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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default shuddered, ragtail appearance, plonk drinker, croaking voice, blotched skin

    Dear teachers,

    This morning I read Frank J. Hardy's "The returned soldier". I turned my attention to two sentences with a few very interesting for me words.

    He took the bottle, wiped the top and gulped a few mouthfuls. He shuddered, and handed the bottle back. "Thanks."

    The other three men had the ragtail appearance, blotched skin and bleary eyes of the plonk drinker. One of the them began to tell a story in a croaking voice riddled with lunacy. They all laughed heartily.

    shudder = to shiver convulsively, as from fear or revulsion

    ragtail appearance = the appearance of a person dressed to cheap worn clothes (do you remember the notorious character of Charley Chaplin?)

    blotch = a discoloration on the skin; a blemish

    the plonk drinker = a heavy drinker

    plonk = cheap or inferior wine

    croak = to utter in a low hoarse sound

    riddled with lunacy = with a touch of lunacy

    riddle = to pierce with numerous holes; perforate

    lunacy = insanity, especially insanity relieved intermittently by periods of clear-mindedness.

    Would you tell me something more about the words in bold?

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 10-Feb-2008 at 16:12.

  2. #2
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    apex2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: shuddered, ragtail appearance, plonk drinker, croaking voice, blotched skin

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post

    He took the bottle, wiped the top and gulped a few mouthfuls. He shuddered, and handed the bottle back. "Thanks."

    The other three men had the ragtail appearance, blotched skin and bleary eyes of the plonk drinker. One of the them began to tell a story in a croaking voice riddled with lunacy. They all laughed heartily.
    Would you tell me something more about the words in bold? V.
    He took the bottle, wiped the top and gulped a few mouthfuls. He shuddered, and handed the bottle back.
    in this context shuddered is a common reaction when taking a strong drink, such as whisky. it might also be when taking a drink he was not familiar with.
    The other three men had the ragtail appearance, blotched skin and bleary eyes of the plonk drinker. One of the them began to tell a story in a croaking voice riddled with lunacy.
    The descriptions and the term plonk drinker refer to alcoholics or those near to being one, drinking coarse and/or cheap alcohol, which in turn invariably leads to a croaking voice and riddled with lunacy means talking rubbish as many drunks do.

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: shuddered, ragtail appearance, plonk drinker, croaking voice, blotched skin

    Hi apex2000,

    Thank you for your comprehensive explanation. I took great pleasure in following your logical reasoning.

    Thank you again for your backing.

    Regards.

    V.

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