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名人教英文﹕茫然失措 To lose the plot

【明報專訊】Meryl: This Brexit business is crazy. I really don't understand what's going on.

梅里爾:英國退出歐盟這回事,瘋狂得很。我真不知道現在怎樣了。

Jerome: I certainly don't, and I don't think any of the politicians do either. The situation seems to change from one minute to the next.

傑羅姆:我自然也不知道,那些政客大概也沒有一個知道。形勢似乎每一分鐘都在改變。

Meryl: And the prime minister is going back and forth to Brussels trying to renegotiate an agreement which the EU has said several times cannot be changed.

梅里爾:首相來來往往,不斷去布魯塞爾求重新談判退出協議,但歐盟已一再聲明協議不能改了。

Jerome: I don't think she knows what she's doing.

傑羅姆:她恐怕不知道自己在做什麽。

Meryl: I think you're right. In fact I think she's lost the plot.

梅里爾:我同意你的說法。我覺得她已是茫然失措。

Jerome: I think they've all lost the plot. None of them know what they're doing.

傑羅姆:那些政客恐怕全都茫然失措,沒有一個知道自己在做什麽。

Meryl: It's keeping me awake at night wondering how it's all going to end.

梅里爾:我常常因此夜不能寐,思量這一切將怎樣了結。

Jerome: Well the way things are going at the moment, it looks as if they'll end in disaster.

傑羅姆:就目前情况來看,整件事會以災難收場。

Meryl: I've got a horrible feeling you may be right.

梅里爾:我有個不祥感覺,就是你可能說對了。◆

讀小說或看電影,跟不上情節 (plot) ,叫做 to lose the plot。而情節一旦跟不上,就會感到迷惘,所以,to lose the plot 常引伸解作「茫然不知所措」,例如:(1) I was then living without any purpose, and was close to losing the plot(我當時生活毫無目的,人生路上幾乎茫然失措)。(2) As I read the students' answers, I found that many had lost the plot altogether(我讀學生的答案,發覺不少根本茫然無知)。

作者簡介﹕專研中英文,著有時事評論、英語學習、散文等書籍。

作者︰古德明

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