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    Divided at the root

    What is the meaning of the phrase "divided at the root".
    "This persisted as a doctor of Chinese extraction - long, yellow, and divided at the root - felt around inside her cotton nightie for a non-existent heartbeat." (Will Self: The quantity theory of insanity)

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    Re: Divided at the root

    It's difficult to think of a meaning for that. What persisted? (What is 'This'?) Is there meant to a comma after 'persisted'?

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