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    #1

    sober v. serious v. severe [vocabulary]

    "Either way, she decided it was time to be severe".

    Can the severe here mean serious or sober? What severe implies here?

    They are three people in a place such as cafe and speaking about a serious topic.

    Source and link:https://books.google.com.tr/books?id...ere%22&f=false by John le Carre

    Thank you.
    Last edited by hhtt21; 09-Aug-2016 at 21:30.

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: sober v. serious v. severe

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    "Either way, she decided it was time to be severe".
    That's not a natural expression, given the context you've described.

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    #3

    Re: sober v. serious v. severe

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    That's not a natural expression, given the context you've described.
    Because I tried to prepared the context, the context might be wrong but did you look at the link?

    Thank you

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: sober v. serious v. severe

    She has just been laughing with him, and she is afraid he might have thought she was flirting with him. "Serious/severe" (here) means business-like, professional, more restrained.

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    #5

    Re: sober v. serious v. severe

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    She has just been laughing with him, and she is afraid he might have thought she was flirting with him. "Serious/severe" (here) means business-like, professional, more restrained.
    How do you understand that "she has just been laughing with him." ? I read the book but I cannot see it? Would you please explain?

    https://books.google.com.tr/books?id...ere%22&f=false by John le Carre

    Thank you.

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    #6

    Re: sober v. serious v. severe

    Huh? I read some of link you gave. I assumed you had also read it. Page 231.
    A paragraph above your quote, you should find this: "Melik's sister, she corrected herself and heard herself laughing hilariously with him at her slip of the tongue."
    So, I think we can accept that she was laughing with him, even without reading the following paragraph in which she expresses to herself the wish to become friends with him, but not perhaps in the way he would like.
    Last edited by Raymott; 09-Aug-2016 at 17:56. Reason: typo

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    #7

    Re: sober v. serious v. severe

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    She has just been laughing with him, and she is afraid he might have thought she was flirting with him. "Serious/severe" (here) means business-like, professional, more restrained.
    What do you think about the word sober for this context which might be an alternative?

    Thank you.

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    #8

    Re: sober v. serious v. severe

    I wouldn't use it. It's possible, but I haven't read enough of the story to know whether the character would use that word. It's normally used to mean "not drunk".

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