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    #1

    some man on the tube

    Hello Teachers,

    I am reading an W. Trevor story - A Child's Play.
    A wife is bursting into husband's office and found her husband is laying on parquet with his lover. The lover then scurried out. Below are what the couple's conversation afterwards.

    ‘She forgot her panties. She left her panties by the wastepaper basket when she scurried out.’ Wife said.
    ‘Look -’
    ‘She’s on the street without her panties. Some man on the tube'
    ‘Look, don’t be bitter.’


    What is meaning of the underlined words. I checked up Dictionary and found one meaning for the tube is television. Did she mean she wish that girl will be taken by some cameraman? Thanks!

  1. mayita1usa's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: some man on the tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Quang Hai View Post
    ‘She forgot her panties. She left her panties by the wastepaper basket when she scurried out.’ Wife said.
    ‘Look -’
    ‘She’s on the street without her panties. Some man on the tube --'
    In the UK, tube can also refer to the subway, underground train, metro, etc. I'm sure that's what it means here. You forgot to include the dash (--), which indicates that the sentence was cut off before it was finished. I have no idea what the author was thinking, but the whole sentence could be something such as, "Some man on the tube might see her and know she wasn't wearing panties...!"

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    #3

    Re: some man on the tube

    I agree- my interpretation of the extract was that she was on the underground/subway without underwear, not television. (I have not read the story)

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    #4

    Re: some man on the tube

    Isn't it odd to use "panties" and "tube" in the same passage? I would expect "knickers."

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    #5

    Re: some man on the tube

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Isn't it odd to use "panties" and "tube" in the same passage? I would expect "knickers."
    'Panties' is odd in a BrE text.

  3. mayita1usa's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: some man on the tube

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Isn't it odd to use "panties" and "tube" in the same passage? I would expect "knickers."
    Hm, that didn't even occur to me!
    (And for those who might not understand, panties is an American word for women's underwear, while knickers is the British one - but tube is the BE word for underground railroad, while in the US we would say subway!)

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    #7

    Re: some man on the tube

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    'Panties' is odd in a BrE text.
    It's Irish.
    Edit: The characters are middle class, conservative and of a certain period, 50s/60s I think.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 29-Apr-2013 at 18:54.

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    #8

    Re: some man on the tube

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It's Irish.
    Edit: The characters are middle class, conservative and of a certain period, 50s/60s I think.
    That makes it less odd.

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    #9

    Re: some man on the tube

    I didn't know the Irish differed from BrE on this point.

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    #10

    Re: some man on the tube

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I didn't know the Irish differed from BrE on this point.
    The almost universal acceptance of the term 'British English' for everything that is spoken in our two islands rather masks the fact that there are several distinct varieties there, with quite a few dialects within each. It could be argued that Irish English is as different from 'British English' as 'American English' is.

    I have to confess that most English people don't realise this. They (or 'we', I should say) tend to think of Irish English as our language spoken in a quaint way with a few odd turns of phrase thrown in. That is if we think of it ath all ath all.

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