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  1. Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 107
    #1

    meaning of "period"

    I'm reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. In the story, a human bounty hunter named Rick was chasing after escaped androids and an android named Rachael was helping him. But then Rick had to kill Pris, an android that was identical to Rachael since they were the same type of product. Rachael got upset and had this conservation with Rick:

    "I wish," Rachael said, "that I had known that before I came. I never would have flown down
    here (to help you). I think you're asking too much. You know what I have? Toward this Pris android? "
    "Empathy," Rick said.
    "Something like that. Identification; there goes I. My god; maybe that's what'll happen. In
    the confusion you'll kill me, not her. And she can go back to Seattle and live my life. I never
    felt this way before. We are machines, stamped out like bottle caps. It's an illusion that I — I
    — personary — really exist; I'm just representative of a type." She shuddered.
    He could not help being amused; Rachael had become so mawkishly morose. "Ants don't
    feel like that," he said, "and they're physically identical."
    "Ants. They don't feel period."

    I'm confused about the last sentence. I mean, if it's written as "Ants. They don't feel. Period.", then I can understand here "period" is just used to emphasize that ants have no feelings whatsoever. But it's not written in this way. I can't figure out what "period" means in this context. Can anybody explain for me?
    Last edited by KuaiLe; 21-Feb-2017 at 11:00. Reason: I didn't complete my post

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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      • English
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      • England
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      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28,599
    #2

    Re: meaning of "period"

    You're right. It can only mean 'They don't feel anything at all'.

  3. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • British English
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      • Europe
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 15,472
    #3

    Re: meaning of "period"

    It's simply poorly punctuated.

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