アメリカ北東部で大雪 ― wallop



Heavy rain, snow and winds walloped the northeast this weekend, leaving 3.2 million people without power from Virginia to Maine and many more wondering: What happened to fall?

“It’s only October,” said Melissa Mack, a resident of Hartford, Conn. “We haven’t even finished the kids’ soccer season.”

Trees with their leaves colored by autumnal glory turned white from snow and became dangerous. The leaves gave the wet snow a landing pad, making branches so heavy that many of them came crashing down, bringing down tens of thousands of power lines with them.

The storm is being blamed for five deaths, including that of a Bronx grandmother who relied on an oxygen machine that shut down when her house lost power.
(More than 3 million without power after East Coast storm. Los Angels Times. October 30, 2011.)


この聞き慣れない単語ですが、"gallop"という単語と関係があります。スペルもよく似ている2つの単語ですが、"gallop"の語源をたどると、"well leap"(よく走る)と言う意味の、"walhlaup"(もしくは、wala hlaupen)というフランク語の表現に遡るそうです。"walhlaup"は、"wal"(戦場)を"hlaup"(駆ける)、すなわち戦場を駆けまわる馬のイメージであり、まさしく”ギャロップ”のイメージと重なります。



ダイエット失敗? ― wind up

"wind up"という表現をご存知でしょうか?敢えて和訳すると、”結局~になる”、”結局~する羽目になる”という表現です。




As if Americans needed any reminder that weight loss is hard and maintaining weight loss even harder, a study has found that for at least a year, subjects who shed weight on a low-calorie diet were hungrier than when they started and had higher levels of hormones that tell the body to eat more, conserve energy and store away fuel as fat.

The report, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, helps explain why roughly 4 in 5 dieters wind up gaining back lost pounds within a year or two of losing them — and, sometimes, pack on a few extra pounds for good measure.
(Melissa Healy. Why dieters tend to regain weight. Los Angels Times. October 26, 2011.)

構文的な話をしますと、"wind up"に続くのは動詞の現在分詞形(いわゆる~ing)が、コーパスなどで見ても圧倒的に多いです。しかしながら、"wind up as"という形で後ろに名詞を伴うこともあります。

General Motors CEO Jack Smith ran GM of Canada for two years in the 1980s on his way to the top of the largest company in the USA, notes Whittaker of EDS. However, Smith has been an exception, executive-search firms say. They find that the men who wind up as CEOs seldom have their careers steered through Canada.
(USA Today. 1999.)

上記の引用では、"the men who wind up as CEOs"ということで、望ましくない帰結、結果、というのと反するように思われますが、"wind up"は必ずしもネガティヴな意味で用いられるのではないということの証左でもあります。

American Heritage Dictionaryの定義を引用すると、

(Informal) To arrive in a place or situation after or because of a course of action




乳児行方不明事件、兄弟の聴取へ ― Q-tip swab




Missing Missouri 11-month-old baby Lisa Irwin's two older brothers, who were in the house the night she disappeared, will submit to interviews with investigators and provide DNA samples. Child specialists spoke to the boys on Oct. 4, the day after Lisa's disappearance, but investigators have not had access to Lisa's 5 and 8-year-old half brothers since then.

"This will be the first time we've had a chance to interview them since then," Kansas City Police Officer Darin Snapp told ABCNews.com today. "We have not been allowed access to the children until [parents Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin] agreed to bring them in this Friday."

"We are expecting to collect DNA samples," Snapp said. "It will be very non-intrusive, pretty much just a Q-tip swab."

Snapp said some DNA samples, currently in a lab, that were collected from the house are labeled "unknown" and they want to use the boys' DNA to eliminate some of the unknown samples.
(Christina Ng. Baby Lisa's Brothers: Interviews and DNA Sampling Scheduled. ABC News. October 26, 2011.)

さて、DNAサンプル採取に触れた文の中で、"Q-tip swab"という単語が出てきます。これは一体何?

"Q-tip swab"そのものを知らなくとも、コンテクストから、ああ、あの口の内側をこすってサンプル採取する綿棒のことね、とイメージはわくかもしれません。






ちなみに一般的には、"cotton swab"と表現されます。下記の記事では、"Q-tip"ではなく、"cotton swab"とだけ表現されています。

A specialist trained in interviewing children will talk to Lisa Irwin's brothers, The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday. Police spokesman Capt. Steve Young said police also planned to collect DNA from the boys to compare to unknown DNA found during the investigation and possibly eliminate some as evidence. Such samples can be obtained using a cotton swab inside the mouth.
(Missing baby's brothers to be interviewed again. The Associated Press. October 26, 2011.)


cold case


The search for Lisa Irwin hit closer to home this week as cadaver dogs have picked up the scent of human remains next to the her parent's bed, according to a police affidavit.

But an attorney for the family said following the cadaver dog's nose may be misleading investigators.

"My understanding is that there are cold cases where dogs have hit on scents of decomposition that have been in the home for as long as 28 years," attorney Cyndy Short said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America." "This is an old home, 63 years old. There could be a lot of other explanations for that."
(Christina Ng. Missing Baby Lisa: Family Attorney Says Cadaver Dogs May be Misleading Officials. ABC News. October 22, 2011.)

行方不明者の捜索では常套手段なのだと思いますが、警察犬が導入されているようです。記事では、"cadaver dogs"となっていますが、これは警察犬の中でも死体捜索犬のことを指すのだそうです。

今日は後段にある、"cold case"という表現に着目してみました。

記事の内容からして、ここでの"cold case"は”失敗例”や”うまくいかなかったケース”のことを意味していることは何となく読み取れます。


(米俗)(ゲームなどで)ついていない; 難しい,不愉快な,不必要な

という意味が最後の方に出ていました。また、"a cold case"の訳語として、”最悪の事態”とありました。たしかにこのケースでは最悪の事態かもしれません。

さらにAmerican Heritage Dictionaryを調べてみますと、

Characterized by repeated failure, especially in a sport or competitive activity

という定義が相当すると思われました。スポーツなどの競技で使われるということですが、"repeated failure"という定義は何となくしっくりきます。

"cold case"の用例をもう少し調べてみたところ、いわゆる”未解決事件”といった意味で用いられているものが多く見られました。

A "cold case" is defined as an unsolved murder older than a year. Since about half of all homicides are unsolved -- and there are hundreds of killings a year in Chicago -- there is a mountain of cold cases for detectives to sift through.
(Frank Main. Cold-case detectives scour past for fresh leads. Chicago Sun Times. 2004.)

"cold case unit"はさしづめ”未解決事件捜査班”といったところでしょうか。

Sgt. Rick Fulginiti, a longtime Prince George's detective, was working in the department's cold case unit several years ago when he was assigned to investigate the Phantom cases. His department received a tip about a potential suspect. Fulginiti felt he was close to solving the crimes, even flying to Utah to get DNA samples from his suspect's relatives and from an old envelope. He also learned that authorities had located a semen sample at the Maryland medical examiner's office.
(Washington Post. 2006.)

最初に引用した警察犬の記事での"cold case"と、いわゆる未解決事件を意味する"cold case"では意味合いが多少違うように思えますが、どちらも思ったような成果が出ないということを表現している点では同じだと言えると思います。

行方不明の赤ちゃんの事件については、"cold case"にならないよう祈るばかりです。


こんな意味もあったの? ― sustain


ROTTNEST ISLAND, Australia -- Police have named the victim of yesterday's fatal shark attack in Western Australia as American man George Thomas Wainwright.

The 32-year-old US citizen, from Texas, was in Australia on a working visa and had been living for several months in North Beach, a beachside suburb of Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

He was killed by what authorities believe was a great white shark, while diving just off Little Armstrong Bay on Rottnest Island, a popular tourist spot not far from the mainland, PerthNow reported.


Police described the injuries sustained by Wainwright as horrific.
(Police ID American killed in shark attack. New York Post. October 23, 2011.)






インフルエンザシーズン到来 ― jab


It's an annual autumn rite for many: trooping to the doctor's office or pharmacy for the jab that might stave off sniffles and aches during the flu season.

Scientists would love to make this ritual history, if only they could come up with a flu vaccine that would work for many years, instead of one. The problem is that influenza is a wily opponent — every year it wears a new disguise, foiling the body's immune system as well as the medical profession's attempts to stifle it. In designing the annual shot, scientists must guess what strain of influenza will be prevalent in the upcoming season.
(Amber Dance. Universal flu vaccine may be on horizon. Los Angels Times. October 23, 2011.)


通常、単に"shot"、あるいは"flu shot"などと表現されているのはよく見ますが、"jab"と表現されているのを見るは初めてです。


スティーブ・ジョブズ氏伝記 ― skeptic

米国アップル社の創業者で前CEOのSteve Jobs氏が亡くなって2週間余りが過ぎましたが、同氏の偉業を讃える報道をはじめ、関連ニュースを見ない日がありません。


SAN FRANCISCO – A new biography portrays Steve Jobs as a skeptic all his life -- giving up religion because he was troubled by starving children, calling executives who took over Apple "corrupt" and delaying cancer surgery in favor of cleansings and herbal medicine.

"Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, to be published Monday, also says Jobs came up with the company's name while he was on a diet of fruits and vegetables, and as a teenager perfected staring at people without blinking.

The Associated Press purchased a copy of the book Thursday.

The book delves into Jobs' decision to delay surgery for nine months after learning in October 2003 that he had a neuroendocrine tumor -- a relatively rare type of pancreatic cancer that normally grows more slowly and is therefore more treatable.

Instead, he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic. He also was influenced by a doctor who ran a clinic that advised juice fasts, bowel cleansings and other unproven approaches, the book says, before finally having surgery in July 2004.

Isaacson, quoting Jobs, writes in the book: "`I really didn't want them to open up my body, so I tried to see if a few other things would work,' he told me years later with a hint of regret."

Jobs died Oct. 5, at age 56, after a battle with cancer.
(Biography Sheds Light on Steve Jobs' Decision to Delay Cancer Surgery to Pursue Herbal Remedies. Fox News. October 20, 2011.)



そう思いながら"skeptic"の定義をAmerican Heritage Dictionaryで確認すると、なんだか雲が晴れたようにすっきりしたのです。


One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.










米国・フィラデルフィアで、知的障害者の女性を含む4人が"basement dungeon"に長年監禁されていたという衝撃のニュースが本日トップ記事になっています。

Police investigating the Philadelphia basement dungeon where four mentally disabled adults were found locked up over the weekend, described the poor physical condition of one of the victims.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that wounds found on Beatrice Weston -- the 19-year-old niece of the alleged ringleader of the operation, Linda Ann Weston -- were the worst he had ever seen on a person who was still alive.
(Gruesome Details Emerge in Philadelphia Dungeon Case. FOX News. October 19, 2011.)


American Heritage Dictionaryを参照してみました。

最も一般的な解釈としては、ラテン語の"dominus"(主人、マスター)に由来するというもので、"lord's tower"、つまり権力者のお城(の塔)のことを元々は指していたというものです。ランダムハウス英和辞書を見ますと、城の天守閣という意味があります。元々は拠点としての城、あるいは天守閣を指していたものが、次第に城の中に設けられた牢屋、牢獄という意味でも用いられるようになったようです。

もう1つの解釈ですが、ゲルマン語系に遡るというもので、英語の"dung"(肥やし、糞)と同根だというものです。この場合、"dungeon"は元々"an underground house constructed of dung"(地下に、肥やしで作った建物)ということになり、何とも鼻をそむけたくなるような話です。



ところで引用記事では、"basement dungeon"と表現されており、敢えて"basement"(地下の)という点を強調している点が興味深く思われます。ABC News、Reutersも同様に"basement dungeon"と表現しています。


チャイルドシート?ジュニアシート? ― booster seat

Google Newsのヘッドラインを斜め読みしていましたら、またまた変てこなニュース(weird news)を目にしました。

Police: Man had daughter, 9, drive to store

DETROIT -- The preliminary exam for the father of a 9-year-old girl caught driving a van with her apparently intoxicated father in the passenger seat was adjourned in 33rd District Court on Tuesday.

Shawn Weimer, 39, of Brownstown Township, Mich., faces charges of felony child abuse and being a habitual offender. Police said his daughter drove the van while sitting on a booster seat and was pulled over just before 3 a.m. on Oct. 8.
(Elisha Anderson. Police: Man had daughter, 9, drive to store. USA Today. October 18, 2011.)

酒に酔った父親が9歳の娘に自分の車を運転させたということなのですが、警察に捕まったのがこれまた午前3時!という良い子が寝る時間はとっくに過ぎている時間帯で、甚だ常識外れの誹りを免れない事件でしょう。記事によりますと、本当は人のいい父親だという友人らの擁護も寄せられているということですが、バーやガソリンスタンドでは自慢の娘を”お抱え運転手”(a designated driver)だと自慢するなど、確信犯だったようです。

さて、"booster seat"という表現に着目してみました。カタカナでも”ブースターシート”として日本語になっているのか知らなかったのですが、果たしてチャイルドシートのことだろうかと思って調べてみたのです。


果たして"booster seat"にあてはまる仕様がどういうものなのか確信がありませんが、ランダムハウス英和辞書では、




”チャイルドシート”は和製英語ではないようですが、”ジュニアシート”は恐らく英語で"booster seat"と表現するのが適切なのだろうと勝手に解釈しています。


食事は決まった時間に ― piecemeal

いわゆる"weird news"(おかしなニュース)の類と思いますが、まず下記の引用をご覧ください。

Two Pennsylvania brothers have been charged with stealing a bridge and selling it piecemeal to a scrap yard.

Police say Benjamin Arthur Jones, 24, and Alexander William Jones, 25, of New Castle, Pa., dismantled a 40 by 15 foot bridge by using a torch to take apart pieces. Between Sept. 16 and Sept. 28, 2011, the brothers stole the entire bridge and then sold the steel for $5,000.

Owners of the rarely-used bridge that spanned a small creek finally noticed it missing and notified police, according to State Police Trooper Randolph Guy, who investigated the theft. Scrap yard employees helped lead police to the Joneses.
(Bridge Stolen and Sold For Scrap. ABC News. October 17, 2011.)



sell (直接目的語) piecemeal to (間接目的語)




"meal"、"measure"、"meter"などの単語は全て同語源なのです。その語源はというと、”測る、量る”という意味の印欧基語である"me-"にまで遡ります。(American Heritage Dictionary)






軍資金 ― war chest


ニューヨークのLower Manhattanにある然程大きくもないと思われる公園に集まった、格差の是正を訴えかける人々が何週間にも渡って活動を続けていられるのは共感を覚える人たちからの支援があるからだそうです。

ピーナッツバターからタンポン(!)に至るまで、ありとあらゆる”支援物資”が本拠地となっているZuccotti Parkへ送られ、配送を担当するUPSの支店も悲鳴を上げているそうです。

The Wall Street protesters have amassed a $230,000 war chest and a warehouse full of supplies for their long-haul campaign.

And the money continues to pour in -- through online donations, money orders and about $1,000 a day dropped in a plastic jug and paint buckets in Zuccotti Park.

Occupy Wall Street has also been flooded with goods -- everything from peanut butter to tampons -- at a rate of about 100-400 new packages a day that has overwhelmed the local UPS branch.

Most of the supplies are being stashed in a United Federation of Teachers storage facility near the park.
(Occupy Wall Street protesters have amassed $230,000 and supplies. New York Post. October 16, 2011.)

送られているのは”支援物資”のみならず、現金も。今日取り上げる表現、"war chest"は軍資金、(選挙などでの)運動資金という意味です。




kangaroo court

今週は動物の名前を使った表現というテーマでお送りしていますが、最終日の金曜日となる今日取り上げる単語は、"kangaroo court"です。

"kangaroo trial"とも表現されることもありますが、"court"、"trial"という名詞からお分かりいただけるように、裁判、裁定についての表現です。では、”カンガルーな”裁判とは一体どんな裁判でしょうか?

Under Brendan Shanahan, the league’s new director of player safety and its chief disciplinarian, the N.H.L. handed out nine preseason suspensions for boarding and illegal checks to the head, as well as one high-sticking suspension during the regular season, which began Thursday.

Though Allan Walsh, the agent for Pierre-Marc Bouchard, the Minnesota Wild player suspended for high sticking, said that Shanahan was running a “kangaroo court,” most players and managers have expressed support for Shanahan’s strict enforcement of the tougher rules.
(Jeff Z. Klein. Debate Sharpens Over N.H.L. Safety Rules and Fighting. The New York Times. October 11, 2011.)

この引用記事はホッケーに関する記事なのですが、対戦相手同士が激しくぶつかるゲームで、危険なプレーを抑止するために懲罰を厳しくしたことが話題になっているものです。ホッケーチームや有名選手に全く詳しくありませんが、出場停止を食った選手には今回の厳しい裁定は、"kangaroo court"だ、ということのようです。


The two-game suspension of Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard has, as expected, drawn the ire of his agent, Allan Walsh of Octagon.

Here is Walsh's e-mail to the Star Tribune on the matter:


All in all, these 20 minute disciplinary hearings are nothing more than kangaroo courts. More League effort goes into writing scripts and producing slick video's than in getting to the real facts of what occurred on the ice. It's an inherent conflict of interest for an employee of the NHL to be conducting these hearings and imposing suspensions on players. It's time for a neutral 3rd party not associated with the league or the players to take over supplementary discipline as this system clearly does not work.
(Michael Russo. Bouchard's agent decries "kangaroo court". StarTribune. October 10, 2011.)


"kangaroo court"は、日本語で表現するならば、”不当な裁判、判決”ということになります。



ちなみに良く似た表現に、"kangaroo closure"というものがあり、こちらは会議などの場面において、議長権限で案件を限定して他の案件の討論を打ち切ることを指しており、やはり”カンガルーの一足飛び”から想起されるものだということです。








"frogmarch"は動詞(他動詞)として用いられることが多いです。下記の用例では、"frog march"と2語になっていますが、辞書のエントリでは"frogmarch"というように1語になっているのが普通です。

Security for the event is provided by ZANU-PF militiamen, and from time to time they yank someone from the crowd and frog march him away to be ''disciplined.''
(Peter Godwin. Bloody Harvest. The New York Times. June 25, 2000.)



The Briton John C. Hotten, in his classic 1873 Slang Dictionary, defined frog's march as "the manner in which four or more policemen carry a drunken or turbulent man to the station-house. The victim is held face downwards, one constable being at each shoulder, while the others hold on above the knees. Often another officer beats time on the recalcitrant hero's posteriors."
(William Safire. On Language; Frogs, March! The New York Times. October 26, 2003.)



At Webster's New World, Mike Agnes offered his personal mental image: "A guard on each side grabbing one arm and lifting both feet off the ground, and the legs are scrambling for purchase on the ground, and hence kinked like a frog's." The author of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling, who used the colorful verb in one of her books for children, gave her understanding of the compound to a questioner on the "Today" show: "That's when two people stand [on] either side of a third person and they force them to walk along. It's like you're under arrest."



stool pigeon

"stool pigeon"という表現は、いわゆるスパイのことで、”おとり捜査”といわれる場合の”おとり”、という意味で使われる俗語です。”さくら”という意味でも用いられることがあるようです。

ところでなぜ"stool pigeon"というのでしょうか?


"In conspiracies, often the only ones with complete knowledge of the crime are those involved," Sobelson said. "So sometimes holding your nose and dealing with these people is better than dropping the case." "Rats, informers, snitches and stool pigeons" is the label pinned on them by mob lawyer Bobby Simone, who wrote an insider's view of the Philadelphia mob while serving three years for racketeering and extortion conspiracy.
(Atlanta Journal Constitution. 2001.)


Now we have Illinois Department of Transportation people asking the public to act as stool pigeons and informants. We have been asked to report workers from the city Streets and Sanitation Department and any department who appear to be lying down on the job.
(Chicago Sun-Times. 2003.)


へそが茶を沸かす ― pigs might fly



(注: この例文は筆者の創作です。)


構造的には、まず話者が否定したいステートメント(A)があり、続いて現実にはあり得ない事象のステートメント(B; ”へそが茶を沸かす”)が置かれます。もしAが真実ならば、Bもまた真実である、という論理で、Bが現実にはあり得ないことから、Aもまたあり得ない、という逆を聞き手に意識させる語法なのです。

”へそが茶を沸かす”の英語版、といってもいいと思いますが、今日取り上げる表現は、"Pigs might fly."というものです。へそが茶を沸かすということがあり得ないのと同様に、豚が空を飛ぶなんてことも到底あり得ないことです。

Washington and its suburbs will have much less air pollution and little traffic congestion, and children here will ask, "Daddy, do you remember rush hours?" There will be few movie theaters and not even many video stores, but for entertainment people will be able to go home and enter a different, three-dimensional reality where they can visit Mars, commit murder and rule the world. Sure, and pigs will fly, and people will access the Yale library on their wristwatches.
(John Lang. Destination. The Washington Post. 1992.)


また、下記は”ありそうもないこと”を表現するという点では、"Pigs might fly."のバリエーションだと思われます。

"Potty training is very, very individual, just like learning to walk and learning to read," she said. "You can try to force a child to be potty-trained, but it's like asking a pig to fly. It frustrates you and irritates the pig."
(Brigid Schulte. Girl's suspension a sign of the times for potty training. The Washington Post. January 30, 2011.)


ホットドッグを投げつけられたタイガー ― top dog

"Fan Throws Hot Dog at Woods"という見出しが目を引きました。


SAN MARTIN -- Tiger Woods has gone from top dog to the target of a hot dog.

In Woods' first tournament since the PGA Championship, Woods flirted with a low number after a fast start, but shot his third straight 68 to finish at 7-under in the Frys.com Open, eight strokes behind leaders Bryce Molder and Shane Bertsch.

But more amusingly, an attention-hungry fan ran onto the seventh green and threw a hot dog at Woods. The toss fell well short of Woods, and the fan immediately laid down and put his hands behind his back, giving himself up to security. The incident was not shown on TV.
(Keven Merfeld. Fan throws hot dog at Tiger Woods at Frys.com Open. San Jose Mercury News. October 9, 2011.)

冒頭、"top dog"から"hot dog"の標的になってしまったタイガー、という何とも皮肉な書き出しです。

さて、今日取り上げる"top dog"とは、チャンピオン、頂点に立つ人のことを指す表現です。

一方、"hot dog"は、お馴染みホットドッグですが、こちらはアメリカの漫画で使われた造語に由来するそうです。ホットドッグに使われる細長いソーセージが、ダックスフントの体格を想起させるから、またはホットドックのソーセージには犬の肉が使われているという皮肉に由来する、とも言われているそうです。(ランダムハウス英和辞書)

どちらの表現も"dog"(犬)が絡んでいるのに、勝者(top dog)とホットドッグの標的(the target of a hot dog)とは両極端ですね。



安らかに: Steve Jobs氏逝去 ― RIP

アメリカのアップルコンピュータ社の創業者で前CEOであるSteve Jobs氏の訃報を昨日、たまたま聞いていたラジオで知りました。

まだ午前中だったと思いますが、”突然ですが・・・”というアナウンサーの割り込みで入ったニュースだったので、国内報道としては第一報だったのだと思います。びっくりして、すぐにインターネットで色々なメディアのサイトをチェックしましたが、ほとんど出ていない状態でした。Google NewsのUS版では、"2 min ago"などの形で記事は出ていました。



Rest in Peace (may he [she/they] rest in peace.)


Requiescat in pace


RIP Steve Jobs: Share Your Thoughts

Since Steve Jobs died peacefully last night, people all over the world have begun to share their thoughts and feelings in tribute to the Apple co-founder and technology icon. The man was unquestionably influential, and his impact can be felt by virtually anyone who uses consumer technology today.
(PC Magazine. October 6, 2011.)



辞書に載っていない表現 ― full of coal



Anyone counting on holiday shoppers to jolt the economy out of its doldrums may be in for a disappointment.

It’s not exactly a stocking full of coal, but the National Retail Federation is setting expectations low with its forecast for the all-important Christmas shopping season. The industry trade group said Thursday that it expects a paltry 2.8 percent increase in holiday retail sales, to $465.6 billion — far below the 5.2 percent increase retailers experienced in 2010.
(Danielle Douglas. Holiday sales may be sluggish. The Washington Post. October 6, 2011.)


It's not exactly a stocking full of coal, but...

という表現で詰まってしまいました。"a stocking full of coal"という表現が分からなかったからです。








では、"It's not exactly a stocking full of coal, but..."という引用記事の部分をどう解釈すればよいでしょうか。

クリスマスプレゼントの代わりに石炭を見つけた子供の落胆はいかばかりでしょうか。大変な"disappointment"だろうと思います。個人的には、"full of coal"は、"full of disappointment"と読み変えてもよいのではないかと思われます。

ところでコーパスを調べてみると、必ずしも”サンタの靴下”(stocking)が出てくるわけではなく、単に"full of coal"という形で用いられていることが分かりました。

"I expect this race will be over when Santa Claus comes down the chimney," said first-year Jets coach Al Groh, whose team will end the season against the Ravens on Christmas Eve. But as for Super Bowl aspirations for either team and a Subway Super Bowl, the jolly old soul almost certainly will arrive with a sled full of coal.
(The Washington Post. 2000.)



- - - 2018.12.28. 追記 - - -

CenturyLink customers get belated coal in their stockings with nationwide outage

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but not for CenturyLink.

Users of the internet, phone and TV provider's services have been hit by a nationwide outage, in places including Idaho, New Mexico and Minnesota. It's unclear what's caused the outage, or why it's stretched to now more than 12 hours. DownDetector reported initial signs of the outage around 4 a.m. ET Thursday.
(Ian Sherr. CenturyLink customers get belated coal in their stockings with nationwide outage. CNET. December 27, 2018)


楽器に由来する表現 ― pull out all the stops

"pull out all the stops"という表現をご存知でしょうか?


(Reuters) - Police searched for a 10-month old girl feared abducted from her bedroom in Kansas City on Tuesday but canceled an Amber Alert issued earlier in the day.

Lisa Irwin was discovered missing from her crib in her bedroom at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, triggering the alert and an intense foot search in wooded areas near her home involving 100 local and state law officers and the FBI.

Police said it appeared someone had entered and left through a bedroom window and evidence suggested an abduction.

"We are pulling out all the stops and doing all we can do find Lisa," said Sgt. Stacey Graves, a police spokeswoman. "We have not been able to make any kind of family connection."
(Kevin Murphy. Baby girl feared abducted from crib in Kansas City. Reuters. October 4, 2011.)

最後の段落にある、"We are pulling out all the stops and doing all we can do find Lisa,"という部分がそうですが、後半の"(we are) doing all we can do"というのはすぐに分かると思いますが、"(we are) pulling out all the stops"は、この表現を知らないとちょっと分からないかもしれませんね。


ここで疑問。何故、"all the stops"(すべての留め具)を"pull (out)"(引っ張る)なのか?(名詞の"stop"にも"pull (out)"という動詞にもたくさんの意味があって、なおさら解釈が混乱します。)

ランダムハウス英和辞書の"stop"のエントリに、"pull out all the stops"も載っているのですが、そこには3つの意味があり、



(柴田南雄. 楽器への招待. 新潮文庫.)

全ての音栓を"pull out"するということは、恐らく”音量全開”、もしくは上記の説明によればオルガンの持てる機能をフルに展開する、ということなのでしょう。こう解釈すると1.の意味も2.の意味も納得しませんか。


Materials: The pipes are primarily made of alloys of tin and lead. The keyboard is covered in cow bone and ebony. Woods used include maple, rosewood, tulip poplar, redwood, basswood, walnut and Douglas fir. Stops: The Opus XIX has75 knobs or stops. Each stop controls a set of pipes, allowing the organist to determine the tone of a note, making it sound like a violin, a trumpet or an entire choir, for example.' Pulling out all the stops is organ talk for making the organ as loud as possible.
(Houston Chronicle. 2010.)


ソフトドリンクにも課税? ― environmental defaults


Imposing a special tax on soft drinks would reduce health-care costs and help save many children from obesity and diabetes, a leading United States psychologist will tell a conference in Canberra today.

Professor Kelly Brownell, of the Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, will tell the Australian Psychological Association's annual conference that human beings are living in a "toxic environment" which is contributing to spiralling rates of obesity.

Professor Brownell is a leading advocate of the introduction of a one penny per ounce tax on beverages with added sugar.

The tax has been considered - but not adopted - by 20 US cities and states.
(Peter Jean. Call to tax soft drinks to reduce obesity. Canberra Times. October 4, 2011.)


Professor Brownell said human beings responded to environmental defaults and this meant that they tended to eat those foods which were most easily available, least expensive and most heavily marketed.

Greater government regulation was needed to protect children from junk food marketing and he rejected self-regulation by industry as ineffective.

というところで、今日の表現ですが、上記の引用にある"environmental defaults"という表現が目に留まりました。



上で引用した記事での、"environmental defaults"の"default"は解釈が難しいところだと思いますが、(我々が置かれている)環境上(environmental)の、(意図的に変えない限りはそのままである、あるいはそのようになってしまう)状態、というように解釈できるでしょうか。


But abortion critics also say that, in fact, women facing unwanted pregnancies in this country don't have as much "choice" as the abortion-rights side claims. "As a woman, my concern with 30 years of Roe is that it has created an abortion mentality," says Carrie Gordon Earll, a bioethics analyst at Focus on the Family, a conservative organization based in Colorado Springs. "Even though most Americans don't like abortion," she says, "it has become the cultural default - almost an automatic assumption that a woman in a less-than-ideal pregnancy will at least consider it." Since Roe, support systems that existed to help women with unwanted pregnancies - such as homes for unwed mothers - have shrunk. A classic cry among abortion-rights forces has been that abortion critics care more about the unborn than the born.
(Linda Feldman. The abortion wars. Christian Science Monitor. 2003.)

ここで用いられている、"cultural default"は恐らく今日取り上げた"environmental defaults"と似た用法だと解釈することができます。



a list of grievances


The anti-Wall Street protest in Lower Manhattan entered its third week with hundreds of arrests after the group blocked traffic Saturday on the Brooklyn Bridge, and budding copycat movements across the U.S. continued to stage smaller-scale protests, planning them online on social networking sites.
(Wall Street Protest Spreads. The Wall Street Journal. October 3, 2011.)


In New York, the protesters initially set out to occupy Wall Street but were rebuffed by police. Instead, the group set up in a nearby park, keeping the "Occupy Wall Street" moniker. The spread to other cities appears largely organic—the protests don't have a central organizer—and the idea came from a Canadian magazine and grew on social media websites.

Those protesting in New York have been circulating a list of grievances, most of which are aimed at corporations that they say are too powerful and often unethical. Among the complaints: bank executives received "exorbitant" bonuses not long after receiving taxpayer bailouts and companies have "poisoned the food supply through negligence" and "continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate better pay and safer working conditions."

さて、上記の引用で、"a list of grievances"という表現が気になったので今日取り上げたいと思います。

"grievance"は、不平とか不満、苦情、を意味する名詞ですが、"a list of grievances"とは具体的にそれらを列挙したものを指しているのでしょうか、あるいは単なる抽象的な概念なのでしょうか。


コーパスなどで用例を調べてみますと、"a list of grievances"では数十件がヒットし、ある程度定着した表現のようですが、具体的に何を指しているかはコンテクストによって様々のようです。また、英和辞書にエントリは見当たりません。

似た表現に"a list of complaints"がありますが、"complaints"ではなく敢えて"grievances"を使っているところは、この表現のある種の”重さ”を感じるのですが気のせいでしょうか。