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名人教英文:Put the cat among the pigeons 引起麻煩

【明報專訊】Glyn: Dave's looking for another job, did you know?

格林:你知道嗎,戴夫要找另一份工作。

Omar: No, but I know he hasn't been with his current company very long. Why does he want to leave?

奧馬爾:不知道,但我知道他不久之前才到目前任職的公司工作,為什麼現在就想離職?

Glyn: Well he's not the only one apparently. It was all to do with the boss forcing them to do unexpected overtime.

格林:聽說想離職的不只是他。原因是公司老闆會突然強迫他們加班。

Omar: That's not too unusual.

奧馬爾:那也不是很不常見的事。

Glyn: I know, but this last week he said they'd been doing overtime every day and then right at the end of the week they were told they'd have to work over the weekend as well. And that wasn't the first time either.

格林:不錯,但戴夫說,過去一個星期,他們每天都要加班,到了周末,老闆還叫他們周末加班。而這還不是第一次。

Omar: What! That's outrageous.

奧馬爾:啊,那真是豈有此理。

Glyn: Exactly. It really put the cat among the pigeons because a lot of them had organised a beach party for the weekend and had already bought the food. They were all furious and a lot of them want to leave now.

格林:對,這令很多職員不滿,因為他們早已安排周末到海濱同樂,還買了食物。大家都很憤怒,現在很多人都想離職。

Omar: I would have felt the same. I'm not surprised that Dave wants to leave.

奧馬爾:我是他們,也會如此。難怪戴夫要另謀高就。

Put the cat among the pigeons 直譯是「把貓置於鴿子之中」,意思是「突然做一些事,引起麻煩或混亂」,put 可用 set、throw 等其他動詞取代,改說the cat is among the pigeons 也可以。例如:(1) When he anonymously criticised the president in the newspaper, that threw the cat among the pigeons(他匿名在報紙上批評總統,引起軒然大波)。(2) You shouldn't have said that. Now the cat is among the pigeons(你不該說那樣的話。現在麻煩來了)。

■作者︰古德明

專研中英文,著有時事評論、英語學習、散文等書籍。

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