又中又英 | Talked in riddles

2024/03/05 00:38:36 網誌分類: 生活
05 Mar

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po was talking in riddles when he broached the issue of government-subsidized transport fares for people aged 60 and above during his budget speech. He looked as if he didn’t want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. Many Hong Kong people were hoping the financial secretary would again give consumption vouchers. He had given consumption vouchers for three years starting in 2021 to stimulate the Covid-hit economy. But this time he did not even touch it with a ten-foot pole. He didn’t mention consumption vouchers during his budget speech.

To talk in riddles or speak in riddles means to deliberately say things in a confusing way to make it harder for people to fully understand. To broach means to begin a discussion of something difficult. If you don’t want to touch something with a ten-foot pole, it means you prefer not to have anything to do with it. Chan Mo-po looked uneasy broaching the issue of subsidized transport fares because it is close to the hearts of older people. If an issue is close to your heart, it means it is personally and emotionally important to you.

People 60 and above now pay just $2 for public transport. The financial secretary said the government must re-think the subsidy because its cost will rise as the population ages. He talked in riddles when he said the government will not end the subsidy scheme but must find ways to save costs. Does he mean increasing the $2 fare or limiting its use? He didn’t say. He dared not mention the consumption voucher issue because that is also close to the hearts of people.

財政司司長陳茂波在其財政預算案發言期間,嘗試提出(broached)關於六十歲及以上人士交通費用補貼的相關議題時,一直在打啞謎(talking in riddles)。他看來好像完全不想介入(touch it with a ten-foot pole)其中。許多香港人之前一直期望財政司司長會再派消費券。他為了振興備受疫情打擊的經濟,由二零二一年起,已有三年派了消費券。但今次他甚至連碰都不想碰(touch it with a ten-foot pole),在發表財政預算案時,完全沒有提及過消費券。

To talk in riddles或speak in riddles是指刻意地說些莫名其妙的話,去令人難以完全明白。 To broach是去開始探討一個難題。若你不想去 touch something with a ten-foot pole,即是你壓根兒不想與某事情有任何瓜葛、不願捲入某事。陳茂波提出(broaching)公共交通津貼事宜時,看來很不自在,因為它是長者最關注、心繫(close to the hearts)的事情。若一件事是 close to your heart,那即是它對你來說,在個人和情感上都很重要。

現時,六十歲或以上人士乘搭公共交通工具時,只需付兩元車費。財政司司長說,政府必須重新考慮這項補貼,因為當人口老化時,開支便會上升。當他說,政府不會結束津貼計劃,但必須找方法節省開支時,他一直在打啞謎(talked in riddles)。他的意思是會給兩元車費加價,還是會限制其使用範圍?他沒有明說。他甚至不敢提及消費券,因為那是市民心之所繫(close to the hearts)。

Michael Chugani褚簡寧

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