2017年5月29日 星期一

in thrall to, be enthralled, college-worthiness

Order in the chamber disintegrated, police were repeatedly summoned, and the husband of a medium nearly punched Houdini in the face.
The congressional hearings on the supernatural were very theatrical.
“Though well below the recommended age rating of 12, the boys were already enthralled by my rule books, especially the Monster Manual, a colourful compendium of deadly fantastic beasts.”
How I became my sons’ Dungeon Master

Growing up, Dan Jolin, uninterested in sport, got hooked on Dungeons & Dragons. Now, 32 years later, it’s proving to be the perfect way to connect with his two young sons

Order in the chamber disintegrated, police were repeatedly summoned, and the husband of a medium nearly punched Houdini in the face.

In 1926, Houdini Spent 4 Days Shaming Congress for Being in Thrall to Fortune-Tellers
The congressional hearings on the supernatural were very theatrical.

Sometimes a single word can capture a moment in politics. In 2008 it was "Hope" that carried Barack Obama to the White House. A bleaker noun now holds voters in its thrall: "Fight" http://econ.st/1KA62vt

The Sandernista revolution
SOMETIMES a single word can capture a moment in politics. In 2008 it was Hope that carried Barack Obama to the White House. A bleaker noun seems to hold voters in...


【3月26日 Contentslink】映画『花の生涯-梅蘭芳(メイランファン)(Forever Enthralled)』のマスコミ上映会および懇談会が24日、ソウル市内の往十里(ワンシンリ)CGVにて開かれ、出演者の香港人俳優のレオン・ライ(Leon Lai)、中国人女優のチャン・ツィイー(Zhang Ziyi)、監督のチェン・カイコー(Chen Kaige)が出席した。 彼らは、同映画の韓国公開を控えてのプロモーションのため、23日午後に仁川国際空港から入国した。1年ぶりに韓国を再び訪れたレオン・ライと、3年ぶりに来韓したチャン・ツィイーは、チェン・カイコー監督と共に24日、25日の両日に行われるマスコミ試写会および公式記者会見、レッドカーペットイベントに参加した。(c)Contentslink

In Hong Kong,
Flashy Test Tutors
Gain Icon Status

With Faces on Billboards,
'Gods' Promise Top Scores;
Mr. Ng's Two Ferraris
August 14, 2007; Page A1
HONG KONG -- When Richard Eng isn't teaching English grammar to high-school students, he might be cruising around Hong Kong in his Lamborghini Murciélago. Or in Paris, on one of his seasonal shopping sprees. Or relaxing in his private, custom-installed karaoke room festooned with giant Louis Vuitton logos.
Mr. Eng, 43 years old, is one of Hong Kong's best-known celebrity "tutor gods."

Hong Kong parents are often desperate to help their children succeed in this city's pressure-cooker public-examination system, which determines students' college-worthiness. That explains why many are willing to pay handsomely for extracurricular help. Mr. Eng and others like him have made a lucrative business out of tapping that demand. They use flashy, aggressive marketing tactics that have transformed them into scholastic pop stars -- "tutor gods," as they're known in Cantonese.
Private tutoring is big business around the world. Programs that help people prepare for standardized tests -- such as SAT-prep courses in the U.S. -- have become a multibillion-dollar industry. Tutoring agencies are also booming in places like mainland China and Japan. Several years ago, Hong Kong's government estimated that the city's families spent nearly half a billion dollars a year on tutoring.
Hong Kong stands out, though, for instructors who boldly tout their success rate -- and their own images. They pay to have their faces plastered throughout the city on 40-foot-high billboards and the sides of double-decker buses. They're also known for buying ads that take up the entire front page of newspapers -- space more commonly filled by banks and property developers. One local television station is even preparing to launch a fictional drama series based on the lives of the tutor gods.
See side-by-side comparisons of mock exam questions given by tutor Joseph Li to his students ahead of the 2000 public examination, and the actual public exam that year.
Plus, watch a music video featuring tutor god K. Oten. The song, "Fong Bong," or "Release of Examination Results," is about feelings and fears of failure on the day that the public exam results are released.
The tutors won't say exactly how much they make. But typically, a popular tutor might teach 100 students in a single lesson, each paying as much as $12.50 to be there. So a tutor working 40 hours could gross $50,000 in a week. "It's a big business," says Ken Ng, a well-known tutor god. "That's why I'm driving my second Ferrari."
Years ago, Mr. Eng remembers, tutors were looked down on in Hong Kong as second-rate teachers. Now, he adds, people ask for his help and "they say, 'I want to be a tutor god.' "
He relishes the attention. In April, when Louis Vuitton threw a party here to showcase its vintage luggage and trunks, he hammed for photographers in a head-to-toe Louis Vuitton ensemble, complete with glimmering gold blazer and gold leather shoes.
"It's the product that you're selling, and in our business, it's the person -- just like in showbiz," says June Leung, Mr. Eng's cousin and business partner. A recent brochure for their tutoring business features Ms. Leung, 40, wearing a John Galliano T-shirt and knee-high leather boots on the cover.
[Richard Eng]
Flashy clothes might not seem the way for a tutor to impress clients. But Hong Kong youth respond well to the marketing, and many parents go along with whomever their kids choose -- assured by the promise of better grades. A low score in Hong Kong's public exams, which cover a range of subjects, can put the brakes on a student's college aspirations.
Garret Leung, 19, credits multiple tutors for helping him land a perfect score on a recent public exam -- making him one of only 15 Hong Kong students to do so in 2005. "The tutors may not actually help you speak better English," he says. "But your scores will certainly be better."
Rosa Wong, 46, says she's put off by the "deification" of the tutors. "In my heart, I don't agree with these practices," she says. But that didn't stop her from enrolling her 16-year-old daughter Sarah in classes with four different tutor gods. She decided on the best ones after watching sample lesson videos on YouTube. (Watch a music video featuring tutor god K. Oten.)
"When everyone else takes their classes and your children don't," says Ms. Wong, "you're afraid they won't be as competitive." Besides, she says, these tutors are great at "tipping" or predicting exam questions -- an important edge that could determine her daughter's future.
Sometimes, the tipping seems to be a little too accurate. A few tutors have been known to guess questions that appeared in nearly identical form on the actual tests. This spring, a legislator here called for a formal investigation into any possible ties between tutors and testing officials. (See side-by-side comparisons of one tutor's mock exam questions and the actual public exam.)

Mr. Ng's company, called Modern Education, is one of the dominant players in the field. Mr. Ng, better known here as "Ken Sir," this spring told students to practice writing essays about fashion designers. During the public exam that followed, students cracked open the test's English section to find a request for a 250-word essay on the question "Would you like to work with a famous fashion designer?"
Mr. Ng says his prediction was based on experience in the field. He's proud of his tipping prowess and now hypes it in his marketing materials. "I know all the tricks," says the 40-year-old tutor.
That includes attracting top talent, ranging from attorneys to fashion models. In one instance, Mr. Ng says he lured one English tutor, Stella Cheng, away from a lucrative gig at a prominent law firm.
On a recent summer day, over one hundred students watched rapt as one of Mr. Ng's disciples, Karsen Fan, lectured students on how to ace the English portion of the public exam. Glass walls separated the crowd into "classrooms" of 45 students or less -- that's the maximum class size allowed by the government -- who watched the tutor on a live video feed. Teaching assistants circled the students, taking questions.
A baby-faced 31-year-old with a goatee, Mr. Fan, who lectures in mix of Cantonese and English, enthralled students with his rapid-fire delivery over a headset microphone.
"Do you hear that voice?" Mr. Ng said, hovering outside the classroom. "That's why he's a star." As it happens, Mr. Fan has a side career rapping with local pop singers. Like many tutors, he goes by a stage name -- K. Oten -- which he uses both in classrooms and recording studios.
Hong Kong's rank-and-file schoolteachers can find the tutor obsession hugely frustrating. Rosita Louie, 58, who has taught English at a local government-funded public school for 37 years, remembers exploding at two of her students who used her daily English period to finish up their tutorial homework.
"There's no way for me to compete for my students' attention," she says.
Write to Jonathan Cheng at jonathan.cheng@wsj.com

  1. thrall (Old Norse: þræll) was a slave or serf in Scandinavian lands during the Viking Age beginning in c. 793. Norsemen and Vikings raided across Europe. They often captured and enslaved militarily weaker peoples they encountered, but took the most slaves in raids of the British Isles.

In Thrall to Sheldon Adelson

Instead of repudiating a casino mogul's billions, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get even closer and jeopardize the integrity of their campaign.


  • 発音記号[θrɔ'ːl]
1 奴隷;[U]((通例inを前に置いて))奴隷の身分[境遇], 束縛
in thrall to ...
2 (道徳的・精神的に)(…の)とりこになっている人((of, to ...)).

Be enthralled


To be captivated; to be held spellbound by pleasing qualities.


Be enthralledWho was the first person to be found enthralling? Strange as it may seem for such a destructive and belligerent race, it was a Viking. The Vikings were stalwart ravagers and pillagers but didn't put much effort into housework. They didn't need to; they had the Thralls.
The Thralls weren't a race as such but a category of people who were at the absolute bottom of the pile in Scandinavian society in the Dark Ages. They were captives of war who were held as slaves, often passing their bondage on to their children. The harshness of the treatment of the Thralls by the Vikings was uncompromising. Thralls weren't allowed to speak in the presence of their masters nor to own property. Anyone captured by the Vikings was said to be 'in thrall' (later enthrall) and was in for a very bad time indeed.
Things didn't get much better for the Thralls when Viking dominance faded around 1100 AD. The Catholic Church decreed that enslavement of Christians was sinful, whereas heathens were fair game. This brought about an increase in demand for non-Christian slaves and the Thralls, being mostly Pagans, continued in slavery. The Lindisfarne Gospels, circa 950 AD, makes a mention (in Old English) of a Thrall in the context of 'one whose liberty is forfeit'.
By the 17th century the literal meaning of 'enthrall' had been forgotten and the word began to be used in the way we use it now. Shakespeare used it that way in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1600:
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape.
Many Norse words have retained their original negative meanings in modern English - anger, berserk, Hell, irksome, rotten, ugly and troll, for eaxample. It is odd that 'enthralled', a word now associated with pleasure and charm, meant virtually the opposite when it was coined a thousand years ago.


  • 発音記号[inθrɔ'ːl]
1 〈人を〉(…で)魅了する, 夢中にさせる, 大いに楽しませる((by, with ...));〈人の〉心を奪う.
2 ((通例比喩))…をとりこにする, 奴隷にする, 束縛する.

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in thrall literary If you are in thrall to someone or something, or in the thrall of someone or something, he, she, or it has a lot of power to control you:Her love for him was like a madness, and she was completely in its thrall.
enthral UK (-ll-), US USUALLY enthrall Show phonetics
verb [I or T]
to keep someone completely interested:
The baseball game completely enthralled the crowd.
The audience was enthralled for two hours by a sparkling, dramatic performance.
They listened enthralled to what he was saying.
enthralling Show phonetics
adjectivekeeping someone's interest and attention completely:
I found your book absolutely enthralling!