14 May 2024

最近在看工业协议的发展历史,在(Powell and Vandelinde 2012)中,读到这句话:In fact, from the control engineer’s point of view, where the code is executed matters naught since it is really just one system to look at and modify at will.

这里是说,对于控制工程师来说,控制代码在哪里执行并不重要。 matter naught 就是无关紧要的意思。

美国英语里 0 是 zero, 而英国英语则叫 naught ,比如,英国英语 0.56读作 naught point five six. 0.009 读作 naught point naught naught nine.

所以,naught 的引申意就是nothing.但是,其实 naught 和 nothing 是同源的。古英语里 nawit 就是 nothing 的意思,字面看是no whit。 whit 的意思是一些些、小生物的意思。nowhit 就是连这些小东西都没有了。德语里 nicht (not, nothing) 差不多也是他们的小兄弟吧。

比如All our effort was for naught.我们的努力都白费了。All their plans came to naught. 他们的计划都不奏效了。

我还找到了一首诗的英译版本,其中“无妨”就是翻译为 matters naught:

Liushaoqing Theme: Straw Hut with Sparse Hedges (Yang Wujiu)
(prepared by: alexcwlin; edited by: Adam Lam)

Straw hut has sparse hedges.
Blooms resemble halfway fallen snow.
They lie on trees’ slanting low branches.
The scene is so very fitting.
Mist shrouds a lush growth of bamboo.
Moon is reflected off a chill creek.

I stand musing absorbedly as time passes.
In slimming down while focusing,
it matters naught since that is for you.
Who possesses the talent and feelings,
to put your serene mood into painting,
or compose such into a new poem.

naught 是什么都没有,但是 naughty 却是调皮的意思。比如,our boss treats us all like naughty children.

naughty 除了调皮的意思,却还有少儿不宜的意思,真是奇怪:The film was shown on television but they cut out all the naughty scenes. 电影在电视机上放映,但是去掉了少儿不宜的部分。还比如 He always buys her naughty underwear for her birthday.


Powell, James, and Henry Vandelinde. 2012. Catching the Process Fieldbus: An Introduction to Profibus for Process Automation. https://api.semanticscholar.org/CorpusID:114833484.