tackle economic ghosts

danielxu85

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
I think you could tackle a problem, but could you tackle people or ghosts? Is this collocation right? If not, how would you improve it? I think the writer is writing metaphorically, but I am not sure if the metaphor sounds right.

To achieve stable economic growth in 2007, China will have to tackle some economic ghosts of the past.
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I would take it to mean that China has some problems that were created in the past and remain in the present to "haunt" her. Any kind of challenge may be tackled, and "ghosts from the past" are certainly challenges.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The part that makes it work is "from the past". "Tackling ghosts" sounds a little odd by itself. "Ghosts from the past" is a particular phrase that brings to mind that long-standing problems or unresolved issues that have loomed over someone. It doesn't immediately bring to mind some spectral image that you're trying to tackle. :)

    For example, Stanley's wife might casually slip in a conversation and say, "Well, Stanley has not always been so respectable. Why, he used to..." Stanley might interrupt and say, "Let's not dig up any ghosts from my past."

    Here are a few examples I Googled:

    Singer/songwriter James Clark confronts the ghosts from his past and puts them to song under the guise of The Clark Institute...

    But haunted by ghosts from his past, and determined to confront his dark legacy, he escapes and heads toward his beloved Finier,

    He’s certainly on the path as he wrestles with those old ghosts from his past. But it just might be the kiss of an angel that sets him free

    After nearly 50 years, Cullen Roark has returned to his hometown of Marion to put to rest some ghosts from his past.
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks, James! In my sample sentence, the writer chooses to use "ghosts of the past". Do you think I have to change it into "from"?
     
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