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Thread: Leagues

  1. #1
    Rok is offline Junior Member
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    Leagues

    Hi

    The true sweater feels quite otherwise. It is when he drives through the poorest parts of London that he finds the streets paved with gold, being paved with prostrate servants; it is when he sees the grey lean leagues of Bow and Poplar that his soul is uplifted and he knows he is secure.

    What does "lean leagues" mean?

    Thanx

  2. #2
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Leagues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rok View Post
    Hi

    The true sweater feels quite otherwise. It is when he drives through the poorest parts of London that he finds the streets paved with gold, being paved with prostrate servants; it is when he sees the grey lean leagues of Bow and Poplar that his soul is uplifted and he knows he is secure.

    What does "lean leagues" mean?

    Thanx
    What is this from? It's not the sort of English anyone uses today. I was about to guess that it was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), but on second thoughts it doesn't seem well enough written for that (or maybe it was him, but on a bad day ).

    The word 'league' seems here to be being used in sense 2: League | Define League at Dictionary.com
    Bow and Poplar are districts of London that - at the time - were the home of the poor.

    But I really don't think this is a good thing to study.

    b

  3. #3
    Rok is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Leagues

    G. K. Chesterton

  4. #4
    Rok is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Leagues

    The true sweater feels quite otherwise. It is when he drives through the poorest parts of London that he finds the streets paved with gold, being paved with prostrate servants; it is when he sees the grey lean leagues of Bow and Poplar that his soul is uplifted and he knows he is secure.


    What is bed in this excerpt?

  5. #5
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    Re: Leagues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rok View Post
    G. K. Chesterton
    I still don't think it's very good. For example, do they 'find the streets paved with gold'? Ans: 'No' they are lined or littered (certainly not paved) with drunks.

    b

  6. #6
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    Re: Leagues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rok View Post
    The true sweater feels quite otherwise. It is when he drives through the poorest parts of London that he finds the streets paved with gold, being paved with prostrate servants; it is when he sees the grey lean leagues of Bow and Poplar that his soul is uplifted and he knows he is secure.


    What is bed in this excerpt?
    I assume you mean 'bad'. My last post gave an instance of its lack of clarity - that's why I think it's bad.

    More importantly, I think it's a bad text for a language learner to study. Both the syntax and the vocabulary are obscure and/or archaic. '...feels quite otherwise' - sheesh

    b

  7. #7
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    Re: Leagues

    I agree it is not good to study unless you are an advanced (close to native speaker level) learner. Bob, I think "archaic" is perhaps too strong a word, but I can see why a Chesterton quote taken out of context would be unclear. When I read his books however, I find his writing extremely clear, perhaps because my mind is prepared for his turns of phrase and his choice of words.

    You could be right about leagues meaning "groups of people" but I first thought it refered to the unit of measurement "league" in a non-literal way. It made me picture the streets stretching out.

  8. #8
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    Re: Leagues

    I first dismissed the 'distance' meaning out of hand, but now I think about it I reckon you could well be right.

    b

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