2016年4月28日 星期四

slog, As cute as a bug's ear, supersede/supercede

"In June 1916, Einstein wrote: “Quantum theory would have to modify not only Maxwellian electrodynamics but also the new theory of gravitation.” That was quite an insight when you consider that quantum theory didn’t even exist yet. It was still a nebulous idea that wouldn’t coalesce for another decade. So, we have been celebrating the centenary not only of Einstein’s theory, but also of the long slog to supersede it."
The Huffington Post's George Musser dives into the subject of quantum gravity.


As cute as a bug's ear

Meaning

Very cute.

Origin

As cute as a bug's earImagine for a moment a bug's ear... Cute picture? Hardly. You are more likely to be imagining something that might be at home in The Day of the Triffids. Do bugs (that's insects if you are reading in the UK) even have ears? Again, hardly. Many of them can detect sound, but they use a variety of strange means of doing it and none of them come equipped with anything resembling a human ear.
Similes of the type 'as white as snow', 'as busy as a bee' almost always refer to a property that is archetypally appropriate for the item in question. So why would anyone have imagined a bug's ear to be especially cute?
The phrase originated in the southern states of America in the latter part of the 19th century and is still more common there than elsewhere. I've never heard it in conversation here in Yorkshire for instance. No-one, even in Texas, where the phrase is often said to have originated, thought that bugs' ears were cute. What they did think, and they had a point here as insects can detect very miniscule and high-pitched sounds, is that they were 'acute'.
'Cute' was a synonym for 'acute' in the 1700s in England. Nathan Bailey defined it in The Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1731, as:

Cute: sharp, quick-witted, shrewd.
The term crossed the Atlantic and in 1848 the US romantic poet James Russell Lowell used the term with the 'sharp; shrewd' meaning in The Biglow Papers:

Aint it cute to see a Yankee Take sech everlastin' pains?
An early example of 'cute as a bug's ear' is found in a story in the South Carolina newspaper the Charleston Sunday News, June 1891:

Imogene McGinty is as cute as a bug's ear.
From around that time onwards, in the USA, the 'pretty; charming' meaning of cute began to supersede the previous 'acute' meaning, although the earlier meaning persisted for much longer in the UK, where it is still used.
Other 'as cute as' phrases came later and all of them rely on the present-day 'pretty; adorable' meaning. Examples are, 'as cute as a kitten/button/cupcake'. The expression 'as cute as a bug in a rug' is also quite commonplace. Bugs in rugs can't be said to be either especially sharp-witted or cuddly and that odd simile is just a merging of 'as cute as a bug's ear' and 'as snug as a bug in a rug'.
So, if you want 'cute', try a baby panda - bug's ears are 'acute'.
See other 'as X as Y' phrases.



可憐
令人憐憫。莊子˙庚桑楚:「汝欲反汝情性,而無由入,可憐哉!」紅樓夢˙第五十八回:「只得踱到瀟湘館瞧黛玉,一發瘦的可憐。」
哀憫。三國演義˙第二回:「可憐漢室天下,四百餘年,到此一旦休矣。」儒林外史˙第三回:「倘有一線之明,也可憐他苦志。」
惹人喜愛。唐˙李白˙清平調三首之二:「借問漢宮誰得似,可憐飛燕倚新妝。」唐˙杜甫˙秋日夔府詠懷奉寄鄭監李賓客一百韻:「春草何曾歇,寒花亦可憐。」
令人羨慕。唐˙白居易˙長恨歌:「姊妹弟兄皆列土,可憐光彩生門戶。」
令人惋惜。唐˙李商隱˙賈生詩:「可憐夜半虛前席,不問蒼生問鬼神。」

cute
[形](cut・er, cut・est)((略式))
1 (小さくて)かわいらしい, 可憐な. ⇒BEAUTIFUL[類語]
a cute baby [dress]
かわいらしい赤ん坊[ドレス].
2 ((米))機敏な, 抜け目ない, はしっこい.
3 ((米))気どった, きざな
excessively cute behavior
大げさに気どった態度
Don't get cute with me.
人をなめるな.
━━[副]((略式))かわいらしく, すてきに.






From Booklist

Superseding The Life and Mind of John Dewey by George Dykhuizen (1974), due to the opening since then of Dewey's papers, Martin's biography will strike chords with admirers of the liberal reformer whose name is synonymous with progressive education. Tracing Dewey's 90-plus years, Martin aims for a sense of Dewey's life as a lived experiment, an exercise in pragmatism as it were, the label affixed to Dewey's philosophy. Although he was serious and conventional in his personal life, intellectually Dewey traveled far from his pietistic upbringing in the 1860s, traversing Hegelian idealism en route to his arrival to the view that the practical must trump the theoretical. Education is, of course, where he applied his ideas, most famously at his University of Chicago Laboratory School. Bowing to readability, Martin emphasizes Dewey's activities as a public expositor over scholarly mulling of his philosophical works, even as he records Dewey's life with a beloved first wife, succeeded by a second whom his children despised. This will be the new standard biography of the great reformer's life. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

slog

NOUN

1[USUALLY IN SINGULAR] A spell of difficult, tiring work or travelling:it would be a hard slog back to the camp[MASS NOUN]: it wasn’t all slog during those years
2A forceful and uncontrolled hit, especially in cricket:a slog hit the fielder on the helmet

supersede[su・per・sede]


  • 発音記号[sùːpərsíːd | sjùː-]
  • supersede 

    Pronunciation: /ˌsuːpəˈsiːd/ 

    VERB

    [WITH OBJECT]
    Take the place of (a person or thing previously in authority or use); supplant:the older models of car have now been superseded
[動](他)
1 ((しばしば受身))…を破棄する, 無用にする;…に取って代わる, …の座を奪う, …を押しのける;〈人・物を〉(…と)取り替える((with, by ...)). ⇒REPLACE[類語]
Wood-burning stoves have been superseded by electric stoves. [=Electric stoves have superseded wood-burning stoves. ]
木炭ストーブは電気ストーブに取って代わられた.
2 〈人の〉あとがまに座る, …に代わって就任する.
[ラテン語supersedēre (super-上に+sedēre座る)]
sù・per・séd・ence
[名]

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