英文

名人教英文:To stay on message 照本宣科

【明報專訊】Rabbie: My brother's an airline pilot and has been telling me about the fume problem in aircraft. The crew and passengers sometimes start to smell unpleasant fumes in flight and they begin to feel drowsy and even sick. He said it happens with every airline.

拉比:家兄在航空公司任飛行員,跟我談到飛機上難聞氣體的問題。機員與乘客飛行途中有時會聞到些難聞氣味,使他們昏昏欲睡甚至作嘔。他說每家航空公司都有這個問題。

Neha: That's funny. One of my friends had that experience coming back from holiday last month. But presumably the airlines are trying to find out the cause of the problem and fix it as soon as they can.

尼哈:真奇怪。我一個朋友上月度假回來,就遇上這情况。各航空公司一定都在設法找出問題所在,盡快解決。

Rabbie: Well, not according to my brother. Apparently the airlines and aircraft manufacturers have got together to agree a common position. So they're all saying that there's not enough evidence to prove that there's a problem.

拉比:據家兄所說,事情可不是這樣。各航空公司與飛機製造商似乎一起議定了一個共同立場,都說並無證據顯示有難聞氣體。

Neha: But that's ridiculous.

尼哈:那真荒謬。

Rabbie: I know, but every time one of their representatives is asked about this they just stick to their agreed position.

拉比:不錯,但每次向他們的代表提出這個問題,他們總是重申議定的立場。

Neha: So they always stay on message, just sticking to the official line and repeating it whatever questions they're asked.

尼哈:他們是照本宣科,無論你問什麼,都按公司立場說話,反反覆覆都是如此。

Rabbie: Yes. Something really bad will have to happen as a result of these fumes before they do anything.

拉比:不錯。有一天,這些難聞氣體引起嚴重事故,他們才會做點事情。

To stay / be on message 是「照政黨、政府、公司等已定的立場說話」,否則就是 off message,例如:②In the coming general election, our party members must all stay on message(在即將來臨的大選之中,我黨成員必須按黨的既定立場說話)。①She is a seasoned government official; you can never pull her off message(她是個老練的政府官員,要使她說話偏離當局既定立場,是絕不可能的)。

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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