It is common for Americans to tweak well-known English expressions without changing their meaning. I saw an American politician do this while watching a news item on Fox News. The host was interviewing James Comer, a Republican in the House of Representatives, about the theory the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab. This theory has been debunked by many scientists although former US President Donald Trump supported the theory. The theory has now found credence after the US media revealed three researchers from the Wuhan lab were hospitalized in November 2019 with coronavirus symptoms. This was more than one month before China officially announced the outbreak in Wuhan.
President Joe Biden had not supported the theory before but has now ordered US intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. When Comer was asked on Fox about Biden's order, he said "he's late to the dance" but "better now than never". The word "tweak" has several meanings but used this way it means to change something slightly. To "debunk" something means to show it is not as true or important as claimed. If something has "credence", it means people are willing to accept it as true or are ready to believe it. The original expression of "late to the dance" is "late to the party". This means to become aware of or become involved in something long after others have already become aware of it.
Comer tweaked the expression without changing its meaning. He said Biden was "late to the dance" because many others had long believed the theory the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan lab. But he said "better now than never." The original expression is "better late than never". This means it is better to do something late than not doing it at all. It can also mean it's better to arrive late at a meeting or party than not arrive at all. Comer meant even though Biden had ordered an investigation late, it was better than not having an investigation at all.
總統拜登之前並不支持此理論，但現在亦已下令美國情報機構調查新冠肺炎病毒來源。當卡莫在霍士節目上被問及對拜登下令的看法時，他說 "he's late to the dance" 但也 "better now than never"。Tweak一字有幾個意思，在上文時指輕微改動某物。To "debunk" something即去揭穿某個真相，或駁斥某事並不如它所聲稱般真實或重要。若某事有 "credence"，意即人們願意接受它是事實，或準備好去相信它了。"Late to the dance" 原本的寫法是 "late to the party"，意即落伍、後知後覺、慢半拍，對於別人早已意識到的事，很晚才發覺或參與。
卡莫將習語略略改動（tweaked）但不改其意思。他說拜登「晚了到舞會」（"late to the dance"），因為其他人早已相信病毒是由武漢實驗室洩漏出來的理論，但他說 "better now than never"，此習語原本的說法是 "better late than never"，意即亡羊補牢，遲做某事總比甚麼也沒做要好；它亦可以解作出席聚會或派對時，遲到總比不到好。卡莫的意思是，儘管拜登下令調查是遲了，也總比完全不展開調查要來得好。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧