double back

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이 표현은 Don Lee님께서 추천해주셨습니다. 감사합니다.
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MOTIVATION

우리는 이미 지나온 길을 다시 돌아가야할 때가 있다.

  • 자동차를 주차하고 걸어오다가 갑자기 이런 생각이 들 때, “자동차 안 잠갔다..”
  • 프로젝트가 80% 진행되었는데, 첫 단추가 잘못끼워진 것을 깨달을 때. “아..처음부터 다시 시작해야하네”
  • (공항에서) “여권 안가져왔어? 장난해?!!!! 다시 돌아가야하잖아…”

이런 상황에서 go back이라는 표현을 써도 되지만, 걸어왔던 길을 두번이나 반복해야하는 안타까움을 담아낸 표현이 있다.

“Yes. We will have to double back and get your freakin passport!”

[DEFINITION]
  1. go back in the direction one has come.

COMMENT

double back 에서 왜 double을 쓸까? 다음과 같이 생각하면 쉽다.

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어떤 한 지점(START) 에서 다른 지점(END)까지 이만큼의 거리를 지나왔다면..

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다시 돌아가려면 똑같은 거리만큼 움직여야하고,

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궁극적으로는 처음의 거리를 double한 셈이다.

FROM MOVIES
  • You want me to ride off with the chickenshits, then double back, be happy to. (Cowboys & Aliens)
  • We’ll cross through the lab, and then we’ll double back. (Breakfast Club)
  • Perhaps we could double back over our tracks, and confuse the trail in a clever way. (True Grit)
  • They double back to her front door. (Save the Last Dance)
  • They double back to escape the cul-de-sac. The Terminator steps in front of them, cutting them off. (Terminator)

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FROM NEWS
  • Listen up, because this information is hard to come by: There’s no left turn off of Truman Rd., so keep going east through the big stone arches then turn around somewhere and double back to the arches. (Bloomberg)
  • Back and forth, back and forth, from Asia to Europe and back, and double back – Russian history as usual. (Economist)
  • Syntacticians often refer to the garden-path phenomenon, wherein a reader is led down one interpretive route before having to double back to the beginning of the sentence to get on the right track. (NYT)

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FROM TWITTER
  • If you see a woman alone on a dark street, that is NOT the time to double-back, cross the street, get behind her & mutter, “Check this out.”
  • I already got my mind set I just will never double back. I’m over it. I’m over him
  • I forgot my ticket at home and I had to double back

META & CONTEXT
  • Is it a slang? No.
  • Can I use it in an email? Yes.
  • Can I use it in a formal setting? No. Use “return” instead.
  • Frequency? Used often in fiction
context plot
data source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/

PHRASE HISTORY

1800년대부터 조금씩 인기가 많아진 표현이고, “X로 다시 돌아간다”라는 의미의 “double back to X” 형태로 자주 쓰이는 것을 확인할 수 있다.

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image source: Google Ngram

TYPICAL MISTAKES

1. 과거로 쓰일 경우, double backed 가 아니라 doubled back이다!

– we double backed (X)

– we doubled back (O)

2. “double back” 자체가 동사다. 형용사로 착각하지 말자.

– we have to be double back (X)

– we have to double back (O)

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