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  1. blueeye's Avatar
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    #1

    P.D. James

    I've been reading "A Mind to Murder" and, as usual with P.D. James who uses beautiful and complex British language, there are some words and phrases I do not understand. Can anyone help me?

    1. Mr Burge lay in comfort on a couch the better to expound the complications of his psyche.

    2. Dr Steiner sat at his head in a chair of the carefully documented type which the Hospital Management Comitee had decreed for the use of consultants.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: P.D. James

    Quote Originally Posted by blueeye View Post
    I've been reading "A Mind to Murder" and, as usual with P.D. James who uses beautiful and complex British language, there are some words and phrases I do not understand. Can anyone help me?

    1. Mr Burge lay in comfort on a couch the better to expound the complications of his psyche.

    2. Dr Steiner sat at his head in a chair of the carefully documented type which the Hospital Management Comitee had decreed for the use of consultants.

    Thanks a lot.
    Mr. Burge lay in comfort on a couch, which enabled him to explain his psyche better.
    Dr. Steiner sat at the end of the couch by Mr. Burge's head.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: P.D. James

    ... except that to my ears the form 'the better to...' conveys more of a sense of purpose than result - so that I'd have said 'Mr. Burge lay in comfort on a couch, so that he could explain his psyche better.'

    b

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: P.D. James

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ... except that to my ears the form 'the better to...' conveys more of a sense of purpose than result - so that I'd have said 'Mr. Burge lay in comfort on a couch, so that he could explain his psyche better.'

    b
    Yes, you are right.

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