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A slap on the wrist

[ 2014-08-22 10:24] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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A slap on the wrist他的脸马上阴下来,不客气地打断我的话:“哼,你干的那些事判个十年八年的完全够格儿。这么处理你够宽大的了,可你对自己的罪行却一点没认识.

His face darkened as he cut me off:" They could have given you ten years for what you did. It was a slap on the wrist, especially considering you refused to admit your guilt.


My comments:

Imagine a child reaching for the food before everyone is seated round the family table. That’s when the child’s mother or father may give him a slap on the wrist.

See the point?

A quick slap on the wrist is much better than, say, a slap on the face. Chinese children wanting table manners might have got a slap in the face or a thump on the head, especially in the past.

But the point is, a slap on the wrist is a gentle or mild rebuke, criticism or punishment, not at all severe.

In our example, the guilty person could’ve got 10 years in jail for what he did. Instead, he got a slap on the wrist.

In other words, he got away with it.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) 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.