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.

“As Fran walked to the front of the room to receive the coveted and hard-earned prize, the atmosphere in the hall was electric.”

The air around the planet is its atmosphere, which in the case of earth is mostly nitrogen and oxygen. When the mix of gases and water vapor reaches a certain mass, an electrostatic discharge called lightning can dramatically occur. Less dramatic discharges include static electricity and electric current. Whether manmade or naturally occurring, the exhibitions of electric discharge are marked by ionization, sparks, or other indicators of a “charge” that induces attraction in matter or creates visual evidence of electrical transfer.

The phenomenon is used symbolically when speaking of the human emotional environment. In “electric” moments, sparks do not literally fly between the individuals in a room, nor is there an actual electromagnetic pull between bodies. Rather, the “atmosphere” in such a setting is likened to a physically “charged” one. Instead of hair literally rising on arms, such moments of tense or tender emotion have hearts beating faster and sensitized nerves being overwhelmed with sensory overload. Writing that moves between physical and emotional descriptions enlivens each world.
描述人類感情時,放電成為一種象徵。在 “electric”(帶電的;緊張激動的)時刻,大廳中的群眾彼此間並沒有真的傳送電光火花,人體也沒有產生電磁吸力,但在這樣的情境下,大廳的 “atmosphere”(大氣;氣氛)就好像物理上 “charged”(帶電)的大氣一樣。雖然人手臂的汗毛並未真的豎起,但在緊張激動的情緒下,人的心跳加速,敏感的神經淹沒在過度強烈的感覺中。這種筆法結合物理與情感世界,讓兩個世界更加生動。

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