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14 662 2016
英語常用詞compromise難用
compromise
這個單詞,作為名詞或不及物動詞,意義比較簡單,大致上相當于中文的“妥協”、“折衷”(還可以作為定語放在另一個名詞前面,如:a compromise agreement“一個妥協性的協議”)。但是作為及物動詞,意義就比較復雜,而且在中文不容易找到準確的對應,因而準確的意義就不容易掌握。基本的意義,是“使之有所承擔,因而有所付出或有所損失”,許多更加具體的釋義都由此派生。
(1)“不堅持(某信念、標準或主張)”(是瞬時動作,第四類動詞)。【例如】The government is said to have compromised its principles. 政府被指稱放棄了原則。/ Occasionally, we must compromise on-time operations to guarantee safe travel. 有時候我們必須為了保證旅途安全而放松準時運行。
(2)賓語是人,負面的意義是“損害某人的正直形象”、“拉某人下水”、“使某人不得不勉強做某事”(也是瞬時動作,屬第四類動詞)。【例如】He vowed not to be lured into any associations that might compromise him. 他立誓不會被引誘參加任何可能損害他形象的團體。To compromise oneself是“自己把自己套緊”、“自損形象”。【例如】It is difficult to establish in what way letters of Bismarck to Lassalle also got into this chest. It is true that they are very few, and their contents also are of no kind of interest. It is clear that Bismarck did not wish to compromise himself in any way. He preferred to "listen," and if he uttered his opinion, it was only orally, face to face, without witnesses. 很難查明俾斯麥給拉薩爾的信件是如何到了這個箱子里的。信件的確很少,內容也無關緊要。顯然,俾斯麥絲毫不想把自己套住。他主要是“聽著”,即使發表意見,也只是當面口頭說出,不愿有人旁證。/ Why did such an experienced politician compromise himself and allow himself to be manipulated by sleazy lobbyists? 為什么這樣一個經驗豐富的政治家竟然這樣自我作賤,任下流的游說者擺弄呢?但是也可以有正面的意義,表示關系之難解難分。【例如】(She had) a bundle of letters to prove how deeply the young man had compromised himself. (Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage)她有一批信件,可以證明這個青年人同她關系多深。由此產生的過去分詞compromised已經接近一般的形容詞,意思是“處境狼狽”、“形象不佳”。【例如】Has there ever been a summit at which all of the leaders were so weak, so compromised, so unpopular, or so discredited? 與會的領導人全都如此軟弱,如此狼狽,如此聲名不佳,如此失信于民,這樣的高峰會議,難道以往有過嗎?
(3)“連累”、“危及”、“損害”。【例如】A lone US ambassador compromised America's hunt for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan for more than two years, The New York Sun has learned. 《紐約太陽報》獲悉,單單一名美國大使,就損害了美國在巴基斯坦搜捕本·拉登的工作達兩年之久。/ Blanche saw that it was hopeless—saw that she had compromised her own interests by her own headlong act.(Wilkie Collins, Man and Wife) 布朗希看到事情沒有希望了,她看到自己那種一頭栽的魯莽舉動已經使自己的利益受到了損害。/ He tried to devise a plan by means of which he might gain his ends without being compromised himself.(Alexandre Dumas, The Black Tulip) 他努力要想出一個妙計,既能達到目的,又不損及自己。
現在談到風行的“駭客攻擊”、“網上犯罪”、“身份盜竊”時,往往就出現compromise這個及物動詞和它的形容詞化了的過去分詞compromised,中文譯法也不統一,一般有“攻擊”、“攻陷”、“受威脅”(過去分詞)、“已經泄密”(過去分詞)等等。【例如】compromised key已泄密的密鑰,被盜取的密鑰 / compromised Visa accounts被盜取的維薩信用卡賬戶 / compromised password已泄密的密碼 / A single compromised account on a server could also be used to compromise the domain controller. 一個伺服器上如果有一個賬戶被盜取,它就可以用來波及域名的控制器。再看下面例句:The state of California has warned residents that their personal data may have been stolen from computers at the University of California, Berkeley, after a database used by researchers there was compromised by hackers. Investigators know a malicious hacker exploited a vulnerability in "commercially available database software" and compromised the computer. 加利福尼亞州警告居民,加州大學伯克利分校研究人員使用的一個數據庫被駭客攻陷,因此他們的個人資料可能已經被盜出電腦。調查人員已經查出,一個惡意的駭客利用 “商業上可以使用的數據庫軟件”,攻陷了電腦。
人體的機能如果受損,也是compromised,例如免疫機能受損,可以用復合形容詞immunocompromised來表示(= having a weakened immune system)。
又如在秘密的地下工作中,某人或某地址如果暴露了,與之聯系會有危險,也說該人或該地址是compromised的。“涉嫌文件”是compromising papers。

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