又中又英|Think before you speak

2024/05/14 12:13:03 網誌分類: 生活
14 May

Think before you speak. This means people should choose their words carefully before talking. Otherwise, they risk saying something stupid. Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus chairman Chow Kwok-keung did not think before speaking recently. He said banning Uber in Hong Kong would improve the quality of taxi drivers and encourage more people to use taxis. He was serious, but his words made me laugh. Banning Uber would worsen rather than improve the quality of taxi drivers because they will have no competition. Without competition, taxi drivers can choose customers and refuse to accept short distance rides.

The reputation of Hong Kong’s taxi trade is beyond redemption. If something is beyond redemption, it means the quality is so bad that it cannot improve, or there is no way to save it. The taxi trade has asked the government to allow a fare increase, in addition to banning ride-hailing services such as Uber. Chow Kwok-keung said a fare increase would not make more people use Uber because Uber fares are higher. He is again speaking without thinking. People are willing to pay more for Uber because the drivers are polite, the cars are clean, and the service is convenient.

Passengers do not have to wait on the streets for a vacant taxi to pass by. They can order a car using the Uber app. Uber drivers usually arrive very quickly. The government will throw passengers under the bus if it bans Uber. To throw someone under the bus means to do something harmful to that person to gain an advantage for yourself. Banning Uber gives the government an advantage because the taxi trade would stop criticizing it.

Think before you speak. 這句話的意思是叫人三思而後言,說話之前要小心想清楚用詞,不然就會冒上說蠢話的風險。香港的士小巴商總會理事長周國強最近就沒有三思而後言(think before speaking)了。他說,在香港禁制Uber便可以改善的士司機的服務水準,以及鼓勵更多人搭的士。他是認真的,但他這番話卻令我忍不住發笑。禁制Uber只會令的士司機的服務水準變差而不是變好,因為他們會失去競爭。沒有了競爭對手,的士司機可以挑選搭客,和拒載短途的車程。

香港的士業界的聲譽可謂 beyond redemption——若某事情是 beyond redemption,意即它的水平差得無法改善了,基本上是無可救藥、不可挽回了。的士業界向政府申請容許他們加價,以及禁止網約、叫車服務,例如Uber。周國強說,加價不會令更多人使用Uber,因為Uber的車資更高。他又再一次沒有好好想清楚便說話(speaking without thinking)。人們願意付更高車資去搭Uber,因為司機更有禮、車廂更清潔,服務亦方便。

乘客們不用在街上等待一輛空的的士駛過,而可以在Uber的手機程式上叫車。Uber司機通常很快便到達。政府若全面禁止Uber,只會是throw passengers under the bus——to throw someone under the bus是指為了個人利益而犧牲那人。禁制Uber可為政府帶來好處,因為的士業界終於可以停止批評政府了。

Michael Chugani褚簡寧

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