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Thread: I say!

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    #1

    I say!

    there: Used in attracting someone's attention or calling attention to someone or something.
    ‘Hello! I say! You there! Can I assist?’
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/there
    What does I say! mean in the quotation?
    I need native speakers' help.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I say!

    Hmmm, that's a little difficult to define. It was used extensively many years ago but is barely heard today unless you're putting on a dated or very posh voice. Most dictionaries seem to say it's used to express surprise, which is true, but it was also a random expression that could be used just about anywhere.

    John: I say, Jane, you're looking marvellous today.
    Jane: Why, thank you.

    Jane: I'm pregnant.
    John: I say! That's a bit of surprise! I didn't even know you were married.

    John: I think Harold murdered his mother.
    David: I say! Hold on, old chap. That's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?

    In your original, it's just designed to catch the attention of the listener.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I say!

    I say, ems, that was a spiffing response. Jolly good show, old girl, what?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 22-Nov-2016 at 13:17.

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    #4

    Re: I say!

    PG Wodehouse used it a lot in his 1920s books. I don't hear it used at all except to sound old-fashioned, like Piscean in his post above.
    Last edited by Tdol; 22-Nov-2016 at 13:36. Reason: Embarrassing typo

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    #5

    Re: I say!

    Oh, he was only trying to sound old-fashioned, was he?

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    #6

    Re: I say!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Oh, he was only trying to sound old-fashioned, was he?
    Arrgggh, ooops. Sorry.

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    #7

    Re: I say!

    Don't mention it, old bean. Water under the bridge and all that.

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    #8

    Re: I say!

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I say, ems, that was a spiffing response. Jolly good show, old girl, what?
    What does old girl, what mean?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #9

    Re: I say!

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    John: I think Harold murdered his mother.
    David: I say! Hold on, old chap. That's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?
    Hold on means wait in the above quotation, doesn't it?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #10

    Re: I say!

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    "Hold on" means "wait" in the above quotation, doesn't it?
    Hmmm, not exactly. It means "wait" if you actually want someone to stop what they're doing, even for just a moment. In this context, it means something like "Don't be so quick to jump to that conclusion".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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