"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)



【更多例句】

 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]

他認同在報紙上刊載的一些模糊空泛的字詞並不能構成核武嚇阻戰略嗎?特別是該黨的主席清楚地言明了,即使英國遭受核武攻擊也不會使用核武反擊的觀點?

....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]

每一句「如果有人被冒犯的話很抱歉」或是「我被挑釁所以一時情緒失控」都是推卸責任給他人的例子。每當你我脫口而出說:「抱歉事情就是發生了。」這都是在找台階下。


→ 【每日一詞】是個小單元,從網路的文本脈絡中挖掘中英、英中互譯英文翻譯,探討文字的用法與可能譯法。歡迎利用留言功能表示不同意或是贊同的意見!

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