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  1. #11
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Expressions in Le Carré (JLC) book: TTSS (tinker, tailor, soldier, spy)

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I'm not sure about the rest - it depends on the missing context. If the context is a general one - spy thrillers - you're rgiht. Hot and plant mean those things.
    b
    So does that mean that a spy thriller writer cannot use any common terms in the usual way if they have special meanings in spy fiction? They can't say "He has a hot Rumanian wife" because 'hot' has to mean controversial or dangerous. And she certainly couldn't have botany as a hobby.
    In plain terms, and in my opinion, 'hot' and 'plant' do not have those meanings simply by virtue of being in a spy thriller. They have those meanings because they make sense in the narrower context.

  2. #12
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Expressions in Le Carré (JLC) book: TTSS (tinker, tailor, soldier, spy)

    Ahem - withdrawn

    'The bank' is presumably some kind of temporary holding facility for as-yet unplaced aliens. They've turned the spy and brought his family over to the UK as a sign of good faith, but they haven't agreed terms with the defector so they haven't made final arrangements for accommodating his family. His opening bargaining position might be 'I'm a valuable asset and I've taken a huge risk. I want full indemnity, 24-hour protection for my family, and a detached house in Mayfair.' MI5's response might be 'Nonsense. We'll discuss what you can do for us and what we can do in return. In the meantime we'll look after your familly.' I have no idea what the 'again' is doing. It suggests to me (by its position) that the speaker is not a native speaker of English, in which case they may be using again to mean something that it wouldn't mean in the sentence 'They've put them in the bank again'.

    b

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Expressions in Le Carré (JLC) book: TTSS (tinker, tailor, soldier, spy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    So does that mean that a spy thriller writer cannot use any common terms in the usual way if they have special meanings in spy fiction? Of course not - as the rest of my post showed.
    They can't say "He has a hot Rumanian wife" because 'hot' has to mean controversial or dangerous. And she certainly couldn't have botany as a hobby.
    In plain terms, and in my opinion, 'hot' and 'plant' do not have those meanings simply by virtue of being in a spy thriller. They have those meanings because they make sense in the narrower context.
    Of course.

    b

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