Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2015
    • Posts: 85
    #1

    for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    Hi, during the following sentence, from Charlie Hogle’s Earring” by Paul Theroux, would you please explain the meaning of the red part? Thanks a lot.

    He looked at me closely, and sniffed. He was an honest fellow for whom a contradiction was a bad smell.

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

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #2

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    It means he was very sensitive to contradictions, so much that he could smell them.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2015
    • Posts: 85
    #3

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    Thank you so much. But I could not understand what that means so! Would you please explain more? Thanks.

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

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #4

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    Think of it as a dog who can find drugs or dead bodies by smell.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2015
    • Posts: 85
    #5

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    He was an honest fellow for whom a contradiction was a bad smell.

    In fact, my major problem that I did not find "sensitive" for honest's meaning in a dictionary. Also, I did not know that whom is referring to who? In addition, If it means that, I think that the author should use "a contradiction has a bad smell", I mean "has" instead of "was". Would you please explain my problems. Thanks a lot.

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

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #6

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    I have done my best. Let's see what others have to say.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,092
    #7

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    Quote Originally Posted by tesoke View Post
    He was an honest fellow for whom a contradiction was a bad smell.

    In fact, my major problem that I did not find "sensitive" for honest's meaning in a dictionary. Also, I did not know that whom is referring to who? In addition, If it means that, I think that the author should use "a contradiction has a bad smell", I mean "has" instead of "was". Would you please explain my problems. Thanks a lot.
    'Honest' doesn't mean 'sensitive'. But if you are honest, you might be sensitive to dishonesty.
    'Whom' refers back to 'fellow'. "For the fellow, a contradiction was a bad smell."
    The author could have used 'has' if he wanted to signify that, to this fellow, contradictions possessed a bad smell. But obviously the author wanted to say that, to this fellow, a contradiction was a bad smell. You could think of it as a metaphor.

  5. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 5,158
    #8

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    It means he was very sensitive to contradictions, so much that he could smell them.
    I think of it as something everyone can perceive, but he himself particularly dislikes, due to his straight-shooting character.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #9

    Re: for whom a contradiction was a bad smell

    He didn't like contradictions and responded to them in a way similar to how we respond when something smells very bad.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] smell nice vs. smell nicely
    By Crowned 91 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-Jul-2014, 08:46
  2. The smell flow in my room, i have had enough with the smell.
    By jasonree123456 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-May-2014, 01:25
  3. contradiction
    By Teia in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-Jan-2007, 22:32
  4. contradiction
    By beeja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-May-2006, 13:05
  5. Is this an example of a contradiction?
    By Unregistered364 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2006, 22:18

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
  •