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Thread: reply lightly

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    #1

    reply lightly

    "Are we really?” he replied lightly. “I didn’t know. Who does one hear that from, if I may ask?"

    Would you please explain which of the definitions in the link fit for lightly used in the sentence?

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lightly

    https://books.google.com.tr/books?id...ask%3F&f=false

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: reply lightly

    Definitions a, b and d all work.

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    #3

    Re: reply lightly

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Definitions a, b and d all work.
    Yes, they all might work but they are quite different from each other so only one must fit and I cannot determine which one it is.

    Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: reply lightly

    I can't see it on the link. Which page is it on?

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    #5

    Re: reply lightly


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    #6

    Re: reply lightly

    It seems to me that lightly means something like casually or nonchalantly. He doesn't want to give the impression that the news is something grave, serious, or to be worried about.

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    #7

    Re: reply lightly

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    Yes, they all might work but they are quite different from each other so only one must fit
    No.

    The definitions show the range of meanings the word can convey. We can only guess at what the writer had in mind, but it is quite possibly a blend of all the definitions given. Dictionary definitions are just an attempt by lexicographers to give as helpful an idea as they can about the message writers/speakers using these words probably intended to convey.

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    #8

    Re: reply lightly

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    Yes, they all might work but they are quite different from each other so only one must fit....
    That is not correct. Definitions a, b, and d are all possible in the quoted extract. More context might tell us which most closely fits what the author had in mind, but it's also possible it wouldn't help at all; the author may have failed to establish the speaker's mood well enough for us to gauge which of the definitions is the closest match.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: reply lightly

    It could be nonchalance or a sort of gallows humour as it's his bank that is in trouble. I don't see why only one possible definition has to apply- it could be both or a combination. The writer could have chosen the word because it has more than one possible meaning. This is literary writing, not a legal contract.

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    #10

    Re: reply lightly

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Definitions a, b and d all work.
    Is the work you used above 3 in the link?

    http://www.wordwebonline.com/search.pl?w=work

    Thank you.

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