Sunday, January 30, 2011

What's the meaning of "Green Lung"?

Taman Tasik Titiwangsa is one of the green lungs in Kuala Lumpur. 


The following question came out in Paper 1 - Final Year Examination for English Form 1 last year:

"This park is the only green lung in the city." What is the meaning of green lung in this sentence? 

"Green lung" is a new phrase in English. Try searching its meaning in the Oxford dictionary or www.merriam-webster.com or even google; and you'll find none! 

Since I couldn't find its meaning neither in the dictionary nor on the internet, I consulted the experts in English. According to a senior English lecturer in UIAMgreen lung refers to a space in an urban area that has lots of plants, not about the colour of the foliage. As a result the area is healthier.

So, it is kind of inaccurate to say that "green lung" literally means the source of oxygen. If a park is the only green lung in a city, we can infer that the park is the source of oxygen due to fact that it has lots of plants no matter what the colour the plants have. As stated by Dr. Maskanah, green lung doesn't also mean green plants.


Some people might have a slightly different view on the meaning of "green lung" by quoting, "The green lung here is an expression that states the place that contains green plants which in turn  becomes a good source of oxygen."

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