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    #1

    a preliminary canter

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    “If only Bill and Pat could have been married,” Sally reflected sadly, “I wouldn’t feel so bad about what the war’s doing to him.”
    “I dare say they had a preliminary canter,” Danny chuckled. (K. S. Pritchard, “Winged Seeds”)

    a preliminary canter = prelude, rehearsal, (etymology - warming of a horse before racing)

    V

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a preliminary canter

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    “If only Bill and Pat could have been married,” Sally reflected sadly, “I wouldn’t feel so bad about what the war’s doing to him.”
    “I dare say they had a preliminary canter,” Danny chuckled. (K. S. Pritchard, “Winged Seeds”)

    a preliminary canter = prelude, rehearsal, (etymology - warming of a horse before racing)

    V
    Your guess is broadly right - though I think as Danny chuckled he was probably referring to something less chaste than a 'rehearsal' (which, in the context of a marriage, would involve going through the ceremony to check on the timings. )

    Incidentally a horse 'warms up' before a race. The 'warming of a horse' sounds a bit cruel.

    b

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    #3

    Re: a preliminary canter

    Hi BobK,

    Thank you for your remark concerning my misusage of “warm” in the place of “warm up = take the chill off”.

    Thank you for your kindness.

    V.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a preliminary canter

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Your guess is broadly right - though I think as Danny chuckled he was probably referring to something less chaste than a 'rehearsal' (which, in the context of a marriage, would involve going through the ceremony to check on the timings. )
    If they were a scientifically/technically-minded couple, they might have been checking the timings in the less chaste version.

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