男は不潔 ― slovenly



Men's offices are dirtier than women's and contain significantly higher numbers of bacteria, a study has found.

Much of the reason is probably down to hygiene, say the US researchers - who point out that men are "commonly perceived to have a more slovenly nature".

Scientists took 450 swab samples from 90 offices occupied by men and women in New York, San Francisco and Tucson, Arizona. In total they identified more than 500 types of bacteria, most of which originated from human skin, noses, ears, and "intestinal cavities".

Chairs and telephones had some of the highest concentrations of bugs, with lower numbers on desktops, keyboards, and computer mice.
(The dirty truth about men's offices. The Press Association. May 31, 2012.)







集中砲火 ― flak






NEWARK, N.J. — Newark Mayor Cory Booker's communications director has resigned.

Anne Torres is stepping down a little more than a week after the mayor drew flak from fellow Democrats for criticizing President Barack Obama's campaign.


Booker was considered one of Obama's biggest supporters. In a May 20 appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" he described as "nauseating" attack ads against Bain Capital, the private equity firm once run by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
(Newark mayor's spokeswoman resigns week after flap. The Associated Press. May 29, 2012.)





"flak"は名詞なので、”集中砲火を浴びる”という場合には動詞が必要です。上記の引用例では、"draw"が使われており、"drew flak"となっていますが、その他に"catch"、"get"も使われます。

余談ですが、防弾チョッキのことは"a flak jacket"と言うそうです。元々集中砲火を浴びることを想定した上着と言う意味でしょうか。


ジャグジー ― Jacuzzi



Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine has finally unloaded roughly $3 million worth of assets — a two-bedroom penthouse apartment in Hoboken that went on sale in January and was sold to an unknown buyer earlier this month, according to a report.


The apartment is located in Toll Brothers’ Maxwell Place complex and features floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline as well as Viking kitchen appliances and a Jacuzzi in the master bathroom.
(Hilary Lewis. Jon Corzine sells Hoboken penthouse: report. The New York Post. May 27, 2012.)

後段、その建物の豪華さが説明されています。"Jacuzzi"という単語に注目です。お風呂は1つではなく、たくさんあるのでしょう、"in the master bathroom"の"Jacuzzi"ということですから、これはいわゆる”ジャグジー”のことだと分かりましたが、私としては初めて見る単語でした。






色々調べてみると、"Jacuzzi"というのは、今日我が国でもよく知られている”ジャグジー”を開発した会社の名前が由来でした。さらにその会社名というのは、ヨーロッパからアメリカに来て最初に会社を興した、"Jacuzzi brothers"という一家の名前に由来しているということも分かりました。




無断欠席で拘置所に!? ― truancy law



A 17-year-old high school student working two jobs to support her siblings, while juggling college-level classes, spent 24 hours in jail this week for missing too much school, KHOU 11 News reported.

Diane Tran, an 11th-grader at Willis High School in Willis, Texas said she was often too exhausted to get to school in time.

Judge Lanny Moriarty said he warned the student last month not to miss any more classes or she would be violating truancy law, KHOU 11 News reported. When she missed school again, he had her thrown in jail.
(Texas honor student thrown in jail for missing school. New York Daily News. May 26, 2012.)

"truancy law"というタームが出てきますが、"truancy"とは無断欠席、無断欠勤、要はずる休みを意味する単語です。”登校拒否”(最近では登校拒否よりも不登校という表現が使われるようですが)という訳語があてられることもあります。


気になる"truancy law"をインターネットで調べてみました。色々なサイトがヒットしますが、Center for Children's Advocacyというサイトの、"What's going to happen if I keep missing school?"という説明(PDF文書)が分かりやすく、ここで引き合いに出させていただきます。



order you to be locked up if you disobey the judge's orders


Can I get arrested or locked up for truancy?


Not at the beginning. But, if you are under 16 and you do not follow the judge's orders, you can be
taken into custody and charged with the crime of violating a court order. If you are found guilty, you
could be locked up in juvenile detention.





大騒ぎした割には・・・ ― ballyhoo



John Hoag thought he had dodged the botched initial public offering of Facebook stock when he canceled his order last week for 100 of the company’s shares. This week, Mr. Hoag, 63, a property manager in Tennessee, learned from his Scottrade broker that he was being charged $3,805 for the shares anyway, plus a commission fee.

When he made a complaint, he was told by e-mail that he would have to go through the compliance office, which typically takes seven to 10 days to respond. These are the days of the runaround for thousands of ordinary investors who were snagged when the much ballyhooed initial offering had problems on Friday.
(Nathaniel Popper. Small Investors Seek Answers to the Confusion of Facebook Trading. The New York Times. May 24, 2012.)



"ballyhoo"の語源については、ほとんどの辞書で語源不詳とされています。魚の”サヨリ”という意味もあるそうですが、なぜ”派手な宣伝”という意味を持つに至ったかは不明なのです。(私が調べた範囲では)唯一、American Heritage Dictionaryによると、推測の範囲(the subject of much speculation)であるとしながらも、興味深い説明を展開しています。その部分を抜粋します。

There may, however, be a tie between ballyhoo and the creature called a ballyhoo bird. According to a July 1880 article in Harper's, the bird had four wings and two heads and could whistle through one bill while singing through the other. Anyone who has ever been on a snipe hunt will know what hunting ballyhoo birds was like.
(American Heritage Dictionary)

"ballyhoo bird"は羽根が4つ、頭が2つある鳥ということですが、伝説上の鳥、想像上の鳥でしょうか。1つの頭(嘴)でさえずりながら、もう1つの頭(嘴)では違うさえずりをすることができるということですから、なるほど”やかましく宣伝する”という"ballyhoo"の意味に沿っていると思われます。あるいは、そんな奇怪で珍しい鳥を探すとなると、”無暗な大騒ぎ”に発展するという連想から発展した表現でしょうか。




アップルのデザイン担当にナイト授与 ― knight

アップル社のデザイン担当Vice Presidentである、Jonathan Ive氏がナイトの称号を授与されたというニュースです。


Jonathan Ive - the British designer responsible for Apple's iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad - has been knighted at Buckingham Palace.

The 45-year-old said the investiture in front of the Princess Royal was "really thrilling and particularly humbling".

Now based in the US, Apple's senior vice-president of industrial design flew in to the UK with his wife and eight-year-old twin sons for the event.
(Apple design chief Jonathan Ive is knighted. BBC News. May 23, 2012.)



授与式でJonathan Ive氏がアン王女の前に進み、恭しく跪くと、王女が剣で同氏の右肩、次に左肩を軽く叩きます。これはナイト爵の授与における典型的なやり方のようです。


Ive was dubbed a knight for his services to design and enterprise.
(Anna Leach. Apple design chief Jony Ive knighted - but not by the Queen. The Register. May 23, 2012.)




つつましく ― didn't break the bank

フェースブック社の株式上場ということで一躍時の人となったMark Zuckerberg氏ですが、プライベートでも充実ぶりを見せています。上場の翌日に、Harvard大で同級生だった女性との結婚を果たしました。


Priscilla Chan may have married a billionaire when she said “I do” to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday, but she didn’t break the bank buying her wedding gown. Chan reportedly chose a reasonably priced $4,700 frock by LA designer Claire Pettibone to wear down the aisle. The “Sky Between the Branches” gown features “matte sequins and ivory cut-out embroidery” with a “sheer back,” according to Pettibone’s Web site.
(Sensibly priced. The New York Post. May 22, 2012.)


今日取り上げたいのは、"she didn't break the bank buying her wedding gown"という下りにある、"break the bank"という表現です。

文字通り、”銀行を潰す”という解釈をすれば、(今回のウェディングドレスが)銀行を潰してしまうような高価な買い物ではなかった、という理解ができますが、辞書を引くと、"break the bank"という成句としてちゃんと載っています。



In putting this report together, PC World worked with Wilhelm Imaging Research (www. wilhelm-research.com), an Iowa company whose founder, Henry Wilhelm, has been researching photo print longevity for more than 30 years and is considered a leading expert on the subject. The Wilhelm study included test data on recent photo ink jet printers from four major vendors-Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, and Lexmark. Our conclusions: You don't have to break the bank to keep your photos vivid. But you do need to choose your printer -- and its paper-carefully.
(Anush Yegyazarian. Fight photo fade-out. PC World. 2001.)


The companies have not disclosed how much the layoffs will cost, but Wayman said it will not be a "break the bank," number.
(Michael Davis. Melding cultures high on to-do list; Compaq, HP forge a common ground. Houston Chronicle. 2002.)


ちょっと振り返ってみますと、以前にも取り上げた、"pigs might fly"(へそが茶を沸かす)という表現は極端な誇張が逆にあり得ないことを表現するために使われています。また、"snowball's chance in hell"や、"split hairs"などの表現も誇張が含まれていると思います。


ピチピチ? ― buxom

勤務先のランジェリーショップをセクシー過ぎるという理由で解雇されたという女性が訴訟を起こしたという記事をNew York Post紙で見つけました。

She was ”too hot” -- to work in a lingerie shop!

A buxom 29-year-old New Jersey woman claims managers at an intimate apparel outfit told her to tape down her breasts, before firing her because she was too sexy for the office.

“It was very shocking, very humiliating,” said Lauren Odes, who filed a complaint against Native Intimates to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

”It was a crazy experience, unlike anything I’ve ever been through.”

Odes and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, said she spent one humiliating week at the Fifth Avenue garment business in April.
(Rebecca Rosenberg. Gal claims she was 'too hot' to work in lingerie shop, forced to wear robe before getting boot: suit. The New York Post. May 21, 2012.)








記事の話題に戻りますと、解雇された女性は言いようのない屈辱を受けたと主張しており、記事を読む限りは酷い扱いではないかと思われます。タブロイド紙とされるNew York Post紙ですが、この話題に関しては事実ベースで冷静に伝えているように思えます。


healthily plump and ample figure (American Heritage Dictionary)



金環食、観察しましたか? ― annular eclipse


Millions of Asians watched as a rare "ring of fire" eclipse crossed their skies early Monday.

The annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible to wide areas across the continent. It will move across the Pacific and also be seen in parts of the western United States.

In Japan, "eclipse tours" were arranged at schools and parks, on pleasure boats and even private airplanes. Similar events were held in China and Taiwan as well.
(Elic Talmadge. Millions look skyward as rare eclipse crosses Asia. The Associated Press. May 20, 2012.)

金環食のことを英語で何と言うのかと思っていたら、"annular eclipse"であると分かりました。"annular"を"annual"と読み違えそうになりました。スペルが似通っているのは語源も近い証拠!?と思いきや、実は違います。







ビートルズ ― Beatle

ビートルズファンの方には申し訳ない話ですが、ビートルズのバンド名である、"The Beatles"についてちゃんと考えたのは今日が初めてです。


"beatle(s)"という単語は、"The Beatles"という固有名詞を除いては、存在しないということになります。


BUFFALO — John Lennon's killer has been transferred to another maximum-security state prison in western New York after spending more than 30 years in Attica Correctional Facility.

The Buffalo News reports that 57-year-old Mark David Chapman was transferred Tuesday from Attica to the nearby Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, 20 miles east of Buffalo.


Chapman fatally shot Lennon in December 1980 outside the Manhattan apartment building where the former Beatle lived. Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in prison.
(John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman transferred to another NY prison. New York Post. May 16, 2012.)


the former Beatle



その一人は a Beatle

という補足をしています。これはある意味発見でした。American Heritageでも、Merriam Websterでもそのような補足説明はありませんでしたので。(5月14日の記事、"getting hoed into"に引き続き、ランダムハウスの情報量に今更ながら感心しています。)

元々は、"Silver Beetles"と名乗っていたのが、その後"The Beatles"になったようですが、"beet-"から"beat-"へのスペルの変遷には、カブトムシの"beetles"と、音楽のビートである"beat"の両方の意味をかけたもの、ということのようです。これもファンの方には常識かもしれませんが、知りませんでしたねぇ。


フリスク? ― frisk



A lawsuit alleging racial bias in the New York Police Department's so-called stop-and-frisk tactics will proceed under class-action status, clearing the way for thousands of plaintiffs to be added to the legal challenge and potentially widening the scope of court-ordered changes if the lawsuit is successful.
(Judge Clears Stop-Frisk Class Action. The Wall Street Journal. May 16, 2012.)

"stop-and-frisk tactics"という表現の中で、"frisk"が出てきます。一体何のことでしょうか?

記事のタイトルと内容から、人種差別に関する話であることが分かります。ニューヨーク市警の人種差別的な "(stop-and-frisk) tactics" が集団訴訟を招いた、と読めます。



という動詞の意味がまず出てきます。この意味では、"stop-and-frisk tactics"が解釈できません。続く説明を見ると、



Her (=Judge Shira Scheindlin) ruling could dramatically expand a 2008 lawsuit filed by four individuals who claimed their constitutional rights were trampled by the city's effort to combat crime through stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking those suspected of street crimes.

ここを読んで"frisk"が意味するところはやはり警察官が行うボディーチェックの意味であることはほぼ確信できるでしょう。さらに、"stop-and-frisk tactics"とは、恐らく警察官が通行人を止めて職務質問し、さらにボディーチェックを行うこと、そのことを指しているのだろうと思われます。そのやり方が人種差別的だったために、訴訟に至ったというところでしょうか。




成人の3割に夢遊病の症状 ― somnambulism


About 30% of adults in the USA have experienced nighttime wanderings, and those with sleep apnea or psychiatric disorders such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder are at higher risk, finds the study of 19,136 Americans ages 18 and older. Antidepressants, sleeping pills and certain other medications can increase the risk, but they appear to bring on events in people with a history of sleepwalking.

"I would like to correct the impression that sleepwalking is rare," says study author Maurice Ohayon, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center. "This is a huge number of people."

Participants were asked in phone surveys about their sleep habits, general health, medications and mental disorders. People who wandered at night at least once during the year were more likely to have a family history of sleepwalking — and often tread on quality sleep for household members. Ohayon says that's how most know of their somnambulism. "Their partners will wake up in the morning and tell them about it. It can be very disruptive to others, while the person walking at night can be quite unaware."
(Janice Lloyd. 30% of U.S. adults have sleepwalked, study finds. May 14, 2012.)






調査結果は18歳以上の米国人、約1万9千人に対して行われ、過去1年において睡眠中に歩いたという経験が1度以上あると回答した人が約3割に上ったということです。うつ病などの精神疾患を患っている場合には、症状が現れるリスクが特に高いという統計もあるそうです。調査を実施した、Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research CenterのMaurice Ohayon教授によると、この数字は(予想よりも)非常に大きい数字であり、もっと夢中歩行という症状に関心が向けられるべきとコメントしているそうです。




ウィルスで発電!? ― piezoelectricity


BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- It's not often you hear something good about a virus. They can make you sick, or wreak havoc on your computer. But a special virus being studied at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory could one day add years to your life.

A little science experiment could be heralding big things to come. By pressing down on a thin rubbery film, Professor Seung-Wuk Lee is generating electricity -- enough to power a small digital circuit.
(Jonathan Bloom. Researchers generate electricity with viruses. ABC7News. May 15, 2012.)


LONDON: Imagine generating electricity in your footsteps. Sounds utopian. But, this could soon be a reality, say scientists who have developed a paper-thin generator that harnesses the mechanical energy of one's steps. An international team says these "living generators" use viruses to convert the soles of one's shoes into electricity.
(Now, generate power from your footsteps. The Times of India. May 15, 2012.)


The viruses convert the force of the tap into an electric charge. This generator is the first to produce electricity by harnessing the piezoelectric properties of a biological material. Piezoelectricity is the accumulation of a charge in a solid in response to mechanical stress. The milestone could lead to tiny devices that harvest electrical energy from the vibrations of everyday tasks such as shutting a door or climbing stairs, the 'Nature Nanotechnology' reported.





食われた? ― getting hoed into



A TEENAGE boy was stung more than 100 times in a freak bee attack at Pallarenda, a surburb north of Townsville, on Sunday.

Royce Abraham, 15, was bushwalking with his father, brother and two others at Bald Rock when he was attacked by the swarm of bees, the Townsville Bulletin reports.

It is believed the teen disturbed the hive as he walked past, with the European honey bees stinging him largely on his face, neck and ears.

Royce's father Gary Abraham said he picked out at least 100 stingers from his son.

"They swarmed him and he cried out and tried to get away," he said.

"He was in a lot of pain. He rated it as eight or nine on the scale.

"It wasn't very good watching him getting hoed into."

Fortunately, the Pimlico State High School student didn't have any allergic reactions to the stings, and was taken in a conscious state to Townsville Hospital for treatment.
(Emma Channon. Teenage boy survives 'more than 100' stings in bee attack near Townsville. The Courier Mail. May 14, 2012.)


It wasn't very good watching him getting hoed into.


"hoe"は名詞で”鍬”、動詞では”鍬を入れる、鍬で掘る、除草する”という意味ですが、さて、"getting hoed into"という表現がこのコンテクストで意味するところはよく分かりません。


(豪・NZ 話)・・・を盛んに食べる(in, into...)


確信はありませんが、コンテクストからして、ハチに刺されたことを、"getting hoed into"と表現しているのではないかと思われました。よく蚊に刺されることを、”蚊に食われる”と表現したりしますが、それと同じなのではないかと。

"hoe into"が”盛んに食べる”という意味である、という説明を載せているのはランダムハウスくらいで、研究社の大英和もAmerican HeritageもMerriam Websterも、そのような説明は全く見当たりません。

”豪・NZ 話”とあるように、恐らくはオーストラリア、ニュージーランド英語の表現なのだろうと思います。ちなみに、"hoed into"というフレーズでググってみますと、”食べる”という意味での用例をいくつか確認することが出来ました。ブログの投稿での用例でしたのでここに引用しませんが、やはりオーストラリア人のブログでした。



force one's hand



WASHINGTON — A few hours before President Obama offered his historic endorsement of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. apologized to the president in the Oval Office for forcing Mr. Obama’s hand by airing his own views three days earlier, several people briefed on the exchange said on Thursday.

Mr. Biden declared in an interview on Sunday that he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage, a position that went considerably further than the president’s “evolving” views on the matter and scrambled the White House’s carefully laid plans for confronting one of the most sensitive social issues in the election.

Mr. Obama, in an interview with ABC News, said the vice president had gotten “a little bit over his skis” but had done so “out of generosity of spirit.” The president bore Mr. Biden no lingering ill will, according to several officials, though the episode enraged Mr. Obama’s senior advisers in the White House and on the campaign.
(Biden Said to Apologize to Obama Over Gay Marriage Issue. The New York Times. May 10, 2012.)


さて、"force Obama's hand"という表現に注目します。これは、"force one's hand"という成句ですが、





訃報: Vidal Sassoon氏 ― snipper

今朝、Google Newsにアクセスしたら日本(Japan)版のトップニュースで世界的ヘアスタイリストである、ビダル・サスーンさんの訃報を伝えていました。リードでは、”世界的に活躍したヘアスタイリスト”(毎日新聞)という表現がされていました。日本でもシャンプーなどのブランドでおなじみだと思いますが、この手の話題に程遠い、男の私も昔にコマーシャルで幾度となく見たので名前を覚えているくらいです。

早速、(Google Newsの)US版にアクセスしてみました。やはりトップニュースの扱いでしたが、最初に目についたのが下記のUSA Today紙の記事でした。

Vidal Sassoon — arguably the world's first celebrity snipper, whose name became synonymous with cutting-edge cuts and, later, slapped on shampoo bottles, a staple of a suburban woman's grooming regimen — died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.
(Olivia Baker. Vidal Sassoon merged style, business savvy. USA Today. May 9, 2012.)





Vidal Sassoon, hair-care pioneer, has died (msnbc.com)

Hairstyling pioneer Vidal Sassonn dies at 84 in LA (Business Week)

Celebrity hairstylist Vidal Sassoon dies at home in LA (telegraph.co.uk)

Vidal Sassoon, Hair Styling Icon, Dies (Fox News)

"pioneer"、"celebrity stylist"、"hair styling icon"といった表現が目立つ中、"(celebrity) snipper"という表現を敢えて使ったUSA Today紙の記者の意図に関心があります。






Against Obama, even a jailbird gets some votes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Just how unpopular is President Barack Obama in some parts of the country? Enough that a man in prison in Texas is getting 4 out of 10 votes in West Virginia's Democratic presidential primary.
(Lawlence Messina. Against Obama, even a jailbird gets some votes. The Associated Press. May 9, 2012.)




と出ていました。なるほど、"jailbird" の "jail" は監獄を意味する "jail" です。後半の "bird" という語尾に興味が出てきました。”鳥”を意味する "bird" なのでしょうか?

"bird" には、鳥を意味する他に、俗語的に人のことを指す意味でも用いられます。この場合は、”~なやつ(奴)”、”~な野郎”、といった日本語の表現に近く、ある種の蔑みを持って使う呼称であることが多いようです。例えば、

early bird = 早起きの人

という表現は聞いたことがあると思います。必ずしも蔑みの表現ではないとは思いますが、他の例として "clever bird"(かしこい奴)、"odd bird"(変わった奴)、などの表現もあります。これらの表現は、形容詞プラス、"bird" という、2語の形式を取っています。形容詞を変えればいくつもの表現が作れそうです。


railbird(競馬好きの人; 競馬の走路の柵 (rail)にしがみついているイメージから生まれたそうです)




自動運転自動車は実現するか? ― keep tabs on

グーグルが自動運転自動車(self-driving car)の開発に取り組んでいるとは知りませんでした。

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada drivers could soon be sharing the road with vehicles that don't need them.

Department of Motor Vehicles officials said Monday they've issued Google (GOOG) the nation's first license to test self-driving cars on public streets, after conducting demonstrations on the Las Vegas Strip and in Carson City that show the car is as safe -- or perhaps safer -- than a human.

"It gets honked at more often because it's being safe," said Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow.
(Michelle Rindels. Google receives nation's first license to test self-driving car on public streets. The Associated Press. May 7, 2012.)

米国・ネバダ州で、無人運転自動車を公道で試験運転するライセンスを取得した、というのが上記の引用記事です。”有人”運転自動車と同等、あるいはそれ以上の安全性だといいます。本当でしょうか?"It gets honked at more often because it's being safe"というコメントにはなるほど、というか皮肉にも聞こえます。無人運転自動車の仕組みの一端は記事でも解説されていますが、レーダー技術などを用いることにより障害物や人などを検知し、距離を計算して自動的に減速したり、ブレーキをかけたりするというものです。安全のためのバッファゾーン(a virtual buffer zone)が設定されているようです。無人運転自動車の方が有人によりも”安全”とは、それだけバッファが十分であるということであり、逆に言えば有人の場合はバッファが少なすぎる、という皮肉とも取れます。


While some envision the robotic car dropping off its operator at the front of the mall and hunting for a parking spot on its own, Breslow said not so fast.

Nevada's regulations require two people in the test cars at all times. One person is behind the wheel, while the other person monitors a computer screen that shows the car's planned route and keeps tabs on roadway hazards and traffic lights.

If there's a glitch, the human driver can override the autonomous auto with a tap on the brake or a hand on the steering wheel.

2段落目にある、"keep tabs on"という成句に注目します。この成句は、


という意味で用いられます。"keep a tab on"という形もあります。ここで"tab"とは何を指しているのでしょうか?

"tab"には色々な意味がありますが、レストランの勘定書きのことを指しています。以前に、"pick up the tab"という成句を取り上げましたが、その"tab"と同じ"tab"です。



誘拐事件: Amber Alertって何? ― Amber Alert


Two bodies were found today in Mississippi in the search for a missing Tennessee mother and her three daughters, which investigators said led them to issue an Amber Alert for the missing family.

When they announced the Amber Alert, Mississippi police said only that new details led them believe Jo Ann Bain, 31, and her three daughters, Adrienne, 14; Alexandria, 12; and Kyliyah, 8; were abducted and could be in extreme danger.

An FBI spokesman said this evening that the two bodies had been found, but said they had not yet been identified.
(Two Bodies Found in Search for Missing Tennessee Mom, Three Daughters. ABC News. May 5, 2012.)

この記事に出てくる、"Amber Alert"が何を指すのか分かりませんでした。"alert"ということから何かの警告、警報の類であることは何となく分かりますが、こういうのは知っていないと何のことか分からないものです。


"Amber Alert"というスペルから、つまり語頭が大文字であることから固有名詞であることが分かります。ネット検索した結果、"Amber Alert"とは、誘拐事件発生時の緊急警報システムのことであることが分かりました。この警報システムは米国司法省の管轄下にあるようで、検索結果にはオフィシャルウェブサイトもリストアップされました。


"Amber Alert"という表現の由来についてですが、"Amber"はこの警報システム設置の発端となった誘拐事件の被害者である子供の名前(ファーストネーム)に由来するようです。また、"America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response"の頭文字をとったものでもあるということです。(以上、Wikipediaによる。)略語ということで、スペリングも"Amber Alert"ではなく、"AMBER Alert"と敢えてしているものも見られます。私は、黄色信号を意味する"amber"(=yellow)のことかと思いましたがそうではないようです。



エリザベス女王がケーキに ― Diamond Jubilee

エリザベス女王の在位60年の祝賀に関するニュースがイギリスのメディアで話題です。英語では、"the Diamond Jubilee"と呼ばれています。

One of the more unusual tributes being planned for the Diamond Jubilee is a new portrait of the Queen - but one being made out of cakes.

The idea of German-born chef Gerhard Jenne from Konditor & Cook, the image will be made up of 3,120 individual cakes - one for every week of her reign - iced to create a pixellated composite portrait.

The final cake portrait, which will be displayed in London's Battersea Park, will take three to four days to create - and once unveiled, the public will be invited to buy a piece of it, in exchange for a charity donation.
(The Queen - in cake form. BBC News. May 3, 2012.)



さて、"the Diamond Jubilee"についてですが、何故”ダイヤモンド”(Diamond)なのか、という素朴な疑問が出てきました。





元々イギリスにおいては"the Diamond Jubilee"は75周年の祝賀だったようですが、ヴィクトリア女王の在位60年を1897年に祝賀して以来、60周年の祝賀という意味がほぼ定着したもののようです。

下衆の勘繰りですが、50周年(golden jubilee)の次が75周年(diamond jubilee)というのは少し間が開き過ぎでハードルが高いので自然と60周年に落ち着いたのではないかと思うのですが・・・。勿論典拠などありません(笑)


シェア奪回なるか ― claw back




BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has shown off advanced new features that will be available on new BlackBerry 10 smartphones - and a new prototype - but analysts are already questioning whether it's "too late" to claw back market share lost to giants like Apple and Google.

The sneak peak of its yet-to-be-launched operating system at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, Florida, brings the ailing smartphone and tablet maker a step closer to what some have described as the most crucial launch in the company's history.
(Ben Grubb. New BlackBerry teased but critics say it's almost 'too late' for RIM. The Sydney Morning Herald. May 3, 2012.)

この記事において、"claw back"という表現に目が留まりました。

"claw"とは爪のことですが、"nail"がどちらかというと手や足の爪そのものを指す(fingernailやtoenail)のと違って、特に獣が持つ鉤爪とその周囲全体を含めた構造を指しているように思われます。(尤も、"nail"の定義には、"a claw"が含まれており、厳密な差異が存在するということでもなさそうですが。)

"claw back"の意味ですが、



この記事の話題で言えば、アップル製品へと離れて行ったユーザーや市場シェアを取り戻す、ということです。鉤爪を意味する"claw"という単語の響きもあって、甚だ野性的な表現のように思われますが、コーパスで使用例を検索してみると、ヒット数だけで見るとどちらかと言えばアメリカ英語よりもイギリス英語でよく使われる表現のようです。(Corpus of Contemporary American EnglishとBritish National Corpusでの比較)


現代的”ネット上を飛び交う” ― ping around


まずは米国流には"weird news"(変なニュース)と呼ばれる、三面記事的なお話ですが、下記の引用をご覧ください。

Bad idea: Florida couple use SUV to tow grandkid in toy car

It's only May 1, but a Florida couple arrested this week are sure to make any "worst-grandparents of the year" list if law enforcement claims are true.

A Sarasota County sheriff's deputy arrested the pair on suspicion of using dog leashes to hitch their 6-year-old granddaughter's toy car to their SUV, dragging it (and their granddaughter) up and down the street for a day of fun in the sun.
(Rene Lynch. Bad idea: Florida couple use SUV to tow grandkid in toy car. Los Angels Times. May 1, 2012.)




The scene was enough to make the sheriff's deputy stop in his tracks during his Sunday afternoon patrol: "The small car was attached to the [SUV] with two dog leashes tied together then tied to the trailer hitch. The child was wearing a swimsuit only and had no protective gear on whatsoever. I estimated the vehicle speed to be 5 to 10 miles per hour," according to police records posted on The Smoking Gun.


When the deputy stopped grandparents Paul and Belinda Berloni, he said, he found that they had both been drinking.

The grandmother suggested the deputy was just being a party pooper, according to the report.

全く偶然ですが、昨日取り上げたばかりの"party pooper"が出てきましたね。


"[She] stated that she understood that it was dangerous to drag a child behind the vehicle but stated they were just having fun and had been doing this all day," according to the report.

The deputy called the girl's father who arrived on the scene and began yelling at his mother, saying ... well, we can't repeat what he said. But you can read the salty language for yourself in the police report.

Thankfully, the deputy said, the little girl was unharmed. That almost makes the story kind of funny, which might explain why it was pinging around the Internet on Tuesday.

行為そのものが危険と分かっていながら楽しくてやった、とは酔っ払いに違いありませんが、幸いにして孫娘に怪我はなかったとのことです。最終段落、”故にこのニュースはバカ話ということで落着で”、"pinging around the Internet"した、とあります。

今日はこの、"pinging around"を取り上げました。




"ping around"に話を戻しますと、ニュース記事が話題になってあちこちの掲示板やSNSで話題になり、1つところからまた別のところへと次々と”転載”されていることを表現していると思われます。

コーパスで"ping around"の用例を調べてみますと、あまり多くの実例は見られません。

I reclipped the Nextel at my waist. I fought to not only clear my lungs, but to clear my thoughts as well -- a Herculean task as hundreds of questions pinged around inside my head.
(Doborah Coonts. Wanna get lucky? 2010.)

I am still unreachable by fax, and beyond the omnipresence of e-mail and the Internet-neither form of communication is possible for me given our phone system. Nor do I have a television. This is one place where the world's lines of communication don't intersect; I'm left loose, like some kind of free radical, pinging around in my own small space.
(Atlantic Monthly. 2000.)

バリエーションとしては、"ping across"、"ping over"というものもあります。

Diamond-headed snakes break the water and submerge again. Belly and I wade in, up to our waists. My skirt balloons out, then starts to sink by degrees as the water soaks in. Something long and cold brushes my bare ankle. I wish I had stolen a pair of militiamen's boots before we left, but it's too late now. We near the cave-dark vestibule of the low building across the street. " Do you think it's still up there? " I ask Belly. My voice pings across the hollow room.
(Alexandra Duncan. Swamp City Lament. 2010.)

I put the phone against my shoulder. Downstairs I hear music. The piano. A brassy tune marches up the stairs, twirls and descends again. "I want to know something, " Marti says. A high C pings over and over like a knife tapping crystal. A music lesson?"
(Steven Schwartz. Ploughshares. 1990.)

この2つの用例を見ると、音が反響する、響き渡る、という意味で用いられていると考えられます。"ping around"もこのような、音が反響する性質から発展した意味、つまり世の中の反響がある、という意味で用いられているとも考えられます。


NYCのハッピーアワーに危機 ― party-pooper




Happy hour in the city could end if Department of Health policy party-poopers go ahead with a proposal to outlaw beer and booze specials at bars and restaurants, sources told The Post.


Sources said the happy-hour ban is being pushed by the agency’s marathon-running boss, Commissioner Thomas Farley, and is serious enough for one source to say the alcohol lobby had better find itself a good lawyer.

Agency spokesman Sam Miller denied existing “plans to pursue any policy around discount-alcohol sale.”

But sources said the anti-booze sentiment at the agency has reached a fever pitch, with officials recently asking state officials about the “legality of liquor in ice cream,” referring to potent products infused with bourbon, rum and tequila.
(Gary Buiso. Party poopers eye unhappy hour. New York Post. April 29, 2012.)





という訳語が一般的です。以前に、"wet blanket"という表現を取り上げましたが、ほぼ同じ意味です。

"wet blanket"と比較して、"party-pooper"はかなり俗語の香りが強い表現です。"poop"という単語を引くと様々な意味がありますが、この単語自体俗語表現です。特に、"party-pooper"については、"nincompoop"という単語に遡るということですが、"nincompoop"に至っては、”ばか、うすのろ、まぬけ”といった相手を軽蔑する表現のオンパレードであり、"party-pooper"という表現についても使う際にはそれなりの心構え(?)が必要でしょう。