現代英語評註-5

[air strike / air raid] [nouns as verbs] [further or farther?] [we'll see] [luv] [lurve] [animal names as verbs] [Christmas trivia] [bug's lives] [staying brite] [revert back] [-ise or -ize?] [comply with or comply to?] [opportunity] [specially or especially?]

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air strike / air raid

波斯灣戰爭和北約轟炸前南斯拉夫,使得 air strike (或 airstrike) 這個字大出風頭,使用率大增 -- 一些比較古早的字典可能只有收錄 air raid,而沒有 air strike。請看 air strike 的一些典型例句:

  • The United States-led forces resumed air strikes against Iraq today.
  • They have argued for NATO air strikes to relieve Sarajevo.
  • ...the American airstrikes against Libya.
  • Government troops, backed by airstrikes, launched an offensive to recapture Caxito, the capital of Bengo province.
  • They could call on NATO to mount an airstrike.

舉個早期的例句:

  • The pressure on Kennedy to destroy the missiles with an airstrike would be virtually irresistible.

Cobuild English Dictionary 對 air strike 的定義如下:

An air strike is an attack by military aircraft in which bombs are dropped.

然而,在該字典的同一頁,它也對 air raid 做了如下完全相同的定義:

An air strike is an attack by military aircraft in which bombs are dropped.

若有的話,這兩個字之間有什麼差別呢? 請看 air raid 的一些典型例句:

  • In the air raids of 1941, German bombs had killed 18,007 Britons.
  • Shortages caused by the allied air raids are getting worse each day.
  • Late on Wednesday the Serbs staged further air raids on Srebrenica.
  • During an air-raid on 10th May 1941, the church suffered catastrophic damage by bombing.
  • In the event of an air raid the gates were to be locked and no one allowed to pass through.

air strike 不同的是,air raid 也可做為名詞修飾語,如 air raid shelter, air raid wardenair raid warning 等片語 (在此順便提個簡單的文法觀念:當修飾語用的名詞須為單數,如 office buildings 中的 office 不可寫成 offices)。這給了我們一個線索;從被轟炸者或被空襲者的觀點來看,air raid 是個比較常用的字眼。因此,air raid 通常是敵軍所發動和進行的空襲,如二次世界大戰的德軍。

反之,air strike 似乎是「我方」的空襲,指的是「我軍」轟炸「敵軍」的軍事行動。你們可以看看例句中只要是提到美國和北約都使用 air strike 就可了然於胸。

然而,有些新聞媒體也使用 air campaign 來表示「空襲」的意思,或許是站在中立立場吧:

  • NATO could end its 10-week-old air campaign if Yugoslavia began a verifiable withdrawal from Kosovo.

nouns as verbs

在我們討論完 "conference or congress" 之後,有網友來函問到 conference 是否可當做動詞使用。經查閱數本著名或權威英英字典後,並無充分的證據顯示這個字可以當動詞用。但這並不表示不能這麼用,只是我們尚未有夠多的證據來證明而已。不過,conference 的動名詞 "conferencing" 的應用卻很常見,證據俯拾即是,尤其是用在複合字 "video-conferencing" 中。conference 當動詞用的情況寥若晨星,包括下面幾個例句:

  • In whole language classrooms, it is not uncommon to see children "conferencing" with one another or with the teacher as they share what they are reading or writing.
  • While I am conferencing with a student, partners conduct peer conferences.
  • It's an overwhelming, if not impossible, task to conference with every student who needs feedback during a day's writing.

這些例句都是來自美國資料,所以我猜想這種用法的起源出自美國。在標準英式英語中,他們都是說 "talking","discussing" 或比較正式的 "conferring"。

「泰晤士報」曾經有一次將它的過去分詞當形容詞用:

  • Warner Bros recently used the Trafalgar Square centre to hold video-conferenced interviews between the singer, Seal, and journalists throughout Asia.

而「獨立報」有一次將它當動詞用:

  • [Here is] the loose change of language, to lose in deep pockets of vocabulary, to fritter away or to video conference with friends.

至於吾人是否可以將名詞當動詞用,這是個在英語中一直不斷地發生的過程。我們只要稍加留意就可發現很多實例。另一個相當新的例子就是 "impact",這種用法令一些人「抓狂」,但它已被廣泛使用和接受;其他例子包括 bin (意為丟棄 -- 名詞意為垃圾桶) 和 invoice (開發票 -- 名詞意為發票;動詞用法幾可在任何一本字典中找到):

  • Moisturiser should last two or three years, but bin it if the smell changes or it separates. (英國雜誌)
  • I cannot see how these people think a few thousand snowmobiles and people can possibly adversely impact the park as much as a million cars and millions of people. (有關美國國家公園的小冊子)
  • The world financial system is increasingly vulnerable to weaknesses in any one part - and Mexico's problems, if unattended, could impact on Britain and Europe. (英國報紙)
  • May I please request that you invoice us in pounds sterling as we are losing out quite considerably through the exchange system. (英國人的會話)

further or farther?

你應該說 "further" 還是 "farther" 呢?

當你在談論距離時,你是使用這兩個字中的那個字呢?

  • Cherbourg may be further away than Boulogne or Calais, but it is served by no fewer than three ferry companies. (雜誌的文章)
  • The quasars were not merely objects like stars --- they were farther away than the galaxies.  (雜誌的文章)
  • Overheating in shirt sleeves, it was hard to remember we were further north than most of Alaska. (雜誌的文章)
  • Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, lies farther north than Mexico City. (雜誌的文章)

傳統的觀點認為 further farther 都對;但當你談論的不是實際、具體的距離時,最好使用 further,而非 "farther":

  • Die Welt went further and claimed that Britain and France were pursuing a restrictive policy on refugees. (報紙的報導)
  • To judge the effect of climate on the national character, you need look no further than the country's recent history. (電台談話性節目)
  • Nothing could be further from the truth. (報紙的讀者投書)

證據:

證據顯示,在英式英語中,在談論實際而具體的距離時,"further" 比 "farther" 還常用 4 倍。當這些字被用來做比喻時,"further" 則比 "farther" 常用約 18 倍。

建議:

當你在談論具體的距離時,你可以使用 further farther,但 farther 聽起來已有點過時:

  • There are more modern beach-style establishments further along the coast. (報紙的文章)
  • They stopped twenty yards farther along the shoreline. (短篇小說)

當你談論的並非具體的距離時,你最好使用 further,而不要使用 "farther":

  • Norman couldn't get much further on that point, so he tried another tack. (電視節目評論)
  • Their share prices often fall further because many tracking funds focus only on the top 100 stocks. (報紙的文章)

如果你要表達 "更多的","另外的" (形容詞) 的意思時,一定要使用 further,而不能使用 "farther":

  • A further session is scheduled for today. (報紙的報導)
  • It is possible that further protests may follow. (報紙的報導)
  • Dennis would not elaborate further. (報紙的文章)

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we'll see

英文口語中有許多簡單的片語使用最基礎和最常見的字彙來表達諸多不同或差異極微的意思。這種片語可能使非英語系國家的人士花費數年的時間來學習和體會才能精通。由於這些片語拆開來每個字的字面意思都是大家所熟悉的,但合起來又非常難懂,而且很難體會出它們的「真正味道」,因此,許多語言專家認為,討論這些片語的功能和用法往往比探究它們的意思更適當。

這些「小片語」(但意思博大精深) 的其中之一,就是我們經常在口語中聽到的 we'll see。它的意思有「再看吧」、「再說吧」、「到時候就會知道」、「你會看到的」、「你會知道的」、「請拭目以待吧」、甚至「我可不這麼認為」等;若再考慮說話者說話當時的語氣,那意思就更多了。現在讓我們來看看 we'll see 的例句:

  1. I don't know how far I'll get but we'll see.
  2. Maybe it won't work. This is the first year we're doing it. We'll see.
  3. The American market is much more difficult to crack, but we'll see.

  4. `So is this going to be your last marathon?'-`I don't know. We'll see.'
  5. `What's going to happen now, Daddy?' `We'll see.'
  6. Okay, but not tonight, not now. It's too late, for one thing. Tomorrow, we'll see.
  7. Then come for the weekend. Come for lunch!' `Maybe,' I told him. `We'll see.'
  8. For now, our arrangement is that she will come for a few hours one day a week during the spring planting season. After that, we'll see.

  9. `Wrong again, Kemo Sabe.' `We'll see.'
  10. You can depend on me.' `We'll see.'
  11. `It doesn't mean she's here.' `We'll see.'
  12. Clinton has said he's not going to let these foreign policy crises overshadow what needs to be done at home. Well, we'll see.

所有這些例句在某方面都是關於對未來的臆測,但還是可以分辨出若干微妙的差異。前三個例句似乎是指對可能是說話者無法控制的事情真正的不確定。在例句 4~8 中,說話者對可能發生的事情具有某種決定權,所以這個片語可以被用來做為一種拖延戰術,或一種結束交談的方法。當然,we'll see   的這兩種用法並不全然可以分開處理,而它們精確的意思通常須視上下文而定:

  • I don't think we need tests to tell us these things. But we'll see. We'll see.
  • Let's look forward to this meeting next year; whether it's the same format or not we'll see.

例句 9~12 的意思截然不同;在這些例句中,we'll see 似乎暗示對先前的敘述或談話表示懷疑,甚至直接否定、反駁。


luv

現在讓我們再來看一個重大的錯誤拼字 luv;這個字主要也是英國的用法。luvlove 的變形,但它所表達的「愛」可能多於 love,可能少於 love,也可能一點 love 都沒有。一般懷疑這個字的起源可能來自英國城市利物浦 (liverpool) -- 利物浦的口音通常把 love 的母音發成像 push 的母音。經過查閱多本英英字典並且在網路進行大搜尋之後,我們發現這項懷疑應可獲得證實,那就是 60 年代英國流行樂歌手,後來變成益智性節目女主持人的 Cilla Black 有一句流行的口頭禪 a lorra, lorra luv,而此株是個道道地地的利物浦人。

除了披頭四的歌曲外,luv 這個字在一般流行歌曲中亦屢見不鮮,有的當名詞用有的當動詞用:

  • ...Underground Solution's `Luv Dancing'.
  • ...a pitifully lame ragga version of `Gimme Luv'.
  • ...`Coz I Luv You'.
  • Excellent pop music gets straight to the point: `I luv you luv/You luv me too luv/I luv you luv me luv'.

然而,luv 最常用的場合幾乎與 "love" 的主要意思無關;這可由 Cobuild English Dictionary 對這個字的註解得到證明:

In British English, luv is an informal written form of the word `love', when it is being used as a way of addressing someone. (在英式英語中,luv 被用來做稱呼時,係 "love" 這個字的非正式 [通俗] 寫法。)

我在此必須做個補充:這個字主要是男性用來稱呼女性。它可能是一種親暱的稱呼 (男朋友對女朋友,男同事對女同事或男性對其認識的女性等 -- 可能涉及男女感情,也有可能只是其他非關兒女私情的情誼),但兩個陌生人也可能使用它來相互稱呼。一些婦女不喜歡她們不認識的人稱她們為 luv

  • You'll have to be quick, luv; we've a plane to catch.
  • Give us a kiss, luv.
  • Soon have you and the kiddies out of there, luv.

這些例句與利物浦人的口音已沒有特別關係。事實上,倫敦的口音可能發成 lav


lurve

上次我們談到了 luv 導源於 60 年代英國流行樂歌手,後來變成益智性節目女主持人的 Cilla Black,至於 lurve 則是導源於 70 年代的靈魂搖滾樂,而其代表人物是歌手 Barry White。下面讓我們先來看看兩個與 White 有關的例句:

  • ...the strained, guttural warbling of Barry White crooning about lurve and silk panties.
  • ...tracks from the '80s when White's lurve music fell from fashion.

lurve 也是 love 這個字的「特殊發音」,但現在已獨立成為一個字,不過與流行音樂仍有強烈的關係:

  • ...soppy lurve songs.
  • Mostly this album is also about lurve.
  • The singer walks to the front of the stage: `I'd like to take one or two moments of your time to talk to y'all about lurve.'
  • I Won't Do That' is a hopelessly extravagant tribute to the power of lurve.
  • Given this obligation to sing about lurve, appropriate subject matter can be especially hard to find when you're only 14.

在下句中,lurve 似乎已創造出一種獨特的意思:

  • The new album's a lot about faith and love, different aspects of love, not just lurve.

而在下列的例句中,它似乎已完全走出音樂的範疇 (即用在與音樂無關的上下文中):

  • ...the stirrings of lurve when Joon spies Sam.
  • Architect Harrelson and wifey Moore are sickeningly, gloopingly in lurve.
  • Angel faces a woeful predicament - in lurve with Shane, she must fight the attraction lest Fisher find out.
  • Books are for learning, but so is life, and lurve.

總之,這個字強調的是一種老生常談的情感表現,一種猶抱琵琶半遮面的示愛,就像電影中以及流行歌曲中所敘述的愛情物語。

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animal names as verbs

動物名稱變成動詞的情況多如牛毛。家畜包括豬、狗和馬,而野生動物則包括鼠、狼、雪貂 (ferret) 和野兔 (遑論蛇、狐狸和猿猴等)。大多數的動物動詞,意思都相當負面,或至少沒有非常正面的意含。獵兔用的雪貂已產生一個意為搜尋、找出人、資訊或事實真相的動詞,而大野狼當然與吃東西的狼吞虎嚥有關,但人類最忠實的朋友卻被引伸為負面的意思,而「靜如處子」、「沈默寡言」的家兔 (rabbit) 基於某種原因竟然變成表示嘮叨和抱怨之意的動詞 (這個意思主要是英國用法):

  • Stewart looked relaxed, dressed in only jeans and a T-shirt, as he wolfed down three massive bowls of Caesar salad. (澳洲報紙)
  • Any hint of concealed behavior challenges the entire press to ferret out the truth. (美國電台)
  • He continued to be dogged by fitness problems, however, and retired in 1971. (英國報紙)
  • Jane was rabbiting on about her current inquiry into computer based maths teaching. (英國書籍)  

野兔 (hare) 敏捷的速度名符其實地被引伸為跑得非常快,而松鼠囤積糧食過冬的習性則產生了一個很有意思的動詞,意為為將來儲蓄金錢或物品。好吃懶做的豬當然與吃脫不了關係,而且是貪婪地大吃大喝,而老鼠 (rat) 則被視為奸詐狡猾、叛逆變節和背信棄義,至於馬則被引伸為喧鬧、哄鬧:

  • Halting the car with a screech of the brakes I leapt out, hared up the steps to the porch and flung wide the front door. (英國書籍)
  • A parent may be squirreling away assets to surprise the child with a legacy. (美國書籍)
  • After the shock I stopped pigging on chips and crisps and ate healthily. (英國報紙)
  • He leaned forward to examine a photo showing Bella, then aged seven, with her father, then fit and well, horsing about together in the pool at the beach house in East Hampton. (英國書籍)
  • Most people who experience harassment at work just put up with it because they think they will be blamed for ratting on their colleagues. (英國報紙) 

Christmas trivia

英美在英文用法上有不少差異,就連「聖誕老人」亦不盡相同,頗為有趣。話說荷蘭人前往美國屯墾時帶著 Saint Nicholas 的人像 (Saint Nicholas 是何許人也? 他是早期的一位基督教主教,以對兒童仁慈和愛護而聞名,每年的聖誕夜都會在兒童的鞋子中放置禮物,因此被荷蘭人視為聖者),希望藉著這位聖者賡續聖誕夜送禮物的傳統。Saint Nicholas 後來變成了 Santa Claus,後者似乎符合美國人的胃口,從此被廣泛使用並沿用至今。根據一項統計及查閱英美英文相關資料,"Santa Claus" 出現 661 次,其中以「全美公共電台」(National Public Radio, NPR) 出現的次數和頻率最高;Santa Claus 亦出現在英國相關資料中,其中尤以「獨立報」對「他」特別偏愛,出現至少 84 次,僅次於 NPR。

雖然 Santa Claus 在英國也有人講,但英國人比較喜歡使用 Father Christmas 這個名稱 (出現 486 次)。這個名稱在美國幾乎沒有人使用,在美國相關資料中總共僅出現 6 次。「獨立報」再度出類拔萃,以使用 118 次居冠。這也是澳洲英語偏向美式英語而非英式英語的實例之一 -- 這對仍以英國女王為名義國家元首的澳洲而言是件頗為弔詭的事;Santa Claus 出現在澳洲相關資料的次數為 110 次,而 Father Christmas 僅出現 26 次。

至於 Saint Nicholas,他在這些資料中總共只出現 20 次。


bug's lives

看過「蟲蟲危機」這部電影吧?! 它的英文片名叫做 A bug's life。這陣子全球最常被提到的事,當非 Millennium bug 莫屬。在「蟲蟲危機」的陰影下,我們都希望 "bug" 快點 "bug out"。bug out 是什麼意思呢? 根據 American Heritage dictionary,這個片語的意思是「趕快離開、停止、結束」。而 Cobuild English Dictionary 則說它帶有明顯的軍事意味:

  • The poor fellows that had been all the way down in the front lines and had managed to get all the way back there and ... I think they had pretty well bugged out by that time. (美國電台)
  • When the military personnel bug out for wherever their war zone is,they create sort of a disturbance in the blood supply, and we then have to turn to civilians to replace that supply. (美國電台)

然而,在下面的引句中,bug out 似乎是根據許多昆蟲都是「凸目」(凸眼) 的事實而產生的比喻性用法 -- 意為「因驚訝而睜大眼睛」-- 跟 "bug-eyed" 的意思一樣:

  • I, you know, started going to wild punk clubs and hanging out with people that had no idea that I was in the Secret Service and would have totally bugged out if they would have known. (美國電台)

而下句則明確地提到眼睛:

  • The trucker's gray eyes bugged out and he staggered backward. (美國書籍)

正如我們在這篇文章開頭所提到的,拜千禧蟲之賜,這陣子 bug 這個字的出現率之高是前所未見的。隨便舉一例就可知道 Millennium bug 對全球所造成的恐慌:

  • But when the economies of countries are at stake the Millennium Bug could have disastrous results. And a doomsday picture of the failure of everything from hospital life-support systems, traffic lights and rail signalling to air-traffic control systems is as frightening as any science-fiction disaster movie. (英國小報)

有此一說:bug 的這種用法係導源於早期電腦內部真的有一種會莫名其妙造成當機的昆蟲。不管這種說法是否屬實,反正現在誰也無法講清楚,說明白,我們只好姑望聽之。

bug 的另一意思是「微恙」 -- 不會要人命,但又令人渾身不舒服,不能等閒視之的疾病:

  • It is amazing how modest the demands of the body become when you are laid low by the dreaded flu bug. (英國報紙)
  • Spivakov, who conducts the Spanish-based Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, was struck down by a bug and taken to hospital. (英國報紙)

最後,我們應該慶幸過了一個既沒蟲又沒病的新年 (bug-free New Year)。

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staying brite

想必你們都見過 night 被拼成 nite 的情況吧!?

我們從英式英語和美式英語資料庫中找到 105 條使用 "nite" 的引句;它們大多出現在 "All-Nite Diner","Scream Nite Club" 等專有名詞及 "Nite-Lite" 等產品名稱中,但其中有 17 句是寫成小寫 -- 大部分來自雜誌和書籍。我們認為這種用法的動機是為了引起注意,或者似乎比較合乎「現代」(或反諷)。

  • You might as well be in the All-Nite Diner in Bloomsbury with me. (英國報紙)
  • Bjork didn't care as she danced the nite away at London's LOVE RANCH last week. (英國雜誌)

"lite" 特別用來指稱低卡路里食物或沒有太多內涵或內容的事物。"lite" 的出現率相當高 -- 438 次 -- 據稱,下一版的 Cobuild dictionary 將會把它收錄在內。以下為其中若干引句:

  • The lite-meat burger with its lean mince has got to be a winner too. (英國雜誌)
  • Mick Hucknall and crew have repeated Stars' soul/jazz-lite formula with a few adaptations. (英國報紙)
  • Americans must like their thrillers lite: this offering has already made it into the American audio bestseller charts. (美國報紙)

另外有兩個以 "ight" 做字尾的字,在產品名稱中也有類似拼字錯誤的情況:"bright" 和 "right"。英國一家知名的兒童鞋品牌就是以 "rite" 來做為名稱的一部份:

  • A SHE reader recently discovered that Clarks and Start-rite have different measuring systems. (英國雜誌)

在英文資料庫中,"brite" 僅出現在產品名稱中:

  • Genuine market changers, such as the `Scotch-Brite Never Rust Wool Soap Pad', a recycled-plastic, high-tech descendant of the traditional steel-wool scourer, have been rare. (英國雜誌)
  • Also on the most active list, Brite Voice Systems, a new issue, closed at 14, up 1/2 from its opening price and up from its offering price of 12 1/2. (美國報紙)

然而,現實的情況是,除了廣告商利用錯誤的拼字來吸引注意外,包括演藝界在內的諸多行業、場合和情況也利用這種方式來吸引更多「關愛的眼神」。


revert back

"revert back" 該怎麼用呢?

你有時會聽到人家說某人或某事恢復原有的習慣、原有的行為或恢復原狀;在此,他們使用 revert back 來表示這種「恢復」的意思:

  • Organic disease of the brain often makes the patient revert back to compulsive behaviour. (有關心智的書)
  • Researchers have shown that nerve cells in rats' spinal cords change shape in response to pain and then revert back to normal after the painful stimulus has been removed. (雜誌的文章)
  • The current tenants fear that the venue may revert back to its former use as a dancehall. (雜誌的文章) 

你有時也會聽到土地或財產復歸原主人或物歸原主;在此,他們亦使用 revert back 來表示「復歸」的意思:

  • Once the buildings ceased to be educational establishments, they often reverted back to the estate on whose ground they were built. (報紙的文章)

有些人不喜歡上述的用法。他們指出,"back" 的意思已包含在 revert 裡面,所以倘若這兩個字用在一起,將有疊床架屋,重複累贅之嫌。

證據:

在英文資料庫中,"revert back" 出現 110 次,而未與 "back" 連用的 "revert" 則出現逾 2,000 次。

建議:

雖然 revert 與 "back" 連用的情況相當常見,但這種用法令若干人士感到不悅,所以最好避免使用。只要使用 revert 這個字就好了:

  • Children often revert to more immature habits during times of anxiety or stress. (雜誌的文章)
  • Acers with variegated leaves often revert to the plain green form. (雜誌的文章)
  • The National Trust needs a new Act of Parliament, to divide it up into smaller bodies and permit some of its properties to revert to private ownership. (報紙的文章)

注意:在上面三個句子中,revert 的後面都接 "to" -- 這裡 "to" 是介系詞。


-ise or -ize?

你應該說 "-ise" 還是 "-ize" 呢?

一些動詞有時以 -ise 做字尾,有時則以 -ize 做字尾。這兩個字尾你應該使用那一個呢?

  • Cantona was eager to emphasise his desire to stay at Old Trafford. (報紙的報導)
  • He wanted to emphasize how much personal respect Richard had won. (自傳)
  • You could be forgiven for not recognising her immediately. (報紙的報導)
  • Recognizing him, she stepped forward. (小說)

證據:

證據顯示,英國報紙和雜誌通常比較喜歡 "-ise" 的字尾。但這只是英國艦隊街 ( 英國報業) 「自家的風格」,並非英國正常的用法。在英國書籍中,"-ize" 字尾比 "-ise" 字尾還常見 5 倍以上。

現在讓我們來看兩個實例:在英文資料庫中,"realise" 在英國報紙中出現逾 11,000 次,"realize" 43 次;"realise" 在英國雜誌中出現逾 5,500 次,"realize" 444 次。但 "realize" 在英國書籍中出現逾 8,000 次,"realise" 約 1,500 次。同樣地,就 "harmonise"/"harmonize" 而言:"harmonise" 在英國報紙中出現 160 次,"harmonize" 一次也沒有;"harmonise" 在英國雜誌中出現 205 次,"harmonize" 5 次。但 "harmonize" 在英國書籍中出現逾 127 次,"harmonise" 21 次。

在美式英語中,幾乎都是使用 "-ize" 字尾。

建議:

顯然地,如果你是在為某份報紙或雜誌撰稿或在編輯參考書,你必須知道該出版品比較喜歡使用 -ise 還是 -ize 字尾。在其他任何寫作中,你可以使用任一字尾,不過在英式英語中,-ize 比較常見,而美式英語幾乎都是使用 -ize 字尾。

然而,必須注意的是,有些動詞僅能以 -ise 做字尾,它們是:"advise","arise","chastise","circumcise","compromise","despise","devise", "excise","exercise","improvise","revise","supervise","surmise","surprise"。在英式英語中,, "advertise" 也只能以 -ise 做字尾。

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comply with or comply to?

你應該說 "comply with" 還是 "comply to" 呢?

你是使用 comply with 還是 comply to 來表達「順從」或「遵從」某一要求 (request) 或命令 (order) 的意思呢?

  • The vessels complied with requests to leave Japanese waters. (報紙的報導)
  • I see no evidence that he is ready to comply fully to the UN resolutions. (電台的報導)

comply 也可用來表示「遵守」規定 (requirements) 的意思;在這種情況中,你是說  comply with a set of requirements 還是 comply to a set of requirements 呢?

  • Some beaches had failed to comply with European directives on bathing water. (電台的報導)
  • The all-welded design will comply to modern safety requirements. (雜誌的文章)

傳統上,"comply with" 被認為用來表達這兩種意思都是正確的。

證據:

在英文資料庫中,"comply with" 出現逾 3,000 次,"comply to" 僅 15 次。

建議:

使用 comply with an order or request 比使用 "comply to" an order or request 要來得好。同樣地,使用 comply with a set of requirements 也比使用 "comply to" a set of requirements 要來得好。


opportunity

以 "opportunity" 做為關鍵字 (key word) 的片語該如何使用呢?

在表達「趁機、藉此機會」的意思時,你可以說:someone takes the opportunity to do something 或 someone takes the opportunity of doing something。

  • He took the opportunity to announce his early retirement. (報紙的報導)
  • He took the opportunity of going in to have a coffee. (小說) 

但是,你也可以說:someone takes the opportunity of something to do something else 嗎?

  • One backbench MP took the opportunity of an adjournment debate to make a heartfelt plea for more resources for his local hospital. (報紙的報導)
  • Mr Baker said the two men would take the opportunity of their meetings to discuss a number of issues. (電台的報導)

一些英語人士認為這種用法是錯的。他們表示,這裡 -- 意為「利用」-- 正確的片語應該是  take advantage of ,而不是 "take the opportunity of"。

證據:

在英文資料庫中,someone "takes the opportunity of' something "to do" something else 出現 32 次。"take advantage of" 使用在相似句子結構中的次數超過 500 次;然而,在大部分的情況中,它們的意思並不相同。"use the opportunity of" 的意思比較接近 "take advantage of",出現 24 次。

建議:

"take the opportunity of" ... "to do" something 的用法似乎怪怪的,use the opportunity of 比較好:

  • Mr Heseltine used the opportunity of a speech in Hamburg yesterday to distance himself from allegations that he is a European federalist. (報紙的報導)
  • Mr de Maizerre will use the opportunity of an official visit to Austria to meet Chancellor Kohl at his alpine holiday retreat. (電台的報導)

specially or especially?

你應該說 "specially" 還是 "especially" 呢?

1. 你是使用 specially 還是 especially 來表達「專門地」的意思呢?

  • The new President, Richard Nixon, flew to Rome specially to see the Pope. (傳記)
  • I made the trip especially from Lymington. (雜誌的文章)
  • Some of the songs were written specially for him. (電台節目)
  • The next performance features the world premiere of Bracanin's Symphony No 2, written especially for soprano Marilyn Richardson. (報紙的文章)
  • Everyone wears a specially designed work uniform. (報紙的文章)
  • Especially designed for serving this delicious cheese, our authentic Italian glass dish with stainless steel lid measures 6cm in diameter. (廣告)

一般認為在這些句子中應使用 specially 才正確。

證據:

在英文資料庫中,"specially"'被用來表達「專門地」的意思大約有 4,600 次;"especially" 則被使用大約 600 次。

建議:

我們最好使用 specially,而非 "especially" 來表達「專門地」的意思。

2. 你是使用 specially 還是 especially 來加強形容詞或副詞的語氣呢? -- 在此,它的意思為「特別地;格外」。例如,你是說 something is especially good 還是 something is specially good 呢?

  • He is intelligent, articulate and especially generous to the young and needy. (報紙的文章)
  • Washington is in no mood to be specially generous. (電台的報導)
  • The north of England was especially badly hit, with snow as deep as 8in in many parts. (報紙的報導)
  • Paris and the Paris region were specially badly affected. (歷史書籍)

一般認為在這些句子中使用 especially 比使用 "specially" 為佳。

證據:

在英文資料庫中,"especially"'被用來加強形容詞或副詞的語氣大約有 6,000 次;"specially" 則被使用 236 次。

建議:

我們最好使用 especially,而非 "specially"來加強形容詞或副詞的語氣。

3. 你是使用 specially 還是 especially 來表達「尤其是」的意思呢?

  • He asked me a lot of ridiculous personal questions, especially about my shopping habits. (報紙的文章)
  • I'm very interested in his opinions, specially on Yorkshire. (報紙的報導引述一名家庭主婦的話)
  • The prices are reasonable, especially if you're a student, nurse, or pensioner. (在外用餐指南)
  • Holidays can cause problems for lawns, specially if you happen to be away for a few weeks. (雜誌的文章)

一般認為在這些句子中應使用 especially 才正確。 "specially" 被認為不正確,或至少不是標準英語。

證據:

在英文資料庫中,"especially"'被用來表示「尤其是」的意思大約有 40,000 次;"specially" 則被使用大約 250 次。

建議:

我們最好使用 especially,而非 "specially"來表示「尤其是」的意思。

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