Legs manual wins odd title prize/雙腿手冊贏得年度最怪異書名獎

woman's legsA self-help guide called "If You Want Closure In Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs" has been voted the oddest book title of the year.

It beat off stiff competition from another entitled "I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen" to win The Bookseller magazine's prize, reports the BBC.

"Cheese Problems Solved" took third place in a poll which attracted 8,500 votes.

Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller, said of the winner: "So effective is the title that you don't even need to read the book itself."

He added that it "makes redundant an entire genre of self-help tomes".

The manual, whose author is named Big Boom, is described as a "self-help book, written by a man for the benefit of women".

Bookseller's contest began in 1978, and the roll-call of previous winners includes High Performance Stiffened Structures, Living with Crazy Buttocks and How To Avoid Huge Ships. (BBC)

《字詞解析》

self-help guide -- (n.) 自助指南;自助手冊。文中使用了不同的名詞,如 self-help guide, self-help book, self-help tome 和 manual,但指的都是同樣的東西。

beat off -- (v.) 擊退,趕跑。

stiff competition -- (n.) 激烈競爭。

pygmy -- (n.) 侏儒;微不足道的人。(adj.) 矮小的;極小的;微不足道的。亦拼成 pigmy。

Bookseller -- (n.) 英國「書商」雜誌。

So effective is the title that... -- 這是表示因果關係的 so...that 句型,原句為 "The title is so effective that...",但為了加強語氣,而將 so effective 挪到句首,並將主詞與 be 動詞對調。這是英文中用來加強語氣的倒裝句之一。

redundant -- (adj.) 多餘的;累贅的。文中這個 redundant 直接放在 make 的後面,看起來似乎不合文法,其實不然。由於 make 的受詞 "an entire genre of self-help tomes" 太長,因此把受詞補語 redundant 挪到受詞前面,這是英文常見的寫作技巧之一。另外,在經濟不景氣時代,許多公司因業務萎縮或為節省成本而進行裁員、解雇掉一些員工。如果您不幸在一夕之間成為冗員而遭解雇,那麼您就可以說 "I was made redundant"。

genre -- (n.) (法) 文藝作品之類型。

tome -- (n.) 大部頭書;又厚又大的書。但這本書名最怪異的書「如果你想結束你們的關係,那麼就從雙腿開始」(暫譯) 應該不是這種書。請注意 tome 與 tomb (墳墓) 的區別。

for the benefit of -- (prep.) 為了。

roll-call -- (n.) 點名。

延伸閱讀:新聞英語的語法結構

quo vadis haircut

(名詞) 剪短的頭髮;短髮。亦叫做 close-cut locks (lock 在此意為「頭髮」,通常用複數)。

引句:
And for all of his 16 years giving Mr. Obama his “quo vadishaircut—black parlance from the 1960s for close-cut locks—Zariff said he is not about to start ribbing Mr. Obama. “We do not tease about the gray at all,” he said.
—Helene Cooper, " For young president, flecks of gray," The New York
Times
, March 5, 2009

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exit guide

(名詞) 自殺導師;自殺指導員 (協助他人自殺的人)。

據外電報導,美國喬治亞州有一個名為 Final Exit Network 的激進組織,入會費只要區區 50 美元;會員所能獲得的「好處」是,但他決定要自殺時,該組織會派兩名「自殺導師」教導他如何使用兩個氦氣筒和一個塑膠頭罩自殺。

據當局表示,在 Final Exit Network 協助下自殺的人可能已多達 200 人。該組織於 2004 年成立,迄今會員、捐獻者和志工已達 3000 人。該組織表示,他們提供的是寶貴而且人道的服務。該組織在其網站上說,他們「致力於服務那些罹患無法容忍之疾病的人。他們只想幫助受病魔折磨的人解除痛苦。那些人正在受苦,如果他們承受的是難忍的痛楚,他們想要的只不過是解脫而已。」

引句:
After a multi-state investigation, four network members—“exit guides,” they call themselves—have been arrested and charged with helping 58-year-old John Celmer of Cumming commit suicide last June.
—Jay Bookman, " Time to pull suicide debate out of shadows," Atlanta Journal-Constitution , March 5, 2009

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e-discovery

(名詞) 上社交網站 (social networking sites) 蒐集犯罪證據。

日前外電報導指出,美國最高法院正進入 YouTube 時代。2009年2月間法院審理一件陳情案時,發出的第一張傳票不是要調閱口供或判例,而是索取一段 YouTube 影片的網站連結,以決定警方對拒捕男子採取的行動是否過當。律師表示,未來影片證據及其他電子證據可能成為法院判決的關鍵。

引句:
Many of the lessons learned from the increased use of electronic evidence in civil litigation–“e-discovery,” in the parlance of litigators–may be applied to the burgeoning use of social-networking sites to gather evidence in criminal cases.
—Wilson, J.S. (2008). MySpace, your space, or our space? New frontiers in electronic evidence. Oregon Law Review, 86, 1203. (此為APA 的期刊引用格式;後面的數字,前者為冊數 --斜體,後者為頁數)

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World's first sand hotel/全球第一家沙旅館

World's first sand hotelThe world's first ever sand hotel has been made in Dorset and is accepting its first guests for £10 a night.

It took 1,000 tonnes of sand and a team of four sculptors working 14 hours a day for seven days to build the structure on Weymouth beach.

Guests can book to stay in the hotel, which includes beds made out of sand, until the rain washes it away.

The structure was created by a hotel company to celebrate a resurgence of holidaymakers flocking to the seaside.

The sand hotel offers a twin and double bedroom, while the roofless structure gives guests the chance to "star-gaze" at night, the firm said.

But there are no toilet facilities and people were warned the sand "gets everywhere".

Mark Anderson, creator of the sand hotel, said: "It is the biggest sandcastle-like structure ever in the UK.

"Four of us worked hard and with the help of a JCB we got it built. The beds are made of sand so it can get everywhere, especially between the toes.

"But the best thing is in the morning the tide laps through the door, what a great way to wake up." (BBC)

《字詞解析》

first ever/biggest... ever -- (adj.) 歷來第一的/歷來最大的。最高級形容詞後面的 ever 意為「在任何時候;至今」,可放在該形容詞所修飾的名詞之前 (如第1段的 the first ever sand hotel) 或名詞之後 (如第7段的 the biggest sandcastle-like structure ever)。

Dorset /Weymouth -- (n.) Dorset 是英國西南部的一個郡,而 Weymouth 是該郡的一個鎮。

resurgence -- (n.) 再起;再現。

holidaymaker -- (n.) 假日遊客。

flock -- (v.) 蜂擁到;成群地去。

twin and double bedroom -- (n.) 兩張單人床和一張雙人床的房間。twin beds 為成對的單人床,而 double bed 為雙人床。

stargaze -- (v.) 觀星,看星星,眺望星星。stargazer (n.):看星星的人;占星師;天文學家;夢想家;空論家。

toilet facility -- (n.) 衛浴設施。

"gets everywhere". -- (v.) get everywhere 原意為「到各個地方」,在此指沙是鬆軟的,不固定的,腳一踩下去就垮掉了,弄得到處都是。這裡之所以將引號和句號列出,是要說明英美標點符號的差異:在美式用法中,逗號和句號 (又稱逗點和句點) 是位在引號內,而在英式用法中,逗號和句號除非是引言的一部份才位在引號內,否則位於引號外。由於本文是英國 BBC 的報導,所以句號位在引號外,但在本文最後一段,由於是引用整句話,所以句號是位在引號內。

JCB -- (n.) 工程車 (engineering vehicles)。這是英國一家名為 J. C. Bamford (Excavators) Ltd. 的公司所出產的工程車 (J. C. Bamford 為該公司的創辦人),並非日本信用卡組織 JCB。英文中這種以公司名來稱呼其產品而使「專有名詞通俗化」的例子不少,這些商標名雖仍維持大寫,但已被當作一般用語,泛指各該用品、食品等,例如「冰棒」叫做 Popsicle (這是一家生產冰棒的公司名稱)。

lap -- (v.) (波浪) 輕輕拍打。

延伸閱讀:新聞英語的語法結構

file carving

(名詞) 檔案內容復原技術。亦叫做 data carving

這種技術能夠在磁碟之未配置空間內,自動尋找嵌附在這些硬碟空間的 doc、pdf 文件檔抑或 jpg等圖片檔案,精準呈現可疑之檔案內容。由於現在犯罪嫌犯的電腦技術日益高深,而且少部份嫌犯已懂得如何讓犯罪檔案「隱形」。因此,能夠學習如何破解密碼以及如何尋找內隱的檔案,對於重要案件之偵查,將有莫大的助益。

引句:
It is an example of a sophisticated technique called file carving—restoring the contents of a file after the identifying information that accompanies it has been removed or lost.
—Anne Eisenberg, " Sleuthing software can reassemble deleted photos," The New York Times, March 1, 2009

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full-pay

(名詞) 全額支付的學費。

引句:
Many colleges discount tuition an average of 30 to 40 percent. Still, by offering even a relatively small cut, colleges get students who pay a hefty price. “The full-pays are few and far between,” said Greg Eichhorn, the vice president for enrollment management at Albright. “What we’re looking for are better-pays.”
—Kate Zernike, " To keep students, colleges cut anything but aid," The New York Times, February 28, 2009

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flying truck

(名詞) 飛行卡車:前蘇聯的直昇機。

引句:
He now finds it a little bizarre to be piloting an old MI-17 Russian helicopter, a legacy of the Soviet invaders here, in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan.…The United States is training American pilots to fly the helicopters of the former Soviet Union—Colonel Brandon calls them “flying trucks.”
—Elisabeth Bumiller, "Facing language gaps and ‘flying trucks,’ U.S. trains Afghan pilots," The New York Times, February 27, 2009

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while away; whip out; whip through; whip up; whisker away; white out; wig out

while * away +
混 (時間);打發 (時間)
We whiled a couple of hours away playing computer games.

whip * out +
迅速取出或抽出 (某物);快速或突然說出 (某事)
The police officer whipped out her radio and called for back-up.

whip through +
迅速完成 (工作);很快做完 (某事)
She whipped through the task.

whip * up +
很快地做出 (食物等)
We got back late and whipped up dinner.

whip * up +
攪拌 (食物)
I whipped up the egg whites.

whip * up +
增加,提高;集聚
The boss tried to whip up some support for her new policies.

whisk * away +
迅速移走、帶走 (某人);迅速拿走 (某物)
The police whisked the minister away when the trouble started.

white * out +
用修正液或立可白塗改或塗掉 (字跡)
Could you pass the white-out? I need to white this mistake out.

wig out
使激動;使發狂
He wigged out when he heard that he had failed.

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flashpacker

(名詞) 奢華的背包客 (backpacker)。這個字是由 flash 和 backpacker 拼綴而成,亦寫成 flash-packer
-- flashpacking (現在分詞/動名詞):背包旅行。

flash 這個形容詞頗為古老,最早可追溯至 1785 年,意為「奢華的;炫耀的;擺闊的」-- 通常指這種奢華或炫耀行徑已到沒有品味的程度,因此是個貶抑之詞。

引句:
Europe's hostels now offer cool upmarket accommodations at bargain prices. There are still the communal areas that made hostels the social place to be in the early '90s, but now they are matched by posh facilities. The clientele includes fewer backpackers, more flashpackers: holidaymakers with a taste for the nice things but who are cost-cutting in keeping with the climate.
—Lucy Tobin, "Hostels hustle to add an upmarket tag," The Boston Globe, February 22, 2009

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