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    #1

    what's the meaning?

    I am so confused about the dialogue below:
    --What am I going to do?
    --Lock him in a closet in his office is what I would do.
    Does the writer mean "If I were you, I wouldn't let out something bad of him"?
    Give me a hand, please.
    thank you.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what's the meaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    I am so confused about the dialogue below:
    --What am I going to do?
    --Lock him in a closet in his office is what I would do.
    Does the writer mean "If I were you, I wouldn't let out something bad of him"?
    Give me a hand, please.
    thank you.
    From the context given, it means "If I were you, I would lock him in a closet in his office". Does this not fit the rest of the context?
    There's no idiom that would explain the dialogue.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: what's the meaning?

    I think your 'let out something bad of him' comes from a modern meaning of 'in the closet' (although I wouldn't say 'let out something bad', but just 'make a public acknowlegement of a personal thing that you'd prefer was kept secret'). The 'closet' in your quote is a real closet with four sides and a door.

    b

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    #4

    Re: what's the meaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I think your 'let out something bad of him' comes from a modern meaning of 'in the closet' (although I wouldn't say 'let out something bad', but just 'make a public acknowlegement of a personal thing that you'd prefer was kept secret'). The 'closet' in your quote is a real closet with four sides and a door.

    b
    So there is difference between "in the closet"and "in a closet".
    I get it.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what's the meaning?

    Yes, if you say someone is "in the closet" it means the person is a homosexual but that is not known by most people.

    Someone who is "in a closet" is in a very small room in which we store things.

    (This is the US usage. I don't know if "he's in the closet" has similar meanings in other parts of th world.)

    {not a teacher}

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    #6

    Re: what's the meaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes, if you say someone is "in the closet" it means the person is a homosexual but that is not known by most people.

    Someone who is "in a closet" is in a very small room in which we store things.

    (This is the US usage. I don't know if "he's in the closet" has similar meanings in other parts of th world.)

    {not a teacher}
    funny

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    #7

    Re: what's the meaning?

    Question:
    How about "Lock him in the closet in his office is what I would do"?
    Still a real one?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: what's the meaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    Question:
    How about "Lock him in the closet in his office is what I would do"?
    Still a real one?
    Norwolf, it depends entirely on the context. Can you tell us any more?
    This could have come from the story "Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde". Someone sees Mr Hyde acting dangerously, and a friend asks the police what they should do.
    Police: Lock him in the/a closet in his office is what I would do"
    (You use "a" if there is more than one closet; or "the" if there is only one closet).
    Or, in another case, a stockbroker is threatening to jump out of the window because of the financial crisis. Again a friend asks for advice.
    Advisor: "Lock him in a/the closet in his office is what I would do".

    There's no evidence in what you've given us to make any assumptions about his sexuality, or has some secret, or anything else.
    Tell me how many closets his office has, and I'll tell you if "a" or "the" is appropriate. Even then you'd need to assume that the person saying this knows how many he has.

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