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  1. #1
    HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
    HaraKiriBlade is offline Member
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    Default Can you lean back and brood at the same time?

    Mrs. Slade leaned back, brooding, her eyes ranging from the ruins which faced her to the long green hollow of the Forum, the fading glow of the church fronts beyond it, and the outlying immensity of the Colosseum.
    This is taken from a short story I'm reading for my English class. As far as I know, brooding is to lean forward as if to protect the offsprings. I don't know how this Mrs. Slade can lean back and lean forward at the same time, or I'm awefully mistaken on what brood means. Can someone clarify this for me?

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Can you lean back and brood at the same time?

    verb
    1
    think deeply about an unpleasant subject.
    2
    (brooding) appearing darkly menacing.
    3 (of a bird) sit on (eggs) to hatch them.

    In this context, (1) is the correct usage (though I like the idea of Mrs Slade sitting on a bunch of eggs)

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Can you lean back and brood at the same time?

    I agree with Anglika, but it seems to me that people lean back when they're at leisure, or having a break from work. I certainly wouldn't lean back to brood - it's an odd collocation. Perhaps the writer chose it because Mrs Slade was the sort of person who broods about things all the time - her name sounds a bit stern and unbending (although maybe I'm being a bit fanciful here )

    b

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