And people where making fun of Kim because she missed a hail of opportunities

What does "hail of opportunities" mean? I thought it meant to grab opportunities but I was not correct as my teacher gave me a zero for it in the exams. I have tried searching web and collecting information from other sources (like dictionaries) but could not find its meaning. Can you help me make out its meaning?

  • 3
    Can you provide the complete sentence for context, please? – Davo Mar 10 '17 at 13:28
  • Hail can have two meanings depending on surrounding context. In the "Hail and well met" meaning of 'hail', someone may be greeting opportunities. In the "rain and hail" meaning of 'hail' it may mean that so many opportunities exist that not all can be taken. – Mark Ripley Mar 10 '17 at 13:33
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    Could you have missed part of the wording? I could imagine someone saying that Kim had missed a HAILSTORM of opportunities: opportunities were all around her the way hail falls all around us in a hailstorm. Could that have been the original wording? – Chaim Mar 10 '17 at 14:19
  • Firstly, hail is usually a mass noun like sand or water, so we don't speak of "a hail". Secondly, as Chaim points out, if you mean "an occurrence of hail", we call that a hailstorm. – stangdon Mar 10 '17 at 15:14
  • @stangdon the expression "a hail of gunfire" is not uncommon. I interpret a "hail of opportunities" in the same way, although "hailstorm" also fits. – Andrew Mar 10 '17 at 18:06

They went down in a hail of bullets.

This use of "a hail of" metaphorically implies that the bullets were as thick as hail in a storm -- which is to say, there were a lot of them. In the same way a "hail of opportunities" implies a there were many opportunities.

However, it's a particularly inelegant metaphor. You don't normally try to catch hail -- you want to avoid being struck by it. If you want to imply that she had so many opportunities she should have been able to take advantage of one of them, you should use a more welcoming metaphor like, "a shower of opportunities," or, "a wealth of opportunities," or, "a fertile field of opportunities," or something similar.

In my opinion it's unfair to ask an English learner to interpret an awkward metaphor like this, but what can you do?

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