英 語 の 勉 強 ⑴

在二次大戰戰後英文勢力勃興的年代,形容一個人的英文很好,往往說 “某人的英文修養很好”。英文好,似乎連人格都高尚了起來。

由於說的是英文修養很好,而不是英語修養很好,尤其如此形容大都來自知識份子,因此其意涵在下意識之間或許也包含了背後的整個文化。從字面看當然言過其實,而如果能夠以整個歐美的文明做大背景,起碼就個人而言,覺得應該是不錯的形容。

或許是身居國外所引來的美麗誤會,吾友 H教授在去年中送來這篇東西期待我研讀 ﹕

原文請參閱 ﹕http://www.peirce.org/writings/p119.html

〔Consider what effects, that might, conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object. 值得一記,經典不是看一遍就懂。不只要耐心, 還很需要緣分. 真的. 〕— H教授

下面是當時全文半途而廢的一點點片段而簡陋的翻譯,難以為繼的原因除了英文底子本來就不行之外,還有一個原因當然是連學術背景也沒有。H教授如此抬舉,貼在這裡自警也已經太遲,算是給後進的一點鞭策吧。

人類龐大的文化、文明遺產不易盡享,尤其 IQ 不是 1 5 0 以上,能窺其堂奧就已經是莫大的福份。於是你就會發覺物質上的財富很容易讓人走上資產過多所帶來的歧途 — 自視過高及其背後靈。這是有錢人必需提高的警覺。如同聽古典音樂一般,對財富等這些俗世的東西的追求往往失去興趣,可能又是必需面對的dilemma — 這也是中國在文明、文化的發展方向上,有異於歐美日的原因吧。
https://www.facebook.com/MAJIAN1953/videos/10152080121628228/

其它與 H 的很多討論,由於容易令人誤以為寡人太蠢,這裡只能從略了。
——

WHOEVER has looked into a modern treatise on logic of the common sort, will doubtless remember the two distinctions between clear and obscure conceptions, and between distinct and confused conceptions. They have lain in the books now for nigh two centuries, unimproved and unmodified, and are generally reckoned by logicians as among the gems of their doctrine.

任何人只要一進入一般的哲學著述,無疑的就會想起兩樣區別 “清晰” 與 “含糊” ,以及 “獨特” 與 “混淆” 的概念。這些躺在書裡已經兩世紀,無進展,未修改,而且一般的為埋首於如珠玉般教義的邏輯家們所忽視。

A clear idea is defined as one which is so apprehended that it will be recognized wherever it is met with, and so that no other will be mistaken for it. If it fails of this clearness, it is said to be obscure.

一個清晰的想法,被定義為﹕無論在何處被碰到都很容易被認識而被理解,也因此不容易被弄錯。如果失去如此的 “清晰”, 就被視為 “含糊” 。

This is rather a neat bit of philosophical terminology; yet, since it is clearness that they were defining, I wish the logicians had made their definition a little more plain. Never to fail to recognize an idea,and under no circumstances to mistake another for it, let it come in how recondite a form it may, would indeed imply such prodigious force and clearness of intellect as is seldom met with in this world.

這比較是簡潔一點的哲學術語 ﹔“清晰” 既然是被如此定義,希望邏輯家們能將之定義得更簡單一些。不要去錯解一個想法,而且無論在任何情況下都不錯解 another for it, 使之高深如同原樣

‧當邏輯家談到 “清晰” 的時候,他們的意思不會超過對這個 “想法” 的熟悉度。………………

A distinct idea is defined as one which contains nothing which is not clear. This is technical language; by the contents of an idea logicians understand whatever is contained in its definition. So that an idea is distinctly apprehended, according to them, when we can give a precise definition of it, in abstract terms.

“獨特的想法” 被定義為不包含任何不清晰。這是技術語言 ﹔從 想法的內涵,邏輯家就可以瞭解到 這個定義 裡頭的意涵。如此,這個想法 就被理解。根據這些,我們就可以以抽象的形式給予精確的定義。

‧我們要求邏輯首先必需教我們的是 “如何讓我們的想法清晰”,而最重要的是這卻往往為真正需要它的頭腦所輕忽。去知曉我們如何思考,並主宰我們自身的意義,就能夠成就夠好、夠份量的思想。對思路簡單而受限的人來說,學起來更容易。更遠快樂於無可救藥的沉溺於富涵各種概念的泥淖。一個國家,實在的說,……… 得以克服過多的語言財產,及其必然附帶的弊害,以及豐富而深不可測的思路。
——————

O K ﹗上面那一篇猜你也看不懂。這一篇消氣解痰,來自 RV Times ﹕http://www.rvtimes.ca/

此類文字最適合個人需要。其特點一是切合自己的程度,再來是切合自己的興趣。這是不是屬於加拿大幽默不清楚,不過媽姆很不爽這一點倒是很肯定的。
‥‥

Those Darn Seniors !

A married couple was traveling by car from Victoria to Prince George, BC .

Being seniors, after almost 11 hours on the road, they were too tired to continue and decided to take a room. But they only planned to sleep for four hours and then get back on the road. 阿公阿嬤長途旅遊開車累了,打算 QK 四小時。

When they checked out four hours later, the desk clerk handed them a bill for $350.
旅店帳單 $350

The husband exploded and demanded to know why the charge was so high. He told the clerk although it’s a nice hotel, the room certainly wasn’t worth $350 for four hours. Then the clerk told him that $350 was the “standard rate”.
阿公說怎麼這麼貴?

He insisted on speaking to the Manager. The Manager appeared, listened to him, and then explained that the hotel had an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference centre that were available for them to use. “But we didn’t use them,” the husband said.
經理說:「我們有很多設施,是家高級飯店。」阿公說:「可是我們沒去用。」

“Well, they are here, and you could have,” explained the Manager.
經理說:「不用是你家的事。」

The Manager went on to explain that the couple could also have taken in one of the shows for which the hotel is famous.

“We have the best entertainers from New York , Hollywood, and Las Vegas perform here,” the Manager says.

“But we didn’t go to any of those shows,” the husband said.

“Well, we have them, and you could have,” the Manager replied.

No matter what amenity the Manager mentioned, the husband replied, “But we didn’t use it !”

The Manager was unmoved, and eventually the husband gave up and agreed to pay, so asked his wife to write the cheque. She did and gave it to the Manager.
阿公沒辦法,就要阿嬤開支票。

The Manager was surprised when he looked at the cheque. “But ma’am, this is made out for only $50.”
經理嚇一跳:「怎麼只有 $50!?」

“That’s correct. I charged you $300 for sleeping with me,” she replied.
「與我春風一度,收你 $300,」阿嬤說。

“But I didn’t!” exclaimed the Manager.
「可是我沒有啊。」經理說。

“Well, too bad. I was here, and you could have.”
「拍寫,我就在這裡,不用是你家的事!」

Don’t mess with senior citizens.
不要跟老人亂來,

They didn’t get there by being stupid !
能混到今天不會是傻瓜 ﹗
‥‥

Ma’am 的老乳脯,咬,或沒咬,價錢就是 $300。結局應該是 ma’am 揚長而去 — 老頭子跟在後面,心情、表情則不可知。

個人認為這對 Seniors 是錯誤的一方;阿公阿媽兩人要 Q K 多久是你們家的事,旅店收費有一定的規則,就如同 Manager 也有問題一般 — 事情是需要事先搞清楚地。不用不是白白不用了嗎 ﹖﹗

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