English Collection

日頃目に付いた覚えたい英単語、慣用句などの表現についてのメモです。

bespoke

2013年01月31日 | 英語学習
やっとReader's Digest 12月号を図書館から借りることが出来ました。その12月号に載っていた3D printingについての記事にあった単語です。
British researchers have 3D-printed an unmanned drone aircraft with a 1.2m wingspan and Belgian sceintists have produced bespoke titanium hips, each perfectly matched to the individual joint they will replace.
"bespoke" は前にも見た事があまる気がしますが意味を覚えていないので辞書で調べます。
・Macmillan Dictionary:designed and produced for particular customers: bespoke software: a bespoke suit
・Vocabulary.com: The man in the bespoke suit is likely to be either the best-dressed or the most overdressed person at your backyard barbecue, depending on how you look at it. Bespoke means custom-made.
Clothing that's made to order, tailored especially for you, is called bespoke. It's an adjective that is more common in Britain than in the United States. Bespoke can also describe non-clothing items that are made-to-order, as well as the person who makes such things: a bespoke jeweler. The term was originally bespoken, meaning "spoken of or arranged beforehand." Obviously, if you wanted a custom-made suit, you had to make arrangements before buying it.
なるほど、特注品なら確かに事前に打ち合わせをしますね。これで今度は覚えられそう。
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grist for someone else's mill

2013年01月30日 | 英語学習
今日もMarx for Biginnersにあった表現を取り上げます。
Labour obviously doesn't produce things for the immediate benefit of the worker who makes them. Rather, it is grist for someone else's mill...
"grist" は知らない単語ですが、"grist for someone else's mill" 慣用句の様です。まず "grist" を辞書で見ます。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:
1a : grain or a batch of grain for grinding b : the product obtained from a grist of grain including the flour or meal and the grain offals
2: a required or usual amount
3: matter of interest or value forming the basis of a story or analysis
4: something turned to advantage or use -- used especially in the phrase grist for one's mill
やはり "grist for one's mill" と言う慣用句がありました。 "grist for one's mill" で再度辞書を見ます。
・Collins Dictionary: anything that can be turned to profit or advantage: However, in the media-saturated world, when something boring happens, it's still grist to the mill.(TVや週刊誌の芸能界ニュースの事でしょうね)
・Cambridge English Dictionary: grist to the mill UK and Australian (US grist for sb's mill) anything that can be used to your advantage: I might as well learn another language, it's all grist to the mill when it comes to getting a job.
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cat's cradle

2013年01月29日 | 英語学習

Catscradle

リーダーズダイジェストの12月号を予約しているのですが、まだ借りれないのでつなぎに読んでいるMarx for Biginnersにあった一節を引用します。
Marx also thought so. Philosophy had become a strightjacket of jargon and muddles, impossible to make out heads or tails.
Marx set himself the job of unravelling this cat's cradle and begin making philosophy into an exact science, with less fuzzy suppositions, and so give it the practical means to transform the world...
"cat's cradle" とは興味の湧く表現ですが、猫の揺り籠と哲学を取巻く前文の状況とどんな関係があるのでしょうか? 私の先生、辞書に相談します。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:
1: a game in which a string looped in a pattern like a cradle on the fingers of one person's hands is transferred to the hands of another so as to form a different figure
2: something that is intricate, complicated, or elaborate: a cat's cradle of red tape
・Wiktionary:
1.A children's string game
2.(idiomatic) Any complicated structure which appears to be without purpose
なるほど。 綾取りの意味の."cat's cradle" についてはここでは引用しませんが、Wikipediaに詳しい説明があります。
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close quarters

2013年01月28日 | 英語学習

今日取り上げる表現は2001 A Space Odysseyの中に次ぎのように2度出て来ました。
First he opened the refrigerator, and a wave of cold mist rolled out. The shelves were well stocked with packages and cans, all of them looking perfectly familiar from a distance, though at close quarters their proprietary labels were blurred and unreadable.
...
Then he walked quickly back into the kichen and began to inspect the "cereal" box at closer quarters.
"at close quarters"、"at closer quarters" は文脈からすると「近づいて」、「もっと近づいて」の意味だと想像できますが、この様な "quarters" の意味、用法は初めて見ます。 辞書で意味を確認します。
"quarters/quarter" を辞書で見ると色々な意味用法がありますが、どれが "at close quarters" の意味になるのか良く分かりません。辞書を良く見ると、"close quarters" の慣用句として次ぎの様な説明がありました。
・Collins Dictionary: in close proximity; very near together: At present, commercial stun guns target one person at a time, and work only at close quarters.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: immediate contact or close range: fought at close quarters
・Vocabulary.com: a situation of being uncomfortably close to someone or something: That stuff happens with motivated competitors in such close quarters.
"close quarter" ではなく、必ず "close quarters" と 、"quarters" は複数形で使われ事に注意です。

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Say "Aaargh!"

2013年01月27日 | 英語学習
Reader's Digest 12月号のAll in a day's Workのコーナーにあった投稿記事です。
As a young emergency department doctor, I often had medical students asking me for advice. One day a couple of them, suspecting they had the flu, asked to have their temperatures taken.
I grabbed a pair of thermometers from two jars of disinfectant on the shelf. The students popped them in their mouths, and were relieved to find that their temperatures was perfectly normal.
Unfortunately, when I replaced the thermometers, I noticed that one jar was labelled "oral" and the other was labelled "rectal".
日本では幸い上のどちらの方法も余り使われていないのでこんな心配はしなくて済みます。米国で医者にかかる時は要注意です。
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high touch

2013年01月26日 | 英語学習

先日ジョッギングをしていたら前方に若い母親が小さい女の子を片手につなぎ、別の女性と立ち話に夢中になっているのが見えました。段々近づくと女の子はずっと私の方を見ていて、良く見ると片手を挙げて私のハイタッチを待っている様でした。女の子の要望に応えて通り過ぎる時にハイタッチをしましたが、母親達は全く気がついていない様子でした。レースでは沿道の応援と人とハイタッチをした事は何度かありますが、普段の練習でハイタッチをしたのは初めてです。4~5歳の女の子でしたが、TVか何かでハイタッチを覚えたのでしょうか。
ところでハイタッチは英語かと思っていましたが、英語の "high touch/high-touch" には次ぎの様な別の意味があるそうです。
Dealing with a human being instead of a computer screen or voice response system. The term was coined in the early 1980s by John Naisbitt in his best-selling book "Megatrends." Naisbitt pointed out the fallacy of automating every business transaction without human interaction at some point.
では日本語で言うハイタッチを英語で何と言うかと言うと、"high five" が正解で、 Macmillan Dictionaryの説明は: the action of holding your hand up and hitting your palm flat against that of another person, when you meet them or as a way of congratulating them
和製英語は曲者ですね。

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flaccid

2013年01月25日 | 英語学習
2001 A Space Odysseyを読んでいます。
2台目のアンテナ制御装置を再び交換しに船外にでた宇宙飛行士が事故にあいます。
Then, towed behind her at the end of the safety line, appeared a spacesuit. One glance was enough to tell Bowman the worst. There was no mistaking the flaccid outlines of a suit that had lost its pressure and was open to vaccuum.
今日はこの "flaccid" を覚えたいと思います。
・Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary: not firm or stiff; also : lacking normal or youthful firmness: flaccid muscles
・Cambridge English Dictionary: soft and weak; not firm: flaccid skin: a politician’s flaccid remarks
・Vocabulary.com: If something is limp, loose, droopy, and wrinkly, you can call it flaccid, which rhymes with "acid." Think elephant skin, soggy asparagus, and the type of feeble handshakes frowned on in job interviews.
We get the word flaccid from the Latin flaccus, which meant "flabby." The meaning is pretty much the same today, though it applies to more than physical flab. Flaccid pops up in conversation to describe lackluster leadership, dull conversation, and even feeble attempts at word definitions. If a politician's election campaign is flaccid, it will surprise no one that he only receives two votes ? one from his grandmother and the other from someone who accidentally checked the wrong box on the ballot.
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localize

2013年01月24日 | 英語学習
2001 A Space Odysseyでやっと事件らしい問題が発生しました。
"Do you know where the trouble is?" asked Bowman.
"It's intermittent and I can't localize it. But it appears to be in the AE-35 unit."
数年前に米国製画像解析ソフトウェアをMicrosoftのVisual Studioを使用して日本語化する("localize")仕事をした事がありますが、上の"localize" は問題発生の個所あるいは原因を特定する意味の "locate" と同じ意味で使われているようです。 AE-35は地球との交信用のアンテナの向きを制御する装置で、結局それを交換する事になりました。ところが装置を交換回収しましたが、調べたところ装置に異常はありません。しかも、交換した新たしい装置も不良だとの診断がコンユータ(HAL)によって知らされます。事態は深刻になってきました。
"Have you any idea." he said, "what's causing the fault?"
It was unusual for Hal to pause so long. Then he answered: "Not really, Dave. As I reported earlier, I can't localize the trouble."
"localize" の意味を辞書で確認します。
・Macmillan Dictionary: to discover exactly where something is: He had difficulty localizing the pain.
・Oxford English Dictionary: formal to find the position of something: Electricians worked through the night to localize the faulty switches.
ソフトウェアを日本語化する意味での "localize" の説明はWiktionary.comに次ぎの様に載っていました。
(software engineering) To adapt a product for use in a particular country or region, typically by translating text into the language of that country or region and, if necessary, ensuring support of different character sets.: We need to localize our software for the Japanese market.
ボーイング社 787 航空機のトラブル原因も早急に "localize" しないと問題が大きくなりますね。
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knothole

2013年01月23日 | 英語学習
2001 A Space Odysseyを読んでいます。実際に宇宙ステーションが存在する現在なので、この話の内容はそれ程突飛な想像とは思えず、また少なくとも今の所物語の内容は単調で余り面白くありません。
Another picture flashed on the screen; it looked like a contour map, though it showed magnetic intensity, not heights above sea level. For the monst part, the lines were roughly parallel and spaced well apart; but in one corner of the map they became suddenly packed together, to form a series of concentric circle--like a drawing of a knothole in a piece of wood.
最後に出てきた " knothole" は初めて見る単語ですが、後に "in a piece of wood" とあるので、節穴だと容易に推定できます。一応辞書で確認します。
・Oxford English Dictionary: a hole in a piece of timber where a knot has fallen out, or in a tree trunk where a branch has decayed.
・Wiktionary: In a piece of lumber, a knothole is a void left by a knot in the wood; such holes are often convenient for peering through when they occur in fences.
・Vocabulary.com: a hole in a board where a knot came out: “In the bathroom there was a painted knothole with an eye looking in,” he said.
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gibbous

2013年01月22日 | 英語学習

当然ですが2001 A Space Odysseyには天体についての単語が多くでてきます。 "gibbous" もその一つで次ぎの様に2度出てきたので覚える事にします。
Under its automatic controls, the shuttle was sliding down the starlit sky, toward that barren landscape glimmering in the light of the great gibbous Earth.
...
Inside Discovery, David Bowman carefully centered the cross-wires that aligned the antenna on the gibbous Earth.
辞書で意味を調べます。
・Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary: of the moon or a planet : seen with more than half but not all of the apparent disk illuminated
・Vocabulary.com: (used of the moon) more than half full: On Christmas, many will be looking skyward and wondering what that brilliant silvery "star" is hovering just above the waxing gibbous moon.
東京の夜の空は星は余り見えませんが、月はさすがに見えます。今度夜の空を見る時に "gibbous moon" が出ているか気にして、この単語を覚えましょう。

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