World's first amphibious coach/世界首輛水路兩用巴士

AmphicoachThe world's first amphibious coach has been launched, allowing bus passengers to take to the waves.

The Amphicoach, which carries up to 50 passengers, is the brainchild of Scotsman George Smith.

The vehicle drives like a traditional coach until it reaches water, where its makers say it exhibits 'astonishing' sailing abilities.

The coach's wheels retract into a hull, made from marine-grade aluminium, allowing it to reach speeds of up to eight knots, powered by a jet-drive unit.

According to its makers, the Amphicoach can compete with any luxury standard road coach for performance, safety and comfort.

"On the other hand its sailing capabilities are accepted by marine experts involved in the project as being astonishing," said a spokesman.

"This feature consequently makes the vehicle suitable for extended water tours. The Amphicoach is able to operate day and night, in both fresh and salt water, which is highly unusual."

Twelve vehicles are to be built each year, under the supervision of Lloyd's Register, with Australian, Dutch and German companies said to be interested.

The spokesman added: "Due to the vehicle's superior stability and safety features the Amphicoach is a Modern Technological Wonder.

"Soon people will no longer be satisfied with just a city coach tour, they will want the complete package, a city coach tour with a water cruise built in." (


amphibious -- (adj.) 兩棲(類)的;水陸兩用的;兩棲作戰的;海陸空協同作戰的。

coach -- (n.) (美) 巴士,公車;(英) 長途巴士。

launch -- (v.) (產品) 推出,問世。

take to the waves -- (v.) 坐車到水面上。英文中 -- 尤其是新聞英語中 -- 還有一個結構相似但相當常用的片語,那就是 take to the streets -- (v) 走上街頭 (示威、抗議):We must take to the streets in protest against the incompetence and corruption of the government. (我們必須走上街頭示威,抗議政府無能、腐敗)。

brainchild -- (n.) 智慧結晶;(某人的) 創作,獨創的構想。

astonishing -- (adj.) 令人驚訝的;驚人的。

retract -- (v.) 縮回,縮進。

hull -- (n.) 車殼;船殼。

marine-grade aluminum -- (n.) 船舶級鋁,即製造船舶用的鋁。新聞英語中還有一個結構相似但常見許多的片語,那就是 weapon-grade uranium -- (n.) 武器級鈾,即製造武器用的鈾。marine -- (adj.) 船舶的,航海的;海運的,海事的;海洋的。

knot -- (n.) 節 (航速單位。1 節等於 1 海里/小時)。

jet-drive -- (adj.) 噴射驅動的。jet-drive unit:噴射驅動裝置。

compete with -- (v.) 比得上。

luxury -- (adj.) (僅用在名詞之前) 昂貴的;豪華的;高檔的。

Lloyd's Register (of Shipping) – (n.) 勞埃船級社 --世界第一個也是最大的船舶分級學會,成立於1760年,主要從事建立商船的製造和維修標準,並提供技術服務。

with Australian, Dutch and German companies said to be interested -- (prep.) 據說澳洲、荷蘭和德國的公司都有 (採購的) 興趣。在 "with + 名詞 + 現在分詞/過去分詞" 這種 with 的複合結構中,若名詞為主動,則其後接現在分詞,若為被動,則接過去分詞。由於這些公司是被說的,不是他們自己說的,所以其後用 said,而不是 saying。

modern technological wonder -- (n.) 現代科技奇蹟。

complete package -- (n.) 完整的套裝旅遊。

water cruise -- (n.) 水上巡行;水上巡遊。這裡又用到 with 的複合結構,其理解方式與上述相同。


zombie bank

(名詞) 殭屍銀行:因負債大於資產而無法提供貸款,但由於政府支援而繼續營運的銀行。

There's a reasonable chance — not a certainty — that Citi and [Bank of America], together, will lose hundreds of billions over the next few years. And their capital, the excess of their assets over their liabilities, isn't remotely large enough to cover those potential losses.

Arguably, the only reason they haven't already failed is that the government is acting as a backstop, implicitly guaranteeing their obligations. But they're zombie banks, unable to supply the credit the economy needs.
—Paul Krugman, "Banking on the Brink," The New York Times, February 23, 2009


fit in; fit into; fit up; fix up; fizzle out; flag down; flag up; flake out; flame out; flame up

fit in
適應;適合;(跟...) 合得來
I didn't fit in with the other people working there so I left and found another job.

fit * in +
(有足夠的時間) 應付,處理,做某事;(有足夠的空間) 可以容納,裝得下
I didn't have time to fit in another appointment.

fit into +
(使) 適合,(使) 符合
Their ideas didn't fit into our plans.

fit * up +
陷害;給 (某人) 羅織罪名
The police fitted him up for dealing drugs.

fit * up
They fitted us up with the latest IT.

fix * up +
修復,裝修,翻新 (房子)
My neighbors are fixing their house up.

fix * up +
He fixed up an appointment for me to see a specialist.

fizzle out
最終失敗;終成泡影;毫無結果 (尤指順利開始以後)
The campaign started well, but fizzled out when they ran out of money.

flag * down +
揮旗或揮手示意...停車 (或...車停下來);招手攔 (車)
The police officer flagged the car down because it didn't have its headlights on.

flag * up +
提出 (某問題);凸顯 (某問題的重要性)
We should flag up working conditions at the meeting.

flake out
累得睡著了;(因疲倦而) 很快入睡
I worked till midnight then flaked out.

flame out
(公司、企業等) 倒閉
The company flamed out in the recession.

flame up
The wood flamed up in the fire.



(名詞) 網路捕鯨:透過惡意軟體 (malware) 有系統地竊取特定重要目標的機密文件。據稱,電腦一旦遭滲透植入惡意軟體,駭客即能控制遭駭電腦收發機密資料,甚至也能開啟它們的錄音錄影裝置,透過螢幕監視和竊聽其所在房間和四周的動靜。顯然地,這與隨機竊取電腦使用者個人財務和密碼資料的「網路釣魚」(phishing) 不同。

phishing -- (名詞/形容詞) 網路釣魚:一種網路騙術,騙徒利用複雜精密的技術建立仿冒自某著名大公司網站的網頁或以該公司的名義發出偽造的 email 來誘騙用戶送出個人財務資料 (如信用卡資料) 和密碼資料等。這個字之所以出現,是因為它跟 "fishing" 的發音相同,而 "to fish for information" 的意思就是「刺探情報」。此種網路騙術又稱為 spoofing,而這些騙徒則叫做 phishers。避免被 phishing 的秘訣有數項,茲將其中犖犖大者敘述於后:1. 若收到不明的電郵說你的帳號即將被關閉,除非你已確認個人的帳號資料,否則千萬不要回信或點按信件內文中的任何超連結。2. 在經由網站送出個人財務資料之前,務必先看看瀏覽器的狀態列上是否有個「大鎖」的圖示,若有,則表示資料在傳輸過程中是安全無虞的。3. 若你在不知不覺中提供了個人或財務資料,請立即與銀行和信用卡公司聯絡。

The malware is remarkable both for its sweep—in computer jargon, it has not been merely “phishing” for random consumers’ information, but “whaling” for particular important targets—and for its Big Brother-style capacities. It can, for example, turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of an infected computer, enabling monitors to see and hear what goes on in a room.
—John Markoff, " Vast spy system loots computers in 103 countries," The New York Times, March 28, 2009


talk and die syndrome

(名詞) 談話中猝死症:腦部創傷 (traumatic brain injury) 的人在受傷當時並無大礙,身體也不覺得有重大不適,照樣談笑風生,但一、兩天後即陷入嚴重昏迷並宣告不治的症狀。

Doctors have suggested that Richardson suffered from something called “talk and die” syndrome, in which bleeding that occurs between the skull and brain stem is delayed. Patients seem fine after the trauma and may think there is nothing wrong. However, as the condition in their brain deteriorates they, too, deteriorate and their chances for survival decrease.
—Heidi Turner, " Actress succumbs to traumatic brain injury,", March 19, 2009



(名詞/頭字語) 外國銀行帳戶的申報。這是 Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account 的頭字語,亦寫成 FBAR

I.R.S. (Internal Revenue Service):美國國稅局。

Under the plan, according to the person briefed on the issue, the I.R.S. will cut an onerous penalty for not filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account, known as an Fbar—something offshore tax evaders have not done.
—Lynnley Browning, "I.R.S. to offer deal to tax evaders," The New York Times, March 26, 2009


center-of-the-plate cost

(名詞) 昂貴的高蛋白質食物。plate 為「餐盤」之意。

Because whole grains offer long-lasting satisfaction, they offset what the hospitality industry calls “center-of-the-plate costs”—the expensive, high-protein foods, often rich in saturated fats, that are traditionally served in all too generous portions.
—Martha Rose Shulman, "Getting your grains — and greens, too," The New York Times, March 23, 2009


Ziggy the painting dog/狗畫家Ziggy

Rembrandt. Monet. Picasso. Van Gogh. To these great names, you can now add another: that of Ziggy, a three-year-old Pekingese dog who has taken the art world by storm.

Well, okay, not really. But he does make paintings, which real people actually buy, for money.

Ziggy the painting dog

Ziggy, who lives with his owner Elizabeth Monacelli in southern California, creates his masterpieces with the aid of a paper towel roll, which is attached to a paintbrush. Grasping the roll in his teeth, he creates abstract (i.e. blobby) works of art.

'He does have an extremely artistic temperament compared to other dogs I own,' Monacelli says. She also says that she usually plays him Chinese Qigong music to help get him in the artistic mood.

Ziggy's artworks have fetched up to $250 (around NT$8500) at auction, with the money going to animal rescue organisations. (Metro)

Ziggy the painting dog


Rembrandt. Monet. Picasso. Van Gogh -- (n.) 林布蘭 (荷蘭畫家);莫內 (法國畫家);畢卡索 (西班牙畫家);梵谷 (荷蘭畫家)。

Pekingese dog -- (n.) 北京狗。

take … by storm -- (v.) 在…大獲成功;完全征服;風靡。to take the art world by storm:在藝術界大放異彩。

masterpiece -- (n.) 傑作。

with the aid of -- (prep.) 藉助於;在…的協助下。

paper towel roll -- (n.) 紙巾捲筒。

grasp…in his teeth -- (v.) 用他的牙齒咬住。

abstract -- (adj.) 抽象的。

blobby -- (adj.) 斑斑點點的。

works of art -- (n.) 藝術作品。與最後一段的 artworks 同義。

artistic -- (adj.) 藝術的。

temperament -- (n.) 氣質;性情。

play him Chinese Qigong music -- (v.) 播放中國氣功音樂給他聽。這是 play 接雙受詞的句型,如 He played us a tune on the piano. (他在鋼琴上彈奏一首曲子給我們聽) = He played a tune for/to us on the piano. (他在鋼琴上為我們彈奏一首曲子)

fetch -- (v.) (尤指拍賣auction) 售得,賣得。The painting is expected to fetch up to $200,000. (這幅畫可望拍到20萬美元)。

animal rescue organization -- (n.) 動物救援組織。


tofu concrete

(名詞) 豆腐水泥:僅放置少數鋼筋或放置較小號鋼筋或混雜樹枝和其他雜物的水泥。豆腐水泥蓋建而成的房屋、橋樑及其他建築物遇上地震或颱風往往不堪一擊,應聲斷裂倒地。當然,這大多是官商勾結、偷工減料的結果。

The bodies of thousands of dead children were dragged from the rubble of Sichuan schools built on a base of what the Chinese call “tofu” concrete, chicken wire and unforgivable corruption, as builders grew wealthy producing what amounted to death traps.
—James McGregor, " China's dirty little secret in the global economic crisis," Forbes, March 18, 2009


drown in; drown out; drum into; drum out; drum up; duck out of; duff up; dumb down; dwell on/upon

drown * in
They drown the food in sauce.

drown * out +
(聲音) 壓過,蓋過
The music drowned out the sound of the phone ringing.

drum * into
They drum all the traps into you before the test, so you can't go wrong.

drum * out
They drummed the minister out when she was caught lying.
The minister was drummed out of her post for lying. (與 of 連用的被動態比較常用)

drum up +
They are trying to drum up support for the referendum.

duck out of +
避開;逃避 (計畫做或答應做的事情)
He ducked out of helping us last night.

duff * up +
He was duffed up in a night club last night.

dumb * down +
使...過於簡單化;(為了大眾化而) 降低素質
Television has been dumbing down the news for years.

dwell on/upon +
The programme dwelled on little other than the scandal.
She dwelt upon the economic situation in her speech.