r.the metaphorical meaning of today's word, "deceitfulness," has all but taken control of it: "biff wellington is so duplicitous, he proposed to pearl white while holding hands with ruby redman under the table."
in the above sentence, i couldn't understand the meaning of the bold part. Some one please decipher it to me clearly.
"all but" means "everything up to, but excluding". So here (i think, given the context) it's saying that "deceitful" has almost replaced "duplicitous", but not quite, since "duplicitous" is still used. "deceitful" has done everything it can to take over from "duplicitous" except knock it out of the dictionaries.
Note: "deceitfulness" is a noun; duplicitous is an adjective, so an adjustment has to be made.
also kindly explain the usage colon ':' in the above sentence? And what about the underlined part: Isn't it making it run-on sentence?
the colon is correctly used above: The part after the colon adds explanation or clarifies the part preceding it.
run-on? I can't see how. It would be interesting to see the previous sentence though to be sure of the referent of "it". I'm assuming it is "today's word".
one more question:) :
Before the civil war many hobos had taken to the rails as a way of life --- what is the meaning of bold part of this statement?
many tramps/riff-raff/down-and-outs had made a habit of riding the railway trains from one place to another, perhaps hoping for a change in luck.
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