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On the fence

[ 2011-09-14 14:37]     字号 [] [] []  
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On the fenceFirst-year American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez says she's "on the fence" about returning to Fox's competition series for a second season.

My comments:

This is a short variation from the idiom "sitting on the fence".

Two neighboring households, say, are engaged in a back-yard shouting match and you have come to help them make peace. Their back yards are separated by a fence. To give the appearance of being neutral, you climb onto the fence and observe the dispute from there.

That's you sitting on a fence in a good-neighborly dispute. What if it's a war between too countries? Sitting on the fence in that situation means that you're not taking sides in their dispute.

Sitting on the fence also suggests indecision, as you can see from these two examples – you don't have a clear party to support and therefore you have to keep straddling a fence.

That is also the case in Jennifer Lopez sitting pretty and perched "on the fence" about whether she will return to Fox's competition.

She may or she may not. For now, she's undecided.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


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.