爭論不休

2018.04.13


有些事情人們不能達成共識,因為有太大爭議。表示爭議、爭執或者衝突,可用controversy、conflict或contention。一件在社會上引起廣泛爭議的事情,叫a controversy;多項有爭議的問題,便用複數controversies。如:


一、There is a bitter controversy over the site of the new airport.(新機場的選址是一個引起激烈爭論的問題。)


二、A number of political controversies have to be settled before the confidence of the people can be restored.(解決了若干有爭議的政治問題,人們才會恢復信心。)


Controversy又可用作「不可數名詞」,表示爭議:三、The budget has caused considerable controversy.(預算案引起了頗大爭議。)


四、The President resigned amid mounting controversy.(在愈來愈強烈的爭議中,總統辭職。)


同樣,conflict也有「可數」和「不可數」兩種用法:


五、Some historians say the cause of the Opium War was a conflict between two cultures.(有些歷史學者說,鴉片戰爭的起因是兩種文化的衝突。)


六、The violence was a result of ethnic conflicts.(暴力事件是種族衝突的結果。)


七、The government is trying to resolve the conflict over civil servants' pay.(政府正努力解決有關公務員薪酬的矛盾。)


八、This training programme will help public officers develop conflict management skills.(這課程培養官員處理衝突的能力。)


至於contention,則是「不可數」的;如果要指一件惹爭論的事,可說a bone of contention:


九、He was glad to live a quiet life free from contention after his retirement.(他退休後樂於過著寧靜的沒有爭吵的生活。)


十、The "offsetting arrangement" of mandatory provident fund contributions has always been a bone of contention between employers and employees.(強積金「對安排」是僱主和僱員長期爭論的問題。)


一個比較概括的說法是disagreement,意見分歧,無論是輕微的或嚴重的。例如:


十一、There appeared to be serious (some minor) disagreement between the two partners.(兩個合夥人之間似乎出現了嚴重的﹝某些輕微的﹞意見分歧。)


十二、There is considerable disagreement over the safety of the treatment.(這種療法是否安全,爭論很大。)


很多人都熟悉特洛伊戰爭(Trojan War)「木馬屠城」的故事。在希臘神話裏,這長達10年的戰爭是紛爭女神厄里斯(Eris, goddess of strife and discord)引起的:她拋出一個寫「給最美麗的女神」的金蘋果,引得3個女神互相爭奪;她們找特洛伊王子Paris當裁判,Paris把金蘋果獎給愛神Aphrodite,其他兩個女神一怒之下,便施毒計滅了特洛伊。今天,紛爭女神似乎沒有休息,在世界各地不斷播種strife and discord,在香港也不例外。


Strife和discord都是紛爭、不和;由上述神話而來的apple of discord,表示引起爭端的事:


十三、Our society is torn apart by strife.(我們的社會被紛爭撕裂了。)


十四、The right to host the next Olympic games has become an apple of discord between the two countries.(這兩個國家為爭奪下屆奧運會的主辦權而結怨。)

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