又中又英——bamboozle

  Today is April Fools’ Day. When I was young, my friends and I tried to outwit each other with April Fools’ pranks. Many media organizations use April Fools’ Day to bamboozle people with untrue news reports. Gullible people are easily bamboozled. Many people agree the best April Fools’ hoax was one by the BBC in 1957. The three-minute hoax on BBC’s Panorama show bamboozled many, including those who worked at BBC because only senior producers knew it was an April Fools’ prank. The hoax was about a family farm in Switzerland with a tree that grew spaghetti. The three-minute news report showed family members removing spaghetti from the tree to dry in the sun.

  If you “outwit” someone, it means you use your intelligence or a trick to gain an advantage over someone. The word “outsmart” has a similar meaning. A prank is something harmless that you do to make others look silly, like making others believe in your April Fools’ joke. To bamboozle someone means to trick or cheat someone. A gullible person is someone who is easily fooled. The word “hoax” means to trick or fool someone into believing something that is false. It is a hoax if you call the police to say a bomb will explode in a shopping mall unless you are paid a lot of money when there really isn’t a bomb in the mall.

  The BBC’s April Fools’ spaghetti prank fooled so many gullible people that some asked where they could buy a tree that grew spaghetti. But April Fools’ hoaxes are now more difficult because there is so much fake news, especially on social media. Many people no longer know what is true, false, or an April Fools’ joke. Even if a media organization innocently carries an April Fools’ report, it is very possible some people will accuse it of reporting fake news. With so many people still affected by the coronavirus, now is not the time for April Fools’ hoaxes.

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  今天是愚人節。我年輕的時候,會和朋友嘗試用各種愚人節的惡作劇(pranks)智勝(outwit)對方。許多傳媒機構會用一些虛構的新聞報道去愚弄(bamboozle)人。易受騙的(gullible)人就很易被愚弄(bamboozled)。許多人認為,最佳的愚人節惡作劇(hoax)是一九五七年英國廣播公司的那個。在英國廣播公司節目《廣角鏡》上的三分鐘騙局(hoax),迷惑了很多人,包括那些在英國廣播公司工作的人,因為只有高層的製作人知道那是個愚人節的惡作劇(prank)。那個騙局(hoax)是關於一個瑞士的家族農場,有一棵樹長出了意粉!從那段三分鐘的新聞報道可見,那些家庭成員在樹上摘下意粉去晾曬。

  若你“outwit” someone,意即你用你的機智或計謀去勝過或騙過某人;“outsmart”的意思亦相近。A prank就是無害的惡作劇,令某人出醜或看來很愚笨,例如令其他人相信你開的愚人節玩笑。To bamboozle someone就是去捉弄或欺騙某人。A gullible person就是容易受騙的人。Hoax是指去捉弄或欺騙某人相信一些不實的東西。假設你報警說,除非你收到大筆金錢,否則將有一個炸彈會在一個商場中爆炸,但其實商場內並不是真的放了炸彈,那就是一個hoax。

  英國廣播公司的愚人節意粉惡作劇(prank),捉弄了許多易受騙的(gullible)人,其中有些人更詢問,在哪裏可以買到生出意粉來的樹!然而,愚人節騙局(hoaxes)現在變得愈來愈困難,因為有那麼多的假新聞,尤其在社交媒體上。許多人不再知道哪些是真的,哪些是假的,哪些是愚人節玩笑。即使一個傳媒機構天真地開了一個愚人節玩笑的報道,很有可能會有人指控它在報道假新聞。如今還有那麼多人受新冠肺炎疫情影響,現在不是開愚人節玩笑(hoaxes)的適當時機。 中譯:七刻

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Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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