"I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society." -Henry David Thoreau (1854)

星期五, 7月 17, 2015

【每日一詞】weasel word 卸責之詞

詞源:黃鼠狼偷吃雞蛋時,外殼打個小洞吸取蛋黃,雞蛋外表總是看起來完好如初,因此人們用「黃鼠狼話語」來形容試圖卸責或是打高空的空泛言論。weasel 也可以用來形容卸責、不誠實、無法信賴的人。

Source: bsalert.com

1. 卸責之詞,推卸責任的話語。(Merriam Webster)

Ex: When your team messes up, take responsibility, fully and openly. No exculpatory clauses or weasel words. 當你的隊輸了,請坦然地負起全部責任,不要狡辯或推卸責任。

2. 模糊、空泛的詞語、不精確的言論。

Ex: Many people suspected that the politician's weasel words concealed a deeper agenda. 許多人懷疑政治人物的空泛話語中別有深意。

Ex: A 2009 study of Wikipedia found that most weasel words in it could be divided into three categories: Numerically vague expressions (e.g. "some people", "experts", "many") Use of the passive voice to avoid specifying an authority (e.g. "it is said")
Adverbs that weaken (e.g. "often", "probably")

根據2009年的維基百科研究指出,大多數的空泛的詞語可以大略分成三類,數字模糊(如:有些人、專家們、許多)用被動語態避免訴諸權威(如:咸信、據說)及弱化語氣的副詞 (如:經常、大致上、大約)


 Does he agree that a few weasel words in a newspaper do not constitute a policy of nuclear deterrence, particularly when the leader of that party has stated clearly that he would never use nuclear weapons, even if Britain were under nuclear attack? [n.d. BNC]


....Every "Sorry if anyone was offended" or "Sorry I responded badly when I was provoked" is an instance of transferring blame to other people. And anytime you or I say, "Sorry for what happened," we are (also) being weasels. [ I. Marjorie. (2014) How not to apologize. CNN]


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