Tue, Nov 20, 2007 - Page 14 News List

The law is an ass 狗屁不通的法律

A Yazidi man and his donkey walk along a road on Mount Sinjar, Iraq, Sept. 19, 2005.PHOTO: AP
2005年9月19日在伊拉克的辛賈爾山,一名亞齊德男子和他所養的驢子沿路而行。照片:美聯社

An ancient law banning an English town from holding a market because it is less than "a donkey ride" away from one in a rival town was branded an ass last week.

The centuries-old law is used by residents of South Shields near Newcastle in northeastern England to prevent their neighbours in North Shields - just on the other side of the Tyne River - from setting up a market.

"We have been trying for a number of years to get around this," said Maggie Richardson of the North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce, which wants to set up a weekly market.

"But every time we have approached South Tyneside Council, they say they were given a market charter some time in the 1200 region by King John, so that no one can set up a market within a day's donkey ride.

"It is a bizarre situation ... It's not funny, it's pathetic. The law definitely is an ass. We need a market because they bring vibrancy to the town center."

South Tyneside Council, like the proverbial donkey, won't budge. "South Shields market is both vibrant and popular, and attracts thousands of visitors to the borough every year," said a spokesman.

"It is of great importance to South Tyneside and, as its owner, South Tyneside Council has a duty to protect it from rivals."

The donkey ride distance is commonly understood to mean 10.7km - how far a trader was deemed to be able to travel from home, sell for eight hours, then return in a single day.(AFP)

英國有一條古老的法律,明定禁止英國一個城鎮設辦市集,理由是他們和競爭的鄰近城鎮相距不到「騎驢來回一天」之遠。上週有人批評這是一條狗屁不通的法律。

這條法律已存在數世紀之久,英格蘭東北部紐卡索市附近的南希爾茲鎮居民就利用此法,來阻止和他們只有一河之遙的鄰居北希爾茲鎮,在泰恩河對岸設立市集。

「我們已做了好幾年的努力,希望能解決這個問題,」北希爾茲鎮商貿協會的梅姬.理察森說;該協會一直想要每週定期舉辦一次市集。

「但每次我們和南泰恩河區郡議會商量此事,他們就會說,一二OO年英王約翰已頒發市集特許狀給他們。所以誰也不能在騎驢來回一天的路程範圍內設立市集。」

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Matt: I've had enough!

Henry: What's up?

Matt: I just can't get this printer to work. I really wanted to print this stuff out at home.

Henry: Let me have a go ... yup, definitely isn't working. How strange. Would you like to borrow my flash drive, so you can print it off at work?

Matt: That'd be great. Thanks, Henry!

麥特:我受夠了!

亨利:你怎麼啦?

麥特:這個印表機完全不聽使喚,但我又很想在家裡列印這個東西。

亨利:我來看看…沒錯,確實是壞了,真怪。你要不要借用我的隨身碟?這樣你就可以帶到公司去印了。

麥特:太好了,謝啦,亨利!

had enough 受夠了

If someone has had enough it means that he or she has decided to give up on something, or that he or she can no longer tolerate it.

如果某人「has had enough」某事,表示他或她決定放棄做這件事,或是他或她再也忍受不了此事了。


「這是一個很奇怪的情況...一點也不有趣,而是相當可悲,這條法律根本蠢斃了。我們需要市集,因為它為市區帶來活力與生氣。」

南泰恩河區郡議會就像諺語中的驢子一樣,固執不會讓步。「南希爾茲的市集生氣勃勃又熱鬧,每年都吸引數以千計的遊客前來,」一位發言人說。

「這對南泰恩河區郡來說非常重要,因此身為管理此市集的南泰恩河區郡議會,當然得負起保護本地利益不被競爭對手搶走的責任。」

驢子走一趟的路程普遍認為是十公里又七百公尺,這是商人在一天內,從自家騎驢出發,前往市集做八小時生意,再騎驢返家的路程。(法新社/翻譯:袁星塵)

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