stir images

ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

The words “home automation” stir images of stainless steel, voice-activated systems, the staples of so many sci-fi movies. We imagine holographic touch screen panels and showerheads that power on automatically three minutes after our last alarm goes off. We dream of the technology in Spike Jonze’s Her—an artificial intelligence system that is not only designed to coax us out of bed in time for morning meetings, but that also seems to know our personalities and our routines as intimately as we know them ourselves. We want a one-of-a-kind algorithm that will streamline our lives.

(This comes from The Home of the Future Is Here, And It's Pretty Stupid by Alexander Aciman on August 20, 2014.)

I often see "stir anger/hatred/fears", so I don't understand "stir images". What does "stir" here mean?

Thanks in advnace!
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It should mean something like "arouse images/awaken images". If the phrase "stirs images", it causes the listener/reader to imagine these things.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, which of the following is the closest meaning? (WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017)

    1. to mix or agitate (a liquid or other substance) with a continuous movement of a spoon, a stick, etc.:
    2. to move in a fluttering, irregular motion:
    3. to move, esp. in a slight way:
    4. to excite (people or their feelings), as from a quiet state into an active one:
    5. to move around, esp. quickly:
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Sorry, I'm still a little confused. "Stir up" means "to set in motion; instigate: he stirred up trouble". It's still hard for me to understand "stir up images".
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Sorry, I'm still a little confused. "Stir up" means "to set in motion; instigate: he stirred up trouble". It's still hard for me to understand "stir up images".
    You have to imagine that the images are already in your brain, and that the words "home automation" cause them to rise to the surface, the same way that noodles in a pot of soup might rise if you stirred the pot.
     
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