Thu, Dec 20, 2012 - Page 11 News List

US Congress bans word ‘lunatic’
美國國會禁止使用「瘋子」字眼

The US Capitol is seen in this photo taken in Washington on Dec. 18 last year.
這張去年十二月十八日攝於華府的照片是美國國會大廈。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

The sharply divided US Congress has been able to agree on one thing at least — that the word “lunatic” should be banned.

The House of Representatives voted 398-1 on Dec. 5 to strike the term from all federal legislation, after the Senate did the same in May.

The measure is designed to remove language that has become outdated or demeaning from the US code.

Senator Kent Conrad, one of the sponsors of the measure, said:”Federal law should reflect the 21st Century understanding of mental illness and disease, and that the continued use of this pejorative term has no place in the US code.”

The only “no” vote came from Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, who said it was madness for lawmakers to waste time on such a measure when more high-profile issues loomed, such as the federal debt.

“Not only should we not eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy,” said Rep Gohmert in a statement. “We should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington.”

(Liberty Times)

極度分歧的美國國會至少在一件事上能有共識:應該禁用「瘋子」這個字眼。

眾議院十二月五日以三百九十八票對一票的票數通過,將這個用語從所有聯邦法案中刪除。在此之前參議院已於五月做出相同決定。

這項議案旨在刪除美國法規中已過時或有貶意的語言文字。

支持這項議案的參議員肯特.康瑞德說,「聯邦法律應反映二十一世紀對心理問題和疾病的了解,不容許繼續在美國法規中使用這種貶損用語。」

唯一投下不贊成票的是德州眾議員路易.高梅特,他說,像聯邦債務等更重要議題迫在眉睫之際,議員在這種議案上浪費時間真是瘋了。

「在今日最緊迫問題是挽救我們的國家免於破產的當前,我們不僅不應該將『瘋子』這個字眼從聯邦法案中刪除」,眾議員高梅特在聲明中說。

「我們反而應該用這個字形容那些希望在華府照常過日子的人。」

(自由時報/翻譯:管淑平)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. lunatic n. adj.

瘋子;瘋的;愚蠢的 (feng1 zi5; feng1 de5; yu2 chun3 de5)

例: You must bear the consequences of your lunatic decision.

(你的愚蠢決定,後果自負。)

2. demeaning adj.

貶低的 (bian3 di1 de5)

例: He was criticized for using the demeaning word “retarded.”

(他因為使用「智障」這個貶低人的字眼而遭受批評。)

3. loom v.

迫近 (po4 jin4)

例: We are facing the looming threat of a double-dip recession.

(我們正面臨迫在眼前的經濟二次衰退威脅。)


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