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Is our world ‘toxic’?

今年的年度词“有毒”?

文化 来源:21世纪学生英文报·高三
   2018-12-06
【导读】2018年快要过去,你会用什么词语来总结自己的2018呢?《牛津词典》近期选出了2018年的年度词,答案很“有毒”……

People today use the word “toxic” to describe problem areas of modern life. CFP

中文 英文 双语

There’s only one month left of 2018. If you could pick a single word to describe the year, which would you choose?
2018年只剩下一个月了。如果要选一个词来形容这一年,你会选哪个词呢?

This year the Oxford Dictionary has gone with “toxic”, its “word of the year”.
今年,《牛津词典》将“有毒”选为了2018年年度词。

The word toxic has become a “descriptor for 2018’s most talked about topics” and it “has been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses”, according to the Oxford Dictionaries website.
“Toxic”一词成为了“2018年诸多热议话题的形容词”,并且“被用于一系列语境之中,包括字面义及引申义,”《牛津词典》官网如此表示。

Defined as “poisonous” and first appearing in English in the mid-17th century, “toxic” is still often used to describe chemicals and substances like plastics. It has been frequently used in heated discussions on the environment in our communities and society. For example, phrases like “toxicity of plastics” and “toxicity of air” have been used repeatedly in recent years.
“Toxic”意为“有毒”,17世纪中期首次在英语中出现,如今仍时常被用于形容塑料等化学品。在团体和社会热议的环境问题中,该词被频繁使用。比如,“塑料的毒性”以及“空气的毒性”等说法近年来反复出现。

But now the word is being used metaphorically. Workplaces, schools, cultures, relationships and stress are being called “toxic” today. Used in this way, “toxic” means an invisible detrimental circumstance. For example, the Me Too Movement, an online campaign that supports women against harassment, puts the spotlight on “toxic masculinity”, which may hurt women physically or mentally.
而如今,这个词语的意思被引申了。工作场合、学校、文化、人际关系以及压力如今都被称为“有毒”。在这种语境之下,“toxic”指的是隐形且有害的处境。比如,在网络上声援女性抵制骚扰的“Me Too”运动中,“有毒的男子气概”或许会对女性造成生理和心理上的伤害,成为了关注焦点。

So, if there is much that is “toxic” today, what can we do to restore our moral integrity?
既然如今“有毒”的事情这么多,那么我们如何才能保住自己的道德操守呢?

It is difficult to answer this question, but we can find guidance in the example of people from the past. One was the famous Song poet Zhou Dunyi (1017-1073). In his poem Ode to the Lotus Flower, he compared himself to the lotus flower which “grows in mud without being contaminated by it”. Here Zhou declared his determination to stay away from evil and corruption.
这个问题很难回答,但我们可以从古人身上获得指引。其中之一便是宋朝著名诗人周敦颐。在其所著的《爱莲说》一文中,他将自己比作“出淤泥而不染”的荷花,表明了自己远离奸邪腐败的决心。

But perhaps you can’t see yourself as a person like Zhou Dunyi, and are still confused about how to stay free of toxicity. These words of US author Leo Buscaglia (1924-1988) may help: “The easiest thing to be in the world is you, and the most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position”.
但你或许觉得自己无法成为周敦颐这样的人,并且仍对如何摆脱这些有毒之事感到困惑。美国作家里奥·巴斯卡力的这席话或许会有所帮助:“这个世界上最简单的事是做你自己,最难的事是成为他人眼中的你自己。不要让他人将你置于如此的处境。”

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)
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辞海拾贝
Toxic有毒
An array of一系列
Metaphorical隐喻的
Substances物质
Plastics塑料
Invisible隐形的
Detrimental有害的
Harassment骚扰
Toxic masculinity有毒的男子气概
Integrity节操
Contaminated污染
Corruption腐败

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