好誇、過火位

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24/01/2016

好誇、過火位 毛孟靜

Beyond the pale,是批評一個人的行為過了界線,甚至是文明的準繩,總之是「離晒大譜」。出奇的,是個pale 字,這不是解做蒼白嗎,怎麼會跟離譜扯上關係呢?

He would cheat his own father. That’s seriously beyond the pale. 他連自己父親也欺騙,確是大大過了(人倫)界線。

話說舊時英國有一款土地劃界,包括一行行的籬笆,就叫做pale。出了這pale,就像放棄了原有的規矩法律,就屬胡來一族。

The comments he made were quite beyond the pale. 他的評論確也太出格了。

這句話,可以是隨口的批評。但要小心,一些看似同類的句子,視乎上文下理,亦可以好「大單」。像這句:

They have placed themselves beyond the pale. 他們已把自己圈出人性、文明的範疇。

也即是說,這款離晒大譜,非常重頭,跟日常說的over the top 有點分別。Over the top, 簡稱OTT, 往往不過是形容exaggerated 好誇、excessive 過龍。

The chairman’s welcoming speech was a bit OTT. 主席的歡迎詞有點過了火位。

I thought the decorations were way over the top. 我認為這副佈置實在太誇張了。

We are bored of his over-the-top attempts at humour. 我們厭倦了他那些誇張過龍、自以為幽默的一套。

純粹要說某人某事過分了,不想用OTT,可以講out of line,主要是說不適當的、不合社交禮節的,總之是不禮貌的行為。

He openly laughed at the over-sized man,calling him names. That was so out of line.他公開取笑那個大碼男子,叫他渾名。那實在太過分了。

英文的line,亦即規範界線。都聽過吧,一些線,包括底線,是不應過也過不了的:

There are things that we don’t do and lines we don’t cross.生活總有許多條隱隱的準繩,beyond the pale、over the top 及out of line 基本上都是叫人不要過界。相反, 完全不講規矩,anything goes,漫無疆界,至不擇手段,係no holds barred。

A no-holds-barred debate. 這是一場不講規矩的辯論。

No holds barred 的holds 源自摔角,是說抓或捉對手,任何款式的holds 或grabs 都得到容許。

Look at him. Fiercely independent and strong. No holds barred about getting what he wants. 看他,非常獨立而強大。他要什麼都會不擇手段得到。

也有正面的講法:

I’m looking forward to living a life with no holds barred and not worrying about having to say the right thing. 我期望無拘無束的生活,不必顧慮總要說對的話。

 

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