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    #1

    "hard" - word

    Again in Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" narrator is describing some tree confessing that:

    "It was connected with the tragical story of the unfortunate Andre, who had been taken prisoner hard by it, and it was universally known by the name of Major Andre's tree."

    I would gladly enjoy the sentence without this "hard" word in it... Yet it's still there. For some reason perhaps... I went throw my dictionary looking for the meanings of the mentioned word but non didn't seem to match. Some help, please... !

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "hard" - word

    Quote Originally Posted by szaroczek View Post
    Again in Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" narrator is describing some tree confessing that:

    "It was connected with the tragical story of the unfortunate Andre, who had been taken prisoner hard by it, and it was universally known by the name of Major Andre's tree."

    I would gladly enjoy the sentence without this "hard" word in it... Yet it's still there. For some reason perhaps... I went throw my dictionary looking for the meanings of the mentioned word but non didn't seem to match. Some help, please... !
    "Hard by" means "very close to".

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    #3

    Re: "hard" - word

    Man, what a strange meaning! How one could guess! It seems like totally no suggestions coming from the meanings of the component words toward the final meaning of the expression! All the more thank you for the help.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "hard" - word

    Quote Originally Posted by szaroczek View Post
    Man, what a strange meaning! How one could guess! It seems like totally no suggestions coming from the meanings of the component words toward the final meaning of the expression! All the more thank you for the help.
    The joys of English.

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    #5

    Re: "hard" - word

    Exactly! By the way, is this meaning of this expression still in use in contemporary common English or maybe it just... died out with honorable W. Irving himself...? In other words should I strive to acquire it and possibly use it in everyday conversations or just know about it in a case of... having to read this Irving's fairy tail again some day?

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    #6

    Re: "hard" - word

    It's probably not too common. Of the first 100 citations of 'hard by' in COCA, only four had this meaning. (Most of the others were 'hit hard by...'..

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    #7

    Re: "hard" - word

    If it makes you feel better, most modern readers would struggle with a lot of the same words that are tripping you up.

    An unrelated comment: We used to play Sleepy Hollow in field hockey, if we won our division and they won theirs. The town wasn't called Sleepy Hollow then, though. They changed their name some time during my lifetime.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: "hard" - word

    Thanks friends, it "makes me feel better".

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