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.

“Under the electron microscope, the nerve fibers and blood veins were shown to be elegantly threaded throughout the body.”

“Thread” has a lengthy history in garment-making. The use of a long, continuous fiber to stitch and adorn goes back thousands of years. A thread is meticulously inserted in a garment and then woven and out of it according to a pattern; when drawn tight, the unbroken thread affixes one piece of a garment to another. In decorative uses, the thread is woven into the fabric for display rather than for function. In every case, the path of the thread is uniform and the tolerances close so that the threaded product is enhanced, either in usefulness or in beauty.

In the sentence about a laboratory observation, “threaded” refers not at all to a continuous strand of twisted cotton or some other fiber. Rather, the allusion is to human cells that have been formed into nerve axions and blood vein walls. The nerves and veins are said to be threaded throughout the body, which is to say they run continuously from toe to head; they are purely functional, transmitting messages and delivering life-assuring blood. The writer (unnecessarily) adds the adverb “elegantly” to ascribe to the cellular structures a sense of human majesty.
本句討論實驗室中的觀察,“thread” 並非指捻在一起的棉紗或其他纖維,而是比喻人體的細胞形成神經束與血管網絡;神經與血管在全身交織,從頭到腳連續不斷,並且有其功能,即傳導訊號與輸送維繫生命的血液。作者還(多此一舉地)加上副詞 “elegantly”(優雅地),讓細胞結構多了一股奧妙人體的感覺。

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