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.

“Good business centers in hotels produce copied and faxed material, wireless Internet conversations, and steepled fingers in the lounge as executives look back on their day.”

The “steepling” of fingers is a physical gesture in which a person presses the tips of his fingers together, or meshes them up to about the second joint. Sometimes the fingers are meshed and rounded with only the index fingers jutting upward, their tips touching. This is called steepling because the pointed or meshed fingers resemble a church steeple or the sloping upper architecture of a similarly large building. Body language specialists have concluded from their observations that such steepling is an indicator of personal confidence in personal interactions.
“Steepling of fingers” 是兩掌指尖搭在一起,或手指在第二指關節處交疊的姿勢,有時候所有手指都交疊,只有食指朝上,指尖相觸。這種姿勢之所以叫 “steepling”,是因為相搭或交疊的手指很像教堂的尖頂 (steeple),或類似大型建築物的斜頂。研究身體語言的人觀察後認為,如果一個人擺出這個姿勢,表示在人際互動上很有自信。

The author of the sentence wove this allusion to a confident businessperson into a description of hotel business centers. This was accomplished by listing, along with the center’s hardware and software, the “steepled fingers in the lounge” of evidently satisfied businesspeople. This use of imagery—the body language of the executives—begins the reader’s transition from business center talk to description of the hotel’s dining and entertainment facilities. Thus, alluding to a human characteristic seamlessly returns the focus of the article to the hotel’s human guests.
作者描述飯店商務中心時,除了列出商務中心的軟硬體,還寫出洋溢自信的商務人士 “steepled fingers in the lounge”(在休息室裡指尖相搭),將他們充滿自信的形象穿插在句中。藉由使用意象,也就是高階主管的身體語言,讓讀者從商務中心轉而注意飯店的餐飲與娛樂設施。文章以暗喻的方式提到旅客的特性,將重點自然轉回旅客身上。

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