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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K346: 疫情相關語彙不斷擴增Our Ever-Expanding Virus Vernacular

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K346: Our Ever-Expanding Virus Vernacular

The coronavirus pandemic has upended all kinds of human behavior, including speech. Conversations are mediated by masks and screens, their sentences strung together with new vocabulary: medical terms, political mandates and slang devised to take the clinical edge off.

新冠肺炎大流行顛覆了包括言語在內的各種人類行為。對話中都看到口罩和螢幕,他們的句子與新的詞彙串在一起:醫學術語,政治命令和俚語,旨在讓大眾更容易吸收。

This new vernacular has many people playing virologist in the group chat, with talk of contact tracing and antibody tests; planning “socially distant” activities like Zoom birthday parties and drive-by greetings; and tweeting about life under “quar,” a pet name for “quarantine”.

這些新的俚語讓很多人在社群中聊天時可以扮演病毒學家,談論接觸者追蹤和抗體測試,以及計劃「社交距離」活動,如在Zoom生日派對和駕車遠距問候;並在推特上發佈關於“quar”下的生活,“quar”是“隔離”的暱稱。

“‘Self-isolation,’‘social distancing,’‘abundance of caution’— pairs of words I'd never seen together in a sentence back in January have become ubiquitous,” she writes. These phrases are moving “even faster than the virus, eye to mind, ear to mouth, disseminated by our iPhone screens and televisions.”

“'自我隔離','社交距離','大量的謹慎'——這些詞我在一月份時從未在一句話中看到過,現在開口兩句話些詞已經變得無處不在,”她寫道。這些片語正在以「比病毒更快,眼睛到思想,耳朵到嘴巴,通過我們的iPhone螢幕和電視傳播中。」

The proliferation of neologisms and jargon was significant enough to merit updates to the Oxford English Dictionary in April, beyond the dictionary's standard quarterly updates.

新詞和俚語的成長足以使牛津英語詞典在四月份進行更新,超出了原來該詞典的標準的季度更新。

“Social change brings about linguistic change,” said Fiona McPherson, a senior editor at the OED. “These are permanent additions to our vocabulary.”

“社會變遷帶來了語言上的改變,”OED的高級編輯菲奧娜·麥克弗森(Fiona McPherson)說。“這些都是永久的加入我們詞彙中“。

She noted, though, that many of the words aren't new; rather, their use has become more frequent, their meanings shifted in the new context of the pandemic. “Social distancing,” “self-isolation” and “coronavirus” date back decades, even centuries.

不過,她指出,許多詞並不新鮮。相反,它們的使用變得更加頻繁,它們的含義在大流行的新背景下發生了變化。“社交距離”,“自我隔離”和“新冠病毒”可以追溯到幾十年前,甚至幾個世紀。

McPherson said a lexicographer's job is to be “descriptive, not prescriptive. We're telling the story of what the words mean, but they only mean that because that's how people are using them. And the stories are never completely finished.”

麥克弗森說,詞典編輯者的工作是“描述性的,而不是規範性的。我們講述的是這些詞的含義,但它們只是因為這就是人們使用它們的方式。故事永遠不會完全結束。

Gretchen McCulloch, a linguist and the author of “Because Internet,” raised the example of “face mask,” which a few months ago may have called to mind an at-home skin care treatment. Now, the phrase immediately evokes the protective mouth and nose covering people have been encouraged to wear to prevent viral transmission.

語言學家、《為何網際網路》(Why Internet)一書的作者格雷琴·麥卡洛克(Gretchen McCulloch)舉了一個“口罩”的例子,幾個月前,這種面膜可能讓人想起了一種家庭臉部護理。現在,這句話立即喚起了人們被鼓勵戴上保護性口鼻罩以防止病毒傳播的防護服。

This evolution in the language can be seen as well in the rhetoric of care providers and politicians, which varies by region. The states are“on pause”or working to“flatten the curve,”their residents told to“stay at home,”“shelter in place”or remain“healthy at home.”

這種語言的演變也可以從護理人員和政治家的言論中看到,這些言論因地區而異。各州正在「暫停」或努力「拉平曲線」,他們的居民被告知「留在家裡」,“就地避難”或保持“健康在家中”。

The World Health Organization has recommended that“physical distancing”replace“social distancing” because it more accurately describes the goal of keeping a physical distance while still encouraging safe, remote social connection, which is imperative for mental health.

世界衛生組織建議“保持身體距離”取代“社交距離”,因為它更準確地描述了保持身體距離的目標,同時仍然鼓勵安全,遠端的社交活動,這對心理健康至關重要。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/4602077

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