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    #1

    meaning of "dark" and "pert"

    Dear all,

    Some adjectives in English can be used to describe both abstract and objective ideas. Sometimes I find it difficult to determine which meaning suits the context. For example, "dark" can mean dismay/ gloomy or black-colored. "Pert" can mean "impudently bold" or "attractively small and firm". And I read this paragraph with "dark, pert face" in it:

    ' "I sat down at my mood organ and I experimented. And I finally found a setting for despair." Her dark, pert face showed satisfaction, as if she had achieved something of worth." So I put it on my schedule for twice a month; I think that's a reasonable amount of time to feel hopeless about everything.'

    In this story, people can use this mood organ to set their mood. And this woman here is talking about feeling despair and hopeless. In fact, she's just had a quarrel with her husband. So, in this context, does "dark, pert face" mean that her face looks gloomy and unhappily rude? Or is it simply saying that her face is black-skinned and small?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: meaning of "dark" and "pert"

    Please cite the source and author of that paragraph.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: meaning of "dark" and "pert"

    I'd understand dark, pert face to mean that she had a dark complexion and, as you wrote, an attractively small and firm face. I think of a young woman when I see pert.​ It would be odd to see that adjective applied to a man or a boy.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: meaning of "dark" and "pert"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Please cite the source and author of that paragraph.
    Hi, it's from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip Kindred Dick.

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