2015年11月15日 星期日

murderous, obscene, get away with murder, incense (ANGER), internecine, badland

The murderous terrorist assault in Paris that has killed at least 127 people is civilisation’s worst nightmare: indiscriminate attacks in the heart of a capital city on peaceful people, guilty of nothing more than enjoying a meal or listening to a band. Coming days after suicide bomb blasts in Beirut, it is clear that we are living through another spasm of Islamist terrorism, just at the moment when the extremists’ badlands in Syria are being threatened.

“These bankers got away with murder, and it’s obscene that close to nothing is being asked of financial institutions. I get incensed at the thought that a bank that’s getting billions of dollars in taxpayer money is out there buying fancy new airplanes.”

In an interview a day after a landmark national election delivered resounding losses to his allies in Parliament, Mr. Musharraf said he has no plans to step down. Instead, he said he wanted to help end the internecine battles between presidents and prime ministers that have marred Pakistan's political history and precipitated military interference in the government.


  1. Of or relating to struggle within a nation, organization, or group.
  2. Mutually destructive; ruinous or fatal to both sides.
  3. Characterized by bloodshed or carnage.
[Latin internecīnus, destructive, variant of internecīvus, from internecāre, to slaughter : inter-, intensive pref.; see inter– + nex, nec-, death.]
WORD HISTORY When is a mistake not a mistake? In language at least, the answer to this question is “When everyone adopts it,” and on rare occasions, “When it's in the dictionary.”
The word internecine presents a case in point. Today, it usually has the meaning “relating to internal struggle,” but in its first recorded use in English, in 1663, it meant “fought to the death.”
How it got from one sense to another is an interesting story in the history of English. The Latin source of the word, spelled both internecīnus and internecīvus, meant “fought to the death, murderous.” It is a derivative of the verb necāre, “to kill.”
The prefix inter– was here used not in the usual sense “between, mutual” but rather as an intensifier meaning “all the way, to the death.”
This piece of knowledge was unknown to Samuel Johnson, however, when he was working on his great dictionary in the 18th century. He included internecine in his dictionary but misunderstood the prefix and defined the word as “endeavoring mutual destruction.” Johnson was not taken to task for this error. On the contrary, his dictionary was so popular and considered so authoritative that this error became widely adopted as correct usage. The error was further compounded when internecine acquired the sense “relating to internal struggle.”
This story thus illustrates how dictionaries are often viewed as providing norms and how the ultimate arbiter in language, even for the dictionary itself, is popular usage.

get away with
1. Escape the consequences or blame for, as in Bill often cheats on exams but usually gets away with it. [Late 1800s]
2. get away with murder. Escape the consequences of killing someone; also, do anything one wishes. For example, If the jury doesn't convict him, he'll have gotten away with murder, or He talks all day on the phone--the supervisor is letting him get away with murder. [First half of 1900s]

1 offensive, rude or shocking, usually because too obviously related to sex or showing sex:
In the raid, police found several boxes of obscene videotapes.
He was jailed for making obscene phone calls (= ones in which unwanted sexual suggestions were made to the listener).
obscene language/graffiti

2 morally wrong, often describing something that is morally wrong because it is too large:
to make obscene pr粗體ofits
The salaries some company directors earn are obscene.

obscenely adverb
He's obscenely rich/fat/crue斜體l.

obscenity noun
1 [C or U] when someone or something is obscene:
The people who made that film could be prosecuted for obscenity.
Such deliberate destruction of the environment is an obscenity (= an offensive and shocking situation or event).
obscenity laws

2 [C usually plural] a very offensive or sexually shocking word or sentence:
He was shouting and screaming obscenities.

incense (ANGER)
verb [T usually passive]
to cause someone to be extremely angry:
The editor said a lot of readers would be incensed by my article on abortion.
I was so incensed by what he was saying I had to walk out.

The villagers are incensed at the decision to close the railway station.

骯髒??炸彈 《每日電訊報》頭版報道稱,據資深安全部門人士透露,巴基斯坦政局混亂正在給基地組織和其他伊斯蘭極端主義組織可乘之機。 報道稱,許多恐怖主義組織長期希望能夠發展出所謂"骯髒炸彈",也就是可以造成大面積核污染的簡陋核武器。 報道指出,巴基斯坦是唯一擁有核武器的穆斯林國家。巴基斯坦境內的基地組織勢力和塔利班勢力均長期試圖獲得核技術。

dirty bomb noun [C]
a bomb which has radioactive material added to it so that it causes more damage and pollution


    1. Soiled, as with dirt; unclean.
    2. Spreading dirt; polluting: The air near the foundry was always dirty.
    3. Apt to soil with dirt or grime: a dirty job at the garage.
    4. Contaminated with bacteria or other infectious microorganisms.
  1. Squalid or filthy; run-down: dirty slums.
    1. Obscene or indecent: dirty movies; a dirty joke.
    2. Malicious or scandalous: a dirty lie.
    1. Unethical or corrupt; sordid: dirty politics.
    2. Not sportsmanlike: dirty players; a dirty fighter.
    3. Acquired by illicit or improper means: dirty money.
    4. Slang. Possessing or using illegal drugs.
    1. Unpleasant or distasteful; thankless: Laying off workers is the dirty part of this job.
    2. Extremely unfortunate or regrettable: a dirty shame.
  2. Expressing disapproval or hostility: gave us a dirty look.
  3. Not bright and clear in color; somewhat dull or drab. Often used in combination: dirty-blonde hair; dirty-green walls.
  4. Producing a very great amount of long-lived radioactive fallout. Used of nuclear weapons.
  5. Stormy; rough: dirty weather.