2011年10月14日金曜日

trigger


Illustrated by Kazuhiro Kawakita

 triggerは、日本語でも「トリガー」と言い、ピストルの引き金のこと。動詞では「引き金を引く」。また、set off(~のきっかけとなる)、initiate、provoke(引き起こす)などの意味で比喩的に用いる。ニュースの英語でも、頻繁に使われる。
 2010年5月6日、ニューヨーク株式市場は全面売りの展開となり、ダウ工業株30種平均が一時、1000㌦近く値を下げた。この原因について、CNBCのマーケット・ニュースは、“Stock Selloff May Have Been Triggered by a Trader Error”(株売りは、トレーダーのミスが引き起こした可能性あり)と報じた。“According to multiple sources, a trader entered a ‘b’ for billion instead of an ‘m’ for million in a trade.”(複数の関係筋によると、トレーダーは、ある取引でミリオン=100万のmとするところを、ビリオン=10億のbと入力した)という。金融取引は今や、ほとんどがelectronic trading(電子取引)であるだけに、うっかりした入力ミスが金融危機の〝引き金〟を引くことになりかねない。
 ところで、ルイジアナ州沖のメキシコ湾で4月20日に石油掘削基地の爆発事故が発生、深刻な被害が広がっている。AP通信(5月6日付)は、事故原因に関して、“Bubble of Methane Triggered Rig Blast”(メタンガスの泡が掘削装置の爆発を引き起こした)と報じた。メタンガスは油井から発生し、掘削用のパイプを上って急激に膨張したとみられるという。その関連記事(5月7日付)では、“(The blast) triggered a gush of as much as 5,000 barrels of crude a day.”(その爆発が日量5000バレルに上る原油の噴出を引き起こした)と述べている。また、ロイター通信(4月30日付)は、“US Gulf Oil Spill Set to Trigger Lawsuit Flood”(米国のメキシコ湾の原油流出が訴訟の洪水を引き起こし始めた)と報じ、原油流出被害に対する損害賠償訴訟に言及している。
 さて、「引き金を引く」は文字通りでは、pull the trigger。共和党の大統領候補だったマケイン上院議員は、イランの核開発問題に関する上院の公聴会で、“The U.S. keeps pointing a loaded gun at Iran but failing to pull the trigger.”(米国は、イランに装てんした銃を向けながら、引き金を引かないままだ=4月14日付のAP)と述べ、核軍縮を進めるオバマ政権に対して、もっと敢然とした態度でイランに立ち向かうべきだと叱咤した。
 こうした発言を聞くと、trigger-happyという形容詞を連想させる。ウイリアム・サファイアの政治辞典は、bellicose(けんか早い)と言い換えているが、この-happyは「幸せな」ではなく、「やたらと使いたがる」という意味で、「すぐに引き金を引きたがる」ということ。何とも物騒な話だが、“be quick on the trigger”(早撃ちができる)が西部劇のヒーローの条件。今なお前近代の銃社会にあるアメリカを象徴する言葉がtriggerだ。(The Sankei Shimbun May 24 2010)

State bear hunts trigger emotions, controversy
By Jeff DeLong

Brian Hubkey of Carson Valley, Nev., sees the chance to stalk a bear with a bow and arrow as an opportunity for outdoor adventure he can share with his family.
"If we're successful, great. If not, so be it," Hubkey says of Nevada's first legal hunt for black bears.He and others are on the hunt for bears in Nevada's mountains, now that the state has become the latest to establish a bear hunting season.
Up to 20 bears can be killed during the season that was approved by Nevada wildlife officials this summer amid widespread disagreement, a candlelight vigil and marches on the governor's mansion. Ten bears had been killed as of this week, halfway through the season, officials say.
"There's been a lot of passion," says Chris Healy, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. "In my 25-plus years with the department, it was by far the most controversial decision we've been involved with."
Nevada is one of several states to add or expand bear hunts the past two years. California, Kentucky, Oklahoma and New Jersey have also done so, often resulting in clashes among hunters, wildlife managers and critics of the hunts. Nevada was the 33rd state to adopt a black bear hunting season, according to the hunting organization Safari Club International.
Supporters say increasing populations of bears justify start-up of the hunts.
"Just about everywhere black bears exist they are stable or growing in population. There are a ton of black bears," says Carl Lackey, biologist and bear expert for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Others say a growing trend of bear hunting around the country is troubling.
"People don't want to see black bears killed for their heads or their hides," says Andrew Page, senior director for the Humane Society of the United States.
A bear hunt, Page insists, "doesn't solve conflict problems between people and bears" and states are instead bending to the desires of trophy hunters. "It's a highly passionate issue," Page says. "Bears, like no other wild animal, really elicit a good feeling for people. It really upsets folks and rightfully so."
In New Jersey, the state is gearing up for its 2011 bear hunt after 592 bears were killed in December 2010, says Lawrence Hajna, spokesman for the state's Department of Environmental Protection.
Last year's bear hunt, New Jersey's first in five years, followed street protests and an unsuccessful legal challenge.
Hunting can also serve as an effective way to manage bear populations and reduce conflicts where bears wander into neighborhoods, says Nelson Freeman, deputy director of government affairs for Safari Club International.
"It's definitely a success story," Freeman says, adding that sportsmen-funded efforts to restore wildlife populations are working and opening up a "plethora of hunting opportunities."
( USA TODAY October 14 2011)