E-book, ebook, eBook

電子書的英文全名叫做 electronic book,但簡寫為 e-book、ebook 或 eBook。eBook 逐漸過時或幾近走入歷史,至少平面出版品都已經不用。自 2012 年初以降,美國、加拿大和澳洲那些有發行網路版的新聞出版品一律使用加連字號、沒有大寫的 e-book。與此同時,英國大多數有網路版的新聞出版品則使用拼成一個字的 ebook。

一個字的拼法很有可能成為放諸四海皆準、全世界普遍使用的標準拼法,就如同 email 和 website 等字的發展一樣。然而,美國一些刊物仍抗拒使用科技名詞較新的拼法。譬如說,深具影響力的《紐約時報》(New York Times) 一直不動如山,迄今仍使用 20 世紀的拼法,即 e-mail、Web site 等,因此吾人可能還是不要期待他們會很快捨棄 e-book 而改用 ebook。此外,ebook 尚未通過拼字檢查,Microsoft Word 會在其下標示紅線,這對 e-book 有利。所以我們現在只能拭目以待這個字最後演變的結果。

當 ebook 和 e-book 位在句子開頭的第一個字時,它們跟其他任何字一樣也要大寫,如 Ebooks on English learning are popular. (關於英文學習的電子書現在正夯);E-books of this kind are free. (這種電子書是免費的)。如果你堅持使用 eBook,那麼最好改寫句子以避免它出現在句子的開頭。

註:若干編輯方針保守的刊物仍然偏愛 e-mail 而不用 email,但大多數英語系國家都已採用沒有連字號的拼法。在 Google News 的搜尋中,email 和 e-mail 出現的比例至少都是 6 比 1,與幾年前的情況大異其趣。在新聞寫作以外的領域,沒有連字號的拼法甚至更常見。

英語新聞一點通:小心「水果未爆彈」就在你身邊!

Danger – Unexploded Fruit!

It’s hot now in Taiwan and the summer weather means melons are everywhere: sliced melon, chilled melon, and, of course, ice-cold melon drinks. All these are absolutely delicious, and all completely normal. However, in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, melons have been behaving in a totally abnormal way: they have been exploding! Some farmers have been using a growth hormone called forchlorfenuron. Since forchlorfenuron is a plant hormone, it’s not usually dangerous to humans and is used safely in a number of countries, including Australia. The exploding problem, however, seems to have multiple causes. The fruit growers applied the chemical to mature melons, not young ones. Then, there were heavy rains which plumped up the fruit. Finally, the type of melon the farmers had planted had much thinner skins than normal. The result was not a booming rural economy, but booming melons!

小心「水果未爆彈」就在你身邊!

近來台灣已進入炎熱的夏天,這代表吃西瓜的季節到了! 民眾隨處可見切片的西瓜、冰涼的西瓜,還有廣受歡迎的西瓜汁,這些都是常見又好吃的西瓜。然而,中國東部江蘇省所生產的西瓜最近卻出現不尋常的現象:西瓜爆炸了! 有些農夫在栽種植物時會使用植物生長調節劑,也就是一種植物荷爾蒙;它對於人體無害且許多國家 (例如澳洲) 都非常小心地使用在農作物上。這起西瓜爆炸事件似乎是由多種因素引起,這些植物生長劑是噴灑在已成熟而非剛種植的西瓜上;緊接著,大雨使這些西瓜變大;最後,這些農夫種植的西瓜瓜皮就顯得比一般西瓜更薄。很明顯地,這個栽種方式並未帶來蓬勃發展的農村經濟,反而卻引發造成砰砰巨響的西瓜爆炸事件!

字彙

  • sliced 切片的
  • squeezed 擠壓的
  • abnormal 異常的
  • forchlorfenuron 植物生長調節劑
  • hormone 荷爾蒙
  • multiple 多樣的
  • plump up 變大;變胖
  • rural 鄉村的

解讀

The writer finishes the article with a pun. He uses one word (booming) with two meanings. A ‘’ booming economy’’ means an economy that is doing well. ‘’Booming melons’’ mean melons making a loud noise as they explode.

作者以雙關語作為本文的結尾,文中提到的「booming」一詞有兩個意思:「booming economy」用以形容蓬勃發展的經濟;「Booming melons」則是形容西瓜在爆炸時發出巨大的聲響。

文句練習

  1. You need ___________ bread to make toast.
  2. If you press a toothpaste tube to get the toothpaste out, the tube is ________________.
  3. The recent flooding in the southern US was a result of _________________ weather.
  4. _________________ is the chemical name of a plant hormone.
  5. A _______________ is a chemical substance in living things which affects their growth and development.
  6. There are _______________ ways to answer an essay question.
  7. Pillows are more comfortable if you _____ them ___ first.
  8. Many people in Taipei have relations in ______________ areas.

文句練習解答

  1. sliced
  2. squeezed
  3. abnormal
  4. Forchlorfenuron
  5. hormone
  6. multiple
  7. plump (them) up
  8. rural

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:去外太空旅行? 維京航空讓你美夢成真

How about a holiday in space?

In the 1968 movie, 2001 a Space Odyssey, travelling to the moon is normal. We see a passenger (who may be a scientist) sleeping in a large American spaceship. Soon, this fantasy could become reality; however it will certainly be different. For one thing, it will be in a much smaller spacecraft. One company promising to provide flights is Virgin Galactic, owned by British business man Richard Branson. For another, the flights will be shorter, at around an hour and a half. What’s more, passengers will only travel to the edge of space. There, they will experience three to four minutes of weightlessness before returning to earth. But in another way, the flights may be similar. Scientists are excited that tickets cost just NT$5,756,361. This means they will be able to do cheaper and more frequent experiments in near space than they can now. The day when we can all afford holidays in space may not be far away.

去外太空旅行? 維京航空讓你美夢成真

在1968拍攝的「2001年太空漫遊」電影場景中,到月球旅行是一件很平常的事,片中有一位乘客(可能是科學家)在大型的美籍太空船中呼呼大睡。再過不久,這個美夢或許可以成真,但旅行的方式將稍有不同。首先,你可能會搭乘比電影中所見更小型的太空船,維京航空英籍總裁理查布蘭森正計劃推出太空航程。此外,實際的航程可能較短,大約一個半小時。最主要的不同點是:乘客只能到達太空的邊緣。在返回地球之前,乘客將可以體驗三到四分鐘的無重力感,大致而言,實際的太空航程和電影中的情節相似。科學家們對於票價僅需新台幣$5,756,361元感到非常興奮,這表示他們將可以更便宜的方式在近太空進行更多的實驗,而大眾以負擔得起的價錢到外太空旅行也將指日可待。

字彙

  • odyssey 漫遊
  • moon 月球
  • fantasy 幻想;夢想
  • spaceship 太空船
  • flight航行;飛機
  • edge of space 太空邊緣
  • weightlessness 失重
  • experiment 實驗

解讀

The writer uses three informal phrases to list the differences between passenger experience in the movie and in the Virgin spaceship. They are, ‘For one thing’ (Firstly); ‘For another’ (Secondly) and ’What’s more’ (The most important difference is…)

作者使用了三個非正式的片語列出電影中的乘客與維京航空乘客的不同經驗。例如:「For one thing」表示「首先」,「For another」表示「第二點、此外」,「What’s more」則代表「最主要的不同點是…」。

文句練習

  1. Scientists have discovered a new _________________ that humans might be able to live on.
  2. The film is about one man’s _______________ to find the mother he lost when he was born.
  3. The ______________ was delayed because of a terrible storm.
  4. An _______________is a type of test to learn something, or to discover if something works, or if something is true.
  5. Another word for spacecraft is _____________________.
  6. Many people enjoy the ________________ of imagining that they have lots of money.
  7. The word for having no weight is ____________________.
  8. 100 kilometers above the earth is the ___________________.

文句練習解答

  1. moon
  2. odyssey
  3. flight
  4. experiment
  5. spaceship
  6. fantasy
  7. weightlessness
  8. edge of space

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:電動自行車大幅減低城市污染

Electric Bikes Clean Up

In Taipei, scooters are both popular and ubiquitous. They offer quick, cheap transportation and easy parking. However, they are also responsible for air and noise pollution. Is there any alternative to these two problems? The answer may be the electric bicycle. On Xiamen Island in China, the government has banned scooters but allows people to purchase electric bicycles. These machines carry people around silently and do not emit any exhaust. According to China’s environmental protection standards, Xiamen’s air is classed as first rate. Is every one happy? No, they are not. Both the Xiamen traffic department and local residents agree that the growing number of electric bicycles is causing more accidents. Banning them seems unlikely. Instead, better driver education and stricter enforcement of existing laws are necessary. This should help this quiet and clean alternative to the scooter continue to transport people around Xiamen.

電動自行車大幅減低城市污染

摩托車在台北地區是非常熱門且普遍的交通工具,它讓民眾可以快速地到達目的地、花費不高又易於找到停車位。然而,摩托車也帶來了空氣及噪音污染。我們是否可以使用其他的交通工具,以避免這些污染呢?騎乘電動自行車或許是最佳的替代方案。中國廈門地區的政府單位明文禁止民眾騎乘摩托車,卻允許大家購買電動自行車。電動自行車在行進中安靜無聲且不會排放廢氣,根據中國環境保護法規評估的結果,廈門的空氣品質名列優等,民眾是否因此而感到滿意呢?答案是:「不滿意」。廈門的交通主管機關及當地居民認為日漸增加的電動自行車也造成更多的車禍,若要禁止民眾騎乘電動自行車似乎不可行,而提供更完善的駕駛教育並嚴格執法卻是必要的,如此一來,這個無噪音又可減低污染的摩托車替代品即可持續地為廈門民眾提供服務。

字彙

  • ubiquitous 普及的
  • alternative 替代品;可供選擇的事物
  • banned 禁止
  • purchase 購買
  • emit exhaust 排放廢氣
  • first rate 優等;一流的
  • stricter enforcement 嚴格執法
  • existing laws 現行法律

解讀

The writer uses two questions to keep you interested. ‘Is there any alternative to these two problems?’ and, ‘Is every one happy?’. These questions are called rhetorical questions. You do not have to answer them, because the writer will.

作者在本文中使用了兩個問句「Is there any alternative to these two problems?」以及「Is every one happy?」來引起讀者閱讀的興趣,這些問句稱為修辭疑問句,具有加強語氣的作用,你並不需要回答這些問句,因為作者將在文中自行回答。

文句練習

  1. Convenience stores are _______________ in Taipei.
  2. Despite the _______________________ which say every one riding a scooter should wear a helmet, some riders don’t.
  3. Once the Gangshan extension to the Kaohsiung MRT is completed, commuters will have an ___________________ to buses and taxis.
  4. Bringing weapons into Taiwan is ___________________.
  5. Since July 1992, motor scooters have not been allowed to ______________________ above strict levels, set by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) of Taiwan.
  6. To __________________ the best fruit in Taiwan, some people say you must go to Taidong.
  7. ________________________ of the law which says all employees should be paid overtime would raise many salaries.
  8. From the top floor of Taipei 101, you can get ________________ views of the city.

文句練習解答

  1. ubiquitous
  2. existing laws
  3. alternative
  4. banned
  5. emit exhaust
  6. purchase
  7. Stricter enforcement
  8. first rate

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:法國防暴警察不滿禁酒新措施

French Riot Police Fume at Booze Ban

French workers are well-known for enjoying very generous labour laws. One of their rights is to have a glass of wine with their lunch. This extends to the country’s infamous riot police (the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, or CRS). Until now they have been able to enjoy a glass of wine or beer with their lunch, even when they are on duty.

However, last year a group of them were photographed swigging cans of beer in the street while policing a student protest. As a result, they have been officially banned from enjoying a lunchtime tipple. The CRS are furious. They argue that having a glass of wine at lunchtime is central to French culture. A spokesman for a police union said that a lunchtime drink does not prevent any worker from doing his job. ‘I don’t think the chief of police drinks water when he’s having a meal’ he added angrily.

法國防暴警察不滿禁酒新措施

法國的勞工以享有寬鬆的勞工法規而聞名全球,勞工的其中一項權利是午餐時間可以飲酒。法國聲名狼藉的防暴警察也適用這項法律,他們在午餐時間可以飲酒或喝啤酒,即使當時正在執勤也無所謂。

然而,去年有一群法國警察被拍到在學生的抗爭行動上維持秩序時豪飲啤酒,因此,法律正式禁止警察在午餐時間飲酒。防暴警察們對於這項決議感到相當憤怒,他們認為在午餐時間飲酒對於法國文化而言非常重要,警察工會的發言人表示,在午餐時間飲酒並不會影響勞工值勤,他非常憤怒的說:「我想警長在用餐時間應該不會選擇飲用白開水吧!」

字彙

  • riot police 防暴警察
  • ban 禁止;禁令
  • infamous 聲名狼藉的
  • on duty 執勤
  • protest 抗爭行動
  • furious 憤怒的
  • spokesman 發言人
  • union 工會

解讀

This article uses several informal expressions related to drinking. These make it more entertaining to the reader. We have booze – alcoholic drinks, swigging – drinking quickly in large mouthfuls, and tipple – a gentle sounding word for an alcoholic drink.

本文使用了與飲酒相關的非正式片語,這些用語可以使讀者在閱讀文章時覺得較為有趣。文中提到的「booze」代表含有酒精的飲料、「swigging」是指快速地大口飲酒、「tipple」則是以較委婉的方式形容含有酒精的飲料。

文句練習

  1. The government is going to ______ smoking in all public places.
  2. She joined the teachers ______ in order to protect her rights.
  3. He is an ______ traitor in our country’s history.
  4. A ______ for the company answered questions from journalists.
  5. Students are organising an anti-war ______.
  6. Hundreds of ______ surrounded the square to stop people from entering.
  7. Police usually have to wear uniforms when they are______.
  8. My mother was ______ with me for not telling her where I was.

文句練習解答

  1. ban
  2. union
  3. infamous
  4. spokesman
  5. protest
  6. riot police
  7. on duty
  8. furious

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:英國威廉王子與凱特突破王室傳統

Kate and Wills Break Tradition

Viewers of today’s royal wedding between Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton may have a feeling of déjà vu. As in previous weddings, the couple will travel to Westminster Abbey in London with a parade and horse-drawn carriages. The ceremony will be attended by heads of state and international royalty.

However, in some ways the wedding will be far from traditional. The wedding is thoroughly connected on facebook, twitter and YouTube. More importantly, for only the second time in British history, an heir to the throne will marry someone from outside the aristocracy. Although the Middletons are now extremely rich, they are nouveau riche. Kate Middleton’s father made a fortune from an on-line business. Kate’s parents met when they were both working in low-paid jobs for British Airways, and Kate’s grandfather was a lorry driver. It seems today’s fairy-tale wedding reflects the changing values of British society.

英國威廉王子與凱特突破王室傳統

民眾在觀看英國威廉王子與凱特於今天舉行的皇家婚禮時,可能會覺得這個場景似曾相識。根據皇家婚禮的傳統,新人通常會搭乘馬車、隨著遊行隊伍前往位於倫敦的西敏寺,國家元首與來自全球的皇家貴賓都將出席典禮。

然而,威廉王子與凱特將突破王室傳統,兩人婚禮的相關消息已遍佈「facebook臉書」、「twitter推特」以及「YouTube」網站;更重要的是,這將是英國史上第二次英國王儲迎娶來自平民階層的準王妃。雖然密道頓家族已相當富有,他們卻是所謂的新貴;凱特的父親因為網路事業而致富,凱特的父母在任職於英國航空的基層工作時認識彼此,且她的祖父只是一名貨車司機。今天,如童話故事一般的幸福婚禮反映出英國社會的價值觀正在改變。

字彙

  • parade 遊行
  • ceremony 典禮儀式
  • head of state 國家元首
  • connected 連接的
  • heir 繼承者
  • aristocracy 貴族
  • reflect 反映

解讀

Many French expressions are commonly used in English. They can give the writing style and colour. Here we have déjà vu – to feel you have seen something before, and nouveau riche – newly rich.

通常英文的文章中會使用許多法文片語,使文章的寫作風格與內容更加多元化。本文使用「déjà vu」一詞表示「覺得似乎曾經看過某些事物」;「nouveau riche」一詞則代表「新貴」。

文句練習

  1. Our classroom is fully ______; it has laptops and an interactive whiteboard.
  2. Violence in film ______ violence in society.
  3. In Taiwan, the president is the ______.
  4. All of these estates were owned by members of the ______.
  5. When he died, he left his son as his only ______.
  6. On National Day, there is a military ______ in front of the president’s office.
  7. My whole family came to my university graduation ______

文句練習解答

  1. connected
  2. reflects
  3. head of state
  4. aristocracy
  5. heir
  6. parade
  7. ceremony

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:象牙海岸政局動盪不安

Uneasy Peace on the Ivory Coast

Along with the civil war in Libya, the small African country of the Ivory Coast has also been gripped by turmoil. Back in November, an election monitored by the UN took power from the then president, Laurent Gbagbo. The winner of the election, Alessandro Ouattara, was supposed to take power in December. However, Gbagbo refused to go, and Alessandro Ouattara’s supporters took to the streets.

Sporadic fighting began, and in January, the UN stepped in. French and other UN forces backed up Ouattara’s supporters as they advanced on the capital. Despite their help, however, it was only this week that saw Alessandro finally acknowledged as president. But the fighting is not yet over. Instead, Gbagbo’s supporters across the country have gone to the barricades themselves. Although Gbagbo himself has been imprisoned, it seems that the troubled country is not yet fully at peace.

象牙海岸政局動盪不安

隨著利比亞爆發內戰以來,非洲小國象牙海岸也陷入動亂。去年11月,象牙海岸在聯合國的監督之下舉行總統大選,當時的總統葛巴保落敗。贏得選戰的瓦塔哈原本預計於12月上任,前總統葛巴保卻拒絕下台,導致瓦塔哈的支持者上街抗爭。

由於象牙海岸境內的零星衝突不斷,聯合國隨即於今年1月介入,當瓦塔哈的支持者前進至首都時,法國和聯合國其他會員國紛紛提供支援。雖然各國持續聲援瓦塔哈,他卻直至本週才獲得大眾承認其總統的身份。然而,內戰尚未結束,效忠葛巴保的支持者仍充斥街頭,並與新政府對立;雖然葛巴保已遭到監禁,這個政局動盪不安的國家似乎仍無法獲得真正的和平。

字彙

  • turmoil 動亂;混亂
  • sporadic 零星的;分散的
  • back up 支援;支持
  • advance on 前進
  • acknowledge 承認
  • imprison 監禁

解讀

This article uses two phrases associated with revolutions. ‘Take to the streets’ means go out and protest. ‘Go to the barricades’ is reference to the French Revolution, when citizens built makeshift walls (barricades) in the streets of Paris to protect from government troops.

本文使用了兩個與「革命」相關的片語;「Take to the streets」表示上街抗爭,「Go to the barricades」意指法國大革命時,民眾在巴黎街頭設立路障,用以對抗政府軍隊。

文句練習

  1. After his conviction for corruption, the former president was ____________.
  2. The earthquake in Japan was followed by ______ aftershocks.
  3. Once a president is democratically elected, other countries should _______ his position.
  4. Gadaffi’s troops ___________ the rebel outpost yesterday.
  5. After the recession of 2008, financial markets were in ______.
  6. If I make the complaint, will you _____ me __ ?

文句練習解答

  1. imprisoned
  2. sporadic
  3. acknowledge
  4. advanced on
  5. turmoil
  6. back;up

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:「蜘蛛人」再度完成創舉

Spiderman does it again!

Alain Robert, the French urban climber, has scaled the world’s tallest building in Dubai. Known by most as ‘Spiderman’, Robert took over 6 hours to climb more than 820 meters to the top of the skyscraper. Hundreds of people watched and cheered for the real-life superhero as he slowly moved up the Burj Khalifa.

The French daredevil has climbed over 70 of the world’s tallest buildings including Taiwan’s 101. In past challenges he hasn’t used any help to get to the top though on this occasion he did use some safety equipment to comply with the organisers’ requirements. ‘Spiderman’ can now take a well-deserved rest until the world’s next tallest building is completed and another dangerous challenge is set.

「蜘蛛人」再度完成創舉

來自法國的現代建築攀爬家Alain Robert最近登上了位於杜拜的世界第一高樓。Robert以「蜘蛛人」的稱號聞名全球,這次他以超過6小時的時間登上高於820公尺的摩天大樓,當他慢慢地登上「Burj Khalifa哈里發塔」時,數百名群眾見證了這項創舉,並一同為這位真實生活中的英雄歡呼。

這位法籍的勇者已成功登上超過70座世界摩天大樓,其中包括台北101大樓。他在挑戰攀登摩天大樓時從未藉助輔助工具,這次則因為主辦單位的要求而使用安全裝備。「蜘蛛人」目前將充分地休息,直至下一座世界第一高樓完工,並可再度迎向下一個艱鉅挑戰為止。

字彙

  • urban 城市的
  • scale 攀登
  • skyscraper 摩天大樓
  • comply 遵從
  • daredevil 勇者;鋌而走險的人
  • challenge 挑戰
  • requirement 要求;規定

解讀

Writers often use certain phrases to make the events they describe more impressive. In the article the writer has used over 6 hours instead of 6 hours 12 minutes, and more than 820 meters instead of 828 meters. This has the effect of dramatising the event.

作者通常會使用特定的片語,使文章中所提到的事件更令人印象深刻。本文作者以「超過6個小時」取代6小時12分鐘,並以「超過820公尺」取代828公尺,使文章中所描述的事件更具有戲劇化的效果。

文句練習

  1. He’s such a ______, he’s not scared of doing anything!
  2. A ________ for the job is to have experience working with computers.
  3. There are too many people in the city, so I really don’t enjoy ______ life.
  4. Taipei 101 used to be the world’s tallest ______.
  5. King Kong is a film about a gorilla that ______ the Empire State Building.
  6. He didn’t ______ with the judge’s orders so he went to prison.
  7. I’m going to run the marathon next year – it will be difficult, but I enjoy a ______.

文句練習解答

  1. daredevil
  2. requirement
  3. urban
  4. skyscraper
  5. scales
  6. comply
  7. challenge

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:「星期五」新曲網路大賣

‘Friday’ Nets a Profit

The latest teen sensation has become famous not because she is so good, but because most people believe she is so bad. 13 year old Rebecca Black posted the music video of her song ‘Friday’ on youtube in February. The song, which includes banal lyrics like ‘Tomorrow is Saturday / And Sunday comes afterwards’ soon got attention, for all the wrong reasons.

By mid-March the song had gone viral. It picked up almost 30,000,000 views and hundreds of thousands of negative comments. Now, the views stand at over 60,000,000 and the comments keep coming. Rebecca, however, has risen above the anger directed at her. Her new-found fame has got her into the papers and on television. The song itself is estimated to have made her thousands of dollars, which she says she will give to help Japan’s disaster relief efforts. In the end, good or bad, the song has left Rebecca in the black.

「星期五」新曲網路大賣

近來在網路引起轟動的少女並非因為她非常傑出,而是因為大多數的聽眾痛批她的表現很糟。今年二月,年僅13歲的Rebecca Black將她的「星期五」新曲影片上傳到網路youtube頻道,這首歌的歌詞平庸,例如:「明天是星期六,而星期日則隨之而來。」但這首歌卻立即因為各種荒謬的理由而受到矚目。

截至三月中為止,這首歌就如同病毒一樣到處散播,更有近乎三千萬次的影片點閱率以及大量的負面評價。如今,點閱率已超過六千萬次,且來自各方的評語仍持續增加中。然而,Rebecca對於大眾的怒氣卻早已處之泰然;她在成名之後,報章雜誌與電視紛紛加以報導,根據估計,這首歌已使Rebecca賺進數千美元,她表示將全數捐出以協助日本救災。無論如何,這首歌都已為Rebecca帶來利潤。

字彙

  • Sensation 引起轟動的人物或事件
  • banal 平庸的
  • viral 病毒的
  • negative 負面的;否定的
  • rise above 超越;克服
  • lyrics 歌詞
  • estimate 估計

解讀

This article uses two financial puns. ‘Net a profit’ means make a profit, and also refers to the internet. ‘In the black’ also means ‘in profit’, and the girl’s name is Rebecca Black.

本文使用了兩個與「財務」相關的雙關語。「Net a profit」意指賺錢,同時也代表網路收益。「In the black」是指利潤,同時亦代表文中的少女歌手Rebecca Black。

文句練習

  1. The company _______ they have made a 12% profit this quarter.
  2. The i-pad was an immediate __________ on its release.
  3. There has been a lot of _______ feedback about the new product.
  4. I hated Justin Bieber’s last single – it was ______!
  5. The last youtube video to go ______ was a laughing baby.
  6. You should try to _________ other people’s hurtful comments.
  7. I like the music but I don’t understand the ________.

文句練習解答

  1. estimates
  2. sensation
  3. negative
  4. banal
  5. viral
  6. rise above
  7. lyrics

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:潛艇堡微幅領先大麥克

Footlong Inches Ahead of Big Mac

For years, McDonald’s has been the leader of the fast food field. It has had the most franchises, the widest international reach, and the highest profits. Now, however, Subway, the sandwich maker, has nosed ahead of the famous chain. At the end of 2010, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, whereas McDonald’s had 32, 737. This is a result of Subway’s aggressive expansion strategy. It has broken away from the pack mostly because of its determination to develop world markets. For example, it already has 199 stores in China, and expects to have more than 500 by 2015.

Even so, McDonald’s is far from an also-ran. Its revenues still make it the favourite for most analysts. With 24 billion dollars worth of sales last year to Subway’s 15 billion, it’s still too early to scratch the long-time champion from the race.

潛艇堡微幅領先大麥克

多年以來,麥當勞一直是速食界的龍頭,不僅擁有最多的經銷店、遍及全球的影響力,還有最高的利潤。然而,Subway潛艇堡專賣店卻已微幅領先這家知名連鎖店。截至2010年底,Subway在全球共有33,749家連鎖店,而麥當勞則擁有32,737家店,顯現出Subway積極擴展策略的成果,他們脫穎而出的主要原因是其開發國際市場的決心。例如,Subway在中國已擁有199家店,並預期將在2015年之前達成超過500家店的目標。

即便如此,麥當勞並不是個失敗者,因為它的營收對於大多數的分析師而言仍是最被看好的公司。麥當勞去年總營收達240億美元,而Subway的營收則為150億美元,所以若要判定這名長期的贏家出局,目前還言之過早。

字彙

  • franchise 經銷店;經銷權
  • chain 連鎖店
  • aggressive 積極的
  • expansion strategy 擴展策略
  • determination 決心
  • revenue 營業收入
  • analyst 分析師

解讀

Racing metaphors, especially horse racing metaphors, are a popular way of talking about business. Races are often won by inches or a nose, and competing companies are described as a pack or field. Favourites are the gamblers’ choice. An also-ran is a horse that does not come in the top three, and scratch from the race means to drop out.

作者談到商業活動時經常會使用和比賽相關的比喻,尤其是賽馬的用語。比賽常以「幾吋」或相當於「一個鼻子」的差距分出勝負,而互相競爭的公司則被形容為「一組」或「全部的賽馬」。「大家一致看好的熱門馬」是下注者的選擇,「失敗者」則是未擠進前三名的賽馬,而「自比賽中出局」代表退出比賽。

文句練習

  1. I plan to open a fast food _____________ in my neighbourhood.
  2. _________ is a key indicator of success.
  3. After the global recession, our company’s _____________ is starting to recover.
  4. Our _____________ involves marketing to new customers.
  5. Sometimes, you need to be ________ to break away from the pack.
  6. The Starbucks ______ was one of the great business successes of the late 90s.
  7. Financial ________ say the earthquake in Japan will have a severe effect on the country’s stock market.

文句練習解答

  1. franchise
  2. Determination
  3. revenue
  4. expansion strategy
  5. aggressive
  6. chain
  7. analysts

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)