2010年12月24日

ある船は東に行き・・・


Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a
defining framework for it.

言語とは、単に経験を報告する道具ではなく、経験を輪郭づける枠組みである。
(ベンジャミン・ウォーフ)


One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells the way to go.

ある船は東に行き、別の船は西に行く
同じ風に吹かれて
帆のかけ方だ
疾風ではない
それが行き先を告げる
(エラ・ウィーラー・ウィルコックス『The Winds of Fate』)


● 編集後記 ●

今年は、これにておしまいです。1年間、いかがでしたか。このメルマガが、少しでも皆様の英語リーディング力の向上のお役に立っていれば幸いです。それでは、よいお年を。

May the peace and joy of the holiday season be with you throughout the
coming year.








2010年12月22日

私たちの思考は母語に規定されているのか?


Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
( New York Times )

Seventy years ago, in 1940, a popular science magazine published a short article that set in motion one of the trendiest intellectual fads of the 20th century. At first glance, there seemed little about the article to augur its subsequent celebrity. Neither the title, “Science and
Linguistics,” nor the magazine, M.I.T.’s Technology Review, was most people’s idea of glamour. And the author, a chemical engineer who worked for an insurance company and moonlighted as an anthropology lecturer at Yale University, was an unlikely candidate for international superstardom. And yet Benjamin Lee Whorf let loose an alluring idea about language’s power over the mind, and his stirring prose seduced a whole generation into believing that our mother tongue restricts what we are able to think.

In particular, Whorf announced, Native American languages impose on their speakers a picture of reality that is totally different from ours, so
their speakers would simply not be able to understand some of our most
basic concepts, like the flow of time or the distinction between objects (like “stone”) and actions (like “fall”). For decades, Whorf’s theory dazzled both academics and the general public alike. In his shadow, others made a whole range of imaginative claims about the supposed power of
language, from the assertion that Native American languages instill in
their speakers an intuitive understanding of Einstein’s concept of time as a fourth dimension to the theory that the nature of the Jewish religion was determined by the tense system of ancient Hebrew.

Eventually, Whorf’s theory crash-landed on hard facts and solid common sense, when it transpired that there had never actually been any evidence to support his fantastic claims. The reaction was so severe that for
decades, any attempts to explore the influence of the mother tongue on our thoughts were relegated to the loony fringes of disrepute. But 70 years on, it is surely time to put the trauma of Whorf behind us. And in the last few years, new research has revealed that when we learn our mother tongue, we do after all acquire certain habits of thought that shape our experience in significant and often surprising ways.


【 まずは準備運動 】

・fad 一時的流行
・augur 前兆を示す
・allure 魅惑する、誘う
・seduce 誘惑する、唆す
・intuitive 直感(intuition)の
・relegate (ある場所・地位へ)追いやる、追放する
・loony 狂気の、馬鹿な
・disrepute 不評判、悪評


● 解説ザブ〜ン!
posted by K.Andoh | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 科学

2010年12月20日

米議会が同性愛者の兵役制限法を撤廃する


Senate Repeals Ban Against Openly Gay Military Personnel
( New York Times )

The Senate on Saturday struck down the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, bringing to a close a 17-year struggle over a
policy that forced thousands of Americans from the ranks and caused others to keep secret their sexual orientation.

By a vote of 65 to 31, with eight Republicans joining Democrats, the
Senate approved and sent to President Obama a repeal of the Clinton-era law, known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a policy critics said amounted to government-sanctioned discrimination that treated gay and lesbian
troops as second-class citizens.

It followed a comprehensive review by the Pentagon that found a low risk to military effectiveness despite greater concerns among some combat units and the Marine Corps. The review also found that Pentagon officials
supported Congressional repeal as a better alternative than an court-ordered end.

Supporters of the repeal said it was long past time to end what they saw as an ill-advised practice that cost valuable personnel and forced troops to lie to serve their country.


【 まずは準備運動 】

・approve 賛成する、承認する
・discrimination 差別、識別
・comprehensive 包括的な、理解力のある
・alternative 代わりとなる(もの)、二者択一、選択肢


● 解説ザブ〜ン!

2010年12月17日

政治家が読むべきは・・・


Everyone's a pacifist between wars. It's like being a vegetarian between meals.

誰もが戦争と戦争の間は平和主義者だが、それは食事と食事の間に菜食主義者になるのと似ている。
(コールマン・マッカーシー)


Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective
stories.

政治家が読むべきはSFであり、西部劇や推理小説ではない。
(アーサー・C・クラーク)


2010年12月15日

戦争マシンとしてロボットを徴兵する


War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat
( New York Times )

War would be a lot safer, the Army says, if only more of it were fought by robots.

And while smart machines are already very much a part of modern warfare, the Army and its contractors are eager to add more. New robots - none of them particularly human-looking - are being designed to handle a broader range of tasks, from picking off snipers to serving as indefatigable night sentries.

In a mock city here used by Army Rangers for urban combat training, a 15-inch robot with a video camera scuttles around a bomb factory on a spying mission. Overhead an almost silent drone aircraft with a four-foot wingspan transmits images of the buildings below. Onto the scene rolls a sinister-looking vehicle on tank treads, about the size of a riding lawn mower, equipped with a machine gun and a grenade launcher.

Three backpack-clad technicians, standing out of the line of fire, operate the three robots with wireless video-game-style controllers. One swivels the video camera on the armed robot until it spots a sniper on a rooftop. The machine gun pirouettes, points and fires in two rapid bursts. Had the bullets been real, the target would have been destroyed.

Yet the idea that robots on wheels or legs, with sensors and guns, might someday replace or supplement human soldiers is still a source of extreme controversy. Because robots can stage attacks with little immediate risk to the people who operate them, opponents say that robot warriors lower the barriers to warfare, potentially making nations more trigger-happy and leading to a new technological arms race.


【 まずは準備運動 】

・indefatigable 疲れない、根気のよい(fatigue:疲労)
・sentry 哨兵、見張り番
・mock まがいの、偽の、(真似して)あざ笑う
・scuttle 急いで行く、あわてて走る
・swivel 旋回・回転させる
・opponent (試合・議論の)相手、反対者


● 解説ザブ〜ン!


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