2016年7月24日 星期日

usher sth in, waning, wax and wane, wax poetic, on the wane

With confidence in the government and political parties on the wane, and uncertainty over the country's economic future at an all-time high, 2009 will be a critical year for the country's people, its society and its government to come together and help Taiwan confront and overcome an unprecedented set of threats and challenges.

This year is the year of the bull in China. Hopefully, the inauguration of Barack Obama will usher in a bullish period for US-Chinese relations.

Tough Intellectual Takes Rebel Reins in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia, June 8 -- The death of the world's oldest rebel commander has ushered in a new chapter in Colombia's long civil conflict, with a bookish communist intellectual now leading a waning guerrilla force against a government convinced of its ability to deliver a resounding defeat.
(By Juan Forero and Steven Dudley, The Washington Post)

usher sth in phrasal verb [M]
to be at the start of a new period, especially when important changes or new things happen, or to cause important changes to start happening:
Yesterday's match between Arsenal and Spurs ushered in the start of the new football season.
Banksie threw a huge party to usher in (= celebrate) the New Year.
The legislation should usher in a host of new opportunities for school leavers.


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    1. Any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, consisting of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.
    2. Beeswax.
    3. Cerumen.
    1. A solid plastic or pliable liquid substance, such as ozocerite or paraffin, originating from petroleum and found in rock layers and used in paper coating, as insulation, in crayons, and often in medicinal preparations.
    2. A preparation containing wax used for polishing floors and other surfaces.
  1. A resinous mixture used by shoemakers to rub on thread.
  2. A phonograph record.
  3. Something suggestive of wax in being impressionable or readily molded.
Made of wax: a wax candle.
  1. To coat, treat, or polish with wax.
  2. Informal. To make a phonograph record of.
on wax
  1. In the medium of phonograph recordings.
[Middle English, from Old English weax.]

wax2 (wăkspronunciation
  1. To increase gradually in size, number, strength, or intensity.
  2. To show a progressively larger illuminated area, as the moon does in passing from new to full.
  3. To grow or become as specified: “could afford … to wax sentimental over their heritage” (John Simon).
[Middle English waxen, from Old English weaxan.]
wax and wane
to grow stronger and then weaker again:
His commitment to democracy and free markets has waxed and waned with his political fortunes.

verb [I]
1 to weaken in strength or influence:
By the late seventies the band's popularity was beginning to wane.
Compare wax (APPEAR LARGER).

2 FORMAL The moon wanes when it gradually appears less and less round, after the full moon.

on the wane (of power, popularity, etc.) becoming less strong:
There are signs that support for the party is on the wane.

    1. Having a heavy muscular physique.
    2. Bullheaded.
    1. Causing, expecting, or characterized by rising stock market prices: “Cheaper energy is bullish because it stimulates growth” (Eric Gelman).
    2. Optimistic or confident: bullish on the prospects of reaching a negotiated settlement.

Wax poetic

Speak in an increasingly enthusiastic and poetic manner.
Wax and wane'Waxing poetic' has nothing to do with bees, candles, or polishing cars. The verb 'to wax' is 'to grow'; the opposite of 'to wane', which is 'to decrease'. Grow and decrease have largely superseded the archaic terms wax and wane in almost all modern usages, apart from the waxing and waning of the moon. The other remaining contemporary uses of 'wax' with the meaning of 'grow', survive in various expressions like 'wax poetic' and 'wax lyrical'. These are often explained as deriving from the imagery of the waxing of the moon. In fact, the word is extremely ancient and was used to mean grow in many contexts prior to it being used to describe the monthly increase in size of the visible moon. King Alfred, in the translation of Pope Gregory's Pastoral Care, which he commissioned in AD 897, used the Old English version of the word - 'weaxan'.
There are numerous examples of the use of 'wax', meaning 'grow', in mediaeval texts. For example, The Geneva Bible, 1560:
"But he that shulde haue bene vpright, when he waxed fat, spurned with his hele."
[the 1611 version has it in more modern English as "Jesurun waxed fat, and kicked."]
It isn't until much later that 'wax' began to be used to refer to flowery and poetic speech or writing. This occurs in various phrases, like 'wax lyrical', 'wax poetic' and 'wax eloquent'. Of these, it is 'wax poetic' that is still most commonly used. 'Wax eloquent' was the first of this group of phrases to be used to describe someone becoming increasingly expansive and expressive in speech. That dates from the early 19th century, for example, this piece from Bracebridge Hall, a collection of essays and literary sketches by Washington Irving, 1824:
"The whole country is covered with manufacturing towns... a region of fire; reeking with coal-pits, and furnaces, and smelting-houses, vomiting forth flames and smoke." The squire is apt to wax eloquent on such themes.
Ironically, far from 'waxing eloquent', Irving was suffering from writer's block in 1824, following a family bereavement, and struggled to finish enough essays as to be worth publishing.
'Waxing poetic' came next. The first example that I can find in print is in Sir Henry Morton Stanley’s How I Found Livingstone, 1872:
"One could almost wax poetic, but we will keep such ambitious ideas for a future day."
Stanley seems to have been an enthusiastic waxer. His book also contains "I waxed indignant", "Farquhar and Shaw waxed too wroth", "I accordingly waxed courageous" - all at a time when he reports that the sun "waxed hotter and hotter".
'Wax lyrical' followed in the early 20th century; for example, Gilbert Cannan's translation of Jean-Christophe in Paris, 1911:
"He had the genius of taste except at certain moments when the Massenet slumbering in the heart of every Frenchman awoke and waxed lyrical."
Time for me to wane lyrical and stop.

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