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"OK"将迎来175岁生日

2014-03-20    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

The word is “OK,” the most frequently spoken all-purpose expression on the planet — and it’s turning 175 years old on March 23.
“OK”是全球使用频率最高的、最通用的词语,今年3月23日,它就要175岁了。

The term was born during a 19th-century abbreviation craze and went on to international renown, with its own hand gesture, even.
“OK”诞生于19世纪的缩写潮中,后来跟它的手势一起红遍了全球。

And one New Yorker is carrying the linguistic torch. Henry Nass, a 64-year-old retired English tutor from the Upper West Side, has spent the last few weeks handing out cards championing “Global OK Day” in advance of the coming anniversary.
一个纽约人正在举着这个语言学上的耀眼火炬奔走宣传。在175周年纪念日来临之前,美国纽约市上西区64岁的退休英语教师亨利·纳斯已经连续几周在街头派发倡导 “国际OK日”的卡片。

“No matter where people are from they use the word ‘OK,’ but they don’t know where it comes from,” says Nass. “The problem is because it’s just, you know, OK.”
纳斯说:“世界各地的人都会说OK,但他们并不知道这个词语的来源,原因可能是这个词真的太普及了。”

The word is OK, perhaps, but its history is definitely better than average. Late etymologist Allen Walker Read traced the two-letter word to 1839, when editors at the Boston Morning Post signed off on articles as “all correct” with a winking “OK” or “oll korrect.”
“OK”这个词可能很普及,但是它的历史绝对不够普及。已故词源学家艾伦·沃克·里德曾认为OK的历史始于1839年。当时,《波士顿早报》的编辑们在签署文章时用简明的“OK”或“oll korrect”来表示“完全正确”(all correct)。

The word made it into print on March 23 of that year, during a weird inside-baseball tirade against a rival editor in Providence who had alleged, wrongly, that a band of Bostonians headed to New York would pass through the Rhode Island capital.
同一年的3月23日,OK第一次登上报纸,《波士顿早报》在一篇攻击普罗维顿斯的一个编辑对手的文章里使用了这个词语。这个编辑错误地断言一群前往纽约的波士顿人将会途经美国罗得岛州的首府(即普罗维顿斯)。

“We said not a word about our deputation passing ‘through the city’ of Providence,” the Morning Post reported. “O.K. — all correct.”
《波士顿早报》报道:“我们从来没说过我们代表团将会‘途经普罗维顿斯’O.K. ——完全正确。”

The humor of the Providence-Boston joke has been lost to history — but the word OK took off from there, soon connoting agreement, acceptance, mediocrity, endorsement, quality or likability.
这个关于普罗维登斯和波士顿的笑话已经是过去的历史了,但是OK这个词从此风靡,很快就包含了同意、接受、普通、支持、棒极了和可爱的意思。

By 1840, it served as a slogan for President Martin Van Buren’s unsuccessful reelection campaign. “Old Kinderhook is OK,” posters proclaimed, a reference to the eighth president’s birthplace and his partisans’ belief in his generally satisfactory performance.
在1840年,OK成为美国总统马丁·范布伦竞选连任的宣传标语,虽然范布伦最后失败了。海报上写着“金德胡克很OK”,金德胡克指的是这位第八任美国总统的出生地。这句口号显示了跟随马丁·范布伦的党派对他的政治表现总体上还是比较满意的。

OK was picked up by telegraph operators as an easy abbreviation to say they received transmission, and in 1969, Buzz Aldrin’s first words spoken on the moon were “OK. Engine stop,” says Allan Metcalf, author of “OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word.”
OK早先被电报员们广泛使用,是表达他们接收成功的简易缩写。《OK:美国最伟大词语不可思议的故事》一书作者艾伦·梅特卡夫说:“在1969年,宇航员巴兹·奥尔德林在月球上说的第一句话就是 ‘OK,发动机停止’。”

After all, to activate Google Glass, you don’t say, “OMG, Glass,” you say, “OK, Glass.”
而且,谷歌眼镜的语音启动是“OK, Glass”而不是“OMG, Glass”。

“We happen to know the exact date and place of the very first ‘OK’ and that’s not very usual for many words so why not celebrate that day?” says Metcalf, whose book built on Read’s earlier research.

梅特卡夫说:“我们知道了OK诞生的时间和地点,这对于许多词语来说并不常见,所以我们为什么不庆祝这一天呢?”他的书《OK:美国最伟大词语不可思议的故事》是在那位已故词源学家里德早期的研究基础上编撰的。

In a sense, the United Nations — where six languages are instantaneously converted by experts — celebrates the word every day. In fact, translators don’t even bother to render “OK” in each diplomat’s chosen tongue because everyone on the planet understands it already.
从某种意义上来说,有专业译者同时翻译6种语言的联合国每天都在赞美OK这个词。事实上,翻译员们不用将OK翻译成外交官的母语,因为每个人都懂得它的意思。

“It’s a word that tends not to be translated, but transported,” says Peter Connor, the director of the Center for Translation studies at Barnard College.
巴纳德学院翻译研究中心主任皮特·康纳表示:“这是个不用翻译,仅需传递的词。”



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