又中又英——To “have your cake and eat it too”.

  In a previous column I wrote about an expression former chief executive Leung Chun-ying used. He said Hong Kong people cannot have our cake and eat it too. To "have your cake and eat it too" means to have two good things at the same time that are impossible to have. Leung Chun-ying meant if people want a high degree of autonomy, they must accept it is given by Beijing. He used another expression last week when reporters asked if he would run again for chief executive. He said he would do anything to serve Hong Kong and the country.

  He said: "I have not been exactly sitting on my hands for the past three years." The expression "sit on your hands" means to do nothing or take no action about a problem. For example, some people sit and put their hands under their thighs while watching a robbery without calling the police. I don't know the origin of this expression but some believe it originated from theatre. If you see a show, like Phantom of the Opera, which I saw in London two years ago, and put your hands under your thighs to keep warm, you won't clap. That means you won't do anything even if the performance is good.

  I gave the Phantom of the Opera a standing ovation, which means to stand up and clap when the show ends. When Leung Chun-ying said "I have not been exactly sitting on my hands for the past three years", he meant instead of doing nothing he has done a lot to explain what the Basic Law means. He has not said explicitly (clearly) he wants to run again. If he does, he will be like Donald Trump who lost the election after one term but may run again. Unlike Trump, Leung Chun-ying didn't run for a second term but it seems he now may after Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's disaster as chief executive.

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  在之前一篇專欄中,我寫過前特首梁振英用到的一個習語。他說我們香港人cannot have our cake and eat it too。To“have your cake and eat it too”意即想要魚與熊掌兩者兼得,但其實是不可能的。梁振英的意思是,若香港人想要高度自治,他們一定得接受那是北京所賦予的。上星期,當有記者問他可會再次參選特首時,他用了另一個習語。他說他會做任何事去服務香港與國家。

  他說:「過去三年,我並非真的sitting on my hands。」習語“sit on your hands”意即對一個問題袖手旁觀或置之不理。譬如,有些人目擊搶劫案發生,卻只管坐着,將雙手放於大腿下,而不去報警。我不知道這個習語的出處,但有些人相信它來源於劇場。若你看一個表演,例如《歌聲魅影》(我兩年前在倫敦看過),然後將雙手放於大腿下保暖,你便不會拍手了——那意味着即使那個演出很好,你也不會做任何事。

  我給了《歌聲魅影》一個standing ovation,意即在表演完畢謝幕時站立鼓掌。當梁振英說「過去三年我並非真的sitting on my hands」,他的意思是他做了許多事去解釋《基本法》的涵義,而非坐視不理、撒手不管。他沒有明確地(explicitly)表示他會再選特首。若他再選,他就會像特朗普般,當過一任之後便落選,但或會再度參選;不過,梁振英不像特朗普,梁並沒有競逐連任,但看來他現在或會再選,接手林鄭月娥當特首的禍患。中譯:七刻

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Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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