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Blaze a trail

刊登日期: 2019.01.04
作者: Grace Tse  

Happy New Year 2019, everyone! A new beginning is the best time to make good wishes for ourselves and send warm greetings to each other. A lot of us hope to realise our aspirations in a new year. Even companies and organisations set fresh targets for the year to come. For example, a multinational information technology company wishes to blaze a trail in the development of a 5G mobile network. If a company blazes a trail(開闢道路;開拓創新), it is the first one to discover or achieve something. 

The word “blaze” has several meanings. Since the most common one is “burn brightly and strongly”, some people misunderstand that the origin of “blaze a trail” is about soldiers clearing a path by burning the trees down. 

In fact, to blaze a trail literally meant to mark the barks of trees in a forest with notches or chips so that people could follow the path. 

This meaning first appeared in Thomas Walker’s “Journal of First Exploration of Kentucky” in the USA in 1750. 

“I blaz’d a way from our house to the river.” 

The exact wording of the saying might have first appeared in 1883 in an American newspaper: 

“The merchants … offered the stranger $100 if he would blaze a trail through, … for pack animals to pass along.” 

It is unclear when the expression started to be used figuratively. However, the term “trailblazer”, which means a pioneer, appeared in the early 20th century.  


Glossary 
Aspirations 
抱負
Multinational 
跨國的
Mobile network 
流動網絡
Barks 
樹皮
Notches 
刻痕
Chips 
缺口
Figuratively 
比喻意義
Pioneer 
先驅

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