小词详解 | tenure

小词详解 | tenure
tenure 英 [ˈtenjə(r)] 美 [ˈtenjər]

SAT TEM8 GRE

外刊例句

  • In America at least, average job tenures have barely changed in recent decades.
    至少在美国,近几十年来,平均任职时间几乎并无变化。
    ——《纽约时报》
  • Mrs. Thatcher’s 11-year tenure had much in common with Liverpool’s, both in its length and its attitudes toward organized labor.
    撒切尔夫人在11年的首相生涯中,从其任期长度和对待有组织工人的态度上,都与利物浦勋爵相似。
    ——《纽约时报》

基本释义

[noun] the holding of an office
[名词] 任职期间

深入解读

Tenure 与小站之前推过的 manure (粪肥、肥料)结尾相同,不过含义大相径庭。

Tenure 一词源自拉丁语 tenere (持有),与小站之前推过的 tenet (原则、信条、教义)同源,15世纪初进入英语时原指“持有地产”,对应今义“(房地产等的)保有权、保有期、保有条件”,比如:

  • 居住权得不到保证是许多家庭居无定所的一个原因。
    Lack of security of tenure was a reason for many families becoming homeless.

到了16世纪末, tenure 不再仅仅表示持有地产,而是引申用于表达持有某种地位或职业,对应今义“任期、任职”,多用于形容某项重要的政治职务,比如:

  • 布什总统的八年任期
    the eight-year tenure of President Bush
  • 她知道自己与显赫的政治职位无缘。
    She knew that tenure of high political office was beyond her.

而到了1957年, tenure 在美式英语里,又从任期这个概念进一步引申用于表示“终身职位、长期聘用”,多用于形容大学教师职位,这个概念作动词时即指“授予……终身职位”,比如:

  • 要取得终身职位仍然极其困难。
    It's still extremely difficult to get tenure.
  • 经过三年的试用,委员会授予她终身职位。
    After three years on probation, the committee tenured her.

与之对应的 untenured 则表示“没有终身职位的”,比如:

  • 作为一个没有永久职位的助理教授,她在学院里表现很高调。
    Her profile in the college is unusually high for an untenured assistant professor.

名人用例

A life of action and danger moderates the dread of death. It not only gives us fortitude to bear pain, but teaches us at every step the precarious tenure on which we hold our present being.
充满行动和危险的生活将减缓对死亡的恐惧。它不仅赋予我们承受痛苦的刚毅,而且时刻引导我们把握飘忽不定的现在。

出自英国随笔作家威廉·黑兹利特(William Hazlitt,1778–1830年)的《席间闲谈》。威廉·黑兹利特以清晰、直接、男子气概的风格极大地影响了一批随笔作家。

同近义词

  • incumbency: the holding of an office or the period during which one is held
  • term: a fixed or limited period for which something, e.g., office, imprisonment, or investment, lasts or is intended to last
  • stint: a person's fixed or allotted period of work

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