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琱j英萃:抽離文化背景 欣賞英式幽默

2020-10-16

隔星期五見報

要欣賞英式幽默,我們必須嘗試抽離自己的認知和文化背景,去閱讀並嘗試理解句子中,特別是個別單詞中的微妙意義。有些笑話會要求讀者運用自己的想像力,而非直白地理解:隱晦是笑話的精妙之處。接下來,我會盡量解釋笑話中詞語的意義。

One day a cannibal was sitting at a bar, drinking his usual beer. A friend of his came up to him and asked, "Well how did it go? "

Yes! It was a good holiday. My wife and I had a very good time. Then, his friend looked at him worryingly, "What happened, where is your other leg? "

Oh, he replied casually, "The holiday was half board that's why!"

要明白這個笑話,我們必須首先了解故事中所用的某些單詞的含義(Cannibal和Half-Board)。Cannibal是食肉者,可以是人,也可以是動物。

當我們去外地酒店度假時,若所有食物和住宿都由酒店提供,則稱為Full-Board;另一方面,如果您在酒店住宿是Half-Board,則意味荌s店只提供早餐和另一餐,您需要自己支付其他膳食。食人族只預訂了一個Half-Board假期,所以他一隻腿就消失了。 大家要記住,隱晦是英式笑話的精髓,我們需要運用自己的想像力來欣賞英式幽默。即是,由於酒店只提供一半的飯菜,食人族的另一餐就不得不吃掉他的一隻腳來彌補了。

接下來的笑話應該更容易理解,或可讓您會心微笑:

While in surgery following a heart attack, a middle-aged woman sees a vision of God by her bedside.

"Will I die?" She asks.

God says, "No. You have 30 more years to live."

With 30 years to look forward to, she decides to make the best of it. So, while in the hospital, she gets a face-lift, breast implants, liposuction, a tummy tuck, hair transplants and collagen injected into her lips. She looks great! The day she was discharged, she exits the hospital with a swagger, and is immediately hit by an ambulance and killed. Up in heaven, she sees God. "You said I had 30 years more to live!" "That's true," says God.

"So, what happened?"

God shrugs, "I didn't recognize you."

無論您是英國人還是華人,相信這個笑話都是不言而喻的。因為該女士經過「大翻身」後,已是面目全非,上帝也無法認出她。

Hit by一詞是指被物體(通常是汽車)撞倒。另一方面,Discharged即完全康復後醫生批准患者出院。Swagger則指女人走路時大搖大擺,就如故事中的女士,因自己變得美麗而感到驕傲,自信地走荂C而face-lift、breast implants、liposuction等等都是不同種類的外科整形手術名稱。

本文標題的「on the house」,則意味荍K費贈送、不必付款。就如這句例子:Please accept this bottle of wine on the house as an apology. (請接受這支免費的紅酒,當作我們的賠禮。)

■葉瑞萍博士

香港琤秅j學英文系講師

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