又中又英——A plebeian

  A plebeian lives in an apartment above me. I don't know how many floors above but there are fewer than ten floors above me. The uncultured behaviour of this plebeian means this person must live either just above or a few floors above me. This plebeian is also a jerk. Sooner or later I will identify this jerk. When I do, I will make a report to the police. The management in my Tseung Kwan O building, operated by the MTR, has done precious little to identify this jerk. In ancient Rome, a plebeian is a common person from the lower social class. But nowadays it can also mean an uneducated, uncultured, or uncivilized person. Many now use the shortened version "pleb", which has the same meaning.

  If you are uncultured, it means you are uneducated or ignorant. The word "jerk" has many meanings but as an American slang it means an unlikeable or stupid person. The expression "precious little" means very little. The person who lives somewhere above me is a pleb because the person is a smoker who throws cigarette butts on to my balcony and my kitchen balcony where I hang clothes to dry. A cigarette butt is the part of a cigarette that is left after it has been smoked. A lit cigarette butt thrown from an apartment above me can burn me or the laundry on my kitchen balcony.

  The MTR management in my building needs to get its act together. This means to do things effectively. After my complaints, the management put out many notices warning residents about the dangers of throwing out cigarette butts. But uncivilized plebs don't care. There are only four apartments on separated corners on each floor of my building. This means the pleb throwing the butts can only be from somewhere above my apartment. The MTR management can easily find the pleb if it checks every apartment above mine but it refuses. I will take the MTR to court if a cigarette butt burns my head while I am on my balcony.

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  我樓上某個單位住了個粗人(plebeian)。我不知道是樓上幾樓,但我對上樓層少於十層。這個粗人(plebeian)的無文化(uncultured)行徑,令我知道這人一定住在我上一層或上幾層。這名粗人(plebeian)也是一個混蛋(jerk),遲早我會辨認到這個混蛋(jerk)是誰,到時我一定會報警。我住的那棟在將軍澳的大廈,由港鐵營運的管理處,做了少之又少(precious little)的事去找出這個混蛋(jerk)。在古羅馬,a plebeian就是來自低下階層的庶民、平民,但今天它也可以解作一個沒教養、沒文化(uncultured)又或不文明的粗俗人。許多人現在會用簡寫“pleb”,意思是一樣的。

  若你是uncultured,意即你是沒教養又或蒙昧無知的。“Jerk”有許多意思,但作為美式俚語用時,它則解作惹人討厭的渣男或蠢人。習語“precious little”即少得可憐、少之又少。那個住我樓上某一層的人是個粗人(pleb),因為那人是個煙民,總是丟煙頭(butts)落我的露台和廚房露台,那兒是我晾衫的地方。A cigarette butt就是吸煙後剩下的煙蒂、煙頭。樓上若丟來一個還在點燃的煙頭(butt),可以燙傷我又或燒着我晾在廚房露台的衣物。

  我大廈的港鐵管理處需要get its act together——意思是要有效率地行事。我投訴過後,管理處貼出許多告示,警告住客丟煙頭(butts)的危險。然而,不文明的粗人(plebs)根本毫不在乎。在我的大廈,每一層只有四戶,分散在不同的角落,這意味着那個丟煙頭(butts)的粗人(pleb)只能是我單位上的某一戶。港鐵管理處若能將我樓上的住戶逐間查明,就能輕易找出那粗人(pleb),但他們拒絕了。要是哪天我在露台的時候,有一根煙頭(butt)燙傷我的頭,我會將港鐵告上法庭。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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