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Lord it over?

[ 2009-08-07 15:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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Lord it over?Reader question:

What does this sentence – He likes to lord it over the junior staff – mean exactly?

My comments:

It simply means that he bullies younger colleagues.

First, you’ve got to understand what the word “lord” means and implies. Christians, for instance, call Jesus Christ “The Lord”. In feudal societies, the owner of the land was called the landlord. Servants used to call the master of the house the lord as well.

What this all implies is that the “lord” is someone who has total power and authority. And to “lord it over” others is to rule like God or a tyrannical European king or a Chinese Emperor. As the Christian saying goes, God giveth and He taketh it away as it pleases Him – people have but to obey without being allowed to talk back.

Lord it over?

Yeah, that’s the basic idea.

Therefore, he who lords it over junior staff treats younger colleagues as inferior and tend to force his will upon them.

It must be noted that in this day of democracy and enlightenment (hopefully speaking), “lord it over” gives negative connotations. And so, use it with care and for heaven’s sake don’t you try to lord it over others. It’s not a good policy and not Mother Nature’s way.

In other words, it runs contrary to the Tao.

And to emphasize the point, I’ll end this column with not any recent media examples but an interpretation of the Tao by Alan Watts, from Tao: The Watercourse Way:

The great Tao flows everywhere, to the left and to the right. It loves and nourishes all things, but does not lord it over them.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.


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