又中又英——flu jab

  There was a very creative headline in RTHK’s English news app last week. It was about Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po’s comment on the coronavirus vaccine and his efforts to revive Hong Kong’s economy. The headline said “Paul Chan: jabs are a shot in the arm for business”. This is a clever headline because vaccine shots are given in the arm but the expression “a shot in the arm” can have a different meaning. The word “jab” means a vaccination or injection. Every year I have a flu jab. Some people use “jab” to describe a vaccination or injection. Others use the word “shot”. The word “shot” has many meanings. You can say you shot a person with a gun or shot a goal in a football match.

  The literal meaning of “a shot in the arm” means an injection or vaccination. It can mean a legal injection or injection of illegal drugs. About three million people in the US are getting a legal coronavirus shot every day. Flu shots, or coronavirus shots, are given in the arm. But used another way, the expression “shot in the arm” means something that makes a bad situation better, or something that can encourage new activity. Chan Mo-po said if more people take the coronavirus jab, it will help revive, or give “a shot in the arm” for the economy. He did not use the “shot in the arm” expression. RTHK did it.

  That’s why it’s a clever headline. RTHK combined taking a coronavirus jab and a shot in the arm to mean taking a vaccination shot but the actual meaning was if everyone gets vaccinated, the meaning of “a shot in the arm” becomes making a bad economic situation better. Hong Kong people are afraid of a shot in the arm, or taking a coronavirus vaccine, after about half a dozen people died taking the China-made Sinovac vaccine. It’s a personal choice what vaccine you take. My view is the more people get vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to normal.

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  在香港電台的英語新聞應用程式中,上星期有一則非常有創意的標題。該報道是關於財政司司長陳茂波評論新冠肺炎疫苗,以及他如何努力振興香港的經濟。那則標題寫道:「Paul Chan: jabs are a shot in the arm for business」——真是一個聰明的標題,因為疫苗注射(shots)正是打在手臂上,但習語“a shot in the arm”卻可以有另一個意思。“Jab”即打疫苗針或打針,每一年我都會打流感針(flu jab)。一些人用“jab”去形容打疫苗針或打針,另一些人則用“shot”。“Shot”一字亦有許多意思,你可以說你用槍射擊(shot)某人,又或在一場足球比賽中射入(shot)一球。

  “A shot in the arm”是指打針或打疫苗,它也可以指合法注射又或注射非法的藥物。現時美國每天有大概三百萬人接受合法的新冠疫苗注射(shot)。流感針(flu shots)又或新冠肺炎疫苗注射(shots),都是打在手臂上的;但換個用法,習語“shot in the arm”是指令某惡劣環境變好的「強心針」,又或鼓勵新活動發生的刺激因素。陳茂波說,若更多人能接受新冠肺炎疫苗注射(jab),就有助振興經濟,或說給經濟打一支強心針(a shot in the arm)。他並沒有用“a shot in the arm”這個習語,是港台報道時用到的。

  因此,這真是一條聰明的標題。港台結合了接受新冠肺炎疫苗的jab和a shot in the arm,去指接受疫苗注射(shot),但它真正的意思是,若人人都接種疫苗,“a shot in the arm”的意思就變成了去令不景氣的經濟復甦。自從有約六人在接種中國製造的科興疫苗後死亡,香港人都怕a shot in the arm ,或說打疫苗針。接種哪一種疫苗是個人選擇,我的看法是,愈多人接種疫苗,我們愈早得以重回正軌。中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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