Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default two contradictory meanings of a word

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to help me to interpret the word in bold in the following excerpt from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”?

    "I don't know what to do!" cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocooen of himself with his stockings. "I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!"

    He had frisked into the sitting-room, and was now standing there: perfectly winded.

    I know by the way two contradictory meanings (a common occurrence in English language)

    To cause to be out of or short of breath.
    To afford a recovery of breath: stopped to wind and water the horses.

    I stumbled at that ambiguity.

    Thank for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. #2
    svartnik is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: two contradictory meanings of a word

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to help me to interpret the word in bold in the following excerpt from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”?

    "I don't know what to do!" cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocooen of himself with his stockings. "I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!"

    He had frisked into the sitting-room, and was now standing there: perfectly winded.

    I know by the way two contradictory meanings (a common occurrence in English language)

    To cause to be out of or short of breath.
    To afford a recovery of breath: stopped to wind and water the horses.

    I stumbled at that ambiguity.

    Thank for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    He was out of breath.

  3. #3
    English-coach's Avatar
    English-coach is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Spain
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    129
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: two contradictory meanings of a word

    Wow...

    First of all I hadn't heard of the use (with horses) and now I see your issue with the meaning. At first I thought that it was just the first meaning...that he was jumping around and now out of breath (winded) but now with the additional meaning...it could be either. I now lean towards the second meaning that you mention because scrooge is so energetic and positive that maybe dispite his jumping around and using his energy...he might be still energetic like a newly winded horse.

    I think the only way you could know 100% is to see the play and take it in context. If scrooge is gasping for breath and sitting in a chair without energy...then the first meaning, but if he is jumping around and energetic then the second.

    Sorry that I couldn't help any more.
    Diana
    http://www.helping-you-learn-english.com
    Last edited by English-coach; 25-Jan-2009 at 11:35.

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,448
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: two contradictory meanings of a word

    He was out of breath.

    The "second" meaning you provide is essentially saying that you give a horse time to regain its wind [breath] following exertion.

Similar Threads

  1. The meaning with no word . . .
    By ScaryEders in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-May-2009, 07:15
  2. the word challenge
    By azkad in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20-Feb-2008, 09:37
  3. about the word of only
    By sariputra in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-Jun-2005, 13:10
  4. Word Checker 1 - The Dolch basic word list
    By Tdol in forum UsingEnglish.com Content
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 19-Apr-2004, 15:30
  5. Questions about Inversions - Inverted Word Order
    By Anonymous in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 31-May-2003, 22:43

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk