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Online Extra: The New Economy's New Lingo

(2010-08-23 16:17:08)
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分类: 翻译

Online Extra: The New Economy's New Lingo
网络副产品:新经济下的新词汇

From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, words are entering English so rapidly that even dictionary publishers are struggling to keep up
从硅谷到华尔街,英语中的新词汇层出不穷,快得连词典印刷商都赶不上它的步伐。

From the sanctum of his New York City office, Oxford English Dictionary editor Jesse Sheidlower scans magazines, newspapers, TV, and radio in search of new words and phrases he might add to the OED, the 73-year-old dictionary published in England that includes 20,000 pages and 500,000 definitions. In Springfield, Mass., meanwhile, Merriam-Webster editor Jim Lowe is doing the same for the 10th edition of his company's Collegiate Dictionary -- keeping files on new terms that enter the language literally every month.
《牛津英语字典》在英国已有73年的印刷历史了,字典的总页数达2万页,对5万单词进行了解释。为寻找可以加到字典中去的新单词和新短语,《牛津英语字典》的编辑耶西•谢尔多尔(Jesse Sheidlower)在纽约办事处的书房中浏览报刊杂志、收看电视、听收音机。而同时在马萨诸塞的斯普林菲尔德,《美国韦氏学院辞典》的编辑吉姆•罗维也在为公司的第10版《韦氏学院辞典》做着同样的工作—将每月新出现的单词和短语记录下来。
For the past couple of years, Sheidlower and Lowe have been mining many of their gems from one source: the New Economy. It has spawned a mother lode of words and phrases that CEOs, financial analysts, and journalists alike have come to rely on to describe most things new in the business world. The esteemed dictionary editors -- those arbiters of English -- have been digesting it all.
过去两年,谢尔多尔和罗维从一个地方—“新经济”中挖出了无数宝藏。这里简直就是大量词汇和短语的发源地。执行总裁、金融分析家以及新闻记者这些人都喜欢使用从这里滋生出的词汇和短语形容商界最新鲜的事物。而那些值得人尊重的编辑们(同时也是英语的仲裁者们)把所有的这些词汇摘记了下来。
Their conclusion? Get ready for even more inventions of language in the first decade of the New Millennium. Of the thousands of words added to the language over the past century, the New Economy has added its fair share already -- from bitmap to cyberspace to dot-com to edutainment. The current decade may set a record for jargon and acronym overload. It isn't merely that throngs of new biotech, telecom, and Internet terms will enter the English lexicon. Abstract business-speak can also take on several meanings -- or new ones overnight.
他们的结论是什么呢?在新千年的第一个十年中为迎接更多新的英语语言做好准备。过去一个世纪里所出现的成千上万个英语单词中,新经济词汇已经占据了相当大的比重—从位图(bitmap)到电脑空间(cyberspace),从万维网(dot-com )到网上教娱(edutainmen),无一不是出自新经济。目前这10年新出现的行业术语和缩写词数量过多,可能会创下记录。被列入英语词典的不只是那许许多多新的生物技术词汇、电信词汇和互联网词汇。
"A BIG FILE."  Take the term New Economy itself. Not long ago, it described the idea that the economy might be able to grow at higher rates and with lower inflation than previously thought. The New Economy's fuel was the tech-spending bonfire that roared along as the Net world pushed ahead full blast with faster connections and more powerful tools.
“信息宝藏”
就拿“新经济”(New Economy)这个术语本身来说吧。不久以前,它还被用来形容那种发展速度比以前快,通货膨胀率比以前低的经济形态。当网络世界将更快捷的联系方式和更有用的工具推到人们面前时,使新经济热火朝天发展的是技术消费。
This year's downturn has tarnished that idea, but the New Economy remains on everyone's tongue -- as an object of disappointment and even derision. This year, it's a catchall reminder that the Internet, telecom, and networking revolutions will be slower to emerge than their cheerleaders first thought.
今年的经济低靡使得“新经济”这个术语黯然无光,但是“新经济”依然挂在许多人的嘴边,成为一种失望甚至嘲笑的代名词。人们应该注意到,今年互联网、电信以及网络革命的发展速度将开始缓慢下来,这完全出于为它们呐喊助威之人的意料之外。
The New Economy's two meanings might explain why Sheidlower and Lowe haven't yet glommed onto the phrase. "It's definitely one we're considering," says Sheidlower. Adds Lowe: "We've got a big file on it, but it's not one we're ready to add just yet."
“新经济”的双重含义可能是为什么谢多尔多和罗维还没有收录这个短语的原因。谢多尔多说:“它肯定是我们正在考虑收录的一个短语。”罗维则补充说:“我们从“新经济”中获得了大量信息,但我们现在还不打算把它加到字典中去。”
NOW HEAR THIS.  So of all the terms the New Economy has spawned, what are the keepers so far? Here are 17 that Merriam-Webster's 10th edition dictionary recently added -- in two illustrative paragraphs:
现在听听这些新说法吧
既然诞生了这么多的新经济术语,那么迄今为止,它们被收集到哪些地方了呢?下面是 第10版《美国韦氏学院辞典》最近加入的两段注释,里面包含了10多个新词汇:
"I used the Netscape browser on my laptop to find cybersex clip art during my lunch hour as a day trader for Electronica Funds Inc. I saved the art on my hard drive, then e-mailed it to friends, other members of the digerati, New York fashionistas, grunge rockers, and my girlfriend, who is developing a new line of nutraceuticals for a local juice-bottling company."
“我白天吃午饭时登陆电子基金公司(Electronica Funds Inc.)的网站,在自己的膝上型电脑(laptop)上用Netscape浏览器(Netscape browser)寻找虚拟性爱剪贴图片(cybersex clip art)。我把这些图片保存到自己的电脑硬盘(hard drive)上,然后用电子邮件(e-maile)把它们发送给朋友、其它的网络高手(digerati)、纽约的时髦一族(fashionistas)、Grunge一族(grunge rockers)以及我那在为某个本地瓶装果汁饮料公司推广保健产品(nutraceuticals)的女朋友。”
Or how about this:
那么下面这些又如何:
"I recently bought a DVD player. Much like the VHS machine it replaces, this player is giving me trouble. I'm stuck with a blue screen on my TV monitor. Perhaps the manufacturer should have beta-tested it more thoroughly before selling it. (Perhaps I should have bought inline skates instead.) The player doesn't fit in my home-entertainment center anyway. What was I thinking? Where was my feng shui?"
“我最近买了一个DVD播放器(DVD player)。这个播放器是家用录象系统(VHS)的换代产品,这个播放器给我带来了很多麻烦。我被电视机监控器的蓝色银屏弄得昏头转向。也许生产商在出售它之前应该对它进行全面的软件测试(beta-tested)。—也许我应该买一个媒体播放器(inline skates)。不管怎么样,这个播放器并不适合我的家庭娱乐设备。你猜我在想什么?我的好运气跑到哪里去了呢?)
SILICON SPEAK.  A subset of this New Economy babble is Silicon Valley's high-tech jargon. Walking into a software trade show can be like visiting a roomful of the faithful speaking in tongues.
硅谷语言
硅谷的高技术专业术语是新经济语言的副产品。如果你走进一个软件贸易展览会,满耳听到的都全都是些准确而可靠的行话。
Software stalwarts Siebel Systems and IBM have Web sites loaded with New Economy terms that carry several meanings -- or no clear meaning. While the term "B2B" seems to have gone out of style with the dot-com meltdown, "e-business" is still going strong on these sites, where -- in the time-tested tradition of high-tech marketing -- you'll find obscure references to networks and platforms and suites, all having something to do with e-business. The same is true of "e-learning," which to Oracle may be a software package and to Duke University means conducting business school courses over the Internet.
软件企业西伯尔系统公司(Siebel Systems)和美国国际商用机器公司(IBM)的许多网站上满是有多种意思或者没有什么明确意思的新经济术语。而"B2B"(商家对商家)这种说法也随着dot-com(万维网)的崩溃而不再风行于世,"e-business"(电子商务)依然在这些网站上保持着强劲的发展势头。(这些网站的高技术营销手段都经受住了时间考验。)你将发现所有与电子商务挨得上边的东西,如网络、平台和捆绑软件的说明都模糊不清。事实上的e-learning (电子学习)与这差不多,对于Oracle公司来说,电子学习就是提供一系列的软件,而对杜克大学来说,电子学习则是在网上进行商业课程的教学。
It isn't just programmers who've adopted New Economy terms. Two of the new favorites in every industry are "pro forma" earnings and "market visibility" -- or lack thereof. Pro forma earnings are part of the spin that companies put on the rigorously structured earnings reports they publish under Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) guidelines. Basically, pro forma numbers allow companies to highlight the good news and downplay the not so good in their earnings press releases.
使用新经济术语的不只是程序员们。在整个工业中,最受欢迎的两个新词汇是pro forma(备考)经营利润和"market visibility(市场可见性)。备考经营利润(Pro forma earnings)指的是公司在美国财务会计准则委员会(FASB)的指导下,经过严格预算后对外公布的那部分基础性经营利润。基本上,公司的备考数据都是在对外公布赢利时,突出强调好的消息,忽略不怎么好的消息。
THAT'S GR8!  Not coincidentally, the New Economy word "visibility" has also started to show up in those -- as in, the CEO has no "visibility" on when profits will turn up. "Although our short term visibility is improving, our long term visibility is still challenging," said Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers in his Aug. 7 conference call announcing fourth-quarter results. Dozens, if not hundreds, of execs now use the term.
真是GR8(了不起)!
新经济词汇"visibility" (可见性)也开始崭露头角,这并非巧合。比如,执行总裁没有利润何时将上升的“可见性”。Cisco 系统公司的执行总裁约翰•查布斯(John Chambers)在8月7日举行的第四季度赢利通报会上说:“尽管我们的短期可见性正在改善,而我们的长期可见性仍面临着挑战。”现在,有许多管理人员都在使用这个术语。
Even the abbreviations Net surfers (another New Economy term) use when instant-messaging (one more) each other and that Europeans and Asians use for wireless text messaging (that's another) are officially making it into the language. One edition of the OED now includes text message codes -- which tend to look something like this: Txt msg codes r now in the dictionary. They're listed under a special appendix that includes doozies like GR8 ("great") and ttyl ("talk to you later"). The OED also includes emoticons, the representations of facial expressions formed by combining keyboard symbols -- so :) represents a smile.
甚至连即时消息(instant-messaging)传送和欧洲人与亚洲人使用短信息(wireless text messaging)时,缩写词网上冲浪(Net surfers)也成为一种正式语言。《牛津英语字典》的一个版本中现在包含了一些短信代码,字典是这么介绍这些短信代码的:Txt msg codes r now in the dictionary(现在字典中可查到短信代码。)这些代码以一些特殊的符号列出来,比如:GR8代表great(了不起),ttyl代表talk to you later(以后再聊)。《牛津英语字典》还包含了由字符组成的图释,一些键盘符号可以组成代表面部表情的图样,如::)代表微笑。
If such august experts as dictionary editors aren't fazed by all of this New Economy-speak, then it's safe to say it can't be stopped. Better get used to hearing about everything from the burn rate (at which cash is being spent) of biotech companies to the MP3 file-transfer technology used by patrons of Napster and its successor peer-to-peer networks. They're here to stay -- 24/7. Whether you like it or not. TTYL.
如果字典编辑这些严谨的专家们不会被所有这些新经济说法困扰,那么我们有把握说新经济术语依然还会不断涌现。从生物技术公司烧钱比率(Burn Rate)—意思为企业每天消费的现金量到Napster和其后继的点到点(peer to peer)网络免费提供的MP3文件转换技术,我们必须去适应所听到的这些新说法。,不管你喜欢还是不喜欢,就象24/7在线公司一样,它们已经出现了。TTYL(下次再聊)。

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