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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 67
    #1

    Problem

    Please tell me the meanings of the expression,"quickest off the blocks".

    Parry was "quickest off the blocks" in 0.69sec, immediately encouraging the faith that he, above all Britain's swimmers, was mentally toughened for an Olympic final.

    Secondly,normally, we use inverted commas for quotation.But, sometimes,we come across some word or a phrase in inverted commas in a text,does that mean,the writer wants to highlight something in inverted commas,as is being used in the text,"the way forward"
    Under the heading "the way forward", Hair wrote: "I am prepared to retire/stand down/relinquish my position on the elite panel to take effect from 31st August 2006."

    Please explain.

    Regards.
    Shaukat Mahmood.

  1. #2

    Re: Problem

    Here it means 'to take off first from the starting line'


    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 671
    #3

    Re: Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by shaukat mahmood View Post
    Please tell me the meanings of the expression,"quickest off the blocks".
    Parry was "quickest off the blocks" in 0.69sec, immediately encouraging the faith that he, above all Britain's swimmers, was mentally toughened for an Olympic final.
    Secondly,normally, we use inverted commas for quotation.But, sometimes,we come across some word or a phrase in inverted commas in a text,does that mean,the writer wants to highlight something in inverted commas,as is being used in the text,"the way forward"
    Under the heading "the way forward", Hair wrote: "I am prepared to retire/stand down/relinquish my position on the elite panel to take effect from 31st August 2006."
    Please explain.
    Regards.
    Shaukat Mahmood.
    Swimmers start from a raised platform called 'the blocks'; so, to be 'quickest off the blocks' means starting the quickest.

    Inverted commas are used for direct quotations, and also to mark a word or phrase out from the text. The latter may be done for several reasons:

    1). The writer wants to indicate that he is making a comment on the phrase. For example: "He spoke the words in a 'humorous' tone of voice." - the writer is saying that the speaker considered his tone of voice to be humorous, but the writer did not find it so.

    2) The writer is describing a word or phrase that has a particular meaning or use outside of the context of the sentence, but it is not a direct quotation. For example: "Thailand is known as the 'Jewel of the Orient'."

    3) The writer is giving the title of a novel, play or some other object. For example: "I saw 'Romeo and Juliet' at the theatre last week."

    The text you quoted is an example of number 3.

    Note that American English and British English writers tend to use single and double inverted commas differently. The standard form for quotation in British English is single inverted commas, while in American English it is double inverted commas. In traditional usage, the same form is then applied to the 'setting off' of words. But as you can see, I use double inverted commas for quotation and single inverted commas for 'setting off'. This 'mixed' style is now very common for British English writers, and increasingly for American English writers too, I think.

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