English Collection


hit it off

2013年05月31日 | 英語学習
Japan's Cultural Code Wordsの "En/Jyo"(縁/情 Wet Japanese Thing) の項の下記の段落に出てきた表現 "hit it off" を覚えたい。
People who are fortunate enough to have this kind of chance encounter say there is en between them, or that they are somehow connected by en. By the same token, when en does not exist between two people, there is likely to be friction between them, and every time they meet, it seems that something goes wrong. They just do no "hit it off," an experience that is familiar to everyone.
"hit it off" の意味を調べます。
・Collins Dictionary: (informal) to have a good relationship with: "I just couldn't meet somebody and say,'Gee, we hit it off over lunch.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to get along well: become friends: they hit it off immediately
・Cambridge English Dictionary: to like someone and become friendly immediately: I didn't really hit it off with his friends.: Jake and Sue hit it off immediately.

run it up the pole

2013年05月30日 | 英語学習
Japan's Cultural Code Wordsの「弾力的運営」の項のサブタイトルが "run it up the pole" となっていましたが、この表現自体は記事の中では使われていません。 慣用句のようですが、「弾力的運営」とどの様な関係があるのでしょうか?
"run it up the pole" の表現を掲載している辞書は見つかりませんでしたが、代わりに "run something up the flagpole" という表現の説明を見つけました。 著者はこの意味で使ったに違いありません。
・Cambridge Idioms Dictionary: run something up the flagpole (mainly American): to tell people about an idea in order to see what they think of it Run your suggestion up the flagpole and see what the others say.
・Wikipedia: "Let's run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it" is a catchphrase which became popular in the United States during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It means "to present an idea tentatively and see whether it receives a favorable reaction." It is now considered a cliche. Sometimes it is used seriously, but more often it is used humorously, with the intention that it be recognized as both hackneyed and outdated. A non-joking equivalent would be "to send up a trial balloon."
・American Heritage Dictionary: run (something) up the flagpole Slang: To test (a plan, suggestion, draft, or idea) and then measure the response to it.
「弾力的運営」と "run it up the pole" は少なくとも直接的な関係はないと思いますが、著者は何故この表現をサブタイトルに使ったのでしょうか? この項をもう一度読み直すと次に示す最後の段落の記述が "run it up the pole" と関係がありそうです。
Obviously, the only defense against this kind of polite manipulation is to bring out, up front, any and all things considered undesirable, to put them in writing, and try to build safefuards into agreement.
著者は、日本人の「弾力的運営」に対処するには、考えられる望ましくない状況を全て網羅した対応策を書面で日本人に突付けなさい、つまりこれが "run it up the pole" だと言っているようだ。


2013年05月29日 | 英語学習
"expiate" はJapan's Cultural Code Wordsの「諦めが悪い」(We Don't Know How to Quit!)の説明文に出てきた単語です。
Soon after the end of the Pacific War in August 1945, Japan's politician and business leaders began focusing on rebuilding the nation with all of the considerable skill and energy they had previously devoted to the war effort. Workers and managers were programmed to succeed. These whole country became a beehive of incessant activity. The people worked with what has been described as a "hot fury," in part to expiate the shame of having failed at war, but also to satisfy an obsession to prove that they were a superior people.
"expiate" には "ex" があるので、何かを(上記の場合は戦争に負けたこと)を捨て去る、忘れるのような意味を持っているとも推測できますが、用例も知りたいので辞書で調べます。
・Collins Dictionary: to atone for or redress (sin or wrongdoing); make amends for: I could kill myself - much more easily I could kill myself - but it seems more fitting to... expiate - is that the word?
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to make amends for: permission to expiate their offences by their assiduous labours - Francis Bacon: Yom Kippur is the holy day on which Jews are expected to expiate sins committed during the past year.


2013年05月28日 | 英語学習
"Japan's Cultural Code Words" は辞書のような本で、文化的な背景を持つ日本語をABC順に説明しています。 最初に取り上げられた言葉は「揚げ足」(Tripping on Your Own Tongue)で、下はその説明からの抜粋です。
In present-day Japan, committing an ageashi is still a serious breach of etiquette, and with some exceptions people still react negatively to big talkers--including politicians. People who are permitted a certain talkativeness include entertainers--particularly comedians whose stock-in-trade is their wit and facile-tongued newscasters, professional commentators, educators, and increasingly since the early 1990s, a few of the country's leading businessmen who have achieved the status of sensei (sen-say-e), "teacher" or "master", and are no longer looked upon only as businessmen.
"facile-tongued" の意味が分からないので、"facile" を辞書で引きます。 容易、融通などの意味も持つ "facility" と関係がありそうですが、どうでしょうか?
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: readily manifested and often lacking sincerity or depth: facile tears
・Cambridge English Dictionary: describes a remark or theory that is too simple and has not been thought about enough: a facile explanation: We must avoid facile recriminations about who was to blame.
・Urban Dictionary: expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively: “able to dazzle with his facile tongue
If someone does something easily, or shows ease, it is described as facile in a good way, but if someone takes the easy way out and shows a lack of thought or care, it is facile in a bad way.
While it is a lovely sounding French word, facile is both a compliment and an insult depending on how it's used. Something that shows ready skill is facile, such as being facile with text messaging. But if something is too simple and superficial, or shows little care, it can also be called facile, or lame. "Being too cowardly to tell the truth and admit he didn't do it, he used the facile and sarcastic excuse that the dog ate his homework."
微妙な意味、使われ方がある言葉ですね。私もどちらかと言うと単純で分かり易い説明、意見を好みますが、いつも分かり易ければ良いと言う訳ではないのも確かです。特に政治家、政党の主張には要注意です。橋本さんもやっと自分の発言の一部だけですが "facile-tongued" だったと認め撤回しましたね。

tunnel vision

2013年05月27日 | 英語学習
English JournalにTea Time Talkというコーナーがあり、その著者のKay Hetherlyさん自身もBathroomで読んでいる本、"The Japanese Have a Word for It" by Boye Lafayette de Menteを推薦していたので、読みたいと思い地元の図書館にあるか調べましたが、その本はありませんでした。
けれと同じ著者の他の本が3冊あったので、その内の一冊、"Japan's Cultural Code Words" を読むことにしました。しかし、その本を借りて開いたら、ちょとまずいと思いました。ページ数は316ページとそれ程厚い本ではないのですが、なにせ活字が非常に細かく、この本の前に読んだChocolate Factoryと比べたら文字の大きさは半分です。これでは図書館の貸し出し期限内には読めそうもありません。HetherlyさんがBathroomで読む本だと言っていた意味が分かりました。 取り上げられた日本語のキーワードは233もあり、それぞれはほんの短い時間で読めるのでちょっとづつ読むのに適しているのです。とにかく、期限内に読めるだけ読むことにします。
Japan's history is filled with destructive behavior resulting from the over-restrictive, tunnel vision of its traditional culture. Some of this destructive behavior was directed against perceived competitors or enemies, and some of it was directed toward the Japanese themselves.
上に出てきた "tunnel vision" は視野が狭い、井の中の蛙、と言うような意味だと思います。初めて見る表現ですが、視覚的で分かり易いと思いました。
・Collins Dictionary: narrowness of viewpoint resulting from concentration on a single idea, opinion, etc, to the exclusion of others: Conventional training methods can encourage tunnel vision.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: extreme narrowness of viewpoint : narrow-mindedness; also : single-minded concentration on one objective: His tunnel vision made sensible discussions on political issues nearly impossible.

Is my time up?

2013年05月26日 | 英語学習
A middle aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.
While on the operating table she had a near death experience.
Seeing God, she asked "Is my time up?"
God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months, and 8 days to live."
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a facelift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck.
She even had someone come in and change her hair color.
Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.
After her last operation, she was released from the hospital.
While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 40 years? Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?"
God replied, "I didn't recognize you."

MP3 Player

2013年05月25日 | 英語学習
通勤の行き帰りにMP3 Playerで音楽を聴いています。先日珍しくコーヒーショップで本を読みながらコーヒーを飲んでいる時に、テーブルに肘を付け、右手でイヤフォーンを押さえたところ、今まで聞こえなかったベースの低音が良く聞こえました。腕の骨を通じてテーブルが共振しているのかと思いましたが、そうではなく、肘をテーブルから離しても、イヤフォーンを手で押さえている限りベース音は響きました。低音は空気を通じて鼓膜に届くよりも、骨や軟骨経由の方が伝導し易いのですね。

go and boil your head

2013年05月24日 | 英語学習
ガリバー旅行記、アリスの不思議の国、ドラエもんを混ぜて作ったようなChocolate Factoryからの引用もこれが最後になります。 Square Candies That Look Roundという奇妙なキャンディの話の個所からです。
"They look round," insisted Mr. Wonka.
"They most certainly do not look round!" cried Veruca Salt.
"Veruca, darling," said Mrs. Salt, "pay no attention to Mr. Wonka! He's lying to you!"
"My dear old fish," said Mr. Wonka, "go and boil your head!"
状況からすると、「頭を冷やせ」とMr. Wonkaが言ってもおかしくない場面ですが、 "go and boil your head" は少なくとも表面的にはその反対の事を言っています。 いづれにせよイデオムのようなので、辞書で調べます。
・Urban Dictionary: An insult, roughly equivalent to get lost or in some cases go fuck yourself. As far as I can tell, it is mainly used in Britain.: Oh, go boil your head, you fermented bastard.
・Phrase Finder: An insult, of the form go and do something bad for yourself. Other examples are, go and play in the traffic and the more recent, and vehement, eat shit and die.
This could be related to the fact that in South Pacific societies cooked food was 'noa' or the opposite of tapu (tapu is loosely translated as 'sacred', although it has a deeper meaning than that). The head was considered the most sacred part of the body and one doesn't usually pat children on the head, or stroke a person's hair. An exhortation to turn your head into cooked food was regarded as the greatest possible insult.
The earliest citations of the phrase in print in English don't exactly support that derivation. The original meaning of the phrase was rather milder than it is now and relate to people who were told to stop promoting silly opinions, i.e. don't be so stupid. These example date from the 1930s. In the UK there's a version of it in Compton MacKenzie's satire on the British intelligence services, Water on the Brain, 1933: "Go away and boil yourself"
「頭を冷やせ」などと言う冷静な言い方ではなく、「馬鹿を言え!」とか、日本語ではあまりUrban Dictionaryの説明に出てくるような品のない言い方は普通はしないので、対応する日本語が浮かびませんが(時々失敗した時に「糞!」って言いますが)、相手を侮辱する表現なのですね。

come out in the wash

2013年05月23日 | 英語学習
今日取り上げる表現はChocolate Factoryに何度も出て来ました。Chocolate Factoryに招待された子供達は主人公のCharlieを除いて何でも欲しがったり、TVばかりを見るなどの悪い子ばかりです。悪い子達は順番に消えていきます。
”‘I’ve never seen anything like it!’cried Mr. Wonka. ’The children are disappearing like rabbits! But you mustn’t worry about it! They’ll all come out in the wash!’”
悪い子が消える度にMr. Wonkaが言う台詞がこの "come out in the wash" です。 汚れた服が洗濯されて綺麗になることを想像できて中々面白い表現だと思います。
・Collins Dictionary: (informal) to become known or apparent in the course of time: Sheriff Scott replied: `No doubt that will all come out in the wash but whatever he did in provocation has to be taken seriously.
・Wiktionary: (idiomatic) Of problems or difficulties, to work out, resolve, or become understood eventually and naturally.: It may look like a huge mess now, but I expect that it will all come out in the wash as time goes on.
・McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs: Fig. to work out all right. (Alludes to a clothing stain that can be removed by washing.) Don't worry about that problem. It'll all come out in the wash. This trouble will go away. It'll come out in the wash.
先日取り上げた "come to the sticky end" と対照的で、楽観的な言葉でいいですね。なんでも "come out in the wash" となると良いのですが。

clockwork crocodile

2013年05月22日 | 英語学習
Chocolate Factoryでは、Mr. Wonkaがジャングルから連れてきた小人のOompa-Loompasが働いています。こOompa-Loompasが話のところどころで歌をうたいます。 チューインガム中毒の少女がChocolate Factoryで食べてはいけないと言われたチューインガムを手にして食べ、トラブルになった時にもOompa-Loompasが歌います。
For half an hour she lay and read,
Chewing and chewing all the while
Like some great clockwork crocodile.
この "clockwork crocodile" の表現がよく分からないので、 "clockwork" 辞書で引きます。
・Collins Dictionary: 1.the mechanism of a clock 2.any similar mechanism, as in a wind-up toy: "This is a well-oiled machine and it goes like clockwork ," he says.: with complete regularity and precision: She rose at six, took a nap in the afternoon and went to bed at 9.30 like clockwork.
・Macmillan Dictionary: [only before noun] operated by a set of springs that work when you turn a handle or key
・Vocabulary.com: any mechanism of geared wheels that is driven by a coiled spring; resembles the works of a mechanical clock: In addition to clockwork toy monsters, there are also some horrific sketches of people who had utilized Elizabeth’s “tears.”