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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    Last year, blacks dared to dream anew, envisioning a future in which Obama’s election would be the catalyst for an era of prosperity and more racial harmony. Now that the election’s afterglow has nearly faded, the hysteria of hope is being ground against the hard stone of reality. Things have not gotten better. In many ways, they’ve gotten worse.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/05/op...=1&ref=opinion
    The text I quoted is from New York Times. What does the sentence I highlighted in blue mean?

    Thanks.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/05/op...=1&ref=opinion
    The text I quoted is from New York Times. What does the sentence I highlighted in blue mean?

    Thanks.
    It's a mixed metaphor. The writer has missed the chance for a good line.
    If it said "the seed of hope is being ground against the hard stone of reality" it would make more sense.
    The idea is that a positive thing 'the hope' is being lost because it's being destroyed by being ground against the hard stone of the current reality.

    The hard stone is a grinding stone - the sort of thing that millers used to make flour out of wheat grains. But in this case, it's hope that's being ground. Unfortunately, the author has decided to use a silly metaphor - since "hysteria of hope" cannot be ground against a stone. But "seeds of hope" can be, and it destroys them.

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    Thank you for your help. I've understand.

    I think the journalist used 'hysteria of hope' refers to the unrealistic hope, which people pin on Obama, so it is being ground by the reality. If we replace with seed of hope, can it convey the connotation of unreality of hope? Could you please comment on it again? Thanks.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Thank you for your help. I've understand.

    I think the journalist used 'hysteria of hope' refers to the unrealistic hope, which people pin on Obama, so it is being ground by the reality. If we replace with seed of hope, can it convey the connotation of unreality of hope? Could you please comment on it again? Thanks.
    Yes, but it's still a mixed metaphor. Hysteria cannot be ground.
    "Hysteria of hope" is a good phrase, but the writer then went on to make a nonsense of it.

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    Thank you very much for your help again.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    I guess what made it hard to understand was the word 'ground'. In a context that mentions 'stone' it's an easier jump to the (mistaken) conclusion that 'ground' has something to do with earth or soil, than the correct understanding of 'ground' as the past participle of 'grind'.

    b

  7. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    BobK, you are Sherlock Holmes!!! Raymott told me 'hard stone' refers to a mill, so I looked up the dictionary, and found ground is the past participle of grind. Previously I had thought ground refers to soil, but it seemed is being ground is in passive voice. Finally, I got it.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 06-Dec-2009 at 14:05.

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I guess what made it hard to understand was the word 'ground'. In a context that mentions 'stone' it's an easier jump to the (mistaken) conclusion that 'ground' has something to do with earth or soil, than the correct understanding of 'ground' as the past participle of 'grind'.

    b
    Sorry, I thought I had that covered with "The hard stone is a grinding stone".

  9. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    You did. I just thought it might be helpful to diagnose a possible misunderstanding.

    b

    PS Incidentally, thinking about this I realized that there are two sorts of grind. The sort you had in mind, done by a mill, where the product is the result of the grinding (flour); and the sort that first came to my mind when I read the NYT piece - done with a grind-stone on a blade or a rough surface, where the product is the effect of the grinding (a sharp blade or a polished surface).
    Last edited by BobK; 06-Dec-2009 at 18:43. Reason: PS Added

  10. Trance Freak's Avatar
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    #10

    Cool Re: is being ground against the hard stone of reality

    I guess the writer was just trying to put on fancy words together, but one can understand that Blacks' hope was to hit the ground, crashed! DUH !!We're dealing with politics = harsh reality

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