任睇No.1
  • 30º
  • 74%
  • 2022年8月15日 星期一

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - tough call|又中又英

A reader emailed me to say I have been writing too much about food and restaurants, which he finds uninteresting. He suggested I write about the different cultures of the many cities I have visited since returning to the US ten months ago. He also suggested I write about the differences between the US and Hong Kong. Should I stop writing about food and restaurants and write about what the reader suggested? It’s a tough call. My editor once told me to steer clear of politics and write about food and restaurants. The expression “tough call” means a decision that is difficult to make, especially when there are only two choices. To steer clear of something means to avoid it.

When this column first started the plan was to write about government officials and politicians speaking English incorrectly. My intention was not to embarrass them but to point out their errors so readers can learn. The original plan evolved (gradually changed) over time when officials and politicians chose to speak mostly in Cantonese. I began to write more about English expressions, slang words, and some English words that have many meanings. I also wrote about movies and songs that I like, and the European cities I visited during a Mediterranean cruise in 2018. Readers will know I often also wrote about my liking for martinis, red wine, and pizzas.

One thing I have noticed since returning to the US is the rising number of homeless people. The US is a rich country yet there are over half a million homeless people. New York, where I now live, has the highest number of homeless people, followed by Los Angeles and Seattle, where I lived for many years. Seattle was the most livable US city when I lived there but it has now gone downhill. To go downhill means to gradually get worse. If a city is livable it means it is a very good place to live. Let me know what topics interest you. Email me with your suggestions.
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一位讀者傳電郵給我,說我寫得太多飲食和餐廳了,他覺得這些很沒趣。他建議我寫一寫,自十個月前回到美國以來,我到訪過的許多城市的不同文化;他也提議我可以寫寫美國和香港的差異。我應否停寫飲食和餐廳,而寫這位讀者所建議的?這是個 tough call。我的編輯曾着我避開(steer clear of)政治不談,而去寫飲食和餐廳。習語“tough call”是指困難的決定,尤其是當只有兩個選項,令人左右為難之時。To steer clear of something意即去避開某事物。

這個專欄開始的時候,原先是計劃去寫一些政府官員和政客說錯的英文。我的目的不是要去令他們難堪,而是去指出他們的錯處,好讓讀者們都能從中學習。這個原初的計劃隨着時間逐步演變(evolved),因為官員和政客們選擇多以廣東話發言。我開始寫更多英文習語、俚語,以及一些帶多重意思的英文字。我也寫過我喜歡的電影和歌曲,以及在二○一八年乘搭地中海郵輪期間遊歷過的歐洲城市。讀者們也會知道,我也常寫我喜愛的馬天尼、紅酒以及薄餅。

自回到美國以來,有一樣我留意到的,是無家者人數的增加。美國是個富裕的國家,然而卻有逾五十萬名無家者。我住的城市紐約,擁有最多的露宿者,其次是洛杉磯和西雅圖,後者我也曾居住多年。我住西雅圖的時候,它是最宜居的(livable)美國城市,但現在已經 gone downhill——to go downhill是指每況愈下、越來越差。若一個城市是 livable,即它非常適合人居住。告訴我有甚麼題目會令你感興趣的吧。有任何建議,歡迎傳電郵給我。
中譯:七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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