又中又英——To"take to the airwaves"

  The morning after last Wednesday's budget, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po took to the airwaves to answer questions from radio listeners. Many were livid (angry) with his plan to give every Hong Kong adult $5,000 in digital spending vouchers instead of cash to help them and businesses during the pandemic. Radio listeners told him his plan was full of holes. They said they preferred cash like last year when everyone aged 18 and above received $10,000. The word "airwaves" means the frequencies used for broadcasting radio and television programmes. To "take to the airwaves" means to be on radio or television. The expression "take to" can be used in many ways.

  Many Hong Kong people took to the streets in 2019 to oppose the extradition bill. Used this way, it means to go to the streets to protest. Many people have taken to wearing facemasks. Used this way it means to begin doing something as a regular thing. If something is "full of holes" it means it is flawed or has many problems. The financial secretary plans to give people $1,000 in digital spending vouchers every month for five months. People must use up the $1,000 during the month it is received or lose whatever is left. The digital vouchers can only be used to buy things from local businesses.

  Critics, including legislators, said this plan is full of holes. Many older people do not have smart phones or do not know how to use smart phones for vouchers. Chan Mo-po wants people to use the vouchers to help Hong Kong's businesses. Many small shops and wet markets, which need help, do not have the equipment to handle digital payments. This means only big businesses, such as supermarkets, will benefit because the vouchers cannot be used to pay rent or utilities such as electricity bills. It will be almost impossible for Hong Kong people living on the mainland or overseas to use the vouchers for local businesses only. Chan Mo-po should re-think his plan.

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  上星期三發表《財政預算案》的翌日早上,財政司司長陳茂波上了大氣電波(took to the airwaves)回答電台聽眾的問題。許多人對他的政策勃然大怒(livid),因他只給每名香港成年人五千元的電子消費券而非現金,用以支援疫情下的香港人和商戶。電台聽眾告訴他,其計劃千瘡百孔(full of holes);他們說他們情願像上年一樣收取現金,人人年滿十八歲就收到一萬元。Airwaves即是用作電台和電視節目廣播的無線電頻譜;to“take to the airwaves”即上電台或電視。習語“take to”還可以有許多用法。

  許多香港人在二○一九年took to the streets去反對《逃犯條例》——在這裏,此習語的意思是上街抗議。許多人亦已taken to戴口罩——這裏它的意思是開始養成日常的習慣。若某事是“full of holes”,意即它有許多漏洞、千瘡百孔。財政司司長計劃每月給每人一千元電子消費券,共發放五個月。人們必須在收到消費券的該月份內花光那一千元,否則餘額將會清零。這些電子消費券只能用來光顧本地的商戶。

  包括立法會議員在內的批評者都說,這個計劃千瘡百孔(full of holes)。許多年長的市民並沒有智能電話,又或不知道如何用智能電話使用消費券。陳茂波希望市民會用消費券去幫助香港的商戶,但許多需要幫助的小店和街市,並沒有相關的設備去處理電子支付。這意味着,只有大商家如超市可從中得益,因為這些消費券並不能用來交租或支付公共事業的帳單如電費。對於住在內地又或海外的香港人,也幾乎不可能使用這些只能用於本港商戶的消費券。陳茂波應該重新思考他的計劃。  

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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