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Run its course?

[ 2009-09-04 09:41]     字号 [] [] []  
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Run its course?

Reader question:

Please explain “run its six years’ course” in this sentence – In other words, the law was to run its six years’ course.

My comments:

It means that the law, whatever that is, is good for six years. Therefore, you’ve got to abide by it for the six full years – before it expires.

Look at “the course” as you look at a river course. Observe the river. It runs from higher places to the lower. If it meets a mountain in its way, it simply goes sideways with no fuss, that is, without complaining or attempting to force its way through. Thus and therefore nothing can stop a river from running its full course. Always seeking the low spot, all rivers prevail, accomplishing their mission either by running into the sea or, as the case may be, vanishing in a desert.

In short, if something runs its course, it gets to complete its natural cycle of birth and death; if something is allowed to run its course on the other hand, they’re left alone. In other words, they are left to their own devices – allowed to do or die of their own accord, without human effort or interference.

Here are two media examples:

1. Cuba Embargo’s Usefulness Has Run Its Course

If I were a betting woman, I would bet that if The Miami Herald were to ask Cuban Americans what U.S. foreign policy has been the least successful over the last half century, the overwhelming answer would be none other than: Cuba.

No matter how much we may wish it to be otherwise, there is no denying the fact that Fidel Castro and the Cuba Revolution have survived and to some degree thrived, despite all our efforts to the contrary.

- Miami Herald, March 10, 2008

2. While IVF has been hailed as the best method to conceive when chances of a natural pregnancy are slim to none, doctors advise that couples wait for nature to run its course before heading to the doctor’s. A new study has shown that chances for women who have tried for a year to have a baby and turn to IVF to get pregnant are only slightly higher than if they continue to try naturally.

Nevertheless, with IVF, the possibility of having twins of triplets is increased, which poses a real danger to the health of both mother and children, which is yet another reason for which couples eager to start a family are advised to keep on trying before turning to medicine for help. The risks of IVF have long been known, but doctors want to emphasize, once again, that it should be regarded only as a last solution, when everything else fails.

Instead of becoming artificially pregnant, women should see about other means of increasing their fertility, experts advise, such as reducing stress and losing weight. Only when nature fails to return the expected results should couples resort to IVF, it is further being argued.

- Natural Pregnancies Should Prevail over IVF, Softpedia.com, February 25, 2009.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


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