- For Teachers
I'd like to ask about an unclear phrase in the following context:
Some background information: Two people are talking at the beginning of the story:
"That island is like a mountain in reverse, you see. It extends a long way below the waterline. Like fist sticking out from the bottom of the Continent, reaching deeper into our ocean than any other feature we know of."
"I see," he muttered.
The same people are talking one more time in the middle of the story:
"Your colleagues, those scientists who discovered the feature... I don't think they used the old word 'mountain' because it reaches in any particular direction. Toward the sky or toward the world's core, either.
I understand the meaning of the verb "reach" in this phrase, but the meaning of the whole phrase (it reaches in any particular direction) in this context is unclear to me. And it's difficult for me to figure out which word "it" refers to -- to any mountain, or to the one they are talking about.
It reaches in any particular direction may mean that the old sense of the word 'mountain' (it) is no longer valid. It can have a new sense altogether and this may be something that points towards the sky or something else entirely different.
Lez think like this. Take the word mouse.
It meant a burrowing cheese-loving lovely animal that outflanks Toms in their chase.
But now, with computers, it is also a peripheral device.
Words don't stay unchanged. They float on an ocean of change, wating for the next wave to wash its meaning with a new one.