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[ 2009-03-25 15:33]     字号 [] [] []  
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The above phrase appeared in our online translation section and it’s a good example of language that has been taken from one sphere, in this case war or the military, to be used to relate to matters in politics.

Often we see sporting metaphors used in such a way e.g. “Obama really had to put his gloves on to defeat Hillary.”

Or, “The eager reporter really took a swing at that corrupt official during the press conference.”

In this case, “duck and cover” comes from the military and civil defense and it is what you are meant to do when there is danger, like an explosion, earthquake or some other terrible catastrophe.

If you duck it means you get down as if to avoid something that is going to hit you, e.g. if I throw a ball at you your first reaction is to duck.

Now ‘cover’ means to protect your head or body, perhaps by putting your hands and arms over your head or by hiding under a desk.

Think of a turtle or a crab when it is scared, well they “duck and cover”.

Going back through history this was a tactic that was taught in the US and other countries after WW2 when there was a large fear about a possible nuclear war. Students at school and workers at the company would practice “drills” where they would very quickly “duck and cover”.

These days we use the term often when we refer to a situation where someone is under pressure and needs to protect themselves.

Thus it was seen in the media the other week with President Obama who is facing many challenges and only naturally would want to “duck and cover”.

In the example below, what is in hiding and acting fearful though is the economy and consumer and investor confidence.

“Barack Obama's initial moves on the economy have left consumer confidence flat so far: it remains in full duck-and-cover mode, not far from its low in 23 years of weekly polls.”

Perhaps with time, in the months and next few years this cautious turtle – i.e. the economy, will show its head once again.





About the author:


About the author: Brendan has taught at universities, high schools and primary schools in Japan,the UK, Australia and China. He is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor and has extensive experience with International English Language Examinations. In the field of writing Brendan has been published in The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, Inflight magazines and the Asia News Network. He can be contacted at brendanjohnworrell@hotmail.com.