就是打嗝,即人在不情願的情況下,於喉嚨間發出聲響。

  它是來自胸部下的肌肉突然收縮。有時候,不斷的打嗝(hiccups)只是短時間持續,可另一些則是較長時間而不止。“Hiccup”也可以有另一個意思。特首林鄭月娥上星期回應傳媒詢問新冠肺炎疫苗之事時,就用到這個字。政府採購了三款疫苗,但現時無一款已抵達香港。她說那確實是有一點“hiccup”。“Hiccup”在這裏的意思是暫時有個小問題,引致延誤或阻滯,但不構成嚴重的障礙。特首的意思是,我們不應過份擔憂疫苗延誤抵港。

  當傳媒問她有關新冠肺炎病毒的強制檢測方面時,她用了另外一個習語。她說,強制檢測是阻截病毒傳播的“part and parcel”。這個習語是用於形容某事是某個問題的必須和重要的部份,是不能避免的。譬如,運動是健身不可或缺的部份(part and parcel);戒掉不健康的食物,同樣是保持健康最基本的份(part and parcel)。特首用這個習語是說,我們要控制疫情,就不能避免要強制檢測。

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中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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