niche dating

(現在分詞/動名詞) 利基約會:根據單一特性或極少數的特性 (如信仰、種族等) 所進行的約會。
-- niche-dating (形容詞):利基約會的。
-- niche dater (名詞):利基約會者。

引句:
Tracking down someone who shares your passion for Zemlinsky, intermediate skiing or offshore banking before Saturday might seem tough — but thanks to the latest revolution in romance, securing a genuine soulmate has never been easier or quicker. Forget speed dating: welcome to the esoteric world of niche dating. Whether you're into ballroom dancing, kittens or dirt bikes, there's a site out there for lonely hearts just like you.
—Judith Woods, "Valentine's Day: the 20 best niche dating websites," The Daily Telegraph, February 11, 2009

Niche dating — narrowing down prospects according to religion, say, or ethnicity — is on the rise, judging from the evidence online. Hitwise, which measures online traffic, reports that last year the top five niche dating categories gained market share, while general matchmaking sites stayed about the same. The biggest gains were in the gay dating and religious dating categories.
—Paige Wiser, "Nerds of a feather," Chicago Sun Times, February 9, 2009

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AFPAK

(名詞) 阿富汗和巴基斯坦。這個字是由 AFghanistan 和 PAKistan 拼綴而成的頭字語。

引句:
In the two-front war that Washington is now calling “AFPAK,” there’s more head-scratching going on than is immediately visible. Yes, President Barack Obama last week approved a Pentagon request to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. But at the same time, he has ordered a strategy review to make sure the U.S. isn’t marching blindly into what historians call “the graveyard of empires.”
—David Ignatius, “Remember AFPAK; it’s new Obama war acronym,” Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, February 22, 2009

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timetable, schedule

例句:
(英) You can find the times of your trains in this timetable.
(美) The teacher posted the schedule of classes.

解釋:
(英) timetable:時間表,日程表;課程表;(火車、公車、飛機等的) 時刻表。
(美) schedule:時間表,日程表;課程表;(火車、公車、飛機等的) 時刻表。

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SPIN

(形容詞) 在小塊土地上 -- 尤其是在都市環境中 -- 密集栽種蔬菜及其他農作物的。這個字是 Small Plot INtensive 的頭字語 (acronym)。

引句:
Some cities, most notably Vancouver, have websites that match urban landowners who don't care to garden with those who have no space but want to immerse their hands in soil. Here and elsewhere, a few entrepreneurs, engaging in SPIN, or Small Plot Intensive, agriculture, rent backyards — several at a time — to grow produce for sale.
—Peter Gorrie, "In gardens, a design for the city," The Toronto Star, February 22, 2009

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throwaway society

(名詞) 東西或物品用沒多久就不要丟棄的社會。

這是個帶有負面意涵的片語,在形容該社會的居民有浪費的行為,因為他們可能買了一件襯衫,穿沒幾次就不要丟棄了,或者電視機壞了不修理就丟棄,而去買一台新的。在現代人眼中,這種行為是在浪費地球資源,不利於環境保護。

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pre-owned

(形容詞) 二手的。

這是 second-hand 的委婉語,因為沒有人想要任何 second (第二的) 的東西,但 pre-owned 卻有一種溫暖的感覺,好像你是在為別人 (即先前的擁有者 previous owners) 照顧某樣東西。pre-owned 係 previously owned (先前被擁有的) 的簡寫。最近,有人甚至使用 pre-loved 來表達和 pre-owned 相同的意思,只是還不普遍。

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tide over; tidy up; tie back; tie down; tie in; tie up; tighten up

tide * over
幫 (某人) 克服困難,使 (某人) 暫時度過 (難關、危機等)
This NT$5,000 will have to tide me over until I get paid.

tidy * up +
整理 (房子、房間),使整潔
I tidied up my bedroom because it was a complete mess.

tie * back +
(用繩、線) 繫到後面,繫起來
She tied her hair back before playing tennis.

tie * down +
(用繩、線) 繫住,捆住,拴緊 (某物或某人)
They tied him down to stop him escaping.

tie * down
束縛 (某人),限制 (某人)
Marriage ties you down.

tie * down +
牽制,箝制 (警察、軍隊或敵人) -- 通常用於被動態
The army were tied down with the rebellion and couldn't help.

tie in
與 (某事) 一致;與...相吻合;與 (某物) 相連
The theory ties in with what the police have been saying.

tie * up +
繫牢
When we dock, make sure you tie the boat up.

tie * up +
纏住 (某人) 使其無法做某事;佔用 (某物) 而影響或阻礙其運作
Work has tied me up all week.

tie * up +
捆、綁 (某人或某物),把 (某物) 捆緊、綁緊
I tied up my shoelaces.

tie * up +
阻塞,堵住 (道路等)
The convoy tied up the road for an hour.

tighten * up
(使) 控制得更緊、更嚴格;(使) 加強
They're tightening up security for the president's visit.

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Japan invents Mini-Me robots/日本發明「迷你的我」機器人

Mini-Me robotA Japanese toy company is offering to make tailor-made robot Mini-Mes for its customers.

Robotics firm Little Island claim they can create a tiny likeness of anyone - even replicating the sound of their voice.

Customers place their £1,500 order and simply submit a photo of the person they'd like their new toy to resemble.

Six months later, and their very own Mini-Me will turn up on their doorstep.

The dolls can be taught to sound like the customer via an in-built microphone, a computer and voice recognition software.

The robots, which are created in a technology centre just north of Tokyo, are equipped with 80 gigabytes of storage and a webcam.

The advanced version can even download the latest news and weather and then read back the reports - in your voice. (ananova)

《字詞解析》

tailor-made – (adj.) 定做的。

tiny likeness – (n.) 縮小版的外觀、外貌。

replicate – (v.) 複製。

place an order – (v.) 下訂單。place an order for something (下單訂購某物);place an order with someone/a company (向某人或某公司下單);place an order with someone/a company for something (向某人或某公司下單訂購某物)。

resemble – (v.) 相像;類似。

turn up – (phr. v.) 出現。

doorstep – (n.) 門階。在英國,doorstep 還意為 1. (n.) 厚三明治;厚麵包片 2. (v.) (新聞記者) 上門採訪。另外,on one's doorstep 也意為「在某人家附近」:You’re lucky having the school and supermarket on your doorstep. (你很幸運,學校和超市都在你家附近)。

in-built – (adj.) 內建的。

voice recognition software – (n.) 語音辨識軟體。

80 gigabytes of storage – (n.) 80 GB 的儲存容量。

webcam – (n) 網路攝影機。

advanced version – (n.) 進階版;高級版。

read back – (phr. v.) 再唸,重讀一遍 (給先前唸的人聽)

延伸閱讀:新聞英語的語法結構

self-tracker

(名詞) 自我追蹤者:利用網站或其他技術鉅細靡遺地追蹤與記錄自己的身體、精神狀態和活動等各方面之資料的人。
-- self-tracking (現在分詞/動名詞):自我追蹤。

引句:
The Internet had long ago turned navel-gazing into an international pastime, but self-tracking takes the self-absorption to a new level. Using elaborate graphs, pie charts, websites and newer technologies, self-trackers catalogue everything in their lives, sometimes with no clear result.
—Zosia Bielski, "My so-called life," The Globe and Mail, February 19, 2009

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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。

引句:
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

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