(CNN) – The bereavement fare was once the airline industry's gift to the traveler, an acknowledgement that a customer was flying for the saddest of reasons: a medical emergency or death in the family.

The last thing anyone wanted to worry about was the cost of an airplane ticket. And so many airlines offered discounts to help ease the pain of the journey.

Not so much anymore.

In the wake of its merger with US Airways, American Airlines this week became the latest major U.S. airline to end its policy of offering bereavement fares. US Airways didn't offer the special fares before the merger, and American’s new chief executive officer, Douglas Parker, came from the ranks of US Airways.

"We remain committed to doing all we can to relieve the burden of travel for our customers in times of need. With the advent of more choices, lower cost carriers and larger networks, the industry has started to move away from bereavement fares because walk-up fare are generally lower than in the past, and customers now have more opportunities to find affordable fares at the last minute," American spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement.
(Katia Hetter. American Airlines ends bereavement fares. CNN. February 27, 2014.)

航空会社の運賃に"bereavement fare"なるものがあるとは知りませんでした。これは、突然の訃報などで海外にかけつけなければならない家族のための特別割引運賃のことだと思われますが、アメリカン航空がそのような特別運賃体系を廃止することにしたというのが記事で取り上げられている話です。

"bereavement fare"をやめるという決定に至った背景として、アメリカン航空の広報が理由を色々と挙げているのが引用した最後の段落です。US Airwaysとの合併ということもあるようですが、昨今の航空運賃がさほど高いものではなくなったということが大きいようです。

ところで今日の表現、"walk-up fare"というのが出てきますが、どういう意味なのか最初分かりませんでした。




Merriam WebsterやAmerican Heritageも引いてみますが同様の定義で、"walk-up fare"の解釈に結びつく説明がないのです。


飛行機に乗るときには大抵事前に予約すると思いますが、突然の訃報などで飛行機に乗る必要が出来た場合それは多くの場合“当日券”を買い求めることになります。"walk-up fare"とは(割引のある)予約運賃ではなく当日運賃ということです。

"bereavement fare"の廃止を決定したアメリカンの言い分は、早割り(予約運賃)も当日運賃も大差無くなってきた、ということのようです。



エチケット袋 ― barf bag




Get your barf bags ready.

On Monday, Taco Bell announced that it was getting into the morning breakfast business. Stop in on the way to work for a waffle taco — sausage and egg wrapped in a waffle crust. Yum!

Here are more unimaginably weird, but presumably tasty, fast-food menu items — some of which have already been dropped – and fast – from the menu.
(Candans Amos. 10 weirdest fast foods ever sold. New York Post. February 26, 2014.)

"barf bag"という表現は初めて目にするものでした。


“エチケット袋”はどちらかと言えば上品、あるいは直接的な表現を避けたものだと言うことが出来ると思います。"barf bag"はかなり直接的な表現ということになるでしょう。


For motion discomfort...
Air sickness and cabin tidy...
Sick bag
Waterproof disposal bag



落書きをしよう! ― doodle



At a 2012 United Nations Security Council meeting, Hilary Clinton hunched over her prepared speech, head in hand, writing intently. But she wasn't taking notes on Syria or buffing up on global security. She was doodling.

A star, a series of circles (like a bunch of grapes), a swirl patterned covered the margins of her prepared speech.

It was the meeting's greatest gotcha moment.

"Caught in the act," a headline read.

"It's hard to keep one's mind focused at all times," quipped the Daily Mail.
(Susannah Cahalan. Why doodling is a habit you don't need to break. New York Post. February 22, 2014.)







聖書のお蔭で命拾い ― Faith can move mountains.


DAYTON, Ohio (Curtis Jackson) – A bus driver is recovering Monday night after being attacked on the job.

He would have been killed but for a little divine intervention.

It is said that faith can move mountains; now it appears it can also stop bullets.


The bullets hit Wagoner in the chest. But when he looked down, there was no blood.

"I just looked at the chest. It just feels like I've been hit by a sledge hammer. I've got a book in my pocket and I don't think they made it through the book."

That book was none other than the Good Book. Police say Wagoner was carrying "The Message Bible" in his breast pocket. It stopped the bullets from hitting his chest.
(Bible may have saved bus driver. WKRC TV Cincinnati. February 24, 2014.)


"Faith can move mountains."は聖書(コリントの信徒への手紙 13:2)からの引用です。


英語(American Standard Version, 1901)では

And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.






スティーブ・ジョブズ氏が切手に ― none other than


Americans may soon be seeing Steve Jobs and other famous celebrity icons on none other than their 2015 postage stamps. Jobs, John Lennon of The Beatles, Harvey Milk, the late gay rights activist, and Snoopy, are reported to be scheduled to make their appearances on the American stamps next year, although a specific date for the stamps' release has yet to be announced. Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, who died in October of 2011, is the only tech person that the postal service is currently planning to feature on a stamp.
(Steve Jobs, Other Celebrity Icons to Be on 2015 Postage Stamps. Guardian Liberty Voice. February 23, 2014.)

今日取り上げたい表現は冒頭部分に使われている、"none other than"という表現です。


"none other than~"を字句通りに解釈しても、~以外の何者でもない、ということになりますから、その意味するところは“まさしく~(である)”、“ほかならぬ~”となる訳で、殊更ややこしい表現であるとも思えません。意味上は、"none other than"の部分を除いても全く意味は同じであると解釈できます。

そうなるとなぜ敢えて"none other than"を挿入するのかということになりますが、これは発話者の驚きを表現するものです。




公開鞭打ちの刑 ― public flogging

今朝の通勤電車で朝刊を読んでいたら、ロシアの反体制バンドのPussy Riotにコサックが鞭打ち、という記事が載っていました。


Sochi, Russia (CNN) -- After several tumultuous days that included police detentions, interrogations and a public flogging from angry Cossacks, the dissident punk band Pussy Riot struck back.

The controversial Russian musicians released an angry music video on Thursday slamming Russian President Vladimir Putin's crackdown on free speech and political expression. They also took aim at the Sochi Olympics' whopping $50 billion price tag.

Titled "Putin Will Teach You To Love Your Country," the music video included footage filmed Wednesday of Cossacks -- modern-day descendants of 19th-century horsemen who pushed the boundaries of the Russian empire -- flogging the women moments after they began lip-synching their song next to a large "Sochi 2014" sign in the Olympic city.
(Beaten but hardly tamed, Pussy Riot strikes back in Sochi. CNN. February 20, 2014.)







今日の単語は、"public flogging"としましたが、これは公開鞭打ちの刑というような意味合いになります。よく使われる表現のようでグーグル検索すると相当数のヒットがあります。



お役所仕事 ― red tape

日本語で“お役所仕事”、“お役所流”というのは、時間がかかり過ぎたり、やたら書類への記入が必要だったりする低品質なサービスを皮肉った表現ですが、英語では、"red tape"という表現があります。

Obama wants to cut red tape for exporters

While en route to Mexico on Wednesday, President Obama signed an executive order that the White House says will significantly reduce the wait time for businesses exporting goods and services outside the USA.

Obama signed what the administration is calling an executive order on “streamlining the export/import process” while he was aboard Air Force One as he made his way to the North America Leaders Summit.

Currently, U.S. business have to submit information to dozens of government agencies to move goods across the border. The process can sometimes take days.
(Aamer Madhani. Obama wants to cut red tape for exporters. USA Today. February 19, 2014.)

Merriam Webster Dictionaryの定義によると、

official routine or procedure marked by excessive complexity which results in delay or inaction




オバマ大統領、失言で謝罪 ― off-the-cuff


In a handwritten note, President Barack Obama offered an apology to a professor who took offense at his jab at art history majors during a speech outside of Milwaukee last month.

After hearing his remark at a General Electric plant that "folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree," University of Texas at Austin Professor Ann Collins Johns sent a message to the president via the White House website stressing that art history students learn to think, read and write critically and the inclusiveness of the field, according to art blog Hyperallergic.
(Natalie Villacorta. President Obama apologizes to art history professor. Politico. February 18, 2014.)



To Johns's surprise, she received a letter from the White House with an apology scrawled in the president's looping handwriting.

"Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed," Obama wrote, according to a copy of the letter published on the blog.









~worthyという単語について考える ― cringe-worthy


NBC reporter Christin Cooper went for ratings gold Sunday in Sochi — and failed spectacularly, driving US Olympic skier Bode Miller to tears in a cringe-worthy interview after his bronze medal win in the men’s super-G.

Miller – whose win made him the oldest athlete to win an Olympic alpine medal and the second most-medaled male skier in history – was already emotional after holding on to tie for third place during the hard-fought race when Cooper began hammering him with questions about his little brother, who died last year after a seizure.
(Jeane MacIntosh. Bode Miller breaks down during cringe-worthy interview. New York Post. February 17, 2014.)


a cringe-worthy interview















フェースブックが56の性別を追加 ― genderqueer



Are you Genderqueer or Trans Male?

FB's 56 new gender options may confuse some and please others, but what do they mean, literally and for social attitudes?

While Facebook has added 56 more gender options for user profiles to its existing list of only male and female, not everyone is well-versed with the meaning of all these options, including us. We trawled through the internet to comprehend the list, and here's a brief summary for your understanding. Many of these 56 options are variations of a single theme, so there's some overlap in the list.
(Kashika Saxena. Are you Genderqueer or Trans Male? The Times of India. February 17, 2014.)




Genderqueer - This category covers all gender nonconforming identities.




food pantry



New York’s homeless masses are sour on Chobani yogurt.

The 5,000-plus cups of the Greek yogurt that were supposed to be sent to the Sochi Olympics but were denied by Russian customs will instead be donated to New York City food pantries — but they are a tough sell, workers said on Thursday.

"They look at it and go, 'Eww.' They never ate something like it before. [They] are used to the sweet yogurt," said Debbie Torres, a kitchen worker at Food Bank For New York City, which will receive loads of Chobani this week.
(Sochi yogurt going to NY’s needy... but they don't want it. New York Post. February 13, 2014.)






donated to New York City food pantries



という意味があることが分かりました。American Heritage Dictionaryでは、"food pantry"というエントリに、

1. An organization or group that sorts and packages donated foodstuffs for distribution directly to people in need.
2. The building or location where such distribution takes place.

という同様の意味を確認することができ、単に"pantry"という場合と"food pantry"という場合では意味合いが違うようです。



クラウドはクラウドでも・・・ ― crowdsourcing




Facebook crowdsourcing gives lonely boy 1.4 million friends

Being 10-years-old is hard enough -- and add in an isolating syndrome like Asperger's and making friends can be even more difficult.

Such is the case of Colin. He is a 10-year-old boy who lives in Michigan and is on the lower end of the autism spectrum. Despite his efforts to make friends, he is usually made fun of and eats his lunch in the school office because other kids won't let him sit at their tables, according to his mother.

When Colin's mother, Jennifer Cunningham, asked him if he wanted a birthday party, he responded that there wasn't any point because he didn't have friends. That's when she decided to surprise him by creating a "Happy Birthday Colin" Facebook page.


In just 10 days, the page has reached more than 1.4 million likes. Tens of thousands of people from around the world have commented on the page, wishing Colin happy birthday and commending Cunningham for helping her son. Hundreds of others have sent snail mail birthday cards and letters to Colin with good wishes.
(CNET News. February 12, 2014.)



冒頭に書きましたように“クラウドコンピューティング”(cloud computing)の類かと思っていたのが勘違いで、“クラウドソーシング”(crowdsourcing)は全く別の概念でした。

Merriam Websterにはエントリがあります。

the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers



pack a punch




As yet another fierce storm wallops much of the nation, creating havoc from Texas through Maine with ice, freezing rain and snow, Americans are growing weary of a winter that keeps spreading misery even to places unaccustomed to frigid conditions.

The latest storm, termed "mind-boggling if not historical" by the National Weather Service, was bringing dangerous ice and freezing rain to heavily populated corridor of the South, from Atlanta to Raleigh, N.C., before moving north with as much as a foot of snow from Virginia to New England.

Though it's not quite the middle of February, this winter's toll has already delivered more than a season's worth of hard punches.
(William M. Welch. Another blow from winter that has packed a punch. USA Today. February 11, 2014.)


"pack a punch"という表現です。



to make or be capable of making (an impact)
(Merriam Webster Dictionary)



Though alpha particles have a limited range of a quarter-inch or so, they pack a punch 20 times more powerful than beta or gamma radiation, and can lodge easily in the body if inhaled or ingested. Many US vets believe DU may also be a key factor in Gulf War syndrome, the set of symptoms for which the Veteran's Administration has already provided compensation for nearly 1 in 4 vets.
(Christian Science Monitor. 2002.)

When the Federal Reserve pushed a key short-term interest rate higher Friday for the first time in five years, it was firing a warning shot against inflation. The rate increase was modest. The Fed bumped to 3.25% from 3% the federal funds rate - the rate banks charge each other for overnight loans. Such a small move means consumers won't see much of an increase in consumer loan rates or mortgage rates. And inflation is low enough that the Fed probably won't raise rates again for several months. But the Fed's action packs a big psychological punch.
(USA Today. 1994.)


何と訳す? ― financial bully

アメリカ人の10人に1人が、自分のパートナーは"financial bully"である、と言っているという見出しが目を引きました。

"financial bully"とは一体どういう人を指すのでしょうか?

Bullying is headline stuff these days, in schools, on the Internet, in professional sports. A recent study has uncovered yet another form: financial bullying. And it's more prevalent than many might guess.

An online survey by financial website Credit Karma and Harris Interactive found one in 10 Americans consider a spouse or live-in partner a "financial bully."
(Jeff Wuorio. 1 in 10 Americans says partner is a 'financial bully'. USA Today. February 7, 2014.)

"bully"という単語はほとんどの場合“いじめ”と訳されますが、"financial bully"もいじめの一種なのでしょうか?“いじめ”という表現はいまひとつピンと来ません。何と訳すかというとちょっと考えてしまいますね。


That can take many forms, including:

• Making someone feel guilty about their shopping habits;

• Limiting a partner's spending;

• Making a partner show receipts for all purchases;

• Imposing an allowance.

Younger people were more likely to report financial bullying than their elders; nearly one in four younger respondents said they would seek a divorce if "money were no object."

カップルの間で金銭感覚が違うことに端を発するトラブルが"financial bully"という形で顕在化するものと考えることができそうです。


しかし引用した記事では、どちらかというと倹約(ケチ)に走る方を"financial bully"と捉えている節があります。そもそもファイナンスなどという言葉が出てくるところ、ケチケチした話ではあります。

"financial bully"がドメスティックバイオレンスのような市民権を得ることになるのでしょうか?

ちなみに"bully"は元は“恋人”を意味するオランダ語に由来するそうです。そうすると"financial bully"も単なる金遣いに口喧しい恋人、という風になって一件落着ですが!?


大人気アプリ“取り下げ!?” ― fly the coop

スマホのアプリで、Flappy Birdという大人気の無料ゲームがあるそうなのですが、突然作者が“取り下げ”を表明したという話題で沸騰しています。

今朝Google Newsのトップニュースに出ているのを見たのですが、ゲームの話題がトップニュースとは苦笑です。

The smash-hit game app "Flappy Bird" flew away.

Dong Nguyen, maker of the frustratingly hard yet viral game, has pulled it from the mobile app store a day after saying in an apparent tweet from his account that he would be removing the game.

The reason appeared to be the mass of criticism he’s received, particularly because of the visual style that some game blogs have said look too similar to those used in Nintendo's "Super Mario Bros." game.
(Ian Sherr. Flappy Birds Game Flies the Coop. The Wall Street Journal. February 8, 2014.)



"flies the coop"というのは明らかに成句っぽいです。"coop"のエントリで辞書を引くと、"coop"にはウサギや鶏のカゴという意味があり、俗語では“刑務所”の意味があります。

"fly the coop"は、脱走(脱獄)する、ずらかる、という意味で口語で用いられる成句です。



sea change

今日は"sea change"という表現を取り上げたいと思います。


The Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this week that they plan to press ahead in the federal regulatory process with a technological sea change in the way cars are driven.

It's called vehicle-to-vehicle technology, a GPS-derived feature that allows cars to sense proximity to one another. It automatically applies steering, braking and other inputs to avoid collision, debris, or to let emergency vehicles pass.

In a Monday press conference, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said the innovation will have a profound effect on reducing accidents. "Early studies indicate that V2V has the potential to help drivers avoid 70 to 80 percent of vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers," he said.

But V2V raises a new world of concerns. Tom Kowalick, one of the engineers on V2V's design team, told Fox News, " It's a step forward in safety. But two steps back in privacy."
(Doug Mckelway. Government to press ahead with vehicle-to-vehicle technology. Fox News. February 5, 2014.)

"sea change"という表現に馴染みがありませんでしたので、"a technological sea change (in the way cars are driven)"というくだりにやや戸惑いました。

色々調べてみると、"sea change"という表現は定着したもののようです。(ランダムハウス英和辞書には載っていませんでしたが、研究社の大英和にはエントリがありました。)


Merriam Websterでは、

a marked change; transformation


"sea change"をコーパスで検索すると多くの実例があります。引用した記事では、"a technological sea change"でしたが、

political sea change
cultural sea change
philosophical sea change



a sea change in ~



From ultrawide fat skis to narrowwaisted super-sidecuts, there's a seachange happening in ski technology, and it's taking the Alpine world by storm.
(Skiing. 1996.)

Collins Cobuild Dictionary of Idiomsによりますと、

You can describe a complete change in someone's attitudes or behaviour as a sea change. This is a literary expression.



離婚を勝ち得たユダヤ人女性 ― get


An orthodox Jewish woman who has been fighting for a religious divorce from her husband has finally gotten her wish.
Gital Dodelson, 25, has been granted a "get" by her ex-husband, Avrohom Meir Weiss.
(Doree Lewak. Victory! Orthodox Jewish woman finally gets her divorce. New York Post. February 5, 2014.)



The Post broke the story of Dodelson's divorce nightmare three months ago.

The Rutgers law student, who lives in Lakewood, NJ, had married Weiss in 2009.

They had a son, but she decided to separate from him in 2010 due to what she described as his controlling behavior.

They were legally divorced in 2012, but Weiss refused to grant her a religious divorce, known as a "get."


a religious divorce



Merriam Webster Dictionaryの定義を見てみましょう。

a document of release from obligation in Jewish law; specifically: a bill of divorce
a religious divorce by Jewish law






マイクロソフトは“安全運転”!? ― play it safe


現職のSteve Ballmer氏が退任の以降を示して以来、後任のCEOが誰になるのか業界では様々な憶測が飛び交い騒がしかったようですが、最終的に同社クラウド事業のトップを務めていたSatya Nadella氏が選出されるに至ったようです。

SAN FRANCISCO — After compiling a list of more than 100 CEO candidates, Microsoft settled on Satya Nadella a home-grown leader who joined the software maker in the early 1990s. That’s back when Google’s founders were teenagers and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school.

Tuesday’s hiring of Nadella as Microsoft’s CEO after a five-month search is a safe move that’s likely to be greeted with sighs of relief around the company’s Redmond, Wash. headquarters, industry analysts say. But the methodical, almost predictable decision is likely to reinforce perceptions that Microsoft Corp. is a plodding company reluctant to take risks as it competes against younger rivals who relish going out on a limb.
(Was Microsoft smart to play it safe with CEO pick? The Washington Post. February 5, 2014.)



"play it safe"という表現を取り上げたいと思います。辞書を引くと、






MS社に関する記事における"play it safe with CEO pick"も同様で、競合しているGoogleやFacebookのCEOに比べるとやや精彩に欠ける(!?)今回の人事に疑問を投げかける論調ではないかと思われます。

Collins Cobuild Dictionary of Idiomsでは下記のように定義されています。

If you play safe or play it safe, you do not take any risks.



米ミネソタ発:ビールの無人機配達に待った ― bottoms-up


There's nothing quite like a day of ice fishing to get away from it all. Just you, some friends, a couple of beers, and... a beer delivery drone.

At least, that was the hope for Lakemaid Beer, a Minnesota brewery considering using drones to deliver frosty ones to anglers out on the lake. After the FAA caught wind of the operation, however, Lakemaid's top-down approach to help drinkers go bottoms-up has been grounded.

"As much as [the FAA] thought it was a funny idea, it was a violation of all sorts of codes," Jack Supple, Lakemaid Beer Company President, told ABC News. "I understand why they had to shut it down, but I would like to do it for our fishermen."
(Ryan Grenoble. Beer Delivery Drone Grounded by FAA, Leaves Ice Fishermen Out In The Cold. The Huffington Post. January 31, 2013.)




Lakemaid's top-down approach... has been grounded.

ということですが、"top-down approach"とはすなわち無人機による上空からのデリバリーのことを指しています。



窮地に立たされる任天堂 ― painted into a corner




Nintendo's empire is beset by obstacles: from the opposition, from within, and from the passage of time itself. Its underpowered, overpriced devices are shoving away both the casual and hardcore players. Its management is sending mixed messages to the industry. And following a second holiday season of abysmal sales, a generation of young gamers is aging out of the market with no emotional attachment to Mario.

Nintendo's product strategy has painted the company into a corner. Both of its flagship platforms made a bet that consumers would find value in new gimmicks slapped on old devices. The Wii U boasts a controller that promised to bring to the living room the same kind of second-screen, touch-enabled experiences that made the original Nintendo DS transformative.
(John Feehan. Why Nintendo Seems Determined to Fail. Huffington Post. January 31, 2014.)


painted the company into a corner


任天堂は売上げが下がって追い詰められた状態にある、ということなのだと解釈できますが、なぜ"painted into a corner"なのか、というところが気になりました。


コーパスを検索してみると、"paint ~ into a corner"には多数の実例があり、成句であると考えることができます。

辞書を引くと、ランダムハウス英和では、“追い詰められて、困って”という意味が載っています。しかしその説明はなく、なぜ"paint"なのかが分かりません。"into a corner"からは、ボクサーがコーナーに追い込まれたイメージが湧いてきますが、"paint"という動詞と結びつかないのです。


"paint ~ into a corner"とは、床などをペンキで塗っていて部屋の端まで来てしまい、そこからどうにも身動きが取れなくなることを喩えた表現だったのです。なるほど!

Collins Cobuild Dictionary of Idiomsにはこの成句が載っています。

If someone paints you into a corner or boxes you into a corner, they force you into a difficult situation where you have to act in a certain way. If you paint yourself into a corner or box yourself into a corner, you put yourself in a difficult situation by your own actions.

"box ~ into a corner"とも表現するようですが、"paint"は殊にイメージが湧き辛いのではないでしょうか。(知ってしまえばそれまでですが。)