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Drive home

[ 2010-11-25 10:26]     字号 [] [] []  
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Drive home

Reader's question:  

The American Civil Liberties Union has received more than 600 complaints over three weeks from passengers who say they were subjected to humiliating pat-downs at U.S. airports, and the pace is accelerating, according to ACLU legislative counsel Christopher Calabrese. "It really drives home how invasive it is and unhappy they are," he said.

Could you explain “drive home”?

My comments:

Drive home a point is the phrase in question here.

If you try to convince someone of something, you explain your point of view, stress it, emphasize it, repeat it again and again till they clearly understand it.

When they finally understand it, you win. And that's when you can say you've driven the point home.

It's like hitting a home run. In baseball, if you drive at (hit) the ball so hard it flies out of the playing field into the stands, you win an automatic point.

This is perhaps not the origin of this phrase, but this shall help you remember it.

Anyways, if you, for example, drove home yesterday safe and sound, you were free from running into another car on the way home – hence no harm to you, nor damage to your car.

However, if you drive a point home, you win an argument convincingly.

In the example from the top, "it really drives home how invasive it is" means passengers now clearly see how invasive US airports can be.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin 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.