Stopgap, makeshift 权宜之计
文章来源: 文章作者: 发布时间:2009-04-11 06:04 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
(单词翻译:双击或拖选)
Reader question: What is stopgap, as in "a stopgap measure"? My comments: A look up any dictionary will yield you something, but let me find a way for you to remember it. There's a leak in the pipe in the garden. Instead of replacing the pipe with a new one, you fetch some tape to paper over the crack. The crack in the pipe is a "gap", make the tape a "stop" and you have a stopgap – something to "stop" a "gap". Taping over the leak may work for now but you know it's still a leaking pipe. Some time in future, perhaps soon, it'll start leaking water again. So therefore, the tape is a stopgap measure, a measure that is temporary, expedient1 and very probably not the best solution, or substitute to be exact. Stopgap reminds me of makeshift, a word obviously formed from "make" and "shift". Shift means change. Makeshift hence means to make a change and make it work. It may not work the best but it will do under the circumstances, for lack of a better alternative if you will. Think of the term "make do". It means to make do – make something work, manage with what's available right now. Same thing: it probably won't work (that well), but you make it work nevertheless. In short, both stopgap and makeshift means a substitute you make do with on a temporary basis (to be replaced if and when a better alternative is found). And according to my research, stopgap has been in the English language since 1684, makeshift since 1683. Make do? This is "attested2 from 1899", according to Online Etymology3 Dictionary, but I suspect the idea has been there for ever. Anyways, here are examples of "stopgap" and "makeshift" in the news. Stopgap example 1: Once dismissed asa stopgap figure, al-Maliki has developed into a national leader, threatening the Supreme4 Council's ambition to win the top job after next year's elections. - Shiite split could complicate5 US security pact6, AP, October 16, 2008. Example 2: It is almost as if Paulson and Bernanke have created a plan that will see them through the next few months without concern for the long-term effects of their actions. "I regard this as nothing more than a stopgap measure to get us through the election," says S&P's Wyss. - $700bn won't save America from a slump7, The Observer, September 28, 2008. Makeshift example 1: "It was apparent that the murder suspect, alone in his cell, had used a piece of his shirt as a makeshift ligature around his neck," Charlie Beck, chief of detectives for the Los Angeles Police Department, told a news conference at police headquarters Saturday. - Japanese businessman's murder case ends in his suicide, LA Daily News, October 11, 2008. Example 2: Monday was International Car Free Day. Many cities in China called residents to choose public transportation means instead of driving their own cars. Beijing was no exemption8. It just stopped banning vehicles with odd and even-numbered license9 plates on alternate days from Sunday, but discussion aroused by the ban is not over. Was it the only way to ease Beijing's traffic jam or only a makeshift solution which will make things worse? - CRI News, September 22, 2008.   


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1 expedient 1hYzh     
adj.有用的,有利的;n.紧急的办法,权宜之计
参考例句:
  1. The government found it expedient to relax censorship a little.政府发现略微放宽审查是可取的。
  2. Every kind of expedient was devised by our friends.我们的朋友想出了各种各样的应急办法。
2 attested a6c260ba7c9f18594cd0fcba208eb342     
adj.经检验证明无病的,经检验证明无菌的v.证明( attest的过去式和过去分词 );证实;声称…属实;使宣誓
参考例句:
  1. The handwriting expert attested to the genuineness of the signature. 笔迹专家作证该签名无讹。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  2. Witnesses attested his account. 几名证人都证实了他的陈述是真实的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 etymology jiMzC     
n.语源;字源学
参考例句:
  1. The hippies' etymology is contentious.关于嬉皮士的语源是有争议的。
  2. The origin of OK became the Holy Grail of etymology.OK的出典成了词源学梦寐以求的圣杯。
4 supreme PHqzc     
adj.极度的,最重要的;至高的,最高的
参考例句:
  1. It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  2. He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
5 complicate zX1yA     
vt.使复杂化,使混乱,使难懂
参考例句:
  1. There is no need to complicate matters.没有必要使问题复杂化。
  2. These events will greatly complicate the situation.这些事件将使局势变得极其复杂。
6 pact ZKUxa     
n.合同,条约,公约,协定
参考例句:
  1. The two opposition parties made an electoral pact.那两个反对党订了一个有关选举的协定。
  2. The trade pact between those two countries came to an end.那两国的通商协定宣告结束。
7 slump 4E8zU     
n.暴跌,意气消沉,(土地)下沉;vi.猛然掉落,坍塌,大幅度下跌
参考例句:
  1. She is in a slump in her career.她处在事业的低谷。
  2. Economists are forecasting a slump.经济学家们预言将发生经济衰退。
8 exemption 3muxo     
n.豁免,免税额,免除
参考例句:
  1. You may be able to apply for exemption from local taxes.你可能符合资格申请免除地方税。
  2. These goods are subject to exemption from tax.这些货物可以免税。
9 license B9TzU     
n.执照,许可证,特许;v.许可,特许
参考例句:
  1. The foreign guest has a license on the person.这个外国客人随身携带执照。
  2. The driver was arrested for having false license plates on his car.司机由于使用假车牌而被捕。
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