This sentence extract from Spring document which is a developing framework of program language JAVA.

However, once the call has finally reached the target object, the SimplePojo reference in this case, any method calls that it may make on itself, such as this.bar() or this.foo(), are going to be invoked against the this reference, and not the proxy.

The translation software trans the meaning as "don't use proxy, but use this (this is a program term)". but the word against in my thought is used for indicate opposite, I don't understand.

And why there is an and after the comma to lead the last sentence? this should be a transition if the translation software is right, why not but?

1 Answer 1


Like so much technical documentation, that passage could use some serious editing.

This is a non-standard use of against. It bears some resemblance to this common use of against:

7 c: as a charge on
// charged against her account


What the author seems to have meant was that the method will be called on the instance of the class (which the this keyword references), rather than on the instance of the proxy.

The author has a reasonable grasp of English, so I assume that he or she was simply looking for a way to avoid writing "call on" again. Otherwise the sentence would be something like: "...any method calls that are called on itself...are going to be called on the this reference..."

Really, the sentence should have been rephrased.

  • it's so awkward, I still spent some time to figure out what as a charge on mean, actually I still have some doubt, haha. And I'm sure I have searched against on merriam-webster, but I ignored that entry because I don't understand that, seems I have so many words to learn, haha.
    – scott
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 16:03
  • @scott, like I said, this is not a normal use of against and that definition I provided doesn't actually cover this use - not in my mind, anyway. I was really just speculating about how the writer would have decided to use against. If "charge against" is still unclear to you, take a look at this link: idioms.thefreedictionary.com/charge+against
    – Juhasz
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 16:41
  • thank you so much for your explanation, that example make me more clearer, and the site looks pretty good. now I feel "via" or "through" maybe suitable for above context too.
    – scott
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 18:29

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