34

While "flounder" is a negative term, it denotes a process, not an end result. If you flounder ashore after a shipwreck, that you have escaped drowning does not make your motion retroactively graceful. Bradbury is emphasizing that he was trying different things, basically at random, without much thought, and one of them proved fruitful.


31

There are two issues here. Using real world profanity may make books fall afoul of censors. This was even more of an issue back in the 60s and 70s when the first books were published, especially given that minors might take them out of libraries. Real world profanity can break suspension of disbelief. Religious in particular, for Pern, since it is depicted ...


28

Minced oaths, from well-known ones like "gosh" and "darn" and "heck" and "fricking", to more obscure ones, are common in the real world, but even more so in fiction and especially fantasy. I've read children's stories, set in versions of the real world with some fantasy elements, where characters say "ruddy" ...


24

I'm pretty sure it's a satirical jab at the perceived takeover of Britain by the United States. Just as in real life the US has filled Britain with its airbases, in the world of 1984 the entire country is seen as just a minor offshoot of US military power, a mere "airstrip" for the USAF to launch their warplanes from. We already know that the ...


23

Kefitzat Haderech is a Jewish phrase that means "contracting the path". Herbert defines Kwisatz Haderach as "the Shortening of the Way" (Dune: Appendix IV), clearly meaning to reference the Hebrew here. As seen in this answer on SFF, a large quantity of names in Dune are inspired by words from Semitic languages such as Hebrew or Arabic.


17

Since Hamlet was published in several editions during the Jacobethan era, it is worth looking at how these early editions rendered these lines, using the old-spelling editions published by Internet Shakespeare Editions. The first quarto (Q1), published in 1603, which has sometimes been called a "bad quarto", gives the lines as follows: O that this ...


14

The other answers have explained the meaning of the line—that Macbeth shall be king, as he was promised by the witches—but there is more to say about the choice of wording. The difficulty here arises because Lady Macbeth is expressing herself evasively. Why doesn’t she come straight out and say, “thou shalt be king as thou art promised”? The reason is that ...


13

The word stay here means stop or pause. From Merriam-Webster: intransitive verb 1: to stop going forward : pause 2: to stop doing something : cease Or from the Macmillan dictionary: 4 [transitive] formal to stop something such as a court case from continuing The defence has filed a petition to stay proceedings. The sense is: If ...


13

This is an interesting observation. Checking definitions of the word "flounder" reveals that they are, as the OP claims, mostly very negative. The key to the usage in this sentence is, I think, this definition from the Oxford dictionary: Struggle or stagger clumsily in mud or water. ‘he was floundering about in the shallow offshore waters’ If we ...


10

Not only does it cast doubt on Rodolpho's masculinity, the context in which this quote comes from suggests a lot more of Eddie and his attitude towards Rodolpho. While I quite agree with the word choices Matt highlighted, and his description of those words, some of the implications given are a little restrictive. looked so sweet there, like an angel – ...


10

TL:DR - The language has been carefully chosen to cast doubt on Rodolfo's adulthood and masculinity Eddie is a traditional, older, blue collar dock worker with a conservative attitude to masculinity and the role of men in the family. Rodolfo, his wife's cousin, is the opposite. He is young, liberal and harbours wild dreams of a singing career. Eddie has ...


8

I have used this in the past: Open Source Shakespeare: Concordance of Shakespeare's complete works. For example, you can type “beauty” into the box and get this page that shows the occurrences in each work. Here's Hamlet to The Tempest, showing that there are 5 occurrences in Hamlet and 2 occurrences in The Tempest: (In this case there seems to be a bug—...


8

This is the original sense of the word airline. Now obsolete, it survived in works on surveying and military history into the 1960s. The OED says: airline, n. 1. a. Chiefly U.S. A direct line through the air; a straight line between two points on the earth's surface. with citations dating back to the early 19th century: 1829   J. F. Cooper Wept of Wish-...


8

Most of these aren't saying "whore". The one that does is "Hohore", which according to this page is actually "ho whore"; "ho" here is the exclamation. Also, note the r in "hore". The Oxford English Dictionary's earliest attestation for "hoe" (for any spelling without r) meaning "whore" is from the 1964 book Deep down in Jungle: Main who', best girlfriend....


7

To say anything definitive about The Waste Land is challenging; indeed, this work seems to evade interpretation with each new line and stanza. With many interpretations carry with them some merit, I contend that the line "heap of broken images" is meant to evoke something broader about modernist art: this line is a metatextual reference to the poem itself ...


7

Holofernes is a character in the biblical Book of Judith (which is considered canonical in Catholic and Orthodox tradition, but not in Protestant). He was a Assyrian general under king Nebuchadnezzar, who invaded nations and destroyed their temples in order that they should instead worship the king. When laying siege to a Hebrew town, the widow Judith ...


7

A Roadside Stand describes a small-time farmer trying to sell their produce from a stall by a busy road. The farmer is poor, wanting only a small slice of city wealth, and feels bitter that drivers won't even look at the stand, let alone stop and buy something. In this context the "trusting sorrow" is a neat encapsulation to express what is described over ...


7

What Lady Macbeth means with "what thou art promised" is the kingdom that Macbeth was supposedly "promised" in the witches' prophecy. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! So he is Thane of Glamis, became Thane of Cawdor and the remaining ...


7

It might help if you look at the possible meanings of both words - ‘balk’ and ‘account’. ‘Balk’ has a range of meanings, and they might seem quite different; however, as is often the case, the etymology of the word offers an interesting interconnecting link. Here is the OED on the origin of ‘balk’: Common Germanic, presenting several variant stems, with ...


6

So from the context, here's my understanding: A common trend that's observed from a lot of A Happy Death is the treatment of women as mere objects, rather than as human beings. This is portrayed quite well in the beginning of that paragraph: The natural stupidity which glowed in her eyes emphasized her remote, impassive expression. The remark, "hello, ...


6

If you enter the google books search "part second" you will see this construction was a perfectly normal practice in the 1700 and 1800s. Here are some of the hits I got: to The Ploughboy: A Poem, Part Second (W. Cook, 1855), to Sadlier's Catholic first reader: part second, Part 2 (James A. Sadlier, 1883), and to Zoonomia ; Or, the Laws of Organic Life: Part ...


6

It's most likely a reference to the title of Gabriel García Márquez's novel, Love in the Time of Cholera. "[noun] in the time of Covid-19" has become commonplace enough to be cliché now.


5

The kettle is (metaphorically) the thing that's been tied to the dog's tail, probably by a mischievous child, and is now dragging behind its rear heels. Why is it battered? If it's been tied to the dog's tail all day, of course it's battered.


5

Stanley Wells' edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream (The New Penguin Shakespeare, 1967, 1995) has the following gloss for "Tartar": The Oriental bow was of special power. The image may have come to Shakespeare by way of Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, X.686-7, 'she / Did fly as swift as arrow from a Turkey bow'. R. A. Foakes' edition of A ...


5

As others have suggested in their answers, English language curses and profane expressions also routinely use regular words. To understand this we have to ask why we call them "curse words" and "profanities". To curse literally means to "call down evil" either on another person or on oneself. It is a prayer or wish that some ...


4

From this source: (emphasis mine) Adopting a prophetic tone of archaic allusion for much of the poem, Eliot asks, “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow/Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,/You cannot say, or guess, for you know only/A heap of broken images…” (ll. 19-22). Being a devout albeit unconventional Catholic, Eliot uses ...


4

This is my first attempt at writing an answer, so I hope I have done it right in terms of links of attribution and format. If I have not, I hope someone will tell me, so I can benefit from clarification. Beyond that, I’ll simply give it a whirl! Perhaps this is too simplistic and pedestrian of an interpretation, but maybe we can make a case for simplicity. ...


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