Sunday, 8 April 2012

"You, Paul and Mary" 還是 "Paul, Mary and you"?


西方人,特別是以前的英國人,為了表現自己的謙遜 (modesty, self-effacement),習慣把自己 "I" 放在最後: 

Ms Zhang and I used to be a couple.  (而不會說:I and Ms Zhang used to be a couple.) 
Paul, Dick and I are working abroad.  (不會說:I, Paul and Dick are working abroad.)

這習慣一直維持至今。同樣地,為了表現對聆聽對象或書寫對象的尊重,他們習慣把「你」放在最前: 

You and I have been friends for a decade.  (而不會說:I and you...)
You, Paul and Mary are going to participate in the upcoming singing contest.  (不會說:Paul, Mary and you are going to...)

其它例子還有我們常聽的 "Ladies and Gentlemen"。英國男人為了顯示自己彬彬有禮,會先說 "Ladies" 而後說 "Gentlemen"。相信你從沒聽過有人說 "Gentlemen and Ladies" 吧!

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