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Ticket Scalpers

刊登日期: 2018.09.21
作者: Grace Tse  

About three weeks ago, two mainland ticket scalpers were sent to prison by the court after they were caught selling tickets for a stand-up show by Dayo Wong(黃子華).

The American slang term “ticket scalpers” refers to someone who re-sells tickets for a popular entertainment or sports event for more than their official price. The word “scalpers” first appeared in a ditty in “Harper’s Magazine” in 1869.

Where theatres are all the run,
And bloody scalpers come to trade.

The saying originated from an old practice of American Indians (美國印第安人) as early as the 17th century. They scalped the skin from the head of an animal in order to obtain a reward or removed the hair from the top of their enemy’s head as a battle trophy.

Today, scalping is extended to various re- selling activities at a price higher than the original value. In British English, ticket scalpers are called “ticket touts”, which started to be used in the 20th century. What is this in the Chinese language?

Chinese people use “yellow cows” to describe the dealers who snap up the tickets and cause a commotion like a herd of yellow cows. Can you think of any places where you may see “yellow cows”n Hong Kong?

The background stories of these terms carry negative connotations. Greedy ticket scalpers or touts have been a thorny problem for years in many countries because true fans are left frustrated for failing to get hold of any tickets. Therefore, the governments have been urged to take action in cooperation with companies to stop this unlawful practice. 

GLOSSARY

Ditty 小曲

Scalped 剝取頭皮

Trophy 戰利品

Snap up 搶購

Commotion 騷動

Connotations 涵義

Thorny 棘手

Unlawful 非法的 

 

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