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Thread: while reading a book...

  1. #1
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    while reading a book...

    I have come across a few phrases while reading a book that either sound weird to me, either seem completely impossible to understand.
    I would appreciate if anyone could take the time and effort to clarify these for me (and I can't promise there won't be more, a thick book it is! )

    "she never could get it together to visit"
    does that mean she couldn't organize everything to visit, or that she was always short of money to do so?

    "The baddest apples do full runs"
    I had a problem with particularly the baddest word. Is it possible to say that, like in colloquial speech, or (since it was in a dialogue) was it made to look like the person talking was not very clever?

    "I wasn't the lit fuse Michael had become"
    ok, no idea whatsoever except for maybe that Michael was a bit hot-tempered?

    "Make those brisket sandwiches to go"
    I assumed he just wants his food out, but it sounded weird to me.

    Thanks

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    Re: while reading a book...

    Quote Originally Posted by kamka
    "she never could get it together to visit"
    She forever meant to visit, but never got round to it, scatterbrained as she is. Often happens, especially when you've a friend you just don't quite like enough to miss yoga to hear them winge about their boyfriend.

    baddest
    Only permissible in such phrases as 'Dude! Eddie Vedder was the baddest!'

    "I wasn't the lit fuse Michael had become"
    ok, no idea whatsoever except for maybe that Michael was a bit hot-tempered?
    Yep.

    "Make those brisket sandwiches to go"
    I assumed he just wants his food out, but it sounded weird to me.
    Double yep. A brisket is a cut of meat.
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    Re: while reading a book...

    Quote Originally Posted by joysof
    Often happens, especially when you've a friend you just don't quite like enough to miss yoga to hear them winge (whine?) about their boyfriend.

    baddest
    Only permissible in such phrases as 'Dude! Eddie Vedder was the baddest!'
    Я бы ещё добавил, что это именно разговорый язык...
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    "Make those brisket sandwiches to go"

    The "to go" part may have confused you. "to go" can be used to indicate that you want to leave with food in particular. In Australia we use "Take away" to indicate the same thing. or is it "take out" .......anyway all three mean the same thing. To get your food and go
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Re: while reading a book...

    Quote Originally Posted by SSSS
    Quote Originally Posted by joysof
    Often happens, especially when you've a friend you just don't quite like enough to miss yoga to hear them winge (whine?) about their boyfriend.

    baddest
    Only permissible in such phrases as 'Dude! Eddie Vedder was the baddest!'
    Я бы ещё добавил, что это именно разговорый язык...
    Именно так.

    А прошу прошения, language learners: 'whinge'
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    My Russian is terrible, so I don't know if someone said this already in Russian, but "baddest apple" is almost certainly related to the English proverb: "a bad apple spoils the whole barrel". We talk about "bad apples" quite commonly as people who have a bad influence on other people. So "baddest" here is not quite the same as the colloquial usage, although it is still technically improper. It is just a way to preserve the proverbial expression--if you said "worse" or "worst" apple it doesn't sound much like the proverbial expression.

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    About the 'lit fuse', yes it means hot tempered. This comes from the cannons used in years past. The fuse is a just little piece of string that burns well that is used to set off the cannon. You light the fuse and it in turn ignites the gun powder.

    They always ask "(Is that) for here or to go?" at fast food restaurants, it's a very common phrase.

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    thanks, Paulb, I didn't know the proverb; makes it all much more clear now

    and thanks Layne

    what about these?

    "it just seemed that we could never rid ourself of the Wilkinson Home for Boys"
    I have some suspicions what can that mean, but the image is still a bit blurry. I imagine it's got something to do with the phrase "get rid of sth"; perhaps they couldn't make the Wilkinson Home for Boys stop being a part of their lives?

    Another question is something that really bothers me. While reading the book, I have frequently come across phrases like "real proud" or "shoulda" in dialogues. I should think it's actually a mistake to write these, especially the "shoulda" one, since it's just the way people pronounce it, considering the "of" is in its weak form I thought something like that would never appear in a good quality book, but since it did, it makes me wonder, is it actually common in literature to use it in dialogues?

    The last question is about the usage of "both". What makes me wonder is that sometimes it's "both of my parents", and the other time, "both my parents". Is there any difference, even the slightest one in the meaning?

    Thanks a lot again.

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    First, I quote a dictionary:

    "If you rid yourself of something you do not want, you take action so that you no longer have it or are no longer affected by it."

    ("free" is a synonym)
    So you are right.

    Now I quote a textbook:

    "You don't need of after both. So you can say:

    Both my parents are from London. or Both of my parents..."
    Please correct my mistakes if you can, especially article usage.
    My avatar shall be the author I'm currently reading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamka
    thanks, Paulb, I didn't know the proverb; makes it all much more clear now

    and thanks Layne

    what about these?

    "it just seemed that we could never rid ourself of the Wilkinson Home for Boys"
    I have some suspicions what can that mean, but the image is still a bit blurry. I imagine it's got something to do with the phrase "get rid of sth"; perhaps they couldn't make the Wilkinson Home for Boys stop being a part of their lives?

    Another question is something that really bothers me. While reading the book, I have frequently come across phrases like "real proud" or "shoulda" in dialogues. I should think it's actually a mistake to write these, especially the "shoulda" one, since it's just the way people pronounce it, considering the "of" is in its weak form I thought something like that would never appear in a good quality book, but since it did, it makes me wonder, is it actually common in literature to use it in dialogues?

    The last question is about the usage of "both". What makes me wonder is that sometimes it's "both of my parents", and the other time, "both my parents". Is there any difference, even the slightest one in the meaning?

    Thanks a lot again.
    It is common for fiction writers in English to try to use the forms people use when they speak rather than the "correct" forms. "Real proud" is fairly informal, but not uncommon in speech. "Shoulda" is EXTREMELY common in speech. If you were living in America, it would be quite uncommon for you to hear someone say "should have". Sometimes it sounds more like "should've", which is also technically not proper, but that's the way we speak.

    On "both", it is much more common to say "both of" than the other way, but both are correct. No difference in meaning at all, but "both" without "of" sounds just a little more formal. Or more British.

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    To get rid of smth/smbd - избавиться, избавляться...

    As for "real proud" and "shoulda" it's just colloquial language... And it could be used in a good literature... Especially if the author want to (or wanna coll.) show something about the character in the book through his/her speach... As an example, язык Эллочки-Людоедки в "Двенадцати стульях..." Same goes for English...
    Of all the things I've lost I miss MY MIND the most...

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    thanks a bunch, guys

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