Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. suprunp's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 599
    #1

    one-and-a-half too many

    Farmer Oak had one-and-a-half Christian characteristics too many to succeed with Bathsheba: his humility, and a superfluous moiety of honesty.
    (Thomas Hardy; Far from the Madding Crowd)

    Does it by any chance mean that 'one' of his 'one-and-a-half' characteristics was 'his humility', while 'a half' being 'a superfluous moiety of honesty', which might mean that Bathsheba wasn't really humble, but was honest, even though to a lesser degree than Oak?

    Thanks.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #2

    Re: one-and-a-half too many

    Farmer Oak was humble (one characteristic) and at least a little honest (half a characteristic).

    It says nothing about Bathsheba's humility or honesty; you have to infer she was neither of those, since she doesn't seem to like them in other people.

    (I had to look up "moiety.")


    And no, we don't usually talk about "half a characteristic. This was the author's playful choice.
    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.

  3. Grumpy's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 972
    #3

    Re: one-and-a-half too many

    I agree with you, suprunp.
    It's clear that Farmer Oak's humility counted as one of the "Christian characteristics too many", and his "superfluous moiety of honesty" was the additional half. Considering humility first, I think we may safely infer that someone who does not appreciate humility in someone else is not very humble themselves. Looking at honesty, a "superfluous moiety" means an unwanted half. Putting that another way, one could say that - so far as getting on with Bathsheba was concerned - Farmer Oak was twice as honest as he should have been. Thus, it seems that Bathsheba did appreciate a certain amount of honesty, and hence we may assume that she herself was honest to that same degree. What she didn't actually like was Farmer Oak's complete lack of sensitivity in this case!
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

Similar Threads

  1. half-sitting/half-seated/half-lying/half-lied
    By milan2003_07 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Aug-2012, 21:21
  2. Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?
    By charliedeut in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 14-Jul-2012, 23:43
  3. one hour and a half or one and a half hours
    By chrysanthemum in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Dec-2011, 00:20
  4. mouth half-open or half-opened
    By Bushwhacker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-Sep-2010, 17:31
  5. half-sexy, half-goofy
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Feb-2007, 11:58

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •