Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - Unfathomable|又中又英

Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, turned Tesla, SpaceX, and PayPal into very successful businesses. He has now bought Twitter for US$44 billion. His net worth is over US$200 billion. That is an unfathomable amount for most people on Earth. The expression “net worth” means all the money and property a person or business has after all debts are taken away. If something is unfathomable it means it is hard to understand. Musk was born in South Africa but got Canadian citizenship as a teenager through his Canadian mother and went to study in Canada. He also became a US citizen at age 30.

This means his English should be very good but it seems he doesn’t fully understand a particular English word. Just before buying Twitter he went to the company’s headquarters carrying a sink and released a video with the caption “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in.” He also renamed himself “Chief Twit” on Twitter. The word “sink” has many meanings, including the basin in a bathroom or kitchen for washing. The expression “sink in” means to completely understand something. Musk cleverly played with words when he carried a sink into Twitter’s headquarters and used the expression “sink in”.

He wanted his purchase of Twitter to sink in, or to be fully understood by everyone. But he was not very clever when he renamed himself Chief Twit on Twitter. The British slang word “twit” means a stupid or silly person. It is unfathomable that he did not know this. Maybe he knew it but wanted to be funny.

世界上最有錢的人伊隆‧馬斯克,將特斯拉、SpaceX和 PayPal都轉變成非常成功的企業。他現在已用四百四十億美元購下了推特。他的財富淨值(net worth)已超過二千億美元。這對於世上大多數人來說都是一個深不可測的(unfathomable)數字。習語“net worth”是指一個人或企業所擁有的金錢與資產減去負債。若某事物是unfathomable,即是指它是難以理解的。馬斯克於南非出生,但年輕的時候透過其加拿大籍的母親前赴加拿大升學,而取得了加拿大籍。他在三十歲之時亦成為了美國公民。

這意味着他的英語應該非常好,但似乎他並不完全理解某一個特定的英文字。就在購買推特之前不久,他帶了一個洗手盆(sink)去公司的總部,並發佈一則短片,另加一句說明:「進到推特總部了—— let that sink in.」他又在推特上為自己改名為“Chief Twit”。Sink一字有許多意思,其中包括了浴室或廚房的洗滌槽。習語“sink in”是指完完全全明白某事情。當馬斯克帶着一個洗手盆(sink)進入推特的總部,及用上習語“sink in”時,是在聰明地一語雙關。

他希望他購下推特之舉可以 sink in,即被所有人充份理解。可是,他在推特上把自己改名為 Chief Twit就不是那麼聰明了。英式俚語“twit”是指一個傻瓜或愚蠢的人。他不知道此字的意思,實在令人費解(unfathomable)。或許他知道這個字的意思,不過是想搞怪、開個玩笑吧。

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧