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Thread: touch stone ?

  1. #1
    Szymon is offline Junior Member
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    Default touch stone ?

    Could you tell me what 'touch stones' mean here?
    Some [events] were planted as seeds or touch stones before you started your journey.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: touch stone ?

    To my mind, it means "Inevitable".

    Although, I have never heard that expression before.

    Kind Regards

  3. #3
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    Default Re: touch stone ?

    Why "Inevitable" ? When you say that it was planted as seeds then I look at "a stone" as something solid (solid as a rock). It's your faith.

    Regards

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: touch stone ?

    Hello Szymon

    A "touchstone" is a basis for comparison. If you have a favourite book, you can say that it's your "touchstone" for all other books: you use it to measure their worth.

    Originally, a "touchstone" was a piece of black quartz or jasper. It was used for testing gold and silver alloys. You rubbed (hence "touch") the alloy on the quartz; the colour of the mark indicated the quality of the alloy.

    Bye
    MrP

  5. #5
    Szymon is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: touch stone ?

    Thank you very much for explanations, guys. I would also ask you, MrPedantic, about one more thing. Even though I understand now the meaning of a 'touch stone' I don`t understand how it works in the sentence.

    Here it is once again:
    Some [events] were planted as seeds or touch stones before you started your journey.

    It would mean that these events would be something that other things would be compared to.

    These is the entire paragraph with the sentence:
    'Some believe that unlikely happens are simply coincidences or happenstance.
    But your world is full of Synchronicities for a very important reason, you create them! Some were planted as seeds or touch stones before you started your journey.'

    So, what is it that could be compared/referred to that touch stone?

    And one more thing, I don't understand the difference between 'as' and 'like'. In my grammar book I found sentences that simply explain how it works:

    'He spoke to us as a prophet addresses an audience of believers.'
    and
    'He behaves like a spoiled child.'

    The explanation is that 'as' is used to compare meanings of two SENTECES while 'like' when a noun (child) is used to be referred to in order to compare something.

    But it seems that it's not always that way, for example in the aforementioned sentence about synchronicities there is '... were planted AS seeds or touch stones'.
    Could the difference be that 'as' here is used in order for us not to pay attention to a method of how it was planted but in order to focus rather on why it was planted, right?
    Also The Beatles sing 'free as a bird' and Nelly Furtado sings 'free like a bird, I wanna fly away'.
    Could it mean in The Beatles' version that as I`m a bird I have to be free because it`s my natural 'state' and I am indeed. And Nelly's version, I am a human but I am free as if I was a bird?
    This all is so crazy!!! Thank you!

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: touch stone ?

    Hello Szymon

    1. It seems to be a rather unusual use of "touchstone". (It may be that the writer wasn't entirely familiar with the meaning of the word.)

    But I take it to mean something like: "You think that the conjunction of event A with event B is a coincidence. But that's not the case at all. The conjunction of events A and B was predetermined (by some Power) long before you even began your journey through life, with the intention of making you aware that that Power existed".

    2. The "as" in "as seeds or touchstones" I take to mean "to function as", rather than "like". Cf. "I gave him a book as a birthday present".

    3. The Beatles' line "Free as a Bird" means "(I am) free as a bird (is free)"; so it compares two sentences, but parts of those sentences are omitted through ellipsis.

    Nelly Furtado on the other hand compares two nouns, and so uses "like".

    (It's rather confusing; sometimes the sentence after "as" isn't wholly expressed.)

    Does that help?

    See you,
    MrP

  7. #7
    Szymon is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: touch stone ?

    MrPedantic, thank you very much, it helped a lot

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