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 sets of words are called “figures of speech.” For a figure of speech to be effective, however, a writer must first understand the original meaning of the phrase. The following sentence contains a common figure of speech. Its original meaning is explained.

“Southern Song Dynasty General Yue Fei was a tiger of unusual stripe, as fiercely egalitarian to his men as he was dictatorial to his children.”

“A tiger of unusual stripe” refers to the variety of coloration and pattern in the coat of a tiger. The standard configuration is black stripes running around the orange trunk of the body. The stripes also can be brown or gray. However, Malaysian natives report seeing a tiger with stripes running the length of the body.
「A tiger of unusual stripe」意指老虎外皮斑斕的色彩與花樣。一般的虎皮都是在橘黃色的軀幹上佈有黑色條紋,有時也有褐色或灰色,但馬來西亞原著民中曾見到老虎條紋遍布全身的記錄。

As used in a paper about a dynastic Chinese military leader, the metaphor denotes a human characteristic that apparently set him apart from his peers: His charity was more evident at work—on the military campaign trail—than at home. Using a uniquely striped tiger to metaphorically illustrate Fei’s individualism is doubly effective; the virtues traditionally associated with tigers, including ferociousness and courage, also are associated with generals.

Posted at 2011-04-28 14:53:34

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