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TEDxHousesOfParliament

Mark Forsyth: What's a snollygoster? A short lesson in political speak

マーク・フォーサイス: 政治における言葉について

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政治家は言葉を選んで使い、その言葉で現実を形作り支配しようとします。これは有効な手法なのでしょうか? 語源研究家のマーク・フォーサイスは、ジョージ・ワシントンの称号を“大統領”にした背景等、イギリスとアメリカの政治史からいくつかの面白い政治用語の語源について語ります。そして驚くべき結論に至ります。(ロンドンで行われたTEDxHousesofParliamentから)

- Writer
Mark Forsyth strolls through the English language, telling stories, making connections and banishing hobgoblins. Full bio

One of my favorite words in the whole of
オックスフォード英語辞典で
00:16
the Oxford English Dictionary is "snollygoster."
お気入りの単語は “snollygoster” です
00:18
Just because it sounds so good.
響きがいいからです
00:22
And what snollygoster means is
“snollygoster” の意味は
00:23
"a dishonest politician."
“ずる賢い政治家” です
00:25
Although there was a 19th-century
19世紀の新聞編集者の定義はもっと素敵でした
00:28
newspaper editor who defined it rather better when he said,
19世紀の新聞編集者の定義はもっと素敵でした
00:29
"A snollygoster is a fellow who seeks office
“snollygoster は政党 綱領 主義に
00:31
regardless of party, platform or principle,
かかわらず公職を目指す人で
00:34
and who, when he wins,
大いなる卓越した戯言力によって当選する人のこと”
00:38
gets there by the sheer force
大いなる卓越した戯言力によって当選する人のこと”
00:39
of monumental talknophical assumnancy."
大いなる卓越した戯言力によって当選する人のこと”
00:41
(Laughter)
(笑)
00:45
Now I have no idea what "talknophical" is.
“戯言力”って何のことか分かりませんが
00:47
Something to do with words, I assume.
言葉と関係あるのでしょう
00:49
But it's very important that words are at the center of politics,
大事なのは言葉は政治の中核をなし
00:50
and all politicians know they have to try and control language.
政治家は言葉を制御しようとする必要を覚えています
00:53
It wasn't until, for example, 1771
例えば イギリス議会が
00:57
that the British Parliament allowed newspapers to report
議事堂で交わされた実際の文言を報道するのを
01:00
the exact words that were said in the debating chamber.
許可したのは1771年になってからです
01:04
And this was actually all down to the bravery
これが実現したのは
01:08
of a guy with the extraordinary name of Brass Crosby,
ブラス・クロスビー (Brass Crosby)
という変わった名前を持つ
01:10
who took on Parliament.
勇気ある国会議員のおかげです
01:13
And he was thrown into the Tower of London
クロスビーは犯罪者としてロンドン塔に収監されますが
01:15
and imprisoned,
クロスビーは犯罪者としてロンドン塔に収監されますが
01:17
but he was brave enough,
勇気を持ち続け
01:18
he was brave enough to take them on,
勇気を持ち続けて闘争し
01:21
and in the end he had such popular support in London that he won.
最終的にロンドン市民の支持を得て勝利しました
01:24
And it was only a few years later
それからわずか数年後に
01:26
that we have the first recorded use of the phrase
“as bold as brass”(堂々とした)
という表現が初めて使われたのです
01:29
"as bold as brass."
“as bold as brass”(堂々とした)
という表現が初めて使われたのです
01:31
Most people think that's down to the metal.
多くの人は真鍮(brass)から来ていると思っていますが
01:34
It's not. It's down to a campaigner
実は報道の自由のために
01:36
for the freedom of the press.
奮闘した人の名前なのです
01:38
But to really show you how
さて言葉と政治がどう結びつくか
01:41
words and politics interact,
本当にお見せするには
01:43
I want to take you back to the United States of America,
独立直後のアメリカ合衆国に
01:45
just after they'd achieved independence.
さかのぼる必要があります
01:48
And they had to face the question
当時直面した問題は
01:50
of what to call George Washington, their leader.
彼らの指導者ジョージ・ワシントンを
何と呼ぶかでした
01:52
They didn't know.
称号がなかったのです
01:55
What do you call the leader of a republican country?
共和国の指導者は何と呼ぶべきでしょう?
01:56
And this was debated in Congress for ages and ages.
これが議会で長年に渡り議論されたのです
01:59
And there were all sorts of suggestions on the table,
ありとあらゆる提案が出され議論されました
02:03
which might have made it.
ありとあらゆる提案が出され議論されました
02:05
I mean, some people wanted him to be called
例えば ある人たちが提言したのは
02:06
Chief Magistrate Washington,
ワシントン主席執政官
02:08
and other people, His Highness George Washington,
また別の人は ジョージ・ワシントン殿下
02:10
and other people, Protector of the Liberties of the People of the United States of America Washington.
さらに別の人は
ワシントン アメリカ合衆国国民自由の擁護者
02:13
Not that catchy.
覚えにくいですね
02:20
Some people just wanted to call him King.
王と呼ぼうと言う人々もいました
02:21
They thought it was tried and tested.
実証試験済だし
02:24
And they weren't even being monarchical there,
王政ではなくても期間限定なら王を選出して
02:25
they had the idea that you could be elected King
王政ではなくても期間限定なら王を選出して
02:27
for a fixed term.
構わないと考えました
02:29
And, you know, it could have worked.
いい考えだったかも
02:31
And everybody got insanely bored, actually,
この議論は3週間にわたり
02:32
because this debate went on for three weeks.
実に 議員たちはへき易しました
02:35
I read a diary of this poor senator,
ある上院議員の日記には
02:37
who just keeps coming back, "Still on this subject."
繰返し “依然 同じ議題” とあります
02:38
And the reason for the delay and the boredom was that
審議が停滞して皆が飽きた理由は
02:41
the House of Representatives were against the Senate.
下院が上院に反発したからです
02:44
The House of Representatives didn't want Washington
下院はワシントンが権力に酔うことを恐れました
02:47
to get drunk on power.
下院はワシントンが権力に酔うことを恐れました
02:50
They didn't want to call him King
王と呼ぶと
02:52
in case that gave him ideas, or his successor ideas.
ワシントンや後任が誤解するのを心配したのです
02:53
So they wanted to give him the humblest, meagerest,
そこで下院は最も謙虚で粗末で哀れな名前を
02:56
most pathetic title that they could think of.
付けたいと思いました
02:59
And that title was "President."
それが “大統領” です
03:02
President. They didn't invent the title. I mean, it existed before,
“大統領” は以前からあった称号です
03:08
but it just meant somebody who presides over a meeting.
誰か小会議を取りまとめる人を指しました
03:11
It was like the foreman of the jury.
陪審長みたいなものです
03:14
And it didn't have much more grandeur
“主任” あるいは “監視人” と同じ重みです
03:16
than the term "foreman" or "overseer."
“主任” あるいは “監視人” と同じ重みです
03:18
There were occasional presidents of little colonial councils
それまでにも小さな植民地協議会や
03:20
and bits of government, but it was really a nothing title.
政府の一部で使われた何もない称号でした
03:23
And that's why the Senate objected to it.
それが上院が反対した理由です
03:26
They said, that's ridiculous, you can't call him President.
彼らは言いました
“なんて馬鹿げている 大統領なんてありえない
03:28
This guy has to go and sign treaties and meet foreign dignitaries.
条約を結んだり外国の要人と会う人間が
03:32
And who's going to take him seriously
“合衆国大統領” だなんて
03:35
if he's got a silly little title
そんなつまらない肩書きで
03:37
like President of the United States of America?
誰が真剣に取り合ってくれるんだ?”
03:39
And after three weeks of debate, in the end
3週間の議論を経ても
03:43
the Senate did not cave in.
上院は譲歩しませんでした
03:47
Instead, they agreed to use the title "President" for now,
代わりに “大統領” の称号を当面使うことに合意しました
03:50
but they also wanted it absolutely set down
それでも完全に同意してはいないと
03:56
that they didn't agree with it
明記するよう求めました
03:59
from a decent respect for the opinions and practice of civilized nations,
上院は 政府の形態が共和制か王政か関係なく
04:02
whether under republican or monarchical forms of government,
文明国家の民意と執政への敬意 そして
04:08
whose custom it is to annex,
国の代表にふさわしい
04:11
through the office of the Chief Magistrate, titles of respectability --
主席執政官執務室や大統領以外の呼称 さらに
04:13
not bloody President --
主席執政官執務室や大統領以外の呼称 さらに
04:18
and that in the intercourse with foreign nations,
諸外国と交流する際に合衆国の人々が
04:20
the majesty of the people of the United States
物珍しい奇妙な集団と見下されないためには
04:24
may not be hazarded by an appearance of singularity,
物珍しい奇妙な集団と見下されないためには
04:28
i.e., we don't want to look like bloody weirdos.
譲れないと主張しました
04:31
Now you can learn three interesting things from this.
この事例から3つの興味深い教訓を学べます
04:35
First of all -- and this is my favorite --
一つ目は私のお気に入りです
04:38
is that so far as I've ever been able to find out,
私が研究して分かったのは
04:41
the Senate has never formally endorsed the title of President.
上院は未だに正式に大統領の称号を承認していません
04:43
Barack Obama, President Obama, is there on borrowed time,
バラク・オバマ “大統領” は期間限定です
04:48
just waiting for the Senate to spring into action.
上院が行動を起こすのを待っているのです
04:51
Second thing you can learn is that
2つ目は
04:55
when a government says that this is a temporary measure --
政府が時限立法と言う場合・・・
04:57
(Laughter) --
(笑)
05:00
you can still be waiting 223 years later.
223年続く可能性があるということです
05:03
But the third thing you can learn,
そして3つ目は
05:08
and this is the really important one,
とても重要な点です
05:09
this is the point I want to leave you on,
皆さんにぜひお伝えしたいことは
05:11
is that the title, President of the United States of America,
“アメリカ合衆国大統領” という称号は
05:12
doesn't sound that humble at all these days, does it?
この頃そんなに謙虚に聞こえないでしょう?
05:17
Something to do with the slightly over 5,000
それは 5千発以上の核弾頭の発射権限を持ち
05:22
nuclear warheads he has at his disposal
それは 5千発以上の核弾頭の発射権限を持ち
05:25
and the largest economy in the world
世界一の経済圏や
05:27
and a fleet of drones and all that sort of stuff.
無人航空機の群れを動かす権限を有するからでしょう
05:29
Reality and history have endowed that title with grandeur.
現実と歴史が称号に威厳を加えたのです
05:33
And so the Senate won in the end.
結局 上院が勝ったのです
05:40
They got their title of respectability.
上院は威厳ある称号を手にしました
05:41
And also, the Senate's other worry, the appearance of singularity --
それから上院が心配していた物珍しさについて
05:44
well, it was a singularity back then.
当時は物珍しかったでしょう
05:47
But now, do you know how many nations have a president?
しかし今 大統領がいる国はいくつあるでしょう?
05:49
A hundred and forty-seven.
147 です
05:52
All because they want to sound like
その理由は皆が
05:55
the guy who's got the 5,000 nuclear warheads, etc.
5千発の核弾頭を持つ指導者みたいに思われたいからです
05:56
And so, in the end, the Senate won
結局 上院が勝ったのです
06:01
and the House of Representatives lost,
そして下院が負けたのです
06:04
because nobody's going to feel that humble
というのも誰も
06:08
when they're told that they are now
アメリカ合衆国大統領と呼ばれて
06:10
the President of the United States of America.
謙虚な気持ちにならないからです
06:12
And that's the important lesson I think you can take away,
皆さんにお伝えしたい教訓は次のとおりです
06:16
and the one I want to leave you with.
皆さんにお伝えしたい教訓は次のとおりです
06:19
Politicians try to pick words and use words to shape reality
政治家は言葉を選んで使い
06:20
and control reality, but in fact,
言葉で現実を形作り支配しようとします
しかし実際には
06:23
reality changes words far more
言葉が現実を変えるより
06:27
than words can ever change reality.
はるかに現実が言葉を変えるのです
06:29
Thank you very much.
ありがとうございました
06:32
Translated by Akira Kan
Reviewed by Haruka Igarashi

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About the speaker:

Mark Forsyth - Writer
Mark Forsyth strolls through the English language, telling stories, making connections and banishing hobgoblins.

Why you should listen

Mark Forsyth is a passionate, self-described pedant when it comes to the English language -- but his detailed knowledge of history has given him a common-sense approach to its "proper" use. He is an author, blogger, journalist, proofreader and ghostwriter. He can be found dispelling the grammar myths we were all taught in his popular blog, the Inky Fool. His book The Etymologicon takes "a circular stroll through the hidden connections of the English language" by history of one word or phrase with each chapter.

More profile about the speaker
Mark Forsyth | Speaker | TED.com