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No contest? 毫无争议

中国日报网 2020-05-22 10:20

Reader question:

Please explain this passage, particularly "no contest":

When it comes to affordable protein sources, beans win easily. It’s really no contest.


My comments:

No competition, in other words. Beans not only are rich in protein, they're also amongst the cheapest on the market.

All other protein sources, such as meats, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds are either not as rich in protein or are more expensive to buy.

Combining these two factors, therefore, beans easily are the winner. It's no competition. Other protein sources cannot compete. They won't ever win the battle against beans, if we liken the competition to a fight in the battlefield. Beans are the overwhelming favorite, the superior competitor, by far. Not even close, as they say.

Therefore, such a competition is considered as "no contest". In other words, there's no dispute.

In the court of law, if someone pleads "no contest", it's practically the same. First of all, "no contest" is different from "guilty". In the latter case, the accused agrees with the prosecutor in its entirely. To plead "no contest", on the other hand, what the accused is really saying is that while he insists he's not guilty, he understands there's no chance of him and his lawyer winning the argument, so compelling and convincing is the evidence presented by the prosecutor. By pleading "no contest", the accused somehow hopes the judge will give him a more favorable, i.e. more lenient sentence. "No contest", after all, saves the judge and everyone time and trouble.

"No contest" means no fight, no resistance, implying that the accused practically concedes defeat.

To use a boxing analogy, throw in the towel at the start of a fight instead of stepping into the ring.

All right, here are media examples to further illustrate the point:


1. Tom Hanks can do no wrong. Or so we thought, until the actor upset a few people—possibly for the first time ever—during the 2020 Oscars.

Tom took the stage on Sunday night to announce the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. Naturally, the two-time Oscar winner livened up his speech praising the project with a few jokes about building the museum alongside his fellow actors.

"There has never been a museum dedicated to the art and sciences of motion pictures. But it is being born, this labor of love," he said. "A bunch of us were over there just this morning. I was putting up some drywall. Scarlett Johansson brought her orbital sander. Brad Pitt was working on the roof with his shirt off, as was Colin Jost—and, dude, that was no contest."

While Tom's comment about the way Colin looks with his shirt off earned plenty of laughs from the live audience, viewers at home were totally thrown off. Some called it a "cheap shot," while others were confused about which actor Tom was insulting.

- Tom Hanks Shocked Everyone When He Threw Out a Public 'Insult' at the Oscars, CountryLiving.com, February 10, 2020.


2. The legendary singer Paul McCartney has just given a thought-provoking new interview in which he admitted that he was “hurting too much” to keep The Beatles going after John Lennon left the band.

Fox News reported that Lennon left The Beatles in 1969 just after he married Yoko Ono, and this week, McCartney explained on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show” that the band would not have worked without him.

"You can’t just think of a smart idea like that at the time,” said McCartney, 77. “You’re hurting too much so it wasn’t going to happen.”

McCartney went on to say that George Harrison never got the credit he deserved in the group as a songwriter.


"It was easy to underestimate George because me and John had always written most of the stuff,” he said. “But then he started to get interested – and boy did he bloom. He wrote some of the greatest songs ever.”

When Stern told McCartney that he always believed The Beatles were better than The Rolling Stones, the singer started laughing and said, “You know, Howard, you know you’re going to persuade me to agree with that one.”

"I’ve always said it,” he said. “But the thing is the Stones are a fantastic group. I go to see them every time they come out. They’re a great, great band.”

"They’re so rooted in the blues and so when they’re writing stuff it’s to do with the blues. Whereas we had a little more influences,” McCartney continued. “Keith [Richards] once said to me, ‘Man, you were lucky. You had four singers in your band.’ And he said, ‘We got one.’ So, there’s a lot of difference.”

However, in the end, McCartney made it clear that there was really no contest between the bands.

"I love The Stones but I’m with you [Stern] – The Beatles were better,” he said. “We still are [friends] and we admire each other.”

Lennon unfortunately died in 1980, when he was murdered outside of his New York City apartment building at the age of 40. Harrison passed away back in 2001 from cancer when he was 58 years-old, leaving McCartney and Ringo Starr, 79, as the only two Beatles alive today.

- Paul McCartney Reveals He Was ‘Hurting Too Much’ to Continue With the Beatles After Departure of John Lennon, UpliftingToday.com, April 16, 2020.


3. Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Trump’s “The Art of the Deal,” said the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has led him to conclude that the president “has no conscience” and that the thousands of deaths across the country “don’t matter to him.”

"This has been revelatory to me,” Schwartz said on Friday during an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber. “The whole way he’s responded has prompted me to really rethink Trump’s motivation. I’ve always assumed, like most people have, that the primary motivation is to be loved and admired and recognized and praised. That is a motivation, but the deeper motivation is domination, is to win. And that is a function of the fact that he has no conscience. And let’s be clear: No conscience.”

"He doesn’t make a distinction between right or wrong, nor does he feel a distinction between right or wrong. So when he is inventing stories and lies and a reality of his own making, he’s doing it without any shame or guilt. And that is an enormous advantage in a situation where most people would be limited by their respect for their truth and by their concern for how they were going to have an impact on others,” Schwartz continued. “He doesn’t care. The deaths — I know this is extreme — the deaths don’t matter to him. If it’s a decision between saving himself and saving others, it is no contest.

- ‘The Deaths Don’t Matter’ to Trump, Co-Author of ‘Art of the Deal’ Says, TheWrap.com, May 15, 2020.

本文仅代表作者本人观点,与本网立场无关。欢迎大家讨论学术问题,尊重他人,禁止人身攻击和发布一切违反国家现行法律法规的内容。

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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