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.

“When the scientist returned home, his electric car purred into the driveway, a docile cat with so little snarl that the lightest sleeper in the house wasn’t disturbed.”

Members of the cat family, large and small, are renowned for their quiet movement. Their padded feet and superb muscle structure let them leap and bound and run around without so much as a thump or a thud. They also are notably quiet at rest, with the most common resting sound being a vibration called purring. Scientists aren’t sure why cats purr. Regardless of why purring occurs, the sound is persistent and soft and identifiably feline in its origin. Cats also snarl, particularly before and during a fight, in a show of latent aggressiveness.

Electric vehicles sometimes are compared to cars, as in this example, partly because they often are nimble and smaller than higher-powered vehicles. The sentence’s first allusion is to the relative quiet of the vehicle, its “purring.” This is opposed to the raucous sound made by a car powered by a V-8 engine with a glass-pack muffler. The writer goes on to metaphorically describe the car as “docile” (underpowered) with minimal “snarl” (loud engine emissions). Giving the car the characteristics of a cat gave readers a fresh image of the end of a typical day.
有時我們會把一般汽車和電動車互相比較,如例句的示範。相較於馬力較高的汽車,電動車比較敏捷靈巧,也比較迷你。句中首先以 “purring” (發出呼嚕聲)比喻,說明電動車比較安靜,不像配備玻璃絲消音器、以 V8 引擎驅動的汽車,會發出嘈雜的噪音。接下來句子繼續以其他比喻,暗喻電動車很 “docile”(溫馴),也就是動力較低,且 “snarl”(咆哮聲)極低,也就是引擎的轟隆聲極低。賦予電動車貓科動物的特性,可以讓讀者看完一般的句子後,留下新鮮的印象。

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