又中又英——Winging it or improvising

  Most politicians avoid winging it. Some, who are confident enough, sometimes wing it. Last year, I was among several people invited to hand out awards to winners of a documentary competition by university students from all over the world. When it was my turn to be on stage to present an award to a winner, I winged it. I botched it up! The expression "wing it" used this way means to speak or do something without preparation. A similar word for "wing it" is "improvise". The word "botch" means to do something badly or carelessly.

  I rarely prepare or read out speeches or remarks when I am invited to events where I have to give a speech. I just have a few talking points, which means to write down a few points you want to make in your speech. I rarely accept invitations to speak except for events I care about or am interested in. Events that involve young people who care about critical thinking interest me the most. I fully support critical thinking. It is something I hope young Hong Kong people will continue to do despite changes in the education system. I am usually quite good at winging it or improvising. But I botched up at the university award ceremony.

  I didn't botch up that badly. But I compared myself to others invited to hand out prizes. Many did better with their speeches or remarks. I was reminded of the expression "wing it" when I heard it on an episode of the Netflix drama series Designated Survivor. I enjoyed the first two seasons. I stayed up late watching episode after episode. But the plot (storyline) in the third and final season is wearing thin. The expression "wearing thin" has several meanings. For example, if you no longer have the patience to listen to unfunny jokes, you can say the jokes are wearing thin. But if a plot of a TV series gets boring, you can also say it's wearing thin.

*****

  大部份政客都會避免即興發言(winging it);有一些很有自信的,有時也會即興發揮(wing it)一下。去年,一個由全球大學生競逐的紀錄片大賽,我是幾位受邀頒獎予得獎者的嘉賓之一。當輪到我去上台頒獎給勝出者時,我便臨場即興發言(winged it),可我搞糟了(botched it up)!習語“wing it”在裏是指在毫無準備之下臨場發言或即興做某事。跟“wing it”相似的字是“improvise”。Botch則是指拙劣、笨拙地做某事,弄得一團糟。

  當我受邀出席要發表演說的場合時,我很少會預備又或朗聲讀出講稿。我只會有幾點talking points,即寫下你發言時想說的幾個要點。要發言的場合我很少答允邀請,除非是我關心或感興趣的活動。要是那些活動有關注批判思考的年輕人參與其中,我就最感興趣。我完全支持批判思考,這是我希望香港年輕人持續去做的,不管教育制度如何改變。我通常在臨場即興(winging it或improvising)發言上表現不錯,但我卻在那個大學頒獎禮上弄糟(botched up)了。

  其實我也不是表現得那麼拙劣(botch up),只是我拿自己跟其他受邀頒獎的人比較,許多人發言時說得更好。我是看Netflix劇集《指定倖存者》的一集,聽到有人用“wing it”時才想起這個習語的。我喜歡看它的首兩季,晚上熬夜追看完一集又一集。可是到了第三季和最後一季時,劇情(plot)則變得wearing thin。習語“wearing thin”有幾個意思,譬如,若你已經沒有耐性去聽那些不好笑的笑話,你便可以說 the jokes are wearing thin——那些笑話已經失去趣味、沒有甚麼意思了。但若是一齣電視劇的劇情開始變得沉悶沒趣,你也可以說 it's wearing thin。[email protected]

中譯:七刻









Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


hd