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Thread: Not proper

  1. #1
    Inessavt is offline Newbie
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    Not proper

    "JOHN MAY: We’ve not had many serial killers at the Peculiar Crimes Unit, have we?
    ARTHUR BRYANT: Not proper saw-off-the-arms-and-legs-boil-the-innards-put-the-head-in-a-Gucci-handbag-and-throw-it-from-a-bridge-jobs, no."

    Does ARTHUR BRYANT mean that there are not any serial killers at all or there are only "saw-off-........-a-bridge-jobs" and no other types of killers?
    Last edited by Inessavt; 09-Feb-2021 at 17:53.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Not proper

    Quote Originally Posted by Inessavt View Post
    "JOHN MAY: We’ve not had many serial killers at the Peculiar Crimes Unit, have we?
    ARTHUR BRYANT: Not proper saw-off-the-arms-and-legs-boil-the-innards-put-the-head-in-a-Gucci-handbag-and-throw-it-from-a-bridge-jobs, no."

    Does Arthur Bryant means mean that there are not any serial killers at all or there are only "saw-off-........-a-bridge-jobs" but and no other types of killers?
    Welcome to the forum.

    Neither. It means that they have had some serial killers, but none of them has been the type to "saw-off-the-arms ... from-a-bridge". That's what he considers a "proper" (real/serious) serial killer does.

    Note my corrections above.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 09-Feb-2021 at 19:24. Reason: Fixed typo
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Not proper

    The fact that you've put Not proper in bold tells me that you may be parsing the sentence incorrectly. Look at it like this:

    Not proper saw-off-the-arms-and-legs-boil-the-innards-put-the-head-in-a-Gucci-handbag-and-throw-it-from-a-bridge-jobs, no.

    The whole of the blue phrase, of which jobs is the head, is a noun phrase. The hyphenated bolded string is a single modifier.

    The whole modifier-head phrase could be reduced to a single pronoun, like this:

    Not proper ones, no.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Not proper

    There had been no proper (meaning standard, ordinary, stereotypical, classic, textbook) serial murders.

    He's being glib and witty.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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