Student or Learner
"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
Last edited by hhtt21; 09-Aug-2016 at 21:30.
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.
https://books.google.com.tr/books?id...ere%22&f=false by John le Carre
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
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".