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Ways and means? 方法和资源

中国日报网 2019-11-01 14:48

Reader question:

Please explain “ways and means” as in “ways and means committee”.

My comments:

First of all, a ways and means committee is an organ which is responsible for finding the ways as well as the means, meaning money for a government to function. There is a so-named committee in the United States, for example, a committee that makes decisions about how money for government budgets will be found.

Mostly through taxes, of course.

Actually, “ways”, and “means” both literally means methods.

“Way” meaning method is easy to understand. For example, there are two ways of spreading light, says Edith Wharton (1862-1937). One of them is to be the candle, the other to be the mirror that reflects it.

You may say that you can use the flashlight installed in your smartphone also, but that point is neither here nor there.

“Means” also means method. We say, for example, that countries should try to resolve their disputes by peaceful means.

“Means” also represents money and resources. We call people who are much wealthier than the rest of us people of means. They, in other words, have the wherewithal.

Because of this fact (that “means” means wealth and resources), when people use “ways” and “means” together, they usually are talking about money matters. Otherwise, just saying finding the way or just finding the means will do.

Lest I cause confusion by adding more, let’s read a few media examples of “ways and means”:

1. A captivating subject, geography is a scientific field that is devoted to the study of the Earth’s landforms, oceans, environment and ecosystems, as well as the interactions between the human society and their environment. The word geography literally means “earth writing”. Geography has been elucidated by various sources time and again. Here is a general definition of geography:
“Geography is the study of the Earth’s physical features and environment including the impact of human activity on these factors and vice versa. The subject also encompasses the study of patterns of human population distribution, land use, resource availability, and industries.”

Scholars who study geography are known as geographers. These people engage themselves in the exciting task of exploring and studying the Earth’s natural environment and human society. Although map-makers were known as geographers in the ancient world, today, they are more specifically known as cartographers. Geographers usually focus on two major fields of geographical studies: physical geography or human geography.

The term geography was coined by the ancient Greeks who not only created detailed maps and accounts of places around them but also illuminated why and how human and natural patterns varied from one place to another on Earth. Through the passage of time, the rich legacy of geography made a momentous journey to the bright Islamic minds. The Islamic Golden Age witnessed astounding advancements in the geographical sciences. Islamic geographers were credited with groundbreaking discoveries. New lands were explored and the world’s first grid-based mapping system was developed. The Chinese civilization also contributed instrumentally towards the development of early geography. The compass, a traveling aid, devised by the Chinese, was used by the Chinese explorers to explore the unknown.

A new historical chapter of geography opened during the “Age of Discovery”, a period coinciding with the European Renaissance. A fresh interest in geography was regenerated in the European world. Marco Polo, the Venetian merchant traveler, spearheaded this new Age of Exploration. Commercial interests in establishing trade contacts with the rich civilizations of Asia like China and India became the primary reason for traveling during this period. Europeans moved ahead in all directions, discovering new lands, unique cultures, and natural wonders in the process. They also began to colonize new lands towards the latter half of the Age of Exploration. The tremendous potential of geography to shape the future of human civilization was recognized and in the 18th Century, geography was introduced as a discipline of study at the university level. Based on geographical knowledge, the human society discovered new ways and means to overcome the challenges posed by nature and human civilizations flourished in all parts of the world. In the 20th century, aerial photography, satellite technology, computerized systems, and sophisticated software radically changed the definition of geography and made the study of geography more comprehensive and detailed.

- What Is Geography? WorldAtlas.com, August 4, 2017.

2. The Supreme Court today voiced concern over undue delay in disposal of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) cases in the Delhi High Court and asked it to work out ways for their speedy disposal.

A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which evidence was being recorded in these cases.

“At the very outset, we make it clear that the present order should not be perceived to be any kind of interference in the administration of the Delhi HC, but has to be construed to be an effort on the part of judiciary as an institution to work out ways and means to dispose of long-pending contested civil suits throughout the country for which purpose the HC and, particularly, the IPR matters have been taken as the yardstick.

“The Judges of the HC have to work out ways and means for effective disposal of the IPR matters before it so that a model for disposal of civil suits can be culled out from the ways and means adopted by the Delhi High Court which can form the basis of a uniform action plan for the rest of the country,” the bench said.

- Devise ways for effective disposal of IPR cases: SC to Delhi HC, India.com, August 16, 2017.

3. Portland and the Trail Blazers have let Nikola Jokic get away twice.

The latest time was Monday night.

“The Jokep’’ (in Serbian) became only the third player in NBA playoff history to generate 39 points, nine rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks while trailblazing the Nuggets to a 121-113 victory in Game 1 of the second round.

The other two were “King James’’ and “Dr. J.’’

Three unique nicknames, three unique players.

Deal with it, world. The name is pronounced KNEE-cola YO-kitch.

The NBA has been gobsmacked by “The Joker’’ (in English).

As we talk, the Trail Blazers are quite busy attempting to figure out the ways and means of restraining the prodigious Nikola on Wednesday night at The Can. In his first eight postseason participations the 24-year-old, 250-pound, 7-foot center has averaged ... wait for it ... 24.9 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists and is a triple-doubler waiting to go ballistic in every game — as he did in No. 7 against the Spurs (21-15-10).

Steve Kerr, former commentator and current Warriors coach, said Jokic was his favorite player in the league to watch on nights his own team isn’t playing. Dallas sports columnist Tim Cowlishaw, on ESPN’s “Around The Horn’’ Tuesday, called Jokic “the best point guard in the NBA.’’ After his Spurs were outed and ousted by the Nuggets, coach Gregg Popovich described Jokic as “magnificent, I’ll just leave it at that.’’

- Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic is certainly making a name for himself, Gazzette.com, May 1, 2019.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)


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