首页  | 专栏作家

Hero to zero?

中国日报网 2023-03-08 10:03


Reader question:

Please explain “hero to zero” in this headline: Why Ghana goes from hero to zero for investors?


My comments:

Another way to ask the same question: Why did Ghana attract so many investors in the past, but no longer does?

Ghana is a country in Africa. That’s a fact, something we all know. But that’s about all I know about that country. I have no idea, for example, why it has gone from being a darling for investors to what it is now, a country that attracts nobody.

That is, if you take “zero” literally.

But, basically, that’s what from hero to zero means.

“Hero and zero” works in tandem because the two words rhyme. Hero means somebody who’s heroic, who’s done something great, especially something brave. Zero, on the other hand, means exactly that, nothing. Nil. Naught. Zip. Zilch.

From hero to zero means, therefore, from something heroic to something not so heroic, like, not at all.

Metaphorically speaking, if we say someone has gone from hero to zero, we mean to point out the fact that they are no longer as good and successful as they once were. Quite the contrary, nowadays they are no good. Once, they were exemplary role models. Now, they’re nothing.

That is, nothing special.

“Hero to zero” can be used to describe any situation in which someone changes quickly from being very popular or successful to being the opposite – very unpopular or unsuccessful.

And here are media examples:

1 Revisionist history is quite a thing to behold.

It took exactly the worst foreign terror attack on American soil to convince the masses that Rudy Giuliani was a “hero” simply for being the mayor of New York City when the Twin Towers fell.

The Sept. 11 terror attacks effectively erased from the mainstream media’s collective consciousness Giuliani’s previous – yet, still remaining – existence as a lying, racist, xenophobic sexist who seemingly especially had it out for his Black constituents.

On Sept. 10, 2001, Giuliani was a lame-duck mayor whose term limits had expired and already had one foot out of City Hall’s doors. The very next day, though, following the terror attacks, he was swiftly transformed into “America’s Mayor” who could do no wrong, to let his supporters tell it.

At the time, the New York Times referred to him as “a national hero.”

But over the course of the following 20 years, the man who once incited a race riot in New York City revealed himself to the rest of the country – and the world – to be the same person who Black people warned America about more than three decades ago.

That was especially true when he tried to pull a tyrant move and extend his mayorship – despite citywide elections scheduled two months later – and threatened legal action to allow him to run for re-election even though there was a limit of two terms, the end of which he was nearing at the time.

When you factor in how “America’s Mayor” tried to undermine America’s democratic process by pushing the widely debunked “big lie” that Donald Trump was the victim of election fraud – not to mention how Giuliani pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden for baseless conspiracy theories meant to elevate Trump’s failed re-election efforts – the one-time “hero” of the Sept. 11 terror attacks has finally been definitively recognized as a complete zero.


Keep reading to find but a handful of definitive examples for how Giuliani’s ensured his legacy went from hero to zero over the course of 20 years, thanks in no small part to Trump and the common bond of racism the two of them shared.

- From ‘Hero’ To Zero: Rudy Giuliani’s Stunning Fall Since The Sept. 11 Terror Attacks, NewsOne.com, September 11, 2021.


2 The Canadian set the fastest time in the wet-but-drying FP3 session with a late run on intermediate tyres that put him 0.661s clear of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, with the second Williams of Alex Albon in third.

It marked the first time a Williams had topped an official timed session at a grand prix since Monza in 2017.

But Latifi, who said he’d hoped the rain would cause disruption to qualifying rather than FP3 after “we saw yesterday we were absolutely nowhere in the dry”, was unable to replicate those heroics in qualifying and ended up in 20th position.

He fell at the first hurdle, despite setting a purple first sector, when he lost time in the final corner – thwarting a lap he believed would have been good enough to get him into the fight for Q2.

Albon also was eliminated in Q1 in 17th position.

Asked by Autosport to reflect on his rollercoaster day, Latifi said: “It would have been just on the cusp of Q2, I think the last corner I made a big mistake.

“It is a tailwind into that corner, so I don’t know if I had a big gust of tailwind difference to the first lap.

“The first time I had quite nice support from the rear and the second lap I turned in and completely lost it.

“We know our car is still extremely sensitive in that area, arguably more with the new upgrade package.

“It’s frustrating to go from... I mean that’s literal ‘hero to zero’.”

- Latifi explains “big mistake” behind “hero to zero” Hungary F1 qualifying, AutoSport.com, July 31, 2022.


3 Fear can be a powerful emotion that can often lead to negative outcomes. It can cause people to make decisions and take actions that are irrational, which in turn can have long-lasting consequences. We discuss below how fear can make one from a hero to zero.

For example, fear of failure or rejection may lead someone to avoid taking risks or trying new things, preventing them from achieving their full potential.

Fear of public speaking or facing difficult conversations can lead to a lack of assertiveness, leaving them vulnerable to being taken advantage of.

Similarly, fear of the unknown or change can stop someone from seeking out new opportunities that could lead to success.

Ultimately, fear can be an obstacle that stops people from reaching their highest potential and prevents them from becoming true heroes.

It is important to be aware of the impact that fear can have, and work to overcome it if it is holding you back.

Taking small steps every day toward overcoming your fears can help you move forward in life and become the hero you were meant to be.

By recognizing and acknowledging your fears, but not letting them define who you are or limit your potential, you can eventually become a hero and reach your highest potential.

With enough courage and determination to conquer your fears, you will be able to turn yourself from zero to hero.

How Can Fear Make One from a Hero to Zero? NursesPrime.com, January 6, 2023.


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:yaning)


Got it in the bag?


We won going away?


Of his own accord?


Moral failing?


Hand in hand?


Common ground?

中国日报网 英语点津微信
中国日报网 双语小程序