必須アイテム ― staple




ATLANTA — The Chick-fil-A sandwich — a hand-breaded chicken breast and a couple of pickles squished into a steamy, white buttered bun — is a staple of some Southern diets and a must-have for people who collect regional food experiences the way some people collect baseball cards.

Customers at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Decatur, Ga., are greeted by a photograph of the company’s founder, S. Truett Cathy.

New Yorkers have sprinted through the airport here to grab one between flights. College students returning home stop for one even before they say hello to their parents.
(Kim Severson. A Chicken Chain’s Corporate Ethos Is Questioned by Gay Rights Advocates. The New York Times. January 29, 2011.)



staple food (diet) = 主食 というものです。"staple"という名詞自体に、“主要産物”とか“主要商品”、“主生産物”といった意味があり、主には食品を指しているようですが、“主要な”という意味では食品に限らず、地方における特産物や工業製品についても用いられます。


Miso A thick paste made from fermented soybeans, this Japanese staple comes in a variety of flavors and colors. It has three basic categories: barley, rice and soybean. The lighter-colored varieties (white and yellow) have the mildest flavor, while the darker ones (red and brown) have the strongest.
(Vegetarian Times. 1999.)


The number of adult bluefin tuna in the western Atlantic Ocean has dropped by 90 percent since 1970, to around 22,000 fish. A staple of Japanese sushi bars, the bluefin tuna can grow to 1,500 pounds and bring $30,000 apiece at the dock.
(Stover Dawns. Queen of the deep. Popular Science. 1995.)


最初に引用した記事に戻ると、"a staple of some Southern diets"、"a must-have"とありますから、この記事のコンテクストでは“地元の味”、“故郷の味”と言ってもいいのかも知れません。ちょっと感傷に過ぎるかも知れませんが・・・。


per capita

"per capita"という表現があります。経済用語と言ってもいいと思いますが、”一人当たり”という意味です。

多くは一国の経済などについて、国民一人当たりの収入(an income per capita)といったコンテクストで使われます。

"capita"とは、ラテン語の"caput"(頭)を語源としています。つまりは頭数でみた場合の話、というのが"per capita"の言いたいことであり、一国の経済に関する堅苦しい話以外でも、”一人当たりの”話をする場合には、"per capita"と言えばいいのです。

Europe has twice our per capita garlic consumption, and we hoped to take Europe by storm. But we're not doing well over there -- they just won't change, " he says, exasperated. The Europeans, it seems, prefer to buy whole garlic bulbs and peel by hand.
(Richard Wolkomir. Without garlic, life would be just plain tasteless. Smithonian. 1995.)

上の用法にも見られる通り、"per capita"は形容詞としても機能しています。

Even though just 20 percent of Americans smoke now, more than 40 percent of U.S. adults smoked in 1960 and the population is still paying the price, the report from the National Research Council found.

"Other factors, such as obesity, diet, exercise, and economic inequality, also have likely played a role in the current gap and divergence between the United States and other countries," the panel of experts appointed by the council wrote.

Many experts have tried to explain why the United States, which spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country and which has a relatively wealthy and well-nourished population, should rank so poorly against other countries in terms of lifespan.

Gerontologist Eileen Crimmins of the University of Southern California and colleagues looked at cause-of-death statistics for an explanation.

Smoking -- which kills directly and indirectly through secondhand smoke effects -- seemed to be a major factor, they found.
(Maggie Fox. Smoking explains why Americans don't live longer. Reuter. January 25, 2011.)


経済のコンテクストで用いられることが多い"per capita"ですが、要は頭数で割った結果、ということであり、”名古屋では市民一人当たりの喫茶店数が全国一”、だとか、”市民一人当たりの餃子消費量が一番多い”(宇都宮?浜松?)、ということでも何でもいいのではないかと思います。


降車専用 ― alight

素性がばれそうですが、通勤で下車する地下鉄駅に特急電車が乗り入れしているのですが、今朝たまたまホームでその特急に出くわし、駅の電光掲示が、"alighting passengers only"という英語表記になっているのを見かけました。






"Stops only to receive passengers"
"Stops only to discharge passengers"

と表現していたはず。(上記表現は、Amtrakのサイトから時刻表を確認しました。記憶していたのは、"receive (passengers)"、"discharge (passengers)"という動詞です。また、記憶は曖昧ですが、"unload (passengers)"という表現も見たように思います。)

結論から言いますと、"alighting passengers"という表現は和製英語というわけではなさそうです。

The dual side platforms at Skokie terminal, looking north on the outbound platform on November 9, 2003. Although this platform is for alighting passengers only and is replete with signs instructing riders "DO NOT BOARD", it is freely accessible to the public.

個人的には、"alight"が自動詞であるのに対して、"discharge"にしろ、"unload"にしろ、他動詞の表現は目的語として"passengers"を取っているわけで、何だか荷物と同等のようにも感じられる表現なのが、"alighting passengers only"というと”下車する乗客”ということで主体が顧客である乗客に当てられているという点で扱いが違うような、そんな印象を受けます。



インターネット詐欺 ― scam





I was stressed, rushing to make last-minute lodging arrangements for a three-stop writing trip to Europe, when it appeared on Craigslist: the perfect apartment for my first stop in London. A tiny studio in Notting Hill for just £45, or $73, a night.

I hadn’t been in London since I was a boy, so I shot the link around to some friends to ask about the location. Great neighborhood, they said. Take it.

I filled out the online form and an agent wrote me back almost instantly. Yes, the apartment was available. Just prepay and it’s yours — five nights plus a security deposit of £200. Sorry, no credit cards. No PayPal, either. I should wire money, including a security deposit, to the owner’s British bank account.

At this point, I suppose I should have known I was being scammed. A bank transfer? Who pays by bank transfer?
(Seth Kugel. Burned! A London Vacation Rental Scam. The New York Times. January 25, 2011.)


余談ですが、今日の単語"scam"は、"scheme"=“策略、計略”という単語から転化したという説があるようですが(ランダムハウス英和辞書、プログレッシブ英和辞典)、American Heritage DictionaryやMerriam Websterでは、"Origin unknown."となっています。


殺処分 ― cull




With an avian flu outbreak in 2007 and a foot-and-mouth epidemic in 2010, the livestock farmers of Miyazaki Prefecture have had a rough time of it lately. But just when things seemed they couldn’t get worse, they did: An outbreak of pathogenic bird flu virus has hit the area.

Some 410,000 chickens are expected to be culled over the next few days in the prefecture. That comes after 20 chickens were found dead Jan. 23, and a simple examination of six of the birds found five as being infected by the H5N1 virus in the southern Japanese prefecture that’s famous for its agricultural produce, and one of the top producers of poultry in the country.

The ongoing cull follows that of 10,200 chickens over the weekend after 36 of the birds were discovered dead Jan. 21 in a separate farm 8.5km away. The government has ordered for all birds and eggs within 10km of the farms to be destroyed and has agreed to deploy 170 members of the Ground Self-Defense force to help with the process. While the chickens culled over the weekend were incinerated, the 410,000 birds doomed in the latest episode are simply too many for incineration –- the bodies will be buried instead.
(Yuri Tomikawa. Bird Flu Blow to Miyazaki. The Wall Street Journal. January 25, 2011.)


機内でのケータイは本当に危険なのか?答えは・・・ ― "better safe than sorry"





You know who you are. You leave your phone on during flights, maybe do a little text messaging and otherwise break rules about cell phone use on planes once the doors close for departure.

"This is an absurd rule. I never turn (mine) off. I may text or browse the Web, but I never talk on the phone," one CNN.com reader commented recently.

On the other side of the aisle are passengers who abide by the safety instructions and warnings, worried that cellular signals may indeed interfere with cockpit instruments.
(Marnie Hunter. Is it really dangerous to use a cell phone on a plane? CNN. January 21, 2011.)



But airline passengers who have routinely neglected -- or forgotten -- to turn off their mobile phones without devastating consequences have to wonder, how dangerous can it be?

That turns out to be a tough question to answer, but those who've studied the rules sum it up as better safe than sorry.

今日の表現、"better safe than sorry"は、"(It is) better (to be) safe than sorry."ということで、要は、”後悔先に立たず”、ということです。



The risk is small, "but why take that risk?" asked David Carson, a Boeing engineer who headed up a committee of aviation and electronics experts years ago to advise the FAA on the safety of Wi-Fi and cellular devices on planes.

He compared breaking the cell phone rules with not wearing a seat belt. "I could probably make a flight without a seat belt on and probably I'd be safe," Carson said.

"It's the same kind of thing as operating a cell phone or not. You're probably going to be OK; probably the airplane is new and isn't going to be bothered by it."



常習犯 ― scofflaw



The revised dress code for New York City cabdrivers is officially on the books.

Drivers in the taxi industry are required to wear attire that “presents a professional appearance,” under a new rule that drew international attention when it was first proposed late last year.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted unanimously and unceremoniously on Thursday to approve the rule, and reasoning that “professional” would eliminate a multitude of undesirable sartorial choices, lifted a ban, in place since 1987, on tube shirts, cut-off shorts, and other ’80s fashion stalwarts.

Scofflaws face a $25 fine for any violation, but the taxi commissioner, David S. Yassky, promised that the city did not plan to exploit the new guidelines for added revenue.
(Michael M. Grynbaum. Dress Code, Not Strict, Is Adopted for Cabbies. The New York Times. January 20, 2011.)




トイレット=Toylet? ― call of nature



Britain's The Guardian newspaper reported on its website yesterday that Sega has installed the Toylets in men's lavatories at four bars and games arcades in the capital. Noting wryly that the "games sit [or stand] well with Japan's open attitude to all matters of micturition", the report says the Toylets use pressure sensors attached to eye-level LCD screens "that test users' accuracy as they answer the call of nature". (Toylets to turn Japan's men into straight shooters. Times Live. January 19, 2011.) 




今日取り上げる表現ですが、 call of nature は、“生理的要求”のことです。動詞が、answer(あるいはobey)というのも納得?



荒らし ― troll






Prosecutors have accused two men of hacking AT&T Inc.'s computer servers to steal the e-mail addresses and personal data of about 120,000 iPad users.

Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco and Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark., were charged with breaches that occurred in June. Both are associated with Goatse Security, "a loose association" of hackers and trolls - people who disrupt Internet service, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Newark, N.J.

"Hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said at a news conference in Newark. "It's like what people might perceive as stealing for a joyride. It can start out looking like a prank, but it can quickly become more malicious."
(David Voreacos. SF man allegedly hacked iPad users' data. The San Francisco Chronicle. January 18, 2011.)


類は友を呼ぶ? ― endowment


本日のUSA Today紙によると、「類は友を呼ぶ」には遺伝学的な根拠がある、ということになります。

The idea that we choose our mates based on their genes isn't news, but researchers in San Diego now have evidence that we might also be choosing our friends by their genetic endowment as well.

"We're asking a much broader question -- how and why do we make friends," says James Fowler, who studies social networks at the University of California, San Diego and first author on the paper published in this week's edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers looked at six genotypes from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to test for genetic similarity between friends. They found that when they mapped friendship networks, some of the genotypes clustered together.

In the case of the gene DRD2, which is associated with drinking behavior, friends were more likely to have friends who shared the gene. Another, CYP2A6, was linked to the trait of 'openness' in one paper and is also linked to the ability to process foreign substances. For an unknown reason, some friendship groups tended to avoid it.
(Elizabeth Wiese. Genetics plays a role in who we choose as friends. USA Today. January 17, 20111.)

今日の単語、"endowment"は、”資質”とか”天分”という訳語が英和辞書に見えます。この記事では、"genetic endowment"という表現が使われていますが、”資質、天分”の中でも極めて遺伝的要因が大きいということなのだろうと思われます。


USA Today紙の記事はこちら


運転中は集中してますか? ― distracted driving






Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood regularly refers to distracted driving as an "epidemic." Toyota said last week it will spend $50 million on research into issues including distracted driving, a "growing cause of accidents." And state legislators are racing to enact laws banning what they see as the culprit: text messaging and handheld cellphones.

Yet the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says there's no evidence that distracted driving is leading to more crashes or that laws banning texting or handheld cells are having any effect, possibly because hands-free phones can be just as dangerous.
(Jayne O'Donnell. Is focus on distracted driving going down the wrong road?. USA Today. January 17, 2011.)



No one is suggesting distracted driving isn't a safety issue or that texting or talking on a phone would improve anyone's driving.


本日の単語、"distracted driving"は、”運転中の注意散漫”という訳にでもしておきましょうか。


サラ金 ― loanshark


元々、名詞のsharkに、貪欲な人間、高利貸し、といった意味があるようです。American Heritage Dictionaryでも、

shark, n.

2.a. A person regarded as ruthless, greedy, or dishonest. b. A vicious usurer.


ところで、"loanshark"は、"loan shark"と2語で表現されたり、"loansharking"という現在分詞形の名詞でエントリに見られたり(American Heritage Dictionary)、現れ方は様々なようです。先に触れたように、"shark"自体に、高利貸しに見られるような無慈悲な、他人を食い物にするタイプの貪欲な人間を一般的に言う意味があるようですので、"loanshark"という言い方は貸金業に限定するものであると言えます。

本日の投稿のタイトルでは、”サラ金 ― loanshark”としていますが、上のディスカッションからすると当事者の方々には怒られそうです。手元のランダムハウス英和辞書も、"loansharking"というエントリには、米口語として、”高利貸し(業)”という訳語に続けて、”「サラ金」”とありますが、括弧つきです。

A mother whose son killed himself after getting into debt with a loan shark is trying to stop other young people borrowing money from such lenders.

Brian Shields, 22, of Runcorn in Cheshire, took his life after a loan of £300 increased to £3,000 in 12 weeks.
(Loan shark victim mother's bus tour to help others. BBC News. January 13, 2011.)


Nicholson - described by Trading Standards as one of most "despicable illegal lenders" the North West team had prosecuted - would charge his clients up to 125% interest.

If they did not pay up he would go to their homes and threaten them with knuckle dusters and baseball bats. He gave many of his female victims the option to pay "in kind" and perform sexual acts for him.


テレビの見過ぎで死期が早まる? ― park


According to the study conducted by a group of international researchers, anyone who devotes more than four hours daily on screen-based entertainment such as TV, video games or surfing the web, ups their risk of heart attack and stroke by 113 percent and the risk of death by any cause by nearly 50 percent compared to those who spend less than two hours daily in screen play -- and this is regardless of whether or not they also work out.
(Liz Neporent. Too Much Screen Time Means Health Decline. CNN. January 11, 2011.)


The researchers surveyed more than 4,500 Scottish adults to find out how much time they spent parked in front of a TV, computer or gaming screen when not at work.

"parked"という単語が出てくるのですが、これは自動車などを駐車するというような意味で用いられる動詞"park"の過去分詞形です。ここでは、駐車ではなく、ある場所に腰を据える、陣取るという意味で用いられています。"in front of TV"ということですから、テレビの前のソファにどかっと腰を下ろす様が思い浮かびます。


"Assuming that leisure-time screen time is a representative indicator of overall sitting, our results lend support to the idea that prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and premature mortality," notes the report's lead author, Emmanuel Stamatakis of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College in London.


"Doing some exercise every day may not compensate for the damage done during very long periods of screen time."


This study is the latest to build on a growing body of research that shows that we humans are not designed to park ourselves in front of a screen for extended periods of time without deleterious effects.




等身大、実物大 ― life-sized


中でも逮捕された容疑者の顔写真(mug shot)について、各メディアでの扱い様が話題になっています。

Smirking and creepy, with hollow eyes ablaze with unknowable thoughts, Jared Lee Loughner stared back at viewers and readers Tuesday for the first time since being accused of shooting 20 people in a supermarket parking lot in Tucson.

The police booking photo of the man accused of killing six and wounding 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, flashed around the world, at once haunting and fascinating. Dozens of newspapers placed the photo atop their front pages, burning Loughner's visage into the American consciousness.


New York's tabloid newspapers combined the photo with shocking headlines to create a tableau of guilt and horror. "Face of Evil," blared the New York Daily News, which ran Loughner's image nearly life-sized on its front page. The New York Post was no more subtle, playing the photo even larger beside a headline that all but convicted him: "Mad Eyes of a Killer."
(Paul Farhi. Media grapple with how to present mug shot of Tucson shooting suspect. The Washington Post. January 11, 2011.)

今日の単語、"life-sized"ですが、辞書によっては、"life-size"というエントリで、形容詞として載っています。上記の引用記事では、"the New York Daily News, which ran Loughner's image nearly life-sized on its front page"、とありますが、ここでの動詞、"run"は、(広告・記事などを)掲載する、という意味で用いられています。目的語に"Loughner's image"をとり、"life-sized"は補語として機能していると考えることができると思います。



血みどろのスマートフォン戦争、1番じゃなきゃ駄目ですか? ― arena




In a rather bold statement, Sony has said that it aims to take the second position in the Tablet market after Apple by the end of the year. The statement surprisingly comes from a company which has no presence in the flourishing Tablet arena.

Reuters reported a Sony executive saying, "For sure iPad is the king of tablets. But what is the second, what is the third? Who is taking the second position? That is our focus, We would like to really take the number two position in a year.". The company's CEO Howard Stringer is also considering whether to add 3D viewing capabilities to Sony's yet-unheard tablet.

It's a very bold statement, as this is not 2010 anymore, where a bunch of Android 2.x Tablets tried to give the iPad a tough fight. The CES 2011 event in Las Vegas that ended a few days ago showed us some killer tablets that have the hardware and the software to capture the market share that Apple enjoyed last year. With time ticking away, Sony will have to do more than come up with just a competitive model if they want that No. 2 spot.
(Rohan Naravane. Sony Wants to be No. 2 in Tablets in 2011. Techtree. January 11, 2011.)

あのソニーが、タブレット端末ではアップルの後塵を拝して、”2位を狙う”、と宣言したという記事です。記事にもあるように何とも大胆な発言("very bold statement")というか、意図がよく読めない

さて、本題の"arena"という単語ですが、英文記事では結構お目にかかる機会の多い単語です。"political arena"、とか"business arena"とか、色々な形容がついて、要は分野であるとか、市場、領域、あるテーマにおける舞台、を示すのに使われる比喩的な表現です。その背景には”血”が流されているのです、というと大げさなと思われるでしょうが、語源的にはそうなのです。

英語"arena"は、ラテン語"harena"(砂)に由来します。何故、”砂”なのか?それは、古代ローマの剣闘士が戦った円形競技場の部隊が砂で覆われていたことによるのですが、この砂は剣闘士が流す血を吸収するためのものでした。(American Heritage Dictionary.)




君子危うきに近寄らず ― steer clear of...


CONSUMERS are being warned to steer clear of imported "slimming" coffee, tea and chocolate containing an ingredient said to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Authorities are worried a rush to shape up for summer could lead people to fall for products that contain the banned substance, sibutramine.

The medicine was found in clinical trials to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes among overweight users and was banned from sale.
(Alert on risky weight-loss drinks. Herald Sun. January 10, 2011.)


さて、今日の表現ですが、"steer"とはもともとは”舵を切る”ことで、車の運転でも用いられますが、"steer clear of"という表現は、"of"以下の目的語(対象)を避ける、近づかない、という意味で用いられます。



クビ!(5) ― ax


get the ax



A deputy head of Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot, Vladimir Smirnov, has been fired following flight chaos in the Russian capital's airports last weekend, an Aeroflot spokesman said Friday.

The spokesman said Aeroflot head Vitaly Savelyev held a meeting with Transportation Minister Igor Levitin on Friday and made the decision to give Smirnov the ax for "mistakes that led to operation disruptions."

Thousands of passengers were stranded at Moscow airports following an ice storm that hit Central Russia last weekend. Hundreds of flights were canceled and delayed as severe freezing rain caused serious power outages.
(Moscow airport flight chaos results in top Aeroflot official's dismissal. RIA Novosti. December 31, 2010.)




こんな意味もあったの? ― fetch


The puppy fetched the stick that we had tossed.
(American Heritage Dictionary. Third Edition.)




At a market in central Tokyo this week, a bluefin tuna the size of five Japanese men fetched £250,000 at auction. It was partly a show of New Year ostentation but proof, too, that Japan has not lost its appetite for an endangered species.

Whales, however, are no longer so popular. At refrigerated stores across the country, thousands of tonnes of whalemeat lies unsold.
(Justin McCurry. Huge bluefin tuna fetches record price in Tokyo, but whale is left on the shelf. The Guardian. January 6, 2011.)





長寿の秘訣は歩行スピードにあり!? ― gait


Study: Walking speed appears to predict longevity in seniors
(USA Today. January 5, 2011.)


Want to know how long you or your aging parents will live? One simple indicator of well-being and longevity among older people is their walking speed, new research shows.

In an analysis of nine studies involving more than 34,000 people age 65 and older, faster walking speeds were associated with living longer: Predicted years of remaining life for each age and both sexes increased as gait-speed increased, with the most significant gains after age 75.

In addition, researchers found that predicting survival based on gait speed was as accurate as predictions based on age, sex, chronic conditions, smoking history, blood pressure, body mass index and hospitalization.



Your walking speed may predict your life span
(Boston Globe)

Walk briskly, live longer: How pacing more than 3ft per second could add years to your life
(The Daily Mail)

Fast Walkers May Have More Years Ahead of Them
(Business Week)

Watch grandpa's gait for longevity clues: study

私事で恐縮ですが小生、最近ジョギングにはまっておりまして、歩くスピードが速いくらいで長生きできるなら、ジョギングをしている自分はもっと長生きできるのでは??などと期待してしまったのですが、今回のStudyの結果は高齢者しか話題になっていないので、ジョギングは健康に悪いはずはないとは思いますが、長生きできるかは別問題なのかも知れません。また、どのくらいの"gait speed"が長寿に貢献するのかについては、詳細は記事をご覧ください。


iPhoneのアラーム不具合 ― wake-up call



Apple Inc (AAPL.O) got a wake-up call on Sunday, as iPhone users complained the New Year got off to a slow start because built-in alarms on their phones failed to wake them.

"We're aware of an issue related to non-repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison told Reuters in an e-mail.

"Customers can set recurring alarms for those dates and all alarms will work properly beginning January 3." She did not elaborate.

The British Broadcasting Corp reported the problem led many people to oversleep on the first two days of the New Year.
(Apple wakes up to iPhone alarm glitch on New Year's. Reuters. January 2, 2011.)

今日の単語、"wake-up call"ですが、朝の目覚まし(モーニングコール)という意味ですが、ここでは口語・俗語表現として、



関連する表現に、"send a wake-up call"というものがあり、”注意喚起する”という意味で用いられますが、目覚ましもアラームも要は注意喚起の手段であり、目覚ましに関する苦情は、製造販売元のApple社に対する”注意喚起”であるとも言えます。

不具合が目覚まし(wake-up call)に関するものというだけに、ここで"wake-up call"という表現を使うのはなかなか当意即妙というか、うまいなあと思わせられます。



平和の象徴 ― olive branch



平和の象徴と言えば、多くの方にとって最初に思い浮かぶのは、鳩、でしょうか。英語の世界では、鳩というよりも、オリーブの枝にフォーカスが当たっているようで、"olive branch"という表現が定着しています。この表現自体は、聖書でもご存じの方も多いと思いますが、ノアの箱舟の話にも出てくる、オリーブの枝をくわえた鳩の連想からくるものです。

President Obama returns from his Hawaiian holiday this week to a changed Washington where Republicans will control the House of Representatives.

In his weekly YouTube address, the president tried to extend an olive branch across the aisle.

"In a few days, a new Congress will form, with one house controlled by Democrats, and one house controlled by Republicans, who now have a shared responsibility to move this country forward," he said this weekend. "And here's what I want you to know: I'm willing to work with anyone of either party who's got a good idea and the commitment to see it through."
(Republicans' New Year's Resolutions: Repeal, Resist and Investigate. ABC News. January 3, 2011.)

"olive branch"を辞書で引くと、


というような定義が見えます。また、手元にあるCollins Cobuild Dictionary of Idioms (1995)によれば、

If you hold out an olive branch to someone, you say or do something to indicate that you want to end a disagreement with them or stop them feeling resentful, bitter, r angry with you.