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名人教英文﹕Accident waiting to happen 遲早會發生的事故

【明報專訊】Erwin: I've just been to the funeral of my brother's best friend. He was such a nice guy and only 35.

歐文:我剛才出席了家兄最好朋友的葬禮。他為人很好,才三十五歲。

Kehinde: What happened?

凱欣德:是什麽一回事?

Erwin: He was killed by a falling tree while driving to work last week.

歐文:他上星期開車上班,途中給一棵樹倒下壓死。

Kehinde: Oh no! How awful!

凱欣德:哎呀,真可怕!

Erwin: And completely unnecessary. People had been telling the council for months that it should be felled because it was rotten and leaning towards the road.

歐文:而且完全可以避免。過去多個月,不少人曾跟市議會說,那棵樹已經腐朽,側向馬路,應該砍掉。

Kehinde: It must have been blown over in that windy spell we had at the beginning of last week.

凱欣德:上星期初,有一段時間很大風,那棵樹一定是當時給吹倒的。

Erwin: Yes it was. It was an accident waiting to happen and could so easily have been avoided.

歐文:不錯。這事故遲早都會發生,而本來很容易預防。

Kehinde: The family must be devastated, as well as your brother.

凱欣德:死者家人與令兄一定十分哀痛。

Erwin: Yes they are, but they're not sitting back and doing nothing. They're going to sue the council for negligence and compensation.

歐文:是的,但他們不會安坐家中,無所行動。他們會控告市議會大意,要求賠償。

Kehinde: Good for them. I hope they win.

凱欣德:那很好,希望他們勝訴。◆

An accident waiting to happen 直譯是「等着發生的事故」,指某個情况本身有危險,不預防,遲早出事。這成語說人或事物都可以,例如:(1) Something of a daredevil, he is an accident waiting to happen(他什麼都不怕,遲早會出事)。(2) With its faulty brakes and bald tyres, the car was an accident waiting to happen(那輛汽車制動器有毛病,輪胎也磨光了,遲早會出事)。

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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