cancel culture

知らなかったのですが、最近"cancel culture"なる言葉が流行っているようです。きっかけは以下の記事でした。

Barack Obama calls out cancel culture: ‘That’s not activism, that’s not bringing about change’

Former US president Barack Obama has called out cancel culture on the Internet, saying that it is not an effective form of activism.

On Tuesday, Obama attended the third annual Obama Foundation Summit in Illinois, Chicago, an event that featured a range of high-profile speakers including former US first lady Michelle Obama, director Ava Duvernay and Pose star Billy Porter.

While in conversation with actor and activist Yara Shahidi for a segment titled: “What can I do where I am?”, Obama spoke about the detrimental impact judging people too rashly on social media can have.
(Sabrina Barr. Barack Obama calls out cancel culture: ‘That’s not activism, that’s not bringing about change.’ The Independent. October 30, 2019.)

この"cancel culture"という言葉を知らなかったものですから、想像で読み進めるのですが、インターネットやSNSに関連した話ということは上記の引用部分からも分かりますので、何となくですが意味するところが想像つきました。


Obama stated that the danger of being too “judgemental” of people on social media is something he sees “particularly on college campuses”, and has been “accelerated by social media”.


“Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. ‘Cause, ‘Man, you see how woke I was? I called you out’.”



ところで、"cancel culture"については、やはり最近の用語らしく、CNNの記事によれば以下のような説明がされています。

(CNN) — Name a celebrity who has ever said or done anything remotely controversial -- they've probably been canceled.

It's a growing phenomenon that's left almost no one unscathed, from comedians and actors to musicians and TV hosts.

Some people rail against this "cancel culture" while others say it's necessary. And a lot of people just have questions.


The dictionary definition of "cancel," per Merriam Webster, is to "destroy the force, effectiveness or validity of."

When people say they're canceling a famous person, that's essentially what they're trying to do. They want to take away their power or their cultural capital. They want to diminish their significance, whether it's a personal boycott or a public shaming.
(Leah Asmelash. Why 'cancel culture' doesn't always work. CNN. September 21, 2019.)

手元の辞書で"cancel culture"は勿論掲載されていませんし、動詞の"cancel"にも人を非難するといったような意味はありませんが、"cancel"の意味合いとして、有効性や実効性を削ぐという、意味合いがあることから、特に有名人や政治家に対して"cancel"するというのは、そのような立場の人の重要性(つまり地位)を無きものにするということであると解釈できます。



call the shots



Confused by Brexit? Get ready for “Wexit.”

Political leaders representing a large chunk of Canada are talking about breaking off from the rest of the country in the wake of Justin Trudeau’s reelection victory — and this time they’re not primarily in French-speaking Quebec, long known for its independent streak.

Instead, it’s the country’s western, oil-dependent provinces fueling the breathless talk of secession, amid a perception that Trudeau and eastern urban liberals are calling the shots at their expense. And it's emerging as one of Trudeau’s most complicated headaches as the prime minister moves toward the start of his second term next month.
(Trudeau victory prompts ‘Wexit’ talk in Canada’s West. Politico. October 29, 2019.)





a perception that Trudeau and eastern urban liberals are calling the shots at their expense


ここで、"call the shots"とは、采配を振るう、牛耳る、という意味の慣用句です。("call the tune"という表現もあり、同じ意味です。)



観光公害 − overtourism


(CNN) — The nights are drawing in and temperatures are dropping in the Northern Hemisphere. And in Finnish Lapland, that means one thing: tourists are on the way, and they want husky rides.

That's becoming a problem. In 2016, the top tourist activity in Finnish Lapland was snowmobiling. Three years on, it's husky sledding. Around 4,000 huskies work in the tourism industry -- compared with just 660 reindeer.

But the sudden rise in husky rides is leading experts to warn that there are hidden costs to the popular travel activity, from animals flown in temporarily from Southern Europe, to poor animal welfare standards and dogs being put down when they reach retirement age.
(Julia Buckley. The latest victims of overtourism? Huskies. CNN. October 29, 2019.)






最近の表現だと思ったところが、2018年のOxford Word of the Yearにもなった単語なのだそうです。

Overtourism is fast becoming one of the most hotly debated issues in the modern age of travel. Thanks to cheaper air fares, rising incomes and social media's ability to laser focus attention on specific destinations, more travelers than ever before are descending on places that can no longer cope with their own popularity.

In the past few years, the number of destinations raising the alarm over this has steadily increased. In 2018, the Oxford English Dictionary made "overtourism," one of its words of the year -- it's defined as an excessive number of visitors heading to famous locations, damaging the environment and having a detrimental impact on resident's lives.
(Joe Minihane. Destination trouble: Can overtourism be stopped in its tracks? CNN. July 2, 2019.)



サザエさん症候群 ― Sunday sadness





(CNN) — Many of us begin to groan and moan as our precious weekend comes to an end. It's not just the interruption of fun with friends and family that triggers the Sunday blues, or what some call the Sunday scaries. It's also anxiety and dread about the workweek to come.

One study found 81% of more than 1,000 respondents said they became progressively more anxious as their restful Sunday came to a close. Psychologists call it "anticipatory anxiety."

Nearly two-thirds reported a restless night's sleep Sunday night, which they attributed to job-related anxiety.

And it's not just because people hate their jobs: Even people who said they love their work reported anxiety over job expectations and workload.
(Sandee LaMotte. Sunday sadness is real. Here's how to battle the pre-workweek blues. CNN. October 27, 2019.)


Sunday sadness
Sunday blues
Sanday scaries


専門的には、"anticipatory anxiety"という用語もあるようですが、記事の趣意は、いわゆる「サザエさん症候群」というのは現実に存在する情動反応であるということのようです。

Fretting over something can trigger our flight-or-fight reflex, which floods the body with adrenaline. Pulse rate and blood pressure rise. Breathing becomes rapid, and the extra oxygen in the brain increases alertness. Blood sugars and other nutrients flood the bloodstream, supplying a boost of energy.







The White House will order federal agencies to drop their subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post as the administration escalates its battle with the two broadsheets.

“Not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving — hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be saved,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

The two papers declined to comment when contacted by The Journal, which broke the story.
(Nolan Hicks. White House tells agencies to drop NY Times, Washington Post subscriptions: report. New York Post. October 24, 2019.)






"broadsheet"の原義としては、38 x 61センチの大きな紙を指すようで、これは一般的に我々が新聞と呼ぶ媒体が印刷される紙のサイズです。




pull strings


A city schools custodial supervisor admitted he pulled strings to get his daughter a summer cleaning job, then boosted her salary and even got her holiday pay she didn’t deserve.

John Mullins said he got his kid hired in 2017 as a $15-an-hour “vacation replacement cleaner,” but changed her job title to “handyperson” to get her a raise to $27.52 an hour, according to a city Conflicts of Interest Board document released Tuesday.
(School custodian admits he pulled strings to hire daughter. New York Post. October 22, 2019.)


pull strings




"pull strings (wires)"もそのような意味で用いられるようではありますが、ここでは、





焼身自殺 ― immolation




A man in the throes of a mental crisis doused himself with gasoline in the shadow of the World Trade Center on Tuesday afternoon — an apparent attempt at self-immolation, according to law enforcement sources and officials.

He coated himself with the accelerant a short distance from the sensitive Lower Manhattan site around 4:45 p.m., authorities and sources said.

Police took the man into custody.
(Man douses self in gasoline in apparent self-immolation attempt. New York Post. October 22, 2019.)








即位礼正殿の儀 ー throne





Japan's Emperor Naruhito has formally proclaimed his ascension to the throne in an elaborate ceremony.

The emperor, 59, officially began his reign in May after the abdication of his father, the then-Emperor Akihito.

But, after a series of traditional rituals inside the imperial palace in Tokyo, his ascension has now been formalised.

The ceremony comes as Japan reels from the effects of Typhoon Hagibis, which left almost 80 people dead.

A celebration parade was postponed out of respect for the victims and their families.
(Naruhito: Japan's emperor proclaims enthronement in ancient ceremony. BBC News. October 22, 2019.)

海外メディアの報道はどれも似たような内容だったのですが、BBC Newsから引用しました。


ascension to the throne







共和党でかつて大統領候補としてトランプ氏とも鎬を削ったMitt Romney氏が偽名のツイッターアカウントを持っていたということで話題になっています。


Mitt Romney, the senator from Utah, former Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor, is also, apparently, the man behind a Twitter account that uses the moniker “Pierre Delecto.”

Mr. Romney on Sunday admitted to McKay Coppins, a writer at The Atlantic, that he was responsible for the social media account, which he uses to covertly monitor political discourse and occasionally defend himself. It’s unclear what, if anything, Pierre Delecto is a reference to.


In the Atlantic profile, Mr. Romney admitted to having what he called a “lurker account” — essentially a profile under a different name that he operated in secret to monitor the political conversation. But he declined to divulge the name associated with the account.

The admission spurred curiosity, particularly that of the online newsmagazine Slate.
(Mihir Zaveri. Mitt Romney Admits to Having a Secret Twitter Account. New York Times. October 21, 2019.)

恐らくはSNS上での自身の評判が気になって仕方がなかったのでしょうか、Romney氏は”Pierre Delecto”なる偽名アカウントを使って、時に自身の立場を擁護するような投稿もしていたようです。



lurker account




という意味がありますが、Merriam-Webster Dictionary(オンライン版)では、

to read messages without contributing on an Internet discussion forum (such as a newsgroup or chat room) or social media platform (such as Facebook or Twitter)




turn heads




Safety concerns over vaping are “massively overblown” — according to the California congressman who once turned heads when he puffed away during a House committee hearing, a report said.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from Alpine facing federal finance fraud charges, said Monday that he buys his “vape juice” from reputable dealers who aren’t connected to any of the 26 deaths nationwide that have been confirmed as of Friday by federal health officials.
(Joshua Rhett Miller. Congressman notorious for vaping on job admits he still smokes e-cigs. New York Post. October 16, 2019.)


the California congressman who once turned heads when he puffed away during a House committee hearing

というくだりで、"turn heads"という表現に躓いてしまったのですが、理解するまで少し時間がかかってしまいました。

関係代名詞節の先行詞"congressman"が主語となって"turn(ed) heads"と述語が続く訳ですが、よく見れば"turn his head"ではなく、"heads"と複数形であることに着目すべきでした。

つまり、"turn heads"は"turn people's heads"と解釈されるべきもので、これは議員の行動が他の人々の頭を振り向かせた、という意味です。



our neighbor to the north



(CNN) — Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday tweeted his support for Justin Trudeau, urging Canadians to reelect their Prime Minister in Monday's federal election.

"I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President," Obama tweeted. "He's a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change."

He continued, "The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term."
(Caroline Kelly. Obama endorses Trudeau for reelection ahead of Canadian vote. CNN. October 16, 2019.)


our neighbor to the north



コーパスで検索してみると、この"neighbor to the north"は多くの実例がありますが、(米国に対する)カナダというのも多いですが、特にカナダに限定するものでもなく、韓国から見た時の北朝鮮など、相対的な位置関係を反映して用いられる表現でもあります。

ちなみに、"neighbor to south"(これは米国から見たときはメキシコですが)が次に多く見られ、当然というべきか、"neighbor to east"や"neighbor to west"が続きます。


tooth and nail


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) — that scorekeeper of how federal policies will affect business, the government, and the public at large — has a preliminary report out on how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's proposed drug pricing legislation may affect the federal budget, public health programs, and the drug industry at large.

It's a lot to parse through. Here's one topline takeaway: The CBO estimates the bill (which would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices with private companies for some of the most expensive drugs) would save the federal program $345 billion between 2023 and 2029.

Now, here's the rub, and why pharmaceutical companies will be fighting tooth-and-nail against the legislation — the preliminary analysis also predicts a major hit to drug firms' bottom lines and innovation in the sector.

"Although CBO has not completed its analysis of the bill’s implications for new-drug development, its preliminary estimate is that a reduction in revenues over the next 10 years of $0.5 trillion to $1 trillion would lead to a reduction of 8 to 15 new drugs coming to market," according to the preliminary analysis.
(Sy Mukherjee. Could Lowering Drug Prices Hamper Drug Innovation?—Brainstorm Health. Fortune. October 14, 2019.)




pharmaceutical companies will be fighting tooth-and-nail against the legislation


ここで使われている、"(fight) tooth-and-nail"というフレーズは、全力で戦う、必死で戦う、という意味です。



女性の社会進出 ー reaching parity


More women have found their way into the C-suite in the past five years. But reaching parity with men in leadership roles is still far out of reach.

The percentage of C-suite executives who are women has risen to 21%, up from 17% five years ago, according to the latest Women in the Workplace survey, a joint effort of LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company. And 44% of companies now have three or more women in their C-suite, up from 29% in 2015.

Despite these improvements, gender disparity at the top shows no signs of disappearing. This stems from a promotion gap that occurs early on in women's careers, the report showed.
(Jeanne Sahadi. It's 2019 and just one in five C-suite executives is a woman. CNN. October 15, 2019.)



reaching parity with men in leadership roles


記事中には、”(gender) disparity”という単語も出てきます。”parity”に否定の接頭辞がついたもので、不均衡という意味になります。













(CNN) California has become the first US state to ban the sale of animal fur products.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Friday that will make it illegal to sell, donate or manufacture new fur products in the state.

The bill, authored by state assemblymaker Laura Friedman, applies to all new clothing, handbags, shoes and other items made with fur. Those who violate the law would be subject to civil penalties.

Used fur and taxidermy products are exempt from the ban, along with leather, cowhide and shearling. Fur products used for religious purposes or by Native American tribes are also exempt, and fur lawfully taken with a hunting license is still allowed.
(Harmeet Kaur. California becomes the first state to ban fur products. CNN. October 13, 2019.)








Financial Independence/Retire Early




Daniel, 36, makes $270,000 a year as a corporate lawyer in Manhattan. But you’d never guess it if you saw his shabby apartment.

The Harvard Law grad, who declined to share his last name for privacy reasons, lives across the Hudson, in Jersey City, to avoid NYC taxes. There’s no TV, just books that Daniel picks up for about 50 cents apiece at a local church. Rice and beans fill the pantry. An armoire holds just five cheap, threadbare suits. When they tear, as they do “every six months” or so, he sews them back up. In the winter, he doesn’t even turn the heat on. “I mostly put on a bunch more layers,” he tells The Post.

Why so stingy? Daniel is a member of the growing FI/RE movement, short for financial independence, retire early. The money philosophy — essentially, save fast and early so you can quit working young — is gaining traction among millennials who have had a taste of office drudgery and want nothing to do with it. Followers combine investment hacks with old-fashioned penny pinching to build up enough savings to quit their 9-to-5, well before their 60s. They’re also committed to a monastic existence, even amid NYC’s many social temptations — drinks with co-workers, workout classes and even the odd fast-casual Friday lunch.

Although he beats himself up for his rare Chipotle splurges (“I’m not as careful as I could be,” he says), Daniel has been able to bank 70% of his attorney’s salary. He’s maxed out his yearly IRA contribution every year since he was 19, and his nest egg recently surpassed $400,000. He’s on track to retire in three years.
(Suzy Weiss. Inside the strange, secretive lives of rich millennial cheapskates. New York Post. October 8, 2019.)






uncalled for



An 8-year-old girl said she felt "singled out" after being blocked from getting her school picture taken because of her hairstyle.

Marian Scott told CNN affiliate WILX she cried after she was told that she couldn't get her photo taken because of the red extensions in her hair.

Ben Kriesch, principal of Paragon Charter Academy, told the station that Marian's red extensions violated school policy.

Marian's father Doug Scott called the incident "upsetting."

"All of this is uncalled for, they didn't even call us," Scott told WILX. "They let her stay in school. ... So if she's not a disruption to the class, then why is she a disruption to the picture?"

The Jackson, Michigan, school's handbook says students' hair color must be "of natural tones" to get their picture taken, WILX reported.
(Gabrielle Sorto. An 8-year-old girl wasn't allowed to take her school picture because of her red hair extensions. CNN. October 9, 2019.)


"All of this is uncalled for, they didn't even call us,"


単純に"call"という動詞に、否定の接頭辞un-が結合したものと思ったのですが、実のところ"uncall"なる動詞は辞書に載っておらず(Merriam-Webster Dictionary、ランダムハウス英和)、どうやら、

uncalled for


引用部分ではハイフンでつながっていませんが、Merriam-Webster Dictionaryでは"uncalled-for"という形の形容詞としてリストされています。


(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


コーパスを検索してみると、"uncalled"の実例としては、"uncalled for"が最も多くなっています。


the tail wagging the dog



You could live 24% longer, thanks to your dog

Roll over — and delay death?

Turns out, one of the many tricks that dogs can do for their humans is to help them live longer — especially if they live alone, or have previously suffered a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

The tail-wagging findings come from a meta-analysis of almost 70 years of global research published in the journal “Circulation” on Tuesday, as well as a new Swedish study of heart attack and stroke survivors spanning over a decade.

The first meta-analysis drew on data from almost 4 million people in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Scandinavia, and associated dog ownership with a 24% decreased risk of dying by any cause, and a 64% reduced risk of death after a heart attack in particular.
(Nicole Lyn Pesce. You could live 24% longer, thanks to your dog. Market Watch. October 8, 2019.)





The tail-wagging findings come from a meta-analysis of...




the tail wagging the dog


別の表現では、"the tail wags the dog"という形もあり、これは即ち、(イヌが尻尾を振るのではなく)尻尾がイヌを振る、ということになります。(つまり、主客転倒。)






Opening on October 18th, a new exhibition at the New York Public Library in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building will have hundreds of items from the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust shown to the public for the first time ever. This will include Salinger’s own typewriter, original typescript for The Catcher in the Rye and other stories, a bookcase from his bedroom, photographs and letters, and more. This treasure trove is particularly fascinating because of Salinger’s own reticence as a public figure. The exhibition is curated by Salinger’s son Matt Salinger and widow Colleen Salinger with Declan Kiely, Director of Special Collections and Exhibitions at the Library, to coincide with the centennial of Salinger’s birth.
(Michelle Young. See J..D. Salinger’s Vintage Typewriter and Other Rare Finds at NYPL Exhibition. Untapped Cities. October 7, 2019.)


vintage typewriter








こんな意味もあったの? ― dispatch



The theory that persistence hunting played a crucial part in the evolution of man was first suggested in 1984 by David Carrier, who at the time was a doctoral student at the University of Michigan. Carrier's idea was based on the observation that man is one of the only mammals that cools itself by sweating. Most four-legged mammals pant to cast off heat, which doesn't work nearly as well when running. Carrier concluded that if our early human ancestors could chase an animal long enough, the animal would overheat and collapse with heat exhaustion, and the humans could step up and dispatch it easily.
(Timothy F. Kirn. Why are humans good at endurance running? The answer is murky. Popular Science. October 5, 2019.)



the humans could... dispatch it easily





語源を改めてチェックしてみたのですが、"dispatch"が元々そういった意味で使われていた、あるいはその意味から発展した、というものでもないらしく、「派遣する」という意味から少し遅れて、"to kill"の意味でも使われるようになったようです。





Wannabe parents better lay off the sauce if they wanna make babies.

And dads, this includes you: A new study has found that both mothers- and fathers-to-be should avoid drinking completely for at least six months before fertilization to protect their future children from congenital heart defects.
(Mary Huhn. Dads-to-be should avoid booze for the sake of their future kids. New York Post. October 3, 2019.)




The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, says that a baby’s risk of getting congenital heart disease is 44% higher if the father drinks alcohol three months before impregnating his partner. For mom? The risk is 16% higher if she drinks three months before getting pregnant, compared with staying totally sober in the months leading up to pregnancy.







A former Virginia teacher is suing the school district from which he was fired for misgendering a transgender student.

The lawsuit filed Monday asserts that Peter Vlaming, who taught French at West Point High School, was fired "because he exercised his right to free speech," The Washington Post reported.

"Vlaming’s conscience and religious practice prevents him from intentionally lying, and he sincerely believes that referring to a female as a male by using an objectively male pronoun is telling a lie," the lawsuit reportedly reads.
(Justine Coleman. Virginia teacher sues district after being fired for misgendering student. The Hill. October 1, 2019.)



misgendering a transgender student


手元の辞書はどれも古いので"misgender"という単語は載っていません。Merriam-Webster Dictionaryのオンライン版では、

to identify the gender of (a person, such as a transsexual person) incorrectly (as by using an incorrect label or pronoun)





One of the last excuses transphobes have to misgender trans people is no more, as the Merriam-Webster announced on Tuesday it is adding a new definition for “they” to the dictionary, specifically referring to nonbinary people.
(Mey Rude. Merriam-Webster Adds Nonbinary 'They' to Dictionary. Out.com. September 17, 2019.)

代名詞の"they"は、複数形、男女を問わず、というのが学校で教わることですが、Merriam-Webster Dictionaryには、いわゆるnon-binaryな人(自身の性別を従来的な男女という概念で捉えない人)を指す、単数形の代名詞として用いるケースがあることを、正式に定義に含めたということです。






At the moment, the leading public-health issue in the news is vaping. Push alerts mark incremental tallies in people hospitalized with serious respiratory illnesses related to vaping. So far this year the number is 805 — with a median age of 23 — according to a widely discussed report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. The week prior, 530 hospitalizations had been reported. The number of deaths related to vaping has grown to 12.

In September, President Donald Trump announced a commitment to ending the vaping scourge: “We can’t allow people to get sick, and we can’t have our youth be so affected.” In addition to the youth of the victims, uncertainty about exactly what’s causing this spike in sickness has fueled an emotional public response.
(James Hamblin. The Actual Harms of Vaping. The Atlantic. October 2, 2019.)


President Donald Trump announced a commitment to ending the vaping scourge










blind spot




The Canadian PM, famed for his ultra-political correctness, is seen leaping around while painted head-to-toe.

A previous blurry image from this moment was widely circulated, but now a high-quality video showing Mr Trudeau has come out. 

In the full clip, pals are white water rafting and kayaking during the day before a fancy dress party. 

Mr Trudeau is the only one who dons a blackface and afro as he cheekily sticks his tongue out for the camera. 

The clip shows he even went as far as to paint his knees and his tongue black. 

But this was not a one-off for the holier-than-thou politician, who is known for calling others out for racism. 

The video is believed to have been captured in the early 1990s, although it’s not clear where it was filmed. 

Mr Trudeau is currently in the middle of a campaign to seek re-election as his Liberal Party is in jeopardy amid his race scandal.
(Alahna Kindred. Justin Trudeau shamed by fresh blackface video as future Canadian PM filmed leaping around in afro wig and dark makeup on boating trip. The Sun. September 29, 2019.)



It comes after he’s admitted he can’t remember how many times he wore blackface.

After the third shocking photo emerged last week, Mr Trudeau confessed to a “massive blind spot” in his thinking, saying he is “deeply sorry”.

The PM, who champions diversity and multiculturalism, was pictured dressed up as a black man at the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, an elite high school in Quebec, which he attended.

He donned an Afro wig to perform his version of the Banana Boat Song (Day-O) – a song about people in Jamaica loading bananas onto boats – in a talent show.

ここで、"massive blind spot"という表現が出てきます。この"blind spot"とはどういう意味でしょうか?


死角という意味もあります。近いようですが、英語での"blind spot"はもう少し違うニュアンスがあるようです。

Merriam-Webster Dictionaryによれば、

an area in which one fails to exercise judgment or discrimination



He said: “Darkening your face regardless of the context or the circumstances is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface.”

“I should have understood that then, and I never should have done it.

“I have always acknowledged I came from a place of privilege, but I now need to acknowledge that comes with a massive blind spot,” the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said.

最後の部分を解釈するならば、身分の高い家庭に生まれたことでこのような"blind spot"が仇となってしまった、ということでしょうか。言い訳のようにも聞こえます。