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  1. #1
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default "Deep" used literally or metaphorically

    " Every time an incision is made in the pavement, the noisy surgeons expose ganglia that are tangled beyond belief. By rights New York should have destroyed itself long ago, from panic or fire or rioting or failure of some vital supply line in its circulatory system or from some deep labyrinthine short circuit."

    Question: Is the deep used here to refer to the degree of complicatedness of the short circuit, or used literally as deep underground, as indicated in the previous sentence (under the pavement)? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "Deep" used literally or metaphorically

    Deep underground IMO

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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "Deep" used literally or metaphorically

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    " Every time an incision is made in the pavement, the noisy surgeons expose ganglia that are tangled beyond belief. By rights New York should have destroyed itself long ago, from panic or fire or rioting or failure of some vital supply line in its circulatory system or from some deep labyrinthine short circuit."

    Question: Is the deep used here to refer to the degree of complicatedness of the short circuit, or used literally as deep underground, as indicated in the previous sentence (under the pavement)? Thanks.
    I agree. Although the passage is a rather weird extended mixed metaphor of anatomy, electronics and logistics, 'deep' has the literal meaning of "a long way from the surface".

  4. #4
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: "Deep" used literally or metaphorically

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I agree. Although the passage is a rather weird extended mixed metaphor of anatomy, electronics and logistics, 'deep' has the literal meaning of "a long way from the surface".
    This is taken from E. B. White's essay "Here is New York" written in the 1930s. I thought it was the physical sense, but this writer writes with lots of metaphors, so I wanted to make sure whether there is some extra sense hidden here.

    Thank you both.

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