See above.Dear teachers,
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence from O.Henry’s ”The Slueths”?
This snuffing out of a human being, like the erasure of a chalk man from a blackboard, is one of the most impressive themes in dramaturgy.
snuff out = extinguish
Yes, with the commas as I have added.
Snuff out the candles, it's time to go to bed.
snuff out = blow out
The citizens' plan was quickly snuffed out by the military rulers.
They snuffed out a coup attempt.
snuff out = quench
The soldiers had orders to snuff out any enemy guards.
His life has been snuffed out by a bullet.
snuff out = kill
Did you hear old Charlie snuffed out last week?
You mustn't snuff out yet.
snuff out = die
No! At least, not in BrE. It may be different in AmE, but in the UK we say "snuffed it". Did you hear that old Charlie snuffed it last week? = Did you hear that he died? It's rarely heard in the present tense, sometimes in the future (Oh dear, I think he's going to snuff it), but most often in the past.
And I've certainly never heard it in the imperative, as with your "You mustn't snuff it yet"! I don't think I'd be likely to implore someone who is dying "Please don't snuff it". It's a little too colloquial/almost slang for that.
Thank you for your efforts.
- For Teachers