|http://www.sina.com.cn 2003/02/26 11:01 北京青年报|
Terror warnings have become an everyday event in America since the September 11 attack. The great fear is that the next mass assault will involve the use of lethal biological agents, poisonous chemicals or radioactive material. Government offi-cials have recently begun to recommend that, in such an emergency, Americans quickly seal windows and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape. In some parts of the nation people are taking the warnings seriously; elsewhere Americans are generally ignoring the recom-mendations or making fun of them. Why the mockery?
The warnings remind many people of the nuclear attack drills that were run in US schools at the height of the Cold War. If a nuclear exchange began, children were to crouch beneath their desks. In fact this would have saved few lives. Many people now think the main point of the drills was to pacify the population - to give them the illusion that they had a chance of survival in a nuclear war. Others believe that the drills were meant to keep citizens focused on cooperating with the prepara-tions for war rather than opposing the very notion of nuclear combat.
Cartoonist Stuart Carlson shows us "duck and [take] cover" as the watchword of 1955. He puns on the word "duck" to produce a new slogan for 2003: "[use] duct [tape] and cover [your windows with plastic]." "Duct tape" is often pronounced "duck tape" - indeed, it comes as a surprise to many Americans to discover what the correct term is for this common household item.
漫画家斯图尔特-卡尔森让我们看到1955年美国人的座右铭"弯下腰躲起来",他让"弯下腰"(duck)一词在此成了双关语(另一意思为宽幅胶纸带),从而形成了2003年的一句口号:"使用宽幅胶纸带和塑料布把窗户糊上。"宽幅胶纸带(duct tape)通常发音为duck tape———说真的,对于很多美国人来说,在发现了这一普通的生活用品的正确写法时还真是感到意外呢。
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