What does that mean? 你真的瞭解這個慣用語嗎?

Imagery buries itself in language and takes on new meaning. The transplanted and transformed word or set of words is called a “figure of speech.” For a figure of speech to be effective, however, a writer must first understand the original meaning of the word or phrase. The following sentence contains a common figure of speech. Its original meaning is explained.

“When the provocative suggestion was made a second time, the committee voted to sidestep the entire issue by leaving the matter to the discretion of the chairman.”

When an object too large to ignore suddenly appears in the path of a walking person, the person “sidesteps” it. Sometimes this movement necessarily occurs suddenly because the object—a rolling ball—appears without warning and the walker must dart to the side, as agile bodies are capable of doing. Sometimes the object has been there all along—say, a hole—but the person only notices it at the last minute and must step sideways to avoid it. The idea is to continue in the same general direction by momentarily changing direction in an evasive movement.

When the writer refers to a committee that “sidesteps” an issue, he alludes to this physical act. The committee didn’t stand up from the boardroom table and in unison take a step to one side or the other. Rather, it figuratively avoided addressing an awkward matter by voting to go around it temporarily. The issue was handed (again, figuratively) to the committee chairman for resolution outside the meeting. The vote accomplished two things: (1) The committee was able to continue ahead with its discussion, and (2) the issue was addressed tangentially. Sidesteps are convenient.
作者提到議會成員「sidesteps」(避開)議題的這個行為,也就是倘若議會在討論時並未挺身而出,甚至全體避免傾向某個立場或選邊站,他們會象徵性的避免直接面對某項難決的議題,而是採取投票制來暫時避開此議題。這項議題又(再度象徵性的)回到主席身上,等待會議外來解決。投票的行為意味著兩件事: 1.議會可以繼續進行討論議程。2.這項議題被輕描淡寫的帶過。遇到難解的議題,先避開它是非常便利的手法。


Posted at 2012-11-02 10:55:57

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