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 word or set of words is called a “figure of speech.” For a figure of speech to be effective, however, a writer must first understand the original meaning of the word or phrase. The following sentence contains a common figure of speech. Its original meaning is explained.

“The screened-in sleeping hut still brimmed with comfort in November when insulated tarps were lowered to protect sleepers from cool winds.”
「 儘管時值十一月, 低放的防水布保護睡於小屋內的人免受冷風吹襲,讓受遮蔽的小木屋內充滿了舒適的氛圍。」

“Brim” is an upper or outer limit of something—of a container, an area, a structure—the opposite being a bottom or inner limit. Thus, there is the brim of a cup (the top of the surrounding sides) and the brim of a hat (the projecting outer rim that surrounds the crown). The top edge of a depression in the ground or of a bathtub also is referred to as a brim. A common phrase is “filled to the brim,” meaning filled to the top: “My tea cup was filled to the brim.” The person doesn’t actually mean that the cup is on the verge of spilling over, but that it is nominally full.
「Brim」(邊緣)意指超過某樣東西的限度之上或外在侷限,通常指容器、區域或者是結構體,相反的概念即是底部或者界線內。因此,我們可以說杯子的「brim」(杯子最上緣環狀的部分),也可以說帽子的「brim」(環繞頭部突出部分的外緣)。一個地面低窪處、或是浴缸的最頂端邊緣亦能以「brim」稱之。有個常聽到的用語「filled to the brim」,意思就是到頂為止。如果聽見有人說:「我的茶裝到滿」,說話的人並非指茶杯裡的茶真的都要灑出來了,只是形容很滿而已。

In saying that the novel sleepers’ building “brimmed with comfort,” the writer isn’t suggesting there was so much comfort poured into the building that it might spill out from under the eaves at any moment. Rather, the writer is suggesting that the closing off of the screened walls has sealed the interior so well that chilling winds cannot enter it. Therefore the comfort level is more than adequate; it is wholly comfortable. Brimming used in this sense always implies fullness… of comfort, of a beverage (tea), of a feeling (happiness), of credentials (authority), and so on.


Posted at 2013-01-25 10:37:20

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