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This makes me think of an article translated by HLYAug 9th 2007
From The Economist print edition
Clichés are always tired. Increasingly, they are also wrong
Illustration by Peter Schrank
TECHNOLOGY constantly overtakes language. Recent additions to the Oxford English Dictionary have included po-faced entries for “Google” (the verb), “wiki” and “mash-up”. But most clichés are stubbornly indifferent to such concerns. Indeed, they often act as a linguistic fossil record, preserving objects and behaviour that have long since fallen into petrified obsolescence. Industrious sorts no longer burn the midnight oil. Flashes in the pan are common even if the flintlock muskets that gave rise to them are museum pieces.
Colours are still nailed to masts, metal though they now usually are.
科技在不断地超越语言。新近对牛津英语字典的增添词汇中包含了”Google“（动词）"wiki"还有"mash-up"让人觉得”如同扑克脸一样无趣“的条目. 不过，对于如此这些的科技和社会变化，大多数的陈词滥调们所表现出来的一种达到了一种顽固程度的无动于衷。它们往往做为语言的化石记录，保留着早已是沦落为都成为化石了的腐朽中的事物和行为。勤奋的人们不再要”挑"灯夜战。如果使火药闪光的都是些博物馆的藏品燧发枪，那么“火枪冒出的仅有闪光--叫人空欢喜一场”将是平常事。 钉旗誓师的旗子还是被钉挂在桅杆上，不过现在通常用的都是金属桅杆了。
In a technological age ever more clichés are being untethered from their origins in this way. People write out plenty of metaphorical cheques, whether blank or bouncing. Many of them are to be found in the post, but fewer in real life (some shops no longer accept them). There is no need to keep your cards close to your chest, or indeed an ace up your sleeve, when so much gambling happens online. Thanks to reviews, awards and celebrity book-club stickers, you can in fact judge a book by its cover. If you carry a mobile phone, write e-mail or post entries on MySpace, being out of sight does not mean being out of mind. And in the age of the iPod, no one can be accused of being unable to carry a tune.
Old assumptions are stranded by other changes too. Currencies fluctuate: the dollar looks less than almighty, at least for the moment. Populations evolve: Tom, Dick and Harry make for an unrepresentative trio of everymen today; Kevin, Chloe and Muhammad would be more accurate. Trade patterns shift: turning down all the tea in China would weigh heavily,
to be sure, but the European Union is more impressed by the Chinese production of bras and dressing-gowns. Today's coast is never clear but always strewn with plastic and other detritus. Rare is the athlete who can radiate Olympian calm at a modern-day Olympic games.
过去的假定也由于其它的变化而“搁浅”。 货币波动：金钱的”万“能程度减弱--至少目前来看； 人口发展： 张三，李四，王二麻子代表不了今天的各个人群了：Kevin（普通人）, Chloe（成功卓越女性） and Muhammad（移民的少数民族）可能要更准确。贸易模式转变：要对一切来自中国的茶说”不“不是一件轻飘飘的事情，这是毫无疑问，可是对欧盟来说，中国制造的胸罩和睡衣要的重要程度更大。今天，海滩根本一点不空(the coast is clear 意译：没有危险)，而总是撒有塑料和其它零零物物。在如今的奥林匹克运动会上，一位运动员很少能散发着“奥林匹亚山众希腊神所保持的那般平静”（非常平静）
Earnest environmental concerns are also starting to flip well-worn phrases on their heads. Putting new wine into old bottles is now to be applauded.
Where it was once desirable to trail clouds of glory, they now require emissions credits. Regulators are another threat. Hunting-grounds, happy or not, are fewer in number. Recently shelved plans by the European Commission to get rid of Britain's imperial measures endangered all manner of activities, from exacting a pound of flesh, inching forward and feeling ten feet tall to being miles away.
Being archaic does not always make a cliché redundant. People still jump on bandwagons, read the riot act, burn the candle at both ends and keep irons in fires. As long as its meaning is clear, a saying can be both historic and current.
对环境真切的关注正开始把老掉牙的词组的意思一个个都颠倒了过来：如今，在旧瓶装新酒受到的是人们的欢迎。原来。。。现在需要排放气体要积分。从事监管人们是另一个威胁。 不论是是否感到高兴， 反正是真正的”渔猎场所“数目少了。最近被推迟欧洲委员要把英国皇家计量单位废除的计划危及到了各式各样的行为：从”合理不合情之要求的割下一磅肉“,"蜗牛寸进”和“快乐心情好似身飘离地三丈” 到“相隔万里”
古老不总是会将一个陈词滥调“开除”。 人们还是会“赶趟儿、站边"。"提出严正声明"," “起早贪黑”，还有“时时保持多个选择" 只要意思清楚，一个说法即可以具有历史意义，又可以流行。
The trouble comes when technology robs a cliché of its substance as well as its form. When love fades, the jilted may seek consolation in the thought that there are plenty more fish in the sea. But there aren't: the oceans have been plundered. “For everything there is a season” is a phrase with a ring of majestic certainty. But with air-freighted fruit and genetically modified veg, it too is wrong. And if once it was believed that the camera never lied, PhotoShop should have taught that the lens bends the truth as effortlessly as it bends light itself. As for rocket science, not long ago it was held up as the paragon of baffling complexity. Now, as tourists hurtle into space and almost every failed state seems poised to go ballistic, rocket science seems less sophisticated. Proud owners of silicon implants scoff at the notion that beauty is only skin-deep. Among the transgendered, Bob is as likely to be your auntie as your uncle.
当科技将一个陈词滥调的内容还有形式夺取过来的时候，麻烦就来了。 当爱情凋谢，被抛弃一方可能会从“大海何处无鱼”的思想中去寻找慰藉。但是其实不是这样。海洋已经被人类劫掠。 ”万物皆有时节“是一个带着庄严表示确定性的词组。可是有了航空空运水果和转基因食物，这个说法也不对。另外，如果说曾经照相机被人为是”绝对不撒谎“，那么PhotoShop应该就告诉了人们（它的）滤镜在改变真相的时候如同改变光亮一样地毫不费力。至于“火箭科学”， 不久之前，被用来展现错综复杂性的模范。 如今，随着太空游客们奔向太空，以及几乎每一个“失败国家"都做好了一’箭”冲天的准备，“火箭科学”似乎不那么复杂了 。感到自豪的进行过硅移植手术的人们对”美丽只是停在表面“的看法是进行着嘲讽。 在变性人群中，Bob是婶婶的机会和是叔叔的机会一样大。
The moral of it all? Clichés just aren't what they used to be.
[ Last edited by rainbow at 2008-1-25 04:04 PM ]