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.

“The works attributed to Homer are ancient, influential, and in all likelihood a compilation of oral traditions woven together by desire for the immortal.”

Weaving is the process by which individual threads become a piece of fabric. The process involves interlacing strands at right angles to one another in such a way that they become interlocked. With loose ends affixed, the woven threads become one piece and remain such unless tediously disassembled strand by strand. The tighter the weave, the greater the strength of the woven fabric. The pieces of cloth have been fabricated for many, many years from various organic materials and can be preserved for centuries under suitable conditions.

The author of the sentence wrote of “oral traditions” being woven together. Obviously, the weaving of uttered words is an impossible task given the insubstantiality of breath and sound. Nevertheless, the reader can see an image of spoken words being gathered and preserved orally from generation to generation until such time as the stories were written down by, apparently, Homer. A “desire for the immortal”—the hope that the thread of the stories would not be lost—kept them intact until they could be “woven” into a more-or-less permanent written record.

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