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Reza
01-23-2014, 04:38 AM
On a commentary note from “ The Washington post” on a book named “ISLAM a short history”, they have said: “ A small gem bristling with insight”

I’m generally good at catching the second or third meaning of most of verbs, but this one is Greek to me, and after looking up in different dictionaries I failed to find a meaning that could make sense here.
So, how do you say it in plain English “ bristling with insight” ? and what does the author try to say?

But on second thought and considering this from the dictionary (bristle with rage/indignation etc) meaning: to behave in a way that shows you are very angry or annoyed,
all I get and guess is = “ A precious review and careful observation into the details”, and I guess why the author used “bristle” it wants to show that how discontent the speaker is with other causal views and accounts on this subject.
So how far am I right?

Maserschmidt
01-23-2014, 04:42 AM
Bristle also means to be "covered with" or "abundant in".

jjimm
01-23-2014, 05:00 AM
Imagine a hedgehog - it's tiny, but absolutely covered in bristles.

Now transfer that image as a metaphor - hundreds of insights are crowded together, emanating like spines from a small book.

Banksiaman
01-23-2014, 05:33 AM
It also conveys the sense that it is not just dense with ideas but positively bubbling / sparking / effervescing / quivering with them.

Reza
01-26-2014, 12:01 AM
It also conveys the sense that it is not just dense with ideas but positively bubbling / sparking / effervescing / quivering with them.


Positively with "bristle" word? ..... Conradicts

Reza
01-26-2014, 12:03 AM
Imagine a hedgehog - it's tiny, but absolutely covered in bristles.

Now transfer that image as a metaphor - hundreds of insights are crowded together, emanating like spines from a small book.

And, why among such vast possible metaphors, the author should go for such a strange and rare analogy... Hedgehog .....

Reza
01-26-2014, 12:13 AM
Bristle also means to be "covered with" or "abundant in".

Thanks, this one makes entirely sense and would remove any doubt or question, now I found such meaning in oxford, but I wonder why not in longman and not in thefreedictionary.com [ one of the leading ] , and surprisingly not in American Heritage and Collins.

guizot
01-26-2014, 12:15 AM
You need to keep in mind that book, film, etc., reviewers are constantly faced with the challenge of describing other works in either positive or negative ways, while at the same time avoiding prosaic descriptions and repetition from one review to another. So the literary community has generated a whole repertoire of language that is used to describe the intellectual works of others in varied manners. The expression "bristling with _________" is just one common pattern to say a work possesses a certain quality or trait in an effusive way.

don't ask
01-26-2014, 12:15 AM
Well if you google "bristling with insight" you will find 47,399 other examples of the phrase.

guizot
01-26-2014, 12:22 AM
. . .I wonder why not in longman and not in thefreedictionary.com [ one of the leading ] , and surprisingly not in American Heritage and Collins.The reason you don't find it in those references is that--as I just mentioned above--this is in large part characteristic of the language of a certain profession: reviewers. Few references can adequately describe the language of all such specialized fields--it would become too unwieldy

jjimm
01-26-2014, 05:03 PM
And, why among such vast possible metaphors, the author should go for such a strange and rare analogy... Hedgehog .....Because it's an entirely appropriate one in the circumstances. And it's not rare - the author didn't make it up, it's been used before. I think it's an excellent analogy for what it seeks to describe.

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