What Is The Semicolon Functions? What Does "if you please" Mean?
I have some questions.
"Poor Mr. and Miss Woodhouse, if you please; but I cannot possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor.' I have a great regard for you and Emma; but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence!—At any rate, it must be better to have only one to please, than two."
1. What does "if you please" mean here and what is the function of semicolon after it ?
2. Is the interpretation of the first sentence " if you, Poor Emma and her father, don't mind, I can not possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor'?
3. What does "but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence" mean and what is itsrelation to the previous sentence? what function does semicolon there?
Please help me to find the answer!
Re: What Is The Semicolon Functions? What Does "if you please" Mean?
It's a question of context. The semi-colon has its usual function of ending a sentence before continuing with a related sentence. But the relatedness is in the mind of the speaker. In this case, the speaker could not find a polite way of saying what s/he was thinking, and so just let the idea hang ("!-") and added 'At any rate...'.
Originally Posted by Oliver_Twist
I don't know if this is Miss Bates, but the rather scatter-brained punctuation suggests it might be. If so, you/we have a hard row to hoe!