Community Web Version Now Available
zuotengdazuo
What does “tangent of possibility” mean? More important is knowing how the journey itself shapes a different class of human being: people whose ideas of “home” now incorporate an open road—a vast and risky _tangent of possibility_ that begins somewhere far away and ends at your doorsill. How you accept this tiding, with open arms or crouched behind high walls, isn’t at issue either. Because however you react, with compassion or fear, humankind’s reawakened mobility has changed you already. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/07/paul-salopek-chronicles-the-mass-migrations-that-define-our-age-feature/ Hi. This article is about migration. What does “tangent of possibility” mean? Thank you.
8 сент. 2019 г., 7:14
2
0
Answers · 2
The word "tangent" comes from geometry (please google images of "tangent to circle"). Basically, when a line touches the edge of a circle at exactly one point (point A), and forms a 90 degree angle with another line leading from point A to the center of the circle, we can say that it is "tangent to the circle". The chain on your bike comes off the sprocket "on a tangent". If you tie a rock to a string and whirl it around in a circle until the string breaks, the rock will fly off in a direction which is tangent to the circle. If the Sun suddenly disappeared, the Earth would fly off in a direction which is tangent to it's original orbit. So there are 3 examples of tangents (but google images will make it much easier to understand). Sometimes writers will use the word to describe something which goes off in a completely different direction then what was expected. "I had a meeting with Fred but he kept going off on tangents".... means Fred didn't stick to the topic of the meeting and he started "flying off in a different direction". "A tangent of possibility"... means that if you move off in a different direction, from the one you are expected to follow, then you will discover many new possibilities.
8 сентября 2019 г.
zuotengdazuo
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese
Learning Language
English, Japanese