young invincible

(名詞) 未加入健保的20來歲年輕人。他們不加保的原因是自認年富力強、身強體壯不會生大病或保費高昂負擔不起。

In the parlance of the health care industry, Ms. Boyd, whose case remains unresolved, is among the “young invincibles” — people in their 20s who shun insurance either because their age makes them feel invulnerable or because expensive policies are out of reach. Young adults are the nation’s largest group of uninsured — there were 13.2 million of them nationally in 2007, or 29 percent, according to the latest figures from the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group in New York.
—Cara Buckley, " For uninsured young adults, do-it-yourself health care," The New York Times, February 17, 2009


Indian boy weds dog to ward off tiger attack/印幼童娶狗為妻以防老虎攻擊

A dogAround 150 Indian tribespeople have married off a toddler to a female dog in eastern India in a bid to prevent his predicted death at the hands of a tiger.

The ceremony at a Hindu temple in Orissa state's Jajpur district was conducted with all the rituals observed at traditional weddings, including a dowry for the bride -- the village bitch.

The dog sported two silver rings and a silver chain, the UNI news agency reported.

Parents of the groom, one-and-a-half year old Sangula, were advised to arrange the marriage when they noticed a tooth growing from their infant son's upper gum -- considered a bad omen.

Community elders believed the growth would lead to the boy being killed in a tiger attack -- a fate preventable, according to tribal tradition, by marrying a dog.

Sanrumula Munda, Sangula's father, said the ceremony would not prevent him from marrying properly when he comes of age.

The dog belongs to the groom's neighbors and was set free to roam around the area after the ceremony. The boy will still be able to marry a human bride in the future without filing for divorce.

Indian law does not recognize weddings between people and animals, but the ritual survives in rural and tribal areas of the country. (Reuters/AFP)


ward off – (phr. v.) 避開,擋開。

tribespeople – (n.) 種族、部落 (tribe) 的成員、族人。注意這個字當中有個 s;同樣地,tribesman (部落的男子) 和 tribeswoman (部落的女子) 這兩個字當中也都有字母 s。

marry off – (phr. v.) 為某人尋得配偶。marry sb1 off to sb2:把 sb1 嫁給 sb2 或使sb1 娶 sb2。

toddler – (n.) 幼童。

at the hands of – (prep.) 在…手中。注意這個片語中的 hand 須用複數。

Hindu temple – (n.) 印度教寺廟。

ritual – (n.) 儀式,典禮。

observe – (v.) 遵守,奉行。

dowry – (n.) 嫁妝。但這裡指的應是聘禮。

sport – (v.) 炫耀。

gum – (n.) 牙齦。upper gum:上牙齦。

omen – (n.) 預兆,兆頭。good/bad omen:好預兆/壞預兆。

come of age – (v.) 到達法定成年年齡。

file for – (phr. v.) 提出申請;提起訴訟。file for divorce:訴請離婚。



(名詞) 經濟不景氣期間,消費者傾向在家裡舉辦休閒和社交活動 (如雞尾酒會、豐盛晚宴) 的趨勢。這種在家裡以較低廉的成本繼續過著美好生活的文化 (stay-at-home-and-indulge culture) 正在快速蔓延中。這個字是由 home 和 indulgence (放縱,沈溺) 拼綴而成。

The growing trend for consumers looking for cheaper ways to maintain the good life they have become accustomed to has led to a new term being coined — "homedulgence". ...

The move to "homedulgence" is one way consumers can ride out the recession and it is predicted it will soon extend to many other areas of life, such as mix-your-own cocktails evenings and home dining clubs.
—Louise Jack, "Hair removal brands take on the recession with 'homedulgence'," Marketing Week, January 29, 2009


The man with the world's longest ear hair/世界耳毛最長的男子

Radhakant Baijpai and his record-breaking growthIt's important to have a goal in life. Indian grocer Radhakant Baijpai certainly has one - to make sure that he has the longest ear hair in the world.

Radhakant was crowned the official Guinness world record holder for the longest ear hair back in 2003, when his aural fronds were an already-impressive 13.2cm long. But that didn't stop him pursuing his goal of ever-longer hair on his ears.

After several more years of carefully cultivating and caring for the ear-hair, Radhakant's tufts now stretch an astonishing 25cm. He is now waiting for Guinness adjudicators to confirm that he has set a new high, hairy bar for his chosen field.

Radhakant, from Uttar Pradesh in northern India, acknowledges that his wife has, at times, wished that he would cut his ear hair off - but he says that she has agreed to let him keep it, as it is a source of pride.

His 25-year-old son is already displaying signs of growing similar ear-hair - although only time will tell if the son can eventually take the place of the father, standing triumphantly atop the pinnacle of human ear-hair achievement. (


grocer – (n.) 雜貨商。若在 grocer 後面加上所有格符號 (apostrophe) + s ('s),即 grocer's,那麼就變成「雜貨店」(= grocery store);這種在食品和商品的販賣者後面加上 's 來變成販賣該食品和商品的商店,是英式英語特有的用法,其他還有greengrocer/greengrocer's (蔬果販賣商/蔬果販賣店)、optician/optician's (眼鏡商/眼鏡行)、newsagent/newsagent's (書報販者、書報經銷人/書報攤)、butcher/butcher's (屠宰商、肉販/肉店)、chemist/chemist's (藥商、藥劑師/藥房)、stationer/stationer's (文具商/文具行)、florist/florist's (花商/花店) 等等。

crown – (v.) 為…加冠,冠以。

aural frond – (n.) 耳葉。aural 為形容詞,意為「耳的;聽力的;聽覺的」。

cultivate – (v.) 培育;培養。

care for – (phr. v.) 照顧。這個片語動詞經常出現在口語中,一般都用於問句和否定句,但意為「喜歡,想要」(to like):I don’t really care for tea; I like coffee better. (我並不怎麼喜歡喝茶。我比較喜歡喝咖啡)。

tuft – (n.) (毛髮等的) 一簇。

astonishing – (adj.) 令人驚訝的;驚人的。

adjudicator – (n.) 評判員,評定員。

bar – (n.) 障礙,限制。

Uttar Pradesh – (n.) 印度的「北方省」。

take the place of – (v.) 取代。

pinnacle – (n.) 山頂,山峰;頂峰,極點。"standing triumphantly atop the pinnacle of human ear-hair achievement" 譯為「欣喜地站在人類耳毛成就的峰頂上」。


fast-food zoning

(名詞) 速食分區法:目的在阻止速食餐廳 (fast-food restaurant) 或速食店 (fast-food eatery) 在某地區或社區設立的法律。

在美國,繼櫃臺點餐的速食餐廳和外帶餐廳 (takeout restaurant 或簡稱 takeout) 崛起之後,為了區別,一般有餐桌服務 (table service) 的餐廳乃被稱為 sit-down restaurant (引句中也有提到)。 sit-down restaurant 通常被歸類為「家庭式」(family-style) 或「正式的」(formal) 餐廳。在英式英語中,restaurant 這個名詞幾乎都是指有餐桌服務的餐廳,所以未必需要 "sit-down" 來限定;英國的速食店和外帶飲食店 (takeaway outlet -- 外帶餐館在英國叫做 takeaway,在美國叫做 takeout 或 carryout,但後者較少見) 通常不被稱為 restaurant。

In an effort to provide residents with more nutritious choices, the L.A. City Council adopted landmark legislation in July mandating a one-year moratorium on the building of new fast-food eateries in a 32-square-mile area. (Fast-food zoning exists in other cities but is based on aesthetic considerations, not health factors.) According to Jan Perry, a council member who co-sponsored the bill and whose district is part of South L.A., the idea is to freeze fast-food development so that sit-down restaurants and quality-food markets will build in the area. 'When every corner is taken up with fast food,' Perry says, 'there's no room for anyone else.'
—Steven Kurutz, "Fast-Food Zoning," The New York Times, December 14, 2008


set in; set off; set out; set up; settle down; settle for; settle in

set in
(壞天氣或不好的季節) 開始,來臨
Winter has set in; it's started snowing.

set * off +
Terrorists set off a car bomb in the city centre last night. Fortunately, no one was hurt or killed.

set * off +
觸發 (警報);引起 (機械反應)
The smoke set the fire alarm off.

set off
We set off for work at seven-thirty.

set * off +
抵銷 (債務),使平衡
The company set off its overseas debts against its profits at home.

set * out +
The figures are set out in the council's annual report.

set out
The explorers set out for the South Pole yesterday morning.

set * up
My mom set me up with her friend's son.

set * up
I don't think he killed those men. Somebody set him up.

set up +
安排 (約會,會議,會面等)
I set up an appointment with my doctor at 3:30 this afternoon.

set * up +
安裝 (軟體、設備等)
The technician set up the computer network perfectly.

set * up +
設立,開辦,創辦,創立 (公司,組織,機構等)
They set up a dot com company, floated it a couple of years later on the Stock Exchange and made an absolute fortune.

settle down
After years of partying and drinking, she finally got married and settled down.

settle for +
We were upset not to win and had to settle for the second prize.

settle in
(使) 習慣於...;(使) 適應於...
It took him a while to settle in when he moved to Japan.


yarn bombing

(名詞) 針織塗鴉:秘密或未經授權就將針織品套在或置於雕像、電線桿、燈柱或其他公共建築結構上或當場將紗線針織在這些結構上的行徑。
-- yarn bomb (動詞):針織塗鴉。
-- yarn bomber (名詞):針織塗鴉客。

這是歐美越來越盛行的一種次文化;相較於一般令人反感的塗鴉,這種使用紗線 (yarn) 針織而成的作品來進行的「塗鴉」(bombing -- 這裡不能叫做轟炸,因為它與炸彈完全無關),卻予人一種溫暖、柔和的感覺 (見文末附圖)。由於針織塗鴉潮流方興未艾,相關報導也越來越多,相關網站也紛紛設立 (見引句中所列的網站),甚至有人打算出書來談論針織塗鴉;從引句中加拿大《環球郵報》的報導可知,Moore 和 Prain 這兩位女士預定今秋出版一本名為「Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit Graffiti」《針織塗鴉:針織塗鴉藝術》的書。

The street-knitting scene has gotten so knotty that Ms. Moore and Ms. Prain are writing a tell-all book about their hobby. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press, Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit Graffiti is set for release this fall.

The duo, who met four years ago at a stitch 'n' bitch, say yarn bombing has gone viral on the Internet.

After "tagging" a park bench or street lamp, guerrilla knitters document their exploits on blogs and websites such as and
—Adriana Barton, "Yarn bombers cozy up to the urban landscape," The Globe and Mail, January 30, 2009


yarn bombing
yarn bombing

(圖片來源 – 上圖 下圖


(名詞) 一個人最親近的朋友,尤指那些覺得好像是家庭一份子的人。這個字是由 friends 和 family 拼綴而成。

It was no surprise then that a recent study concluded that 67 per cent of us consider our pals to be just as important as our extended families. Now that relatives are often spread across the country or the globe, we are replacing traditional relations with friends, coining a new term for our collective chumfest — "framilies".
—Shari Low, "Someone tell Paris girl pals are forever," Daily Record, October 16, 2008


Woman's record-length fingernails broken in crash/女子世界最長的指甲在車禍中斷裂

Lee Redmond shows off her fingernails in Salt Lake City, Aug. 8, 2006.A Utah woman listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her long fingernails has lost them in a car crash. Lee Redmond of Salt Lake City sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the accident.

Redmond's nails, which hadn't been cut since 1979, were broken in the crash. According to the Guinness Web site, her nails measured a total of more than 28 feet long in 2008, with the longest nail on her right thumb at 2 feet, 11 inches.

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson says Redmond was ejected from an SUV in the crash and taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Redmond has been featured on TV in episodes of "Guinness Book of World Records" and "Ripley's Believe It or Not." (AP)


Guinness Book of World Records – (n.) 金氏世界記錄書。

sustain – (v.) 遭受,蒙受。

non-life-threatening – (adj.) 沒有生命危險的。

eject – (v.) 彈出。

SUV – (n.) sports-utility vehicle,休旅車。

feature (sth1/sb in sth2) – (v.) 在 (sth2) 中展示 (sth1/sb)。

Ripley's Believe It Or Not! (Odditorium) -- (n.) 黎普立信不信由你 (奇人異事錧)。黎普立信不信由你奇人異事錧,是以美國記者、藝術家、探險家、收藏家 Robert Ripley 為名的博物館,專門收集和展示世界奇人異事的資料。黎普立被稱為現代馬可波羅,他一生中總共到過198個國家,旅行的距離足以環繞地球18周;他在1933年芝加哥世界博覽會推出「奇人異事館」,吸引了近 200萬人參觀。現今全球的黎普立信不信由你奇人異事館每年仍吸引數以百萬計的參觀人潮。