A “trigger-happy” policeman

2019/11/21 04:13:40 網誌分類: 生活
21 Nov
          There are many English words that some people say are vulgar but others say are acceptable. One such word is "crap". Prudish people say this word is vulgar but broad-minded people don't agree. Fluent English speakers, including me, often use this word but I seldom hear local Hong Kong people use it. Last week, legislator Claudia Mo Man-ching used it in the Legislative Council when she spoke in English to criticize the police for forcefully entering the Chinese University and firing a lot of teargas. She accused the government of speaking "a load of crap" when officials insisted the police were right to enter the university campus.

          The word "crap" has several meanings. It can mean nonsense or rubbish talk. It can also mean excrement. A slang word for excrement is shit. Therefore, crap can also mean shit. Local Hong Kong people are more familiar with the word "shit" than "crap". The word "vulgar" used this way means offensive, obscene, or rude. Prudish people are people easily shocked by what they consider vulgar things, especially sex or nudity. If you are broad-minded, it means you are not shocked by vulgar things. When Mo Man-ching said "a load of crap" she meant a lot of nonsense or rubbish talk. Some people say "a load of bull" or just "bullshit". It has the same meaning as "a load of crap". The short form of "bullshit"is "BS".

          Mo Man-ching also accused the police of being "gun-happy" and "trigger-happy". They both have the same meaning. A "trigger-happy" policeman is a policeman who is willing to use his gun for very little reason. Some protesters say Hong Kong's police force has become trigger-happy because they fire teargas, rubber bullets, and even real bullets for very little reason. Should Mo Man-ching have used the word "crap" in the Legislative Council? I don't recall members of the US Congress using it when I worked in Washington DC. But I personally don't mind her using it in Hong Kong's legislature, where only half the members are democratically-elected.

          有許多英文字詞,有些人會說是粗鄙的(vulgar),另一些人卻認為是可接受的,其中一個例子就是「crap」。一本正經的(prudish)人會說這個字粗俗(vulgar),但思想開明的(broad-minded)人就不認同了。操流利英語的人,包括我,不時也會用到這個字,但我很少聽見香港本地的人會用它。上星期,當立法會議員毛孟靜在立法會用英語發言,批評警方強行進入中文大學和發射了許多催淚彈時,就用了這個字。當官員堅持警方有權進入大學校園時,她指責政府「一派胡言」(a load of crap)。

          Crap一字有多重意思,它可以指廢話、胡扯一通,也可以解作糞便。糞便的另一個俚語是「shit」,因此,「crap」也可以解作「shit」。香港本地人比較熟悉「shit」這個字多於「crap」。Vulgar一字在這裏解作冒犯性的、下流的、粗魯無禮的。「Prudish people」就是聞「性」色變、規矩而拘謹的人,一遇到他們認為是粗鄙(vulgar)的事物,尤其是性或裸體,就很訝異。若你是「broad-minded」,即是指你思想開通,不會驚訝於見到粗俗的(vulgar)事物。當毛孟靜說「a load of crap」時,她是指對方一派胡言、狗屁不通。有些人會說「a load of bull」又或簡單的說「bullshit」,二者跟「a load of crap」的意思一樣。「Bullshit」的簡寫是「BS」。



        Michael Chugani 褚簡寧
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