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  1. #1
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    sherishine is offline Junior Member
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    Question he is back in the braced right-angle position of those in firing squads

    He watches the English patient, earphones on, the eyes focused inwards, listening. The rifle sight moves down the thin nose to the Adam’s apple, above the collarbone. Kip stops breathing. Braced at exact right angles to the Enfield rifle. No waver.

    Then the Englishman’s eyes look back at him.

    Sapper.

    Caravaggio enters the room and reaches for him, andKip wheels the butt of the rifle into his ribs. A swat from the paw of an animal. And then, as if part of the same movement, he is back in the braced right-angle position of those in firing squads, drilled into him in various barracks in India and England. The burned neck in his sights.
    ------------------------

    The above is from the English Patient.

    Here I have three questions:

    Does the colored paragraph mean that, Kip uses the butt of the rifle to hit Caravaggio, and the movement is just like a swat from the paw of an animal?

    And then, he comes back to the right-angle position, which just like one of firing squads?

    What's the Subject of the half sentence"drilled into him in various barracks in India and England", what is its actual meaning ?

    -----------
    Thank you for your help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: he is back in the braced right-angle position of those in firing squads

    Quote Originally Posted by sherishine View Post
    Does the colored paragraph mean that, Kip uses the butt of the rifle to hit Caravaggio, and the movement is just like a swat from the paw of an animal?

    And then, he comes back to the right-angle position, which just like one of firing squads?
    Yes to both.
    What's the Subject of the half sentence"drilled into him in various barracks in India and England", what is its actual meaning ?
    If something is drilled into you, it is taught to you with great intensity, usually through repetition. Barracks are residences for soldiers; while he was a soldier living in various barracks in India and England, his commanders trained him to snap into position at a moment's notice.

  3. #3
    sherishine's Avatar
    sherishine is offline Junior Member
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    Lightbulb Re: he is back in the braced right-angle position of those in firing squads

    Thank you Heterological Now it's very clear to me.


    And I am sort of curious about your name--- Heterological.

    I searched it on answers.com...and...it says,

    "
    Some words refer to themselves: the word ‘short’ is short, and the word ‘common’ is common. Other words do not: the word ‘long’ is not long, and the word ‘banana’ is not a banana. Call these latter words ‘heterological’. Then the question arises: is the word ‘heterological’ itself heterological? It is if it is not, and is not if it is. This is one of the family of semantic paradoxes."



    Yet I feel confused at this explaination...I can understand that the word" short" somewhat applies to itself, but "common" is much like a symmetrical word than a "common" word. And according to this paradox, there are few words that can apply to itself . And it is not so much easy for me to remember such words, which I think, lack the art of metaphor.

    In modern Chinese, this paradox also becomes a common concern,yet if you come back to the ancient ones, you may find the etymon of words, those picturelike words, do apply to themselves.

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