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 chiropractor gently prodded upward along the center of the man’s back till she reached a misshapen vertebra that caused a chill to run down her spine.”

A “chill” in its original meaning refers to a feeling of coldness, an abrupt sensation that seems to surprise the senses. An outside door opened on a blustery winter day causes us to feel a chill that raises goose bumps on our arms and causes us to shiver involuntarily. It is not generally an enduring condition; if we are chilled for any length of time, we are said to be cold. Being chilled also generally is a disagreeable feeling; when a drop in temperature is felt to be pleasurable, we are said to be cooled. Cool, chill, cold, and frozen are somewhat different sensory experiences.

When the chiropractor felt a “chill” run along her spine, her body was not reacting to a drop in temperature. Rather, she had discovered a physical condition in her patient that startled her and brought her a flush of anxiety. A chill in this popular usage originates internally, in the brain, rather than externally. A natural response to such low-key shock is an interrupted breathing pattern and, perhaps, a nervous shudder. That the anxious jolt was described as a “chill” that ran down her spine is, of course, a cliché, but a usefully ironic one, because another spine caused it.

cron web_use_log