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中国时间 16:38 2017年11月25日 星期六

美国习惯用语 - damn with faint praise

  • 美国之音

我很尊重我奶奶,不过坦白说,她有时候真让我没办法。上星期她来我家之前,我特地把家里打扫得干干净净,还去买了几个沙发坐垫,把客厅装饰的更加温馨。可他对我煞费苦心地装饰只说了句:还凑合吧! 真气死我了! 这也让我想到一个习惯用语,那就是: damn with faint praise.

Damn, 作为动词,是批评的意思,而faint praise, 在这里是指无力的赞扬。 Damn with faint praise, 作为一个词组,意思是名褒实贬,用轻微的赞扬进行贬低。

我奶奶就是这样,对于我全部的努力,她就说了一句凑合, she damned me with faint praise even though I've tried my best to impress her. 虽然我尽了全力,可她还是名褒实贬地忽略了我的努力。下面的例子里谈的是父子关系,我们来听听看:

例句-1:Is it any wonder that my dad and I aren't that close? No matter what I achieve, it always seems it isn't good enough. He doesn't actually say so directly. But the way he damns me with faint praise, I always feel like I'm not meeting his expectations. Why can't he compliment me once in a while?

这段话是说:我跟我爸爸的关系不是很好,这也没什么好奇怪的。不管我取得了什么成就,对他来说好像始终不够。他并不会直接这么说。但是他从来都只是蜻蜓点水地赞扬,让我觉得我永远达不到他的期望。为什么他就不能夸奖我一次呢?

对啊! 有这样的家长真的很让人难受。有些家长认为如果表扬孩子就是对他们的溺爱,其实不是这样。谁都需要表扬和肯定,不是吗?

在工作中也一样,如果有个不爱表扬人的领导,底下人的士气肯定也不高。Instead of damning the employees with faint praise, supervisors should encourage the staff when they do a good job.

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Damn with faint praise, 名褒实贬,用轻微的赞扬进行贬低。对于电影评论这个职业,或许这是一个有用的性格特征? 我们来听听看下面这个例子:

例句-2:The movie director had received many positive reviews for her latest work. One critic, however, didn't seem to care for it much. It's not that he gave it an openly bad review. Instead, he wrote that he was pleasantly surprised that the film was shorter than the other films. It was easy to see that he was damning the director with faint praise.

这段话是说: 这名电影导演的最新作品获得了很多正面评价。不过有一名影评人似乎并不怎么看好他的新片子。他倒也没有公开说这部电影不好,不过他说,他很高兴地发现,这部电影比这个导演的其他电影要短。很显然,他对这部电影是名褒实贬。

与其收到这种评论,倒还不如别人直接批评我! 我记得我听过一句话: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. 如果你没有好话要说,那就闭嘴。我觉得这句话说的特别对。每个人都希望得到别人的肯定,谁愿意得到这种苍白的表扬呢?

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