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Cultural backwater

[ 2013-04-10 14:53] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Cultural backwaterPublic transportation receded into a cultural backwater in the 1950s as prosperous middle class people took advantage of cheap gas to put into their vehiclles.

My comments:

Backwater refers to any stretch of water that’s stagnant, e.g. a small corner of a lake or a pond branching off the mainstream of a river. The water here is not flowing or moving fast, hence giving an impression that it may be going stale.

Hence by extension, backwater is any place that’s quiet and lifeless, especially when it’s cut off from the rest of the bustling world because people have fallen out of love with it.

In our example, public transportation is described as a cultural backwater because in the 1950s, people began to own their own vehicles (thanks to cheap gas) and drive their own cars to and from work.

In other words, culturally, public transportation was out of fashion.

Buses were out. Private cars were in.

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About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) 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.