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自由廣場》日本女貞與分贓政治

2019-08-23 05:30

◎ 蘇正隆

讀過《哈利.波特》對4 Privet Drive大概都不陌生,那是主角哈利童年住處,the street address of the home owned by Vernon and Petunia Dursley,他阿姨佩妮和姨丈威農德.思禮的家。Privet(Ligustrum vulgare)「歐洲女貞」是英國常見的綠籬植物,4 Privet Drive台灣版譯成「水蠟樹街四號」,中國簡體版譯為「女貞路四號」,以譯成「女貞」為宜。

日前經過台大附近新生南路三段,看到行道上的「日本女貞」(Ligustrum liukiuense, Japanese Privet)長得好好的,卻給鏟除,又重種另一批「日本女貞」。奇怪吧?不!因為選舉到了。

許多掌握政府資源者往往會利用選舉前大方撥款,給自己的地方樁腳一些好處,讓他們包些工程。這種政客籠絡支持者的政治手腕,中文叫「分贓政治」,英文叫pork barrel,直譯就是「豬肉桶」。底下是Merriam-Webster對pork barrel的解釋:government projects or appropriations yielding rich patronage benefits … used figuratively to mean "a supply of money" or "one’s livelihood" (a farmer, after all, could readily turn pork into cash). When 20th-century legislators doled out appropriations that benefited their home districts, someone apparently made an association between the profit a farmer got from a barrel of pork and the benefits derived from certain state and federal projects. By 1909, pork barrel was being used as a noun naming such government appropriations, and today the term is usually used attributively in constructions such as "pork barrel spending" or "a pork barrel project."

「日本女貞」又名「琉球女貞」,其實是台灣原生植物。

(作者為大學講師、出版社發行人 )

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