政治與英語語言.pdf


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there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity?
-

4.

Essay on psychology in Politics (New York)

All the "best people" from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in
common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary
movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of
poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the
agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way
out of the crisis.
- Communist pamphlet

5.

If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform
which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here
will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat,
for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's
Midsummer Night's Dream -- as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue
indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of
Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as "standard English." When the Voice of Britain is heard
at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the
present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma'amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing
maidens!
- Letter in Tribune

每段文章的文句都有問題,遑論避免行文粗陋了。但他們卻有兩點卻是共同的:比喻陳腐和
缺少精確性。作者或者有某種想法卻苦於表達,或者在不經意間傳達了其他資訊,又或者他根本
不在乎他的字句是否表達了什麼。這種含混不清與全然無力的表達,是當今英語文章最顯著的特
點,而在任何政治性的寫作中,更是莫此為甚。一旦選中特定的論題,具體就化為抽象,幾乎沒
人有能力思考說話的口吻,而這都已司空見慣。文章的選詞越來越少的考慮詞本身的含義,反倒
是越來越多的由短語堆砌而成,一如預製的雞窩那樣疊床架屋。我將各式各樣的手法羅列在下面,
並且加上了具體的例子和評注,如此,文章的遣詞造句將不再是問題:
陳腐的比喻。一個新造的比喻能夠激發視覺聯想從而幫助思考,但是從另一方面來說,那些
技術上已經“老套”的比喻(例如鋼鐵般的意志)也已經成為普通辭彙,不過仍可隨意使用而不失
生動。但是此二者之間卻充斥著那些早已喪失激發功能、用爛了的拙劣比喻,之所以仍在使用則
僅僅由於他們省去人們自創新詞的麻煩。例如:Ring the changes on(用調包方式騙人), take up the
cudgel for(打抱不平), toe the line(聽話), ride roughshod over(欺淩), stand shoulder to shoulder
with(並肩作戰), play into the hands of(佔便宜), no axe to grind(無個人企圖), grist to the mill(能賺
錢), fishing in troubled waters(渾水摸魚), on the order of the day(在議事日程上), Achilles' heel
(致命弱點), swan song(最後作品), hotbed(溫床).很多人使用這些詞都不明就裏,(例如,什
麼叫做“斷裂”?),並且相互矛盾的比喻經常摻雜在一起,很多作家根本就不關心自己在說什麼
是最明顯不過的標誌。而一些比喻已經歪曲了自身的原始意義,意識到這一點的人則沒有犯這個
錯誤。例如,toe the line 經常寫成 tow the line;還有另一個例子,the hammer and the anvil,現在