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。

default arguement

2014年07月31日 | 英語学習

パソコンを使い始めたのは30年程前で主にワープロとして使用していた記憶があります。パソコン用語の "default" の意味を知ったのもその頃ですが、当時は紙の辞書で  "default" を引いても怠慢、不履行などの意味しかなく、パソコン用語としての既定値、初期設定値との関係が謎でした。その謎が解けたのは10年程前にブログを始めた頃から英英辞書を引く習慣になり、 "default" の次の説明を見つけたからです。
・Merriam-Webster: a selection made usually automatically or without active consideration due to lack of a viable alternative: remained the club's president by default
・Wiktionary: A selection made in the absence of an alternative. The man became the leader of the group as a default. (often attributive) A value used when none has been given; a tentative value or standard that is presumed. If you don't specify a number of items, the default is 1.
債務不履行でもパソコン用語のデフォルトでもない意味の "default" がThe Creationに次の様に出てきました。
Much as I would like to think otherwise, I see no hope for compromise in the idea of Intelligent Design. Simply put, this proposal agrees that evolution occurs but argues that it is guided by a supernatural intelligence. The evidence for Intelligend Design, however, consists solely of a default argument.
...
The odds powerfully favor such an outcome. In science, as in logic, a default argument can never replace positive evidence, but even a sliver of positive evidence can demolish a default argument.
神が生命を創造したと説く宗教の教えを "default argument"  と著者は明言しているのですね。

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moonshot

2014年07月30日 | 英語学習

The Creationを読んでいます。今日取り上げる単語も見ただけで何だろうと興味の湧く言葉です。
As the information comes together online, the big picture of Earth's biodiversity will emerge as a mosaic at high resolution. Despite their modest outward appearance, the all-species inventories are in fact collectively "big" science, a moonshot effort that will eventually engage many times the number of professional and citizen scientists now active.
"moonshot" は月を目指すロケットを連想させますが、ここでは月とは関係はないはずです。辞書を見ます。引用文での意味に合っている説明を載せているのは次の辞書しか見当たりませんでした。
・Urban Dictionary: awesome, fantastic, almost impossible to achieve, the best, the reason for success, reaching the highest point, right on target: This new product was the moonshot for our company. It was extremely successful and sent our sales to the moon.
上記の意味も、月を目指して打ち上げられたロケットからの連想でこれからは思い出せそうです。

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bioblitz

2014年07月29日 | 英語学習

今日の単語が示すことは、The Creationの著者、Edward O. Wilson、の知る限り、1998年に初めて実施されたとのことなので、単語としては新参者です。
The engagement of citizen scientists in biodiversity exploration often starts with bioblitzes, which are treasure hunts designed to find and identify the largest number of species possible in one place during a twenty-four-hour period.

The first bioblitz was, to the best of my knowledge, the one held out of Walden Pond in Massahusetts on July 4, 1998, and in addition covered adjacent areas in Concord and Lincoln.
上に引用した文に出てきた "bioblitz" はオンライン辞書の検索では掲載している辞書は見つかりませんでしたが、Wikipediaには次の説明がありました。
・Wikipedia: A BioBlitz, also written without capitals as bioblitz, is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a continuous time period (e.g., usually 24 hours). There is a public component to many BioBlitzes, with the goal of getting the public interested in biodiversity. To encourage more public participation, these BioBlitzes are often held in urban parks or nature reserves close to cities.

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mayfly & stonefly

2014年07月28日 | 英語学習
The Creationには多くの動植物名が出てきますが、今日はその内の昆虫の名前を覚えたい。
The mountains of suouthern Appalachia compose the most ancient range in North America never blanketed by continental glaciers. Their forests are correspondingly the richest in biodiversity. In the upland streams swarm mayflies, stone flies and other delicate and ephemeral insets, with ancestral lines older than the Age of Reptiles.
まず "mayflies" を調べます。
・Oxford English Dictionary: A short-lived, slender insect with delicate, transparent wings and two or three long filaments on the tail. It lives close to water, where the chiefly herbivorous aquatic larvae develop. Order Ephemeroptera: several families and many species
・Collins English Dictionary: Also called: dayfly. any insect of the order Ephemeroptera (or Ephemerida). The short-lived adults, found near water, have long tail appendages and large transparent wings; the larvae are aquatic: Roads near to streams could damage the local mayfly これはカゲロウのようですね。
次に "stone flies" の説明を辞書でみます。辞書では "stone" と "fly" の二語ではなく "stonefly" の一語にしているのが大半です。
・Oxford English Dictionary: A slender insect with transparent membranous wings, the larvae of which live in clean running water. The adults are used as bait by fly fishermen. Order Plecoptera: many families
・Collins English Dictionary: any insect of the order Plecoptera, in which the larvae are aquatic, living beneath stones, and the adults have long antennae and two pairs of large wings and occur near water
これでは "stonefly" と余り区別が付きません。Wikipediaで写真を見ると羽の形がちょっと違うようです。英和辞典ではカワゲラとなっていました。
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TEAM BUILDING

2014年07月27日 | 英語学習

My first day on the job at an IKEA store, I was told by my boss that employees needed to go to the meeting room before every shift. I asked why. He said, "Assembly required. このジョークはイケアの家具を買ったことのない方には分からないでしょうね。 私は30年程前にイケアで子供用の机を買って組み立てた経験一度あります。

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Sapere aude

2014年07月25日 | 英語学習

今日覚えたい表現、"Sapere aude" は外来語です。The Creationから "Sapere aude" が出てきた個所を引用します。
There is, in my opinion, an inevitability to the unity of knowledge. It reflects real life. The trajectory of world events suggests that educated people should be far better able than before to address the great issues courageously and analytically by undertaking a traverse of disciplines. We are into the age of synthesis, with a real empirical bite to it. Therefore, Sapere aude. Dare to think on your own.

"Sapere aude" の意味と思われる英語が後の文に示されていますが、辞書で確認します。
・Urban Dictionary: Latin for "dare to know"; is used commonly as a motto for various institutions.
・Wikipedia: Sapere aude (pronounced sap-er-reh ow-day) is a Latin phrase meaning "dare to be wise", or more precisely "dare to know". Originally used by the Roman poet Horace, it has become closely associated with the Enlightenment after being cited by Immanuel Kant in his seminal essay, What is Enlightenment?. Kant claimed it was the motto for the entire period, and used it to explore his theories of reason in the public sphere. Later, Michel Foucault took up Kant's formulation in an attempt to find a place for the individual in his post-structuralist philosophy and to come to terms with the problematic legacy of the Enlightenment. In Episteme baroque: le mot et la chose, Jean-Claude Vuillemin proposes to make "Sapere aude" the motto of the Baroque episteme.
こじつけかも知りませんが、私が英英辞書でしつこく調べるのも "Sapere aude" と言えるかな?

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paleontology

2014年07月24日 | 英語学習
中高生の時に英語は普通の日本人並の勉強をしましたが、大学では(今はコンピュータとか国際化の点で状況は変わっていると思うが)理系だったので一~二年の教養部の時に受験英語よりかなりレベルの低い英語の授業が週に2時間だけあっただけです。社会人になって輸出入取引及びコンピュータ関係の英語には日常良く接するようになりましたが、特定の範囲の語彙が増えただけで、小説はおろか英字新聞や英語の雑誌もほとんど読んでいませんでした。再び英語を勉強しようと十数年前にReader's Digestを読み始め、今はランダムに英語の原書を読んでいますが、若くない時に覚えた単語は忘れるのが早い。今日取り上げるThe Creatからの単語も見覚えがありますが意味が頭には浮かんできません。
Create a Tree of Life for all species and for major gene ensembles within them, thereby tracing the pathways of past evolutionary histories. Meanwhile, combining this information with paleontology and environmental history, establish definitive principles concerning the origin of biodiversity.
さて "paleontology" はどんな学問でしたっけ。
・Oxford English Dictionary: The branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants.‘Not only is phylogeny important for understanding paleontology, but paleontology in turn contributes to phylogeny.’
・Vocabulary.com: That five-year-old dinosaur expert who can tell a trilobite from a pterodactyl and tell you which thrived during the Jurassic period? She’s a budding paleontology expert.
Scientific language aims at clarity, and scientists generally speak to each other in Greek and Latin. The commonly used suffix -ology comes from Greek, and it means "the study of." The prefix paleo means "old." So, paleontology is the study of that which is old?really, really old. The word paleontology entered the English language in the nineteenth century, just as scientists were making a systematic effort to analyze fossil records.
ついでに前者の辞書の例文に出てきた "phylogeny" も覚えたい。
・Collins Dictionary: (biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolution of a species, genus, etc
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Lazarus

2014年07月23日 | 英語学習

The Creationを読んでいると固有名詞が何の説明もなく、あたかも常識であるかのように出てきました。次の二か所だけ引用します。
A second Lazarus project brought back the Mauritian kestrel, a small tawny falcon limited to the world's icon of extinction.

A new and already world famous Lazarus candidate is the ivory-billed woodpecker, a dramatically large, conspicuous bird of the southern United States. "Lazarus" を辞書で見ます。
・Collins Dictionary: the brother of Mary and Martha, whom Jesus restored to life (John 11?12): The Gospel story of Lazarus returning from the dead did not relate what he had found there.
・Vocabulary.com: the person who Jesus raised from the dead after four days in the tomb; this miracle caused the enemies of Jesus to begin the plan to put him to death
なるほど、聖書に出てくる人ですね。日本の朱鷺の様に絶滅した(と思われた?)生物を再び繁殖させようとする運動なので "Lazarus" が出てくるのですね。

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trophic

2014年07月22日 | 英語学習

地下鉄神田駅の出口近くに老舗の鰻屋があり、窓には鰻丼\4,000のポスターが貼ってあります。一方、吉野家やなか卯などのファーストフード店では千円もしない鰻丼を盛んに宣伝しています。もちろん味も鰻の量も倍の差がありますが、4倍はちょっとどうかと思います。 乱獲や地球の環境変化により天然資源が激減するのは人類にとって大問題です。The Creationはその大問題の解決を一緒に努力しようと、影響力の強い宗教家に訴えてます。そのThe Creationから引用します。
Not even the high seas are safe from the human onslaught. Fish that exist at high  trophic levels and hence are large and commercially favoured, such as cod and tuna, declined precipitously through overhavesting between 1950 and 2000.
さて、"high trophic levels" とは何でしょう? "trophic" を辞書で調べます。
・Oxford English Dictionary: Of or relating to feeding and nutrition: ‘The direct effects of plant quality on omnivores is, therefore, likely to induce a trophic cascade whereby plant feeding by the omnivore ultimately benefits the plant.’
・Wiktionary: 1.Of or pertaining to nutrition 2.(ecology) Describing the relationships between the feeding habits of organisms in a food chain
鰻丼は滋養が高いとされていますが、寿司も同様ですが、店で食べると野菜などの副食が余りに少なくバランスのとれた食事ではなさそうです。

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copse

2014年07月21日 | 英語学習

The Creationから取り上げる今日の単語は以前何かで見たことはありますが、意味を思い出せないので今度こそ覚えたい。
Researchers have found that when people of different cultures including those of North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, are given freedom to select the setting of their homes and work places, they prefer an environment that combines three features. They wish to live on a height looking down and out, to scan a parkland with scattered trees and copses spread before them, closer in appearance to a savanna than to either a grassland or a closed forest, and to be near a body of water, such as a lake, river, or sea.
"copses" ですが、木に対応する物なので草の事かとも思いますがどうでしょう?
・Oxford English Dictionary: A small group of trees: ‘I don't see the hedges, the trees, the copses; and the flights of wild fowl passing across my window go unseen, too.’
・Collins Dictionary: another word for coppice: a thicket or dense growth of small trees or bushes, esp one regularly trimmed back to stumps so that a continual supply of small poles and firewood is obtained: I have seen a single branch joined to two or three others in an overgrown coppice.
丁寧な説明のあるVocabulary.comにもこの単語は掲載されています。
A copse is a thicket of bushes or a small stand of trees. A copse of trees can provide a good hiding place during a game of hide-and-seek.
If you go to your local garden shop and ask about how to take care of your copse, you may get some blank stares, as it's not a word you'll find much in everyday use. The word first appeared in the late-sixteenth century, as a shortened form of coppice, a word still used in British English, referring to an area with trees or shrubs that are periodically cut back to the ground so that they grow back thicker.
"coppice" と共に "copses" を今度こそコピット覚えたい(朝ドラの影響は大きい)。

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