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  1. #1
    Fagin's Avatar
    Fagin is offline Junior Member
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    the idiot

    In the Bleak Midwinter, by Julia Spencer-Fleming

    Another thump, more crunching, several whoops almost drowning out the stifling beat of the bass. Dvorak's hand froze on the door handle. The idiot. He was the idiot.
    Why is it not 'an idiot'?
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

  2. #2
    Fagin's Avatar
    Fagin is offline Junior Member
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    Re: the idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    Apparently, prior to this passage there were some comments made about someone else being an idiot. But now Dvorak realizes that he himself​ is the idiot.
    Thanks for trying to help me but this is not the case. Unfortunately it can't be seen at the link I provided first but there are only two pages before - it's chapter 1, the very beginning of the book. Here's another link should anybody want to read it:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=NT...iot%22&f=false

    No other idiots of any kind. :(
    Last edited by Fagin; 23-Jul-2017 at 13:36.
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

  3. #3
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: the idiot

    The passage right before the one you quoted includes "the idiot".

  4. #4
    Fagin's Avatar
    Fagin is offline Junior Member
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    Re: the idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    The passage right before the one you quoted includes "the idiot".
    Yes. And that's about himself again and not 'an idiot'. According to your logic there must be yet another idiot, 'an idiot' - but there's no more.
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

  5. #5
    Fagin's Avatar
    Fagin is offline Junior Member
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    Re: the idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    'The idiot' in the earlier paragraph appears to refer to the other driver.
    No. He is the only one in the car.

    And even if it applied to another driver I would ask you why he is 'the idiot'. :)
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

  6. #6
    Fagin's Avatar
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    Re: the idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I meant the driver of the other car.
    Probably. But than why that one is 'the idiot' and not 'an idiot'.
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: the idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by Fagin View Post
    Probably. But than then why is that one is 'the idiot' and not 'an idiot'?
    I can't get the links to work so I can't comment on the contents but please see my corrections to you most recent post above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    Fagin's Avatar
    Fagin is offline Junior Member
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    Re: the idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I can't get the links to work so I can't comment on the contents
    The first one should work and I fixed the second. I copy it here for convenience:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=NT...iot%22&f=false

    If it doesn't work here's the simplest possible but you will have to navigate yourself:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=NTKSGZOLM2AC

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    but please see my corrections to you most recent post above.
    Thank you very much!. These are my two common errors. Probably I didn't double-check it this time. :)
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: the idiot

    "The idiot" occurs first in the previous paragraph. It refers to the guy who backed his car out in front of Emil. Emil thinks he should go and check out whether anyone needs help, and says he'll sue the guy into next week - "The Idiot." He's assuming that it was an accident. He was going to get out and approach the perpetrator.
    The guy has been referred to already. So it's OK to write, "And he backed straight into me, the idiot!"

    In the next paragraph, Emil realizes that the guy did it intentionally as part of his queer-baiting. He was about to go and check that everything was OK. So, he was the idiot, because he misread the situation (and for other reasons, such as driving off when he knew these people were around).

  10. #10
    Fagin's Avatar
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    Re: the idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "The idiot" occurs first in the previous paragraph. It refers to the guy who backed his car out in front of Emil.
    Looks like you have read those two pages and we can talk positively. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The guy has been referred to already. So it's OK to write, "And he backed straight into me, the idiot!"
    I do not understand this. The only time he mentions the guy is this two words:

    Better go see if anyone needed any medical attention before he took down the driver's insurance and sued him into next week. The idiot.
    He didn't identify the guy is a yahoo from the first incident yet. And then this is an appellation - idiot - used first time. Can I say:

    Here's John. He is the engineer.

    I've already mentioned him as John. So it is correct to say 'the engineer'. True?
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

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