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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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英検問題をトリガーに ~反対の反対のケース

 


peace in our timeという言葉は、英国チェンバレン首相のミュンヘン宥和政策を想起させることは何度かこのブログでも取り上げてきました。このフレーズはWikipedia にIt is primarily remembered for its ironic valueとあるようにむしろ反対の意味で皮肉的に使われることが多いようです。

(Wikipedia)
The phrase "Peace for Our Time" was spoken on 30 September 1938 by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German Declaration.[1] The phrase echoed Benjamin Disraeli, who upon returning from the Congress of Berlin in 1878 stated "I have returned from Germany with peace for our time." It is primarily remembered for its ironic value: less than a year after the agreement, following continued aggression from Germany and its invasion of Poland, Europe was plunged into World War II.

It is often misquoted as "peace in our time", which had appeared long before in The Book of Common Prayer as "Give peace in our time, O Lord", probably based on the 7th-century hymn 'Da pacem Domine! in diebus nostris, Alleluja'.[2] It is unknown how deliberate Chamberlain's use of such a similar term was, but anyone of his background would have been familiar with the original.

peace in our timeという言葉を皮肉的な意味ではなく、あえて文字通りの意味で使っているエッセイがありました。意外性をもたせることは読者の注意を引くためのテクニックの一つといえそうです。

January 17, 2014 12:00 pm
Peace in our time
Simon KuperBy Simon Kuper
‘They’d have stopped the first world war fast if soldiers had live-tweeted the carnage’

上記のフィナンシャルタイムズのエッセイは以前このブログでも紹介させていただいたエッセイを受けて別のコラムニストが書いたもののようです。

第1次世界大戦の教訓を忘れるな
目を向けるべきは「ミュンヘン」より「サラエボ」
2014.01.08(水) Financial Times

When war broke out in August 1914, crowds in Trafalgar Square cheered. In Germany, even the liberal novelist Thomas Mann exulted, “War! We felt a cleansing, a liberation.” The “world of peace” had bored him.

His words show how far we have come since. Most recent commentaries about 1914 emphasise current risks of war. Yet today’s overriding reality is peace – more widespread internationally and domestically than probably ever before. Armed conflict and violent crime are declining, as the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker describes in his seminal The Better Angels of Our Nature. What if trends are towards even more peace?

このエッセイでは、現代は平和な時代と主張している学者としてSteven Pinkerに触れています。Pinkerは昨年の英検1級の第一回試験で出題されていましたね。世界は平和になっているという主張をpeace in our timeという表現で、「つかの間の平和」という意味ではなく文字通りに「我々の時代の平和」という意味で使っているのです。

その後でThe notion that we live in peaceful times is counter-intuitive.と今の時代は平和だということは2001年の同時多発テロを体験した我々にとってはすぐには受け入れられないことかもしれないといいながら、平和といえる具体例を以下のようにあげています。このような具体例の書き方も参考になりますね。

Yet these are exceptions. The estimated 73,455 Syrians killed in 2013 represent more than half the world’s deaths in armed conflict last year. Pinker says that annual deaths in battle dropped by over 90 per cent from the late 1940s through the early 2000s.

Just since the 1990s, various trends have been pushing us further towards peace. On average, humans have been getting more educated, rich and internationally connected, and more likely to live in democracies. These factors would tend to reduce violence. Indeed, by some definitions, there have been no interstate wars since 2008. Meanwhile, homicides have dropped across the western world, with US murder rates down to 1960s levels.

こういうインプリケーションを読み込めることが読解力と言えるかもしれませんね。英検問題をしっかり復習するようにすれば、このようなフィナンシャルタイムズのエッセイも楽しめるようになるので、「試験か、本物の英語か」という議論は英検1級の勉強に関しては的外れなものとなりそうです。

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Yuta

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