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    #1

    spare usefulness

    Hello all teachers and members,

    In Lost Ground (W. Trevor), there are some descriptions of a farm house.

    'Nearly sixty years later, with a ragged front garden separating it from a lane that was used mainly by the Leesons, the house still stood white and slated, no tendrils of creeper softening its spare usefulness'

    What is underlined words meaning. Thanks for your explanation.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: spare usefulness

    Quote Originally Posted by Quang Hai View Post
    Hello all teachers and members,

    In Lost Ground (W. Trevor), there are some descriptions of a farm house.

    'Nearly sixty years later, with a ragged front garden separating it from a lane that was used mainly by the Leesons, the house still stood white and slated, no tendrils of creeper softening its spare usefulness'

    What is underlined words meaning. Thanks for your explanation.
    Are you sure it is not "sparse usefulness"?

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    #3

    Re: spare usefulness

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Are you sure it is not "sparse usefulness"?
    Confirmed it is spare usefulness. The full sentence is:'Nearly sixty years later, with a ragged front garden separating it from a lane that was used mainly by the Leesons, the house still stood white and slated, no tendrils of creeper softening its spare usefulness. At the back, farm buildings with red corrugated roofs and breeze-block walls were clustered around a concrete yard; fields and orchards were on either side of the lane'

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: spare usefulness

    Quote Originally Posted by Quang Hai View Post
    Confirmed it is spare usefulness. The full sentence is:'Nearly sixty years later, with a ragged front garden separating it from a lane that was used mainly by the Leesons, the house still stood white and slated, no tendrils of creeper softening its spare usefulness. At the back, farm buildings with red corrugated roofs and breeze-block walls were clustered around a concrete yard; fields and orchards were on either side of the lane'
    There is a definition of "spare" that means "meager". That might fit this context, but this usage is not very common in my experience. My guess is it means that house is no longer very useful.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: spare usefulness

    Quote Originally Posted by Quang Hai View Post
    Confirmed it is spare usefulness. The full sentence is:'Nearly sixty years later, with a ragged front garden separating it from a lane that was used mainly by the Leesons, the house still stood white and slated, no tendrils of creeper softening its spare usefulness. At the back, farm buildings with red corrugated roofs and breeze-block walls were clustered around a concrete yard; fields and orchards were on either side of the lane'
    Have a look at this: spare adjective (NOT DECORATED) - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: spare usefulness

    And I imagine the word 'usefulness' refers to the utilitarian quality of the building.

    b

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