雞同鴨講──Life is not a bed of roses，曾蔭權也會fall from grace｜A Chicken Talking To A Duck By Chatterbox
It’s been another dramatic week as far as local news is concerned. Former Chief Executive Donald Tsang became the city’s most senior official to be put behind bars for misconduct while in office. It was heart-wrenching to hear the sentencing judge say he had never in his judicial career seen a man fallen from so high when he handed down a 20-month jail term.
To describe someone’s downfall, we can use the phrase “fall from grace”, which means they have lost everything, their fortune, their reputation, etc. The idiom has a religious concept behind it; it means someone has sinned and found themselves on the wrong side of God and lost the approval of the Almighty, which happened to Adam and Eve in the Bible.
There are plenty of ways to describe how we feel when confronted by this kind of predicament. A more subdued way to show one’s acceptance of a bad situation is to say “that’s life”. You can use in a sentence like “There’s nothing much we can do, that’s life.” Interestingly, there is a commonly used equivalent in French, “c’est la vie”, which we often hear in the English-speaking world.
There’s a rather well accepted but less elegant expression that can be used in a more casual manner; “shit happens”. In fact, it’s not a very rude expression so you can use among friends and colleagues, but maybe not in front of your boss.
For those who prefer more gentle expressions, how about “take the rough with the smooth” to mean one should accept both difficult and easy times.
Other handy phrases include “life is not a bed of roses” and “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. The latter phrase is inspirational to encourage people that when they are stuck in difficult situations, they should toughen up to meet the challenge.
Speaking of challenge, there are a number of colourful ways to describe misfortune; “it never rains but it pours”, “misfortunes never come singly” or “bad things come in threes”. All of them describe unfortunate events come crushing down in large quantities.
How about “rotten luck”, “to have one’s luck run out” or “I’ve been jinxed”? The last one means your bad luck has been caused by a curse.
A phrase many of you will definitely find amusing is “falling down the rabbit hole”, which means you find yourself in a bizarre and confusing situation that’s difficult to get out of. You may ask why a rabbit hole? It’s because the phrase is derived from the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in which it describes Alice stumbling down a hole and beginning her curious adventure. This phrase doesn’t always imply a misfortune; it can depict a situation in which one has little or no control over.
When people are “down on their luck”, they can’t catch a break. “Down on their luck” means experiencing a streak of bad luck. You can certainly say something like this to make someone feel better when they are in bad luck.
I’ve always believed nothing is permanent in life, so we should never dwell on our sorrows and misfortunes and remain positive. Good luck, see you all next week.
要描述某人墮落，可使用「fall from grace」，意味他們一無所有，財富、聲譽等通通失去。這句話有宗教含意，代表某人犯下罪孽，走上錯誤的道路，因此失去全能上帝的讚許，聖經中的亞當及夏娃就是例子。
若要形容面對這種困境時的感受，方法不少，其中一個較溫和、顯示自己已接受現實的說法是「that’s life」，例如可這樣用：「There’s nothing much we can do, that’s life.」。有趣的是，即使說著英語，我們也愛用法語的「c’est la vie」 來代替「that’s life」。
對於那些還是鐘情溫和表達方式的人，「take the rough with the smooth」也許更適合你，它的意思是，無論順境逆境，人都應該安然接受。
其他派得上場的短語還有「life is not a bed of roses」和「when the going gets tough, the tough get going」。後者意指身處困境時，強者選擇奮力向前、面對挑戰，相當鼓舞人心呢。
說起挑戰，有不少生動的短語可形容厄運，例如「It never rains but it pours」、「misfortunes never come singly」或「bad things come in threes」，都代表不幸的事情接二連三地發生。還有「rotten luck」、「to have one’s luck run out」或意味你的惡運是因為你被詛咒的「I’ve been jinxed」。
以下這句短語，許多人都會覺得有趣，就是描述正身處奇怪或混亂處境而難以抽身的「falling down the rabbit hole」。你也許會問，為何是掉進兔子洞裡去呢？因為這句話源於《愛麗絲夢遊仙境》，書中描述愛麗絲被一個洞絆倒，自此開始她的奇幻冒險。當然，這句話不一定意指不幸，也可以描述人很少或不能控制的處境。
除此之外，當人們「down on their luck」時，也代表他們霉運當頭，正經歷一連串壞事。