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.

“The moth fluttered from elsewhere in the darkened room and danced around the lamp’s bulb until the annoyed student swatted it.”

Dancing is one of the universal attributes of man and really needs no explanation. It is a common human response to rhythmic sound produced by musicians or, in some cases, by machinery or nature. The impulse to move in concert with the percussive noise or music produces dancing, which harmonizes with the accompanying sound and is appealing to the eyes of those witnessing it. Dancing can be subdued or performed with virtual abandonment, and is identifiably different from other human movement because of the coordinated grace with which a dancer moves.

By saying the moth “danced” around the light source, the writer is commenting on two qualities of the movement. First, it is uninterrupted. A dancer typically does not stop dancing until the music ends. In the same way, a moth begins to “dance” at the sight of the light and continues until a light is shut off, the moth simply becomes exhausted, or its flight is terminated for it. And, like a dancer, the moth’s movement is lively. Even slow dancers move in a way that is enlivened by simple grace. Of course, it also is true that they can move slowly without fear of being swatted.


Posted at 2012-12-28 13:55:13

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