1. YES,PRIME MINISTER 官话与趣言赏析

Isaac
2015-04-03 看过
PM=Prime Minister 首相
BW=Bernard woolley, Principal Private Secretary首相私人秘书
HA=Sir Humphrey Appleby, Permanent Secretary of the cabinet 内阁常务秘书

1. “可怜的PM?”
(P8)“(Cassette), it was the only thing in the world that was willing to listen to him uncritically.”
(这是作者对PM的辛辣的讽刺。虽然民主政体中, PM总会面对来自各方的批评。但是如果“没有一个人不批评”那就可见PM的糟了。)

2. “那无止境的从句”
(1)(P13) “I’m sure that if, you know, it’s about something you should know, assuming that, you know, you didn’t know about it already, then obviously, when you can know will be when Sir Humphrey really knows.”
PM问BW, HA去和别人聊天,究竟谈了什么?BW扯了一大堆废话,其实就一个意思:你该知道的,会让你知道的!不该知道的,你想知道也不能知道!
(2) (P64) “What else don’t I know about the defense of the UK?” I asked Bernard. “I don’t know, Prime Minister. I don’t know what you don’t know.” (P184) “I knew that he knew, and he knew that I knew that he knew that I knew.” 把这类话说下去,是极其挑战脑力极限的。。。

3. “YES ? NO?”
(1)(P25.节选) BW:“ I have heard there is£1 million worth of diamonds in a Downing Street safe. But of course, it’s only a rumor.”
   PM: “Is that true?” BW: “Oh yes.” PM: “So there are all those diamonds in Downing Street.” BW looked surprised: “are there?”
PM was confused. “You said there were!” BW: “I didn’t…I said yes, it was true that it was a rumor.” PM: “No, you said you’d heard it was true.” BW: “No, I said it was true that I heard it.”
以上BW典型的学究官僚式回答,诡辩的代表作。不像汉语里直来直往的“是”或者“不”,英语里的YES 和 NO 可以制造很多的模棱两可.比如:
(2)(P79) I told him, ‘I probably wouldn’t use it.’ ‘They don’t know that you probably wouldn’t use it.’ He argued. ‘They probably do,’ I said.


4. “敬语”
(1) (P76) Bernard, bless his heart, intervened in his usual pedantic and obsessive fashion. ‘Um…with respect, Sir Humphrey,’ he began disrespectfully,
大家都知道“With respect”是常用的无聊敬语。。。更绝的是,这居然能成为两个人观点交锋时非常喜爱的陈词滥调:
(2) (P94) “With respect, PM…” “With all due respect, Humphrey…” “With great respect, PM…” “With the greatest respect, Humphrey…” “With the greatest possible respect, PM…” “You may regret that remark….”

5. “陈词滥调”
(P99)“We want to build a bright future for our children. We want to build a peaceful and prosperous Britain. A Britain that can hold her head high in the fellowship of nations” --- PM: “..Where do we got this good (speech draft)? ” “the last Party Political by the Leader of the Opposition.” 看来,在不同党派之间在陈词滥调上很容易达成一致!

6. “精算师”
为什么不严格控烟?成本核算。 (P195) HA: “ We have gone into that, it’s been shown that, if those extra people(smoker died in each year) had lived to a ripe old age, they would have cost us even more in pensions and social security than they did in medical treatment. So, financially, it is unquestionably better that they continue to die at about the present rate.”



7.“对媒体的态度”
(1)“ there was a lot of media speculation. You remember” PM:“Vaguely.”
“It was terrible irresponsible and ill-informed.”
PM:“ You mean the press hinted that he was a spy.” “YES.”
PM:“ But he was a spy.” “Yes, but the press didn’t know that! They were being typically ignorant and irresponsible. They just happened to be accurate, that’s all
无论你媒体拥有的是否是真相,只要你拥有的是我不想让你知道的东西,那你就不叫拥有真相。
(2) (P319) “Why don’t we expel seventy-six Soviet diplomats.This has been the practice in the past, when we wished to ensure that the press lose interest in some other matter.” 这招的精髓,其实现在也适用。因为媒体往往缺乏对一个议题持续的关注度。

8. “省事的外交”
 (P259) ALAN (Permanent Secretary of MOD) said “I’d be less worried if it were a Russian invasion….the MOD knows what it would have to do to repel a Russian invasion…..we could repel it? Of course not….But at least the MOD don’t have to do any more thinking about it.”

9.“内阁集体决策”?
(P279) “Collective responsibility means that when we do something popular they all leak (to the press) the fact that it was their idea, and when we do something unpopular they leak the fact that they were against it. This country is governed by the principle of collective irresponsibility.”

10. “感谢葬礼“
(P340) PM: “In fact, this funeral (for my predecessor) will be a heaven-sent opportunity. Literally! Much better than a summit, because there are no prior expectations. The public don’t expect their leaders to return from a funeral with test ban agreements or farm quota reductions. So we can actually have serious negotiations, whereas a ‘summit’ is just a public relations circus in which the press never give the politicians a real chance… 因为是葬礼,媒体对领导人往往没那么多期待,可能这更方便领导人之间的会谈。后面PM甚至调侃:下次需要协商复杂问题的时候,真希望谁再归天。。。
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