2018年4月12日 星期四

secular, sledgehammer, ignominious, downfall, convict, ditty, trafficking

History will record that the Islamic State caliphate—a bizarre pseudo-state founded on illusory goals, created by a global horde of jihadis, and enforced with perverted viciousness—survived for three years, three months and some eighteen days.

The liberation of Raqqa marks the symbolic demise of the Islamic State’s three-year rule, but the dynamics that helped fuel its rise remain in place.

Denmark is one of the least religious countries in the world. Yet, as of this week, it looks as though it may be one of the very few countries in the Western world where a blasphemy law is in active use

How to make Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN even creepier: use illustrations based on "vintage French anatomical studies." (We especially like the sledgehammer to the teeth.)

Most wine lists are organized according to popular regions or grapes, although an additional category is often tacked on at the end. This is where wines that won't easily fit in one place or another are assigned -- a category that's invariably and, some might say, ignominiously entitled 'Miscellaneous Wines.'

多數酒單都根據熱門產區或是葡萄的品種對葡萄酒加以分類﹐但是酒單的末尾常常還會再加上一類酒:它囊括了不易被歸為其中某一類的葡萄酒﹐常被稱作“雜類葡萄酒”(Miscellaneous Wines)(有些人也許會說這一名稱有些不大體面。)

 Mr. Colson masterminded some of the dirty tricks that led to President Richard M. Nixon’s downfall, then emerged from prison to become an important evangelical figure.

  1. deserving or causing public disgrace or shame.

    "no other party risked ignominious defeat"

Damp squib


Something that fails ignominiously to satisfy expectations; an anti-climax, a disappointment.

U.S. Says Mexico Tortured American in Custody
The U.S. Justice Department has determined that an American convicted in Mexico of drug trafficking was tortured by authorities while in Mexican custody, a move that immediately freed him from prison.

The convivial Regency Christmas celebrations that Scrooge recalls in "A Christmas Carol" certainly seem to be based on Dickens's own experience, but they were among his few happy memories. Young Charles was pulled out of school—permanently—and for a brief, ignominious period sent to work in a grim shoe-blacking factory. Dickens kept this traumatic past—his own hardships and his father's imprisonment—secret until his death. Yet he mined these events for the material with which he filled "Little Dorrit," "Great Expectations" and (most autobiographical of all) "David Copperfield."

When most of the nonpolitical world last paid attention to Newt Gingrich, about a decade ago, he was stepping away from public life shrouded in the kind of ignominy that seemed to shadow all the sordid politics of his era.

“What distinguished her from the start,” Time magazine wrote in 1960, “was the meticulous care with which she tried to recreate the feeling of her folk songs; to understand the emotions of a convict in a convict ditty, she once tried breaking up rocks with a sledgehammer.”

noun [C]
a short simple song

noun [C]
1 a large heavy hammer with a long handle, used for breaking stones or other heavy material, or for hitting posts into the ground, etc.

2 describes a way of behaving that is too forceful:
They accused the Prime Minister of using sledgehammer tactics.

sledgehammer to crack a nut DISAPPROVING
If you use a sledgehammer to crack a nut you use much more force than is needed:
Fifty police officers to arrest two unarmed men is surely a case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Obama’s Intervention Indirectly Led to Case By MIKE McINTIRE and JEFF ZELENY 50 minutes ago A phone call Barack Obama made three months ago indirectly contributed to Mr. Blagojevich’s downfall.

The Downfall of a California Dreamer

Downfall of Citizen Black
Conrad Black 垮臺

• Conrad Black facing up to 20 years in prison
• Peer convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice
• Former Telegraph boss embezzled $6m from firm

For Conrad Black, a Downfall Shaped by Many Battles
Conrad Black’s rise and fall was marked by charm, indignation and opportunism.

Instead, the Diet passed a no-confidence resolution against the Cabinet, triggering a downfall of the LDP and an end to the party's decades-long monopoly as the ruling party.

By 2001, the firm had grown to 608 lawyers in nine offices, and its clients included the Dallas Morning News and CompUSA.
But the IRS's 2004 victory in the privilege fight helped set the stage for Jenkens's downfall. Once the agency won access to the firm's records, it was able to identify more than 1,000 wealthy individuals who had used the shelters and then to seek back taxes, interest and penalties from them. Many of these people sued the law firm, creating a huge financial strain and giving Jenkens attorneys reason to head for the doors. The claims were settled for about $80 million.

--Tax-Shelters Fell Law Firm

The Downfall Of Rome
by David Padfield
The renowned historian Edward Gibbon is often quoted for his vivid descriptions of the Roman empire. In his great work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he describes how the Roman army became lax in discipline and exercise. "It is the just and important observation of Vegetius, that the infantry was invariably covered with defensive armor, from the foundation of the city to the reign of the emperor Gratian. The relaxation of discipline, and the disuse of exercise, rendered the soldiers less able, and less willing, to support the fatigues of the service; they complained of the weight of the armor, which they seldom wore: and they successively obtained the permission of laying aside both their cuirasses and their helmets. The heavy weapons of their ancestors, the short sword, and the formidable pilum, which had subdued the world, insensibly dropped from their feeble hands. As the use of the shield is incompatible with that of the bow, they reluctantly marched into the field; condemned to suffer either the pain of wounds, or the ignominy of flight, and always disposed to prefer the more shameful alternative. The cavalry of the Goths, the Huns, and the Alani, had felt the benefits, and adopted the use, of defensive armor; and, as they excelled in the management of missile weapons, they easily overwhelmed the naked and trembling legions, whose heads and breasts were exposed, without defence, to the arrows of the barbarians. The loss of armies, the destruction of cities, and the dishonor of the Roman name, ineffectually solicited the successors of Gratian to restore the helmets and cuirasses of the infantry. The enervated soldiers abandoned their own, and the public defence; and the pusillanimous indolence may be considered as the immediate cause of the downfall of the empire." (Vol. III, pp. 271-272).


n. - 衰敗, 垮臺(A sudden loss of wealth, rank, reputation, or happiness; ruin.)
大雨, (A fall of rain or snow, especially a heavy or unexpected one.)

adjective LITERARY
(especially of events or behaviour) embarrassing because so completely a failure:
an ignominious defeat/failure/retreat
  • [ìgnəmíniəs]
  • [副]
1 ((形式))不名誉な, 恥ずべき.
2 軽蔑すべき, 卑しむべき
ignominious deceit


public embarrassment:
The Workers' Coalition experienced the ignominy of total defeat in the last election.

“One's duty is to feel what is great, cherish the beautiful, and to not accept the conventions of society with the ignominy that it imposes upon us.”
―from MADAME BOVARY (1857)

con・vict ━━ vt. 有罪を証明する, 有罪と宣告する ((of)); 〔まれ〕 (人に)悟らせる.━━ n. 受刑者, 罪人, 囚人 (an ex-~ 前科者).
con・vic・tion ━━ n. 有罪判決, 断罪; 信服させること[力]; 確信, 信念; 罪の自覚, 悔悟.
carry conviction (議論が)説得力がある.