Journey in Life: skill

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Showing posts with label skill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skill. Show all posts

Friday, December 18, 2020

Cách ăn buffet đúng cách

đừng cố ăn thật nhiều (tối đa hóa tiền bỏ ra) vì rồi lại tăng cân hoặc mất nhiều giờ đi gym thôi,

ăn lành mạnh, chọn những món ngon chưa từng thử, để thêm trải nghiệm...
Dear Dan,

How should I maximize my return on investment at an all-you-can-eat buffet? Should I go for dessert first and then hit the entrees? Or should I stick to the salads and pick only healthy foods from the main courses?

I appreciate this return-on-investment, or ROI, mindset, but in food, as in all other areas of life, we must focus on the right type of returns. Your question seems to focus on the short-term returns, not the long-term ones. If you go into a buffet trying to maximize your short-term ROI, you might gulp down (nuốt (thức ăn hoặc đồ uống) nhanh hoặc tham lam; nuốt; nốc)  more food, but then you'll have to deal with the long-term effects of spending extra hours in the gym or packing on the pounds—downsides that take away the fun of the buffet. Also, avoid the common mistake of trying to maximize the cost of the food to the buffet's operators.

Instead, I would stick to a balanced and mostly healthy diet. But since many buffets boast a large assortment (mặt hàng sắp xếp thành loại) of dishes, I would make some exceptions and sample a delicacy (đồ ăn ngon, đồ ăn quý, cao lương mỹ vị) I'd never tried before—just for the experience.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Khi nào nên 'lướt ván trên không'?

ngay khi nhận được coupon (bạn trai tặng), càng sớm càng tốt, nhé,
Dear Dan,

For my birthday, my boyfriend (bạn trai) gave me a rather expensive (đắt đỏ) coupon for tandem sky diving (lướt ván trên không). I could have used the coupon that weekend, when the sky diving season ended, but I chose instead to wait a few months for the new season to begin. My thought was that I'd be braver (can đảm hơn) in the future and somehow mentally prepare myself. But can someone really prepare for something like this?

When we think about experiences, we need to think about three types of time: the time before the experience, the time of the experience and the time after the experience. The time beforehand can be filled with anticipation (phập phồng, thấp thỏm) or dread (kinh sợ, kinh hãi); the time of the experience itself can be filled with joy (vui sướng) or misery (đau khổ); and the time afterward can be filled with happy or miserable memories. (The shortest of these three types of time, interestingly, is almost always the time of the experience itself.)

So what should you do? In your case, the time before your sky diving experience will certainly not be cheerful. The time of the experience will also probably not be pure joy. At a minimum, you're going to ask why you are doing this to yourself. But the time after the experience is likely to be wonderful (assuming that you get out of this alive), and you will get to bask in the way you conquered your fears (chinh phục nỗi sợ) and relive the view of Earth from above.

So your best strategy was to make the time before the experience as short as possible. It is too late now, but you should have just gone sky diving the moment you got the coupon, which also would have signaled (ra tín hiệu) to your boyfriend how much you appreciated the gift.

Lý do đồ ăn trong mini bar tại phòng khách sạn thường đắt

vì nó thuận tiện thôi,

chứ ko phải giá đắt thì trải nghiệm sẽ hơn đâu...
Dear Dan,

During a recent hotel stay, I tried to resist temptation (cưỡng lại cám dỗ) but gave in (chịu thua) and bought a $5 bag of M&M's from the minibar. I know from research on pricing that paying a lot for something often makes you experience it as especially wonderful (rất tuyệt vời)—but that didn't happen with the M&M's. Why?

Research does indeed show that higher prices (giá cao, giá đắt đỏ) can increase our expectations (nâng kỳ vọng), and these increased expectations can spur us to more fully enjoy an experience. But there are limits. First, you have probably had lots of M&Ms in your life and have rather set expectations about how good they can be. Second, some high prices are just annoying (gây bực mình).

Công nghệ ngu lắm

cần phải có trở lại kỹ năng gì đó, thông minh hơn công nghệ chứ,

hệ thống máy tính mới tự động chặn những từ thô tục,

-> bệnh viện Scunthorpe ko nhận được thư mới nào trong cả ngày đầu, vì có từ CUNT (lồn)...
This has become known in computer circles as ‘the Scunthorpe problem’.

The problem was the new system’s profanity filter (lọc những từ dung tục), it was geared to spot obscene (thô tục, bỉ ổi) words and block them.

...The most obscene of these words was the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th letters of Scunthorpe’s name.

The name that was on every email the staff sent out.

...Systems all over the world were, and still are, rejecting strings of letters they believe to be offensive (chướng tai gai mắt, làm phiền, làm khó chịu; kinh tởm, gớm ghiếc) words.

Belgian political candidate, Luc Anus, was blocked for this reason.

So was Jeff Gold’s website, Shitake Mushrooms.

Arun Dikshit had the same problem, so did Ben Schmuck, also Mike Dickman, Craig Cockburn, Douglas Kuntz, James Butts, and Brian Wankum.

Places like Penistone, Middlesex, Clitheroe, and Lightwater were rejected for the same reason.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was blocked for tits, cocks, boobies and shags.

Manchester Council planning department had problems with emails mentioning erections.

A councillor from Dudley was blocked for telling visitors the local faggots were tasty.

Even Arsenal football club and French TV station Canal Plus had similar problems.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Con mình cứ đòi nuôi chó. Có mẹ nào nhà đang nuôi chó tư vấn cho mình với

mua luôn cho rồi, con cứ đòi nằng nặc 100 lần, sao chịu nổi, đi làm về đã mệt thì chớ :)
Dear Dan,

One of the not very well-paid cleaners (người quét dọn) working in my office sometimes chats with me about her life, including her family's financial difficulties (khó khăn tài chính). Last week, she told me that she had just got a puppy (chó con). I was shocked that she would take on the responsibility of caring for a pet when she doesn't have the money to take care of her family. How could someone in her situation be so careless (bất cẩn) and irresponsible (vô trách nhiệm) with money (tiền bạc)?

This probably wasn't a great choice on her part, but to understand how she could make such a decision—and to figure out if you or I would have made the same call if we were in her shoes—we need to better understand her circumstances and capacity to make good choices.

Consider the following scenario (kịch bản): You are relatively poor, and as you go through your day, every decision you make is consequential (do hậu quả, là kết quả logic của). You decide whether to get coffee and walk to work, or skip the coffee and take the bus. You decide whether to take a short break or make another $6. On your way home, you decide whether to fill a prescription or to have a better dinner. When you get home, you are exhausted from all the difficult choices you've made throughout the day. You are depleted (suy yếu, kiệt sức)—the term we use to describe the type of mental exhaustion (mệt mỏi tinh thần) that stems from making decisions and resisting temptation. And now your children ask you for the 100th time to get a puppy. You know that, for your long-term financial well-being, you should resist. But do you have the mental stamina (nghị lực)? Unlikely.

You may be more likely to make better decisions than your colleague, but we don't know whether that is because you are better at making sensible long-term decisions—or because you simply aren't as depleted at the end of the day. My guess is that life circumstances and depletion, not heedless (không chú ý, lơ là) irresponsibility, explain many such less-than-desirable decisions.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Chia di sản thừa kế như thế nào?

đăng bán nhà (của bố mẹ để lại) trên thị trường, trong 3 tháng (ví dụ thế),

xem giá cao nhất có thể nhận được là bao nhiêu,

-> đó là giá chính xác, và anh/chị em chia nhau cho đều thôi,
Dear Dan,

When my parents died, they left their house to me and my siblings. I would really like to live in the house, so I offered to pay my brother and sister for their share. We got appraisals of the house’s value from multiple real-estate agents, but they each gave different estimates and my siblings and I can’t reach an agreement on how much it’s really worth. Do you have any thoughts on how to resolve the situation?

The problem here is that real-estate agents are often mistaken when they price a houses, so you and your siblings aren’t sure which estimate to trust. So let the market determine the house’s value instead. Put it on the market for a set time-frame, such as three months, and see what’s the highest offer you get. Then you can decide if you want to sell the house or pay your siblings at that value. With this method, no one will feel like they have been cheated out of their fair share.

Đổ bể kế hoạch vì Covid-19

sắp đến kỳ nghỉ lễ rồi, vẫn chưa có kế hoạch thăm gia đình hay tổ chức tiệc,

việc gì cũng ngại, sợ "vỡ kế hoạch" vì dịch bệnh,

-> nên lập kế hoạch có tính đến tình huống dự phòng, ví dụ tiệc ngoài trời, nếu trời xấu hoặc mọi người ko khỏe thì có thể tặng đồ ăn cho những 'người khốn khó'; như vậy dù ko có bữa tiệc mong muốn cho năm nay, thì nói chung mọi người vẫn thấy ok vì kế hoạch thay đổi hơn là đối phó với bất định tương lai,
Dear Dan,

The holidays are right around the corner, but I’ve been hesitating to make plans to visit family or host a party. The changing Covid-19 situation means that any plan I make is likely to change or fall through, and I could end up really disappointed. Am I right that it’s better to wait and see what happens closer to Thanksgiving?

It’s perfectly understandable that you’re wary about making plans. Many of the things we looked forward to in 2020 were disrupted by the pandemic, leaving us with a long list of disappointments. Nevertheless, making plans is important: It gives us something to look forward to, which is useful and important in itself. Instead of doing nothing, then, why don’t you make plans with built-in contingencies.

For example, you could invite a small group of guests for an outdoor potluck on Thanksgiving, and say that if the weather is too cold or people are unwell, you’ll arrange a way to donate the food to the needy. We might end up not having the holiday we hoped for this year, but in general people can bounce back from a change in plans much more easily than we can deal with uncertainty about the future.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Đừng để tiền rơi

tiền dưới đất thì chẳng màng/ko cúi xuống nhặt,

nhưng tiền rơi khỏi túi thì cúi xuống nhặt ngay,

vì một đằng là chỉ thêm chút tiền (chẳng đáng bao nhiêu), một đằng ko để mất thêm/ngăn chặn tổn thất (quan trọng và quý hơn nhiều),
Dear Dan,

Why will many people not stop on the street to pick up a dime but would certainly stop to pick up a dime if it fell out of their pocket? Isn't the value of 10 cents the same in both cases?

These might seem like the same case, but they aren't. When we pick up 10 cents, we add to our wealth (just a bit), but when we reclaim a dime that we dropped, we prevent a loss—and preventing a loss is much more important and valuable.

Gợi ý cách tặng quà cảm ơn cho diễn giả và khách VIP

tạo cuộc đấu giá với nhiều món đồ lưu niệm, khi diễn giả trả giá (và thắng) món đồ nào, thì... tặng họ món quà đó (free)...
Dear Dan,


Not long ago, I gave some lectures (bài giảng, diễn thuyết) to a very nice group of people. At the end of the retreat (rút lui, rút quân; nơi ẩn dật, nơi tu đạo), they held an auction (đấu giá) of all kinds of souvenirs (đồ lưu niệm), and I bid on a homemade blanket that I particularly liked. Later that night, I discovered, they took the blanket out of the auction after I bid on it and gave it to me as a gift (quà tặng).

This was particularly nice for three reasons. First, I clearly liked the blanket because I bid on it. Second, I assumed that other people also wanted it. And finally, it didn't have a real market value. All this made it a wonderful, highly appreciated gift without a specific price tag.

If you're willing to be a bit manipulative, you could take this approach a step further: What if you held a live auction, and when you saw something that the guest speaker was interested in, you got other people to dramatically outbid him or her (offering, say, 10 times more than the speaker would)—and, at the end of the night, gave the item in question to the speaker? This process would make clear that your guest coveted the item, as did other people, and that its value was very high. Clearly an ideal gift.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Bầu cử Mỹ 2020: Vì sao ông Trump thất cử?

chắc do fan biden "lập kế hoạch" đi bầu hoàn hảo quá rồi,

theo nghiên cứu, nếu chỉ giục giã không thì một dự định khó được thực hiện, nhưng nếu được hỏi/yêu cầu "lập kế hoạch" thì tỷ lệ (được thực hiện) sẽ hơn 2 lần...
Dear Dan,

I’ve been voting in presidential elections for decades, but this year is the first time I’ve been bombarded (bắn phá, ném bom, oanh tạc; tấn công tới tấp; đưa dồn dập (câu hỏi, đơn khiếu nại, lý lẽ, lời chửi bới...)) with emails and social-media posts telling me to “make a plan” to vote. Why are organizations spending so much to get this message out? Don’t most people already know how to vote?

Whether the issue is saving money (tiết kiệm tiền), exercising more often or voting in an election, good intentions (ý định tốt) don’t automatically lead to action. The message to “make a voting plan” stems from social science research showing that people are more likely to follow through when they are prompted in advance about logistics (hậu cần) and contingencies (tình huống bất trắc).

The power of prompts was demonstrated in a study conducted by David Nickerson and Todd Rogers during the 2008 Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. One group of citizens got a standard “get out the vote” phone call encouraging them to vote, while a different group was asked. “When will you vote? Where will you be coming from? And how are you going to get to your polling place?” People who were asked to make a plan ended up being twice as likely to vote as those who got the standard phone call.

It’s great that you have every intention of voting, but if you make a plan now, it’s more likely that you will end up actually doing it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Từ thiện đúng cách

cam kết với một chính sách từ thiện từ trước, ví dụ sẽ dành tặng (donate) toàn bộ số tiền biểu diễn trong năm, để không phải cân nhắc với mỗi lần nhận được thù lao (stipend) tại sự kiện...
Dear Dan,

I’m an actor in a local theater company, and sometimes we perform at benefit events for nonprofits that only pay a small stipend. In those cases, I always donate the money back to the group. But recently I was in a benefit where the play was so popular that we gave a number of extra performances, and the fee I received was significant. This time I find myself resisting the idea of donating the money, even though I never expected to earn anything from the play. Why do I feel so reluctant and how can I overcome it?

We all enjoy the warm glow we get from being generous, but that feeling tends to diminish as the amount of money we give increases. Donating $500 doesn’t feel 10 times as good as donating $50, while the pain of giving up the larger sum is much more noticeable. The best way to avoid this problem is to commit to a donation policy in advance, rather than to evaluate each individual gift. For example, you could tell your theater’s manager that you want to donate all your stipends from benefit performances for the coming year and even ask for a certificate or receipt. That way you won’t feel tempted to change your mind each time.

Để quản lý thời gian hiệu quả

đừng dùng quá nhiều công cụ "quản lý thời gian" như danh sách công việc, ứng dụng, ghi sổ... (cùng lúc), chuyển qua chuyển lại, mất thời giờ hơn,

chọn và chỉ dùng một phương pháp thôi trong một tháng, rồi xem có cần phương pháp khác ko, tìm cách hợp với mình nhất...
Dear Dan,
I’ve tried several techniques to be more organized and productive—to-do lists, time-management apps, keeping a journal. But switching between all these methods only makes things more confused. How do I figure out the best productivity system for me?

Behavioral economists refer to this kind of overplanning as structured procrastination. Juggling productivity tools and platforms makes us feel we’re making progress, when in fact they’re just another way of distracting us from our work.

To avoid this, take an experimental approach: Pick one time-management method and use it exclusively for a month. When the month is up, ask yourself if you really need a different method or extra tool. By committing to a single method and giving it time to work, you’ll be able to find out which productivity tools suit your needs and which just waste your time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Để học tiếng anh tốt

đừng để cuối tuần rồi mới học một buổi thật dài,

hãy học/thực hành chút ít mỗi ngày,

thỉnh thoảng bỏ một ngày trong tuần để xả hơi...
Dear Dan,

My wife is from the Netherlands, and we’ve talked about moving there someday. I’d like to start learning Dutch to prepare for this possibility, and I’ve bought some textbooks and recordings to help me practice. How should I approach the task? Is it better to study a small amount every day or to have longer sessions on the weekends?

Learning a new language is much harder for adults than for young children. It takes time and dedication (sự cống hiến, hiến dâng), but we can easily get discouraged when we feel we’re not making progress. My recommendation is to set yourself the goal of practicing every day, but allow yourself to skip one day each week. Research shows that building some “slack” (xả, trùng) into our goals helps them to seem more attainable (dễ đạt được). Just as important, it helps us not to feel like complete failures when we inevitably slip, making it easier to get back on schedule.

Để con trẻ cư xử đúng đắn trong lễ Halloween

muốn mỗi đứa một kẹo thôi, mà không tranh nhau, thì

đặt giỏ kẹo trước cái gương nhé, chúng sẽ tự soi mình...
Dear Dan,

For Halloween this year, we are going to leave a plastic jack-o-lantern full of wrapped treats on the doorstep along with a sign that says “Only one piece of candy per trick-or-treater, please.” Is there anything we can do to make sure children follow this rule?

You might be surprised to learn that this isn’t a new question. Back in the 1970s, a study tested if trick-or-treaters would take more candy from an unattended bowl than they were supposed to. Unsurprisingly, the answer was yes. But the researchers found that if they placed a mirror next to the bowl, children were less likely to take too much. Evidently, seeing ourselves increases our sense of self-awareness, which in turn leads to greater pressure to behave honestly. With that in mind, try adding a mirror to your Halloween display this year.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hãy chọn giá đúng

rao bán đồ trên mạng cho mình và cho mẹ chồng, thì đồ của mẹ chồng bán tốt, đồ của mình chẳng mấy người hỏi,

-> là do đặt giá cho đồ của mình có khi quá cao đấy, đặt lại, hỏi người khác xem, cho khách quan hơn...
Dear Dan,

I recently listed some household items for sale online—things like a coffee-maker and a vacuum cleaner. Some of them belonged to me and others belonged to my mother-in-law, who asked for my help because she’s not tech-savvy. I was surprised to see that most of the items I posted for my mother-in-law sold in a few hours, while most of mine didn’t attract buyers, even though they were similar in quality. What happened?

People have a tendency to assign a higher monetary value to things when they own them. Behavioral economics calls this the “endowment effect.” (hiệu ứng sở hữu) It’s possible that when you were pricing the items for sale online, you unconsciously (vô tình, không có ý thức) inflated (nâng giá, thổi phồng) the value of the things you owned, while you were more objective about the value of your mother-in-law’s things and priced them in line with what people were willing to pay. To avoid the endowment effect, try asking someone to have a look at your items and suggest prices, the way that you did for your mother-in-law.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Câu này có mục đích gì không?

ko có mục đích gì: tác động người đọc..., thì thôi, xoá...

A simple editing trick:

Every sentence has a purpose. It doesn’t exist to take up space, it exists to change the reader, to move her from here to there.

This sentence, then, what’s it for?

If it doesn’t move us closer to where we seek to go, delete it.

Lắng nghe "chuyên gia"

họ chỉ giỏi nói cho ta "những gì ko thể làm được" thôi, vì dựa vào kinh nghiệm,

muốn sáng tạo, cứ làm ngược những gì họ nói...

như ví dụ dưới: hai tàu chiến Scharnhorst và Gneisenau của đức tấn công nước anh và quay trở về cảng kiel, đức đi qua chính eo biển măng-xơ - nơi các "chuyên gia" nói rằng 'unthinkable', không thể được, đừng có nghĩ tới, lố bịch,
The Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau were two of Germany’s most powerful battleships (tàu chiến lớn có vỏ sắt dày và súng lớn; thiết giáp hạm; chiến hạm).

They were brand new and could do 32 knots (60 mph), they each had 11” guns.

Each gun fired a shell weighing a quarter of a ton, each ship had nine of them.

So powerful were the guns, they’d sunk a British aircraft carrier, HMS Glorious, hitting it from 15 miles away.

By 1942, they’d sunk 22 British merchant ships then sailed to Brest, in France, for repairs.

But Brest was too close to England, several times a week RAF bombers flew over and bombed the ships.

They had to get them back to Kiel, in Germany, where it was safe.

All the experts said there was only one route back that was safe: up around the north of Scotland, between Iceland and Greenland.

The shortest route, of course, was via the English Channel but that was unthinkable, at one point it was only 20 miles wide.

How could you even think of sending two of the most valuable ships in the world that close to England, under the nose of the British?

The experts said it was impossible, unthinkable, ridiculous.

At 11pm, in the pitch black, they began to sail up the English Channel.

The British submarine (tàu ngầm), HMS Sea Lion, that was watching them, had gone off to recharge its batteries.

The RAF Hudson, flying reconnaissance overhead, missed them in the low cloud.

The second RAF Hudson also missed them.

The third Hudson had a problem with its radar so it went back to base.

The fourth Hudson missed them in the fog.

2 reconnaissance Spitfires saw them but had no radio contact and had to fly back to base.

2 more Spitfires saw them but got into a fight with the covering Messerschmitt’s.

By this time, the ships were so close to England the shore batteries were firing at them.

But they all missed.

Then 6 redundant Swordfish biplane torpedo (ngư lôi) bombers attacked, all were shot down.

5 Motor Torpedo Boats tried to attack them, but were beaten off.

4 RAF Beaufort torpedo bombers got lost and couldn’t find them.

More Beauforts had to turn back for lack of fuel.

73 RAF heavy bombers attacked them, then 134 more heavy bombers, all failed.

6 destroyers attacked with torpedoes, all missed.

35 more bombers attacked, all missed.

The only things that damaged the two massive ships were mines they hit, they were each stopped for an hour.

But during this time nobody attacked them.

Eventually, the two battleships reached the German port of Kiel, and safety.

In the attacks, the British had lost 42 aircraft, the Germans had lost 20.

But the two warships, that the British wanted to sink more than anything else, had escaped by going through the one place everyone said was unthinkable, Britain’s back yard.

As the Times said at the time: “Nothing more mortifying to the pride of our sea power has happened since the seventeenth century.”

The lesson is that the experts are very good at telling you what can’t be done.

They’re not so good at telling you what can be done.

Because all experts can do is repeat conventional wisdom – experts aren’t creative.

Which is why they’re considered experts.

To them creativity is risky, unconventional, outrageous, unthinkable.

So sometimes the creative thing to do is exactly what all the experts say is unthinkable.

Just because the experts won’t be thinking about it, or expecting it.


thuỷ quân lính chiến mỹ uống máu rắn sống bị chặt đầu, ăn nhện và bọ cạp...

The event sees thousands of US troops (binh sĩ) taking part in a series of grueling (làm kiệt sức, làm mệt nhoài, làm mệt lử) and garish tasks all in the name of survival (sinh tồn).

Twenty-nine other nations are also attending the largest event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, which teaches troops how to survive in extreme conditions (điều kiện khắc nghiệt) in the jungle (rừng).

Around 4,500 members of the US armed forces will be taking part in drills on land and sea. Alongside them will be there counterparts from Singapore, China , Japan , India, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The training is now in its 39th year and lasts for 10 days.

The US Marines got stuck into the drills on Tuesday as they lined up to drink the blood (uống máu) of a decapitated cobra (rắn hổ mang bị chặt đầu) - which is said to be a good source at re-hydrating the body should drinking water not be available during a jungle mission. 

5 mẹo giãn cách xã hội

In the era of COVID-19, he suggests tracking what you can — or can't — find at the grocery store. Or, better yet, participating in some citizen science, like a project called CoCoRaHS that tracks rainfall across the country.

2) Keep a routine
3) Celebrate the stuff that matters, rather than the stuff you're supposed to celebrate
4) Embrace the grumpiness (tính hay gắt gỏng; tính cục cằn)
5) Use movies as a mood adjuster

Kiểm duyệt và tính sáng tạo

nghệ sĩ Donald McGill vẽ, qua nhiều năm, hơn 9.000 cartoons và bán tới 200 triệu card cho giai cấp lao động,

nhưng "có ai đó ở trên" quyết định rằng các bưu thiếp của mcgill offended (xúc phạm) public (công chúng) decency (lịch sự, đứng đắn, đoan trang), -> năm 1954, Donald McGill bị truy tố theo luật Obscene Publications Act 1857, bị kết tội và bị phạt.

George Orwell rất ủng hộ mcgill, những bưu thiếp đó là hài hước, là van xả, cho tầng lớp lao động sau những giờ, ngày làm việc mệt nhoài,

...quảng cáo hiện nay, do những người "có học" nghĩ ra, chỉ những người đó xem với nhau, chứ ko vươn tới được tầng lớp lao động...

He felt those who wanted the cards banned were themselves guilty of two errors.

First, they were infringing other people’s freedom. Second, they didn’t understand humour (hài hước).

The freedom part is obvious, but the part about humour is interesting.

Orwell points out the main subjects of the postcards are: sex, drunkenness, toilet humour, snobbery (hành vi, ngôn ngữ.... đặc trưng cho một kẻ trưởng giả học làm sang; sự màu mè), the mother-in-law (mẹ vợ), hen-pecked husbands (ông chồng bị xỏ mũi/bắt nạt), clergymen (giáo sĩ, tu sĩ, mục sư), and “an endless succession of fat women (phụ nữ béo, phốp pháp) in tight bathing-dresses (áo tắm chật).”

Orwell said the basis of all humour was a small rebellion (phản kháng nhỏ), it was stepping over the boundary (đường biên giới, ranh giới) of what was allowed, in this case good taste.

He compared it to the Don Quixote – Sancho Panza relationship, the conflict between high-minded respectability and vulgar (thiếu tế nhị, tầm thường, thông tục) buffoonery (trò hề).

He wrote: “Society has always demanded more from human beings than it will get in practice – that they should work hard, pay their taxes, be faithful to their wives, men should think it glorious to die on the battlefield and women should want to wear themselves out with child bearing. Such postcards are therefore symptomatically important as a sort of saturnalia (hội thần Satuya thời cổ La mã; cuộc chè chén ồn ào; cảnh truy hoan trác táng; dịp truy hoan trác táng), a harmless rebellion against virtue.”

Orwell understood humour isn’t reality, it is a release, like a safety valve (van an toàn).

On holiday the working classes are free for two weeks, free of the restrictions of their daily lives, they can laze around, get drunk, and laugh at rude jokes.

That’s what Orwell’s ‘harmless rebellion’ is, that is the purpose of humour.

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