Reading comprehension


  • Dupa

    Ron and Hermione sat themselves opposite him, looking happier than they had done since he had first arrived at Grimmauld Place

    Does this mean they weren't as happy when he arrived, or that they were as happy the last time when he arrived?



  • @kt_ The former. When he got there they were looking miserable, and now they are looking happier.


  • Dupa

    @coldandtired said in Reading comprehension:

    @kt_ The former. When he got there they were looking miserable, and now they are looking happier.

    Huh, I was sure it would be the latter. Thanks!



  • 0_1473333036899_path4908-8.png

    HTH, HAND


  • Dupa

    @Zecc said in Reading comprehension:

    0_1473330744116_path4908-8.png

    HTH, HAND

    There's a mistake in your drawing: it was RW and HG sitting opposite HP.

    HTH HAND TDEMSYR



  • I don't know what you're talking about. :cold_sweat:



  • @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    Ron and Hermione sat themselves opposite him, looking happier than they had done since he had first arrived at Grimmauld Place

    Does this mean they weren't as happy when he arrived, or that they were as happy the last time when he arrived?

    Technically, it means that this is the happiest Ron and Hermione have been since the time “him” arrived. It could be that they were even more happy just before his arrival than they are now, but their happiness then plunged upon his arrival, and now they’ve regained some or all of that happiness.

    But in the way this type of phrase is usually used, is to mean it as the way @coldandtired and @Zecc explain it.



  • @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    Ron and Hermione sat themselves opposite him, looking happier than they had done since he had first arrived at Grimmauld Place

    It's fairly garbled English, the intent might be clearer as:

    Ron and Hermione sat themselves opposite him, looking the happiest they had done since he first arrived at Grimmauld Place

    otherwise it might mean only that they were less sad than the most miserable point since his arrival but says nothing about whether they experienced other moments of superlative bliss in the interim.



  • There is also an implicit contrast between now and then.

    You don't use it when the happiness level was 7% and now it's 9% (or 94 and 99, or whatever).


  • sockdevs

    @japonicus said in Reading comprehension:

    they experienced other moments of superlative bliss

    :giggity:


  • mod

    @japonicus said in Reading comprehension:

    Ron and Hermione sat themselves opposite him, looking the happiest they had done since he first arrived at Grimmauld Place

    If we're going to workshop the sentence, I suggest:

    Ron and Hermione sat across from him, looking happier than they had since he arrived.



  • @Yamikuronue but "sat across" is USA'ian :no_mouth: and Potter is set in some sort of anachronistic English universe.

    "sat themselves down" is really ugly, presumably only done on those rare occasions when one's retinue is unavailable to do the seating :trolleybus:


  • mod

    @japonicus said in Reading comprehension:

    "sat across" is USA'ian

    That's fair. Replace "sat across from him" with "sat opposite him"and it's just as clean though.



  • @japonicus said in Reading comprehension:

    says nothing about whether they experienced other moments of superlative bliss in the interim.

    That's right. I propose an amended chart:

    0_1473441716562_path4908-8.png



  • @Zecc said in Reading comprehension:

    @japonicus said in Reading comprehension:

    says nothing about whether they experienced other moments of superlative bliss in the interim.

    That's right. I propose an amended chart:

    0_1473441716562_path4908-8.png

    I was not aware Lake Michigan was located anywhere near England.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @ben_lubar said in Reading comprehension:

    @Zecc said in Reading comprehension:

    @japonicus said in Reading comprehension:

    says nothing about whether they experienced other moments of superlative bliss in the interim.

    That's right. I propose an amended chart:

    0_1473441716562_path4908-8.png

    I was not aware Lake Michigan was located anywhere near England.

    How else do you think British warships would end up in the lake? Not like they could just sail them across foreign lands, is it? Of course it had to be near England, so they could build their ships in it!



  • I just go "yeah Fuck you too Insert Author's name here" and move on to the next sentence when I come across confusing shit like this. Sentences like this really disrupt the flow of reading and is super annoying as fuck.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @stillwater said in Reading comprehension:

    I just go "yeah Fuck you too Insert Author's name here" and move on to the next sentence when I come across confusing shit like this. Sentences like this really disrupt the flow of reading and is super annoying as fuck.

    I mean, it's not too bad given what it's saying. It's a little awkwardly worded though.

    Of course I'm not ESL so it might be harder for you than me.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    Ron and Hermione sat themselves opposite him, looking happier than they had done their current state of happiness being a maximal element of the set of all states of happiness they've experienced since he had first arrived at Grimmauld Place



  • looking happier than they had done

    Is it a Brit thing to say that people "do happy"? I've always seen "happy" and other words describing a person's mood being used with some form of the "be" verb.


  • Dupa

    @djls45 said in Reading comprehension:

    Is it a Brit thing to say that people "do happy"? I've always seen "happy" and other words describing a person's mood being used with some form of the "be" verb.

    "Do" pertains to "looking happy". They did look happy, they certainly didn't happy, though.



  • @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    @djls45 said in Reading comprehension:

    Is it a Brit thing to say that people "do happy"? I've always seen "happy" and other words describing a person's mood being used with some form of the "be" verb.

    "Do" pertains to "looking happy". They did look happy, they certainly didn't happy

    Ah, ok. I got it. The focus is on their appearance, not their emotional state.

    It still mixes verb tenses in the parallel construction, though: "[they were] looking happier" vs. "[they] had done [looking happy]" (?!) .


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    @djls45 said in Reading comprehension:

    Is it a Brit thing to say that people "do happy"? I've always seen "happy" and other words describing a person's mood being used with some form of the "be" verb.

    "Do" pertains to "looking happy". They did look happy, they certainly didn't happy

    Yeah, that sounds like sloppy language to me. "look happy" is an observation, not an action you can "do". You can only "do" something to influence that observation.

    You can be happy, assuming your happiness is accurately reflected in your look. You can present a happy look. Or you can lace the well with happy drugs


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @djls45 said in Reading comprehension:

    @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    @djls45 said in Reading comprehension:

    Is it a Brit thing to say that people "do happy"? I've always seen "happy" and other words describing a person's mood being used with some form of the "be" verb.

    "Do" pertains to "looking happy". They did look happy, they certainly didn't happy

    Ah, ok. I got it. The focus is on their appearance, not their emotional state.

    It still mixes verb tenses in the parallel construction, though: "[they were] looking happier" vs. "[they] had done [looking happy]" (?!) .

    Tenses are still good, I think. English allows u substitution in some circumstances, and this is one of them. "[they] had done" has "done" substituted in place of "looked", so expanded it should read "[they] had [looked]".



  • @djls45 Do is used as a substitute verb to avoid repetition. It's much more common in British English, though.



  • @coldandtired said in Reading comprehension:

    @djls45 Do is used as a substitute verb to avoid repetition. It's much more common in British English, though.

    "Do" is used as a replacement for verbs in American English as well, but for verbs that indicate some sort of action. "Be" is used as a replacement for verbs that indicate some sort of state. Verbs can also be omitted and only the auxiliary(-ies) used, as @Dreikin's expanded example sorta demonstrates, though if the expansion is "[they] had [looked]," then the abbreviated form should simply be "[they] had."


  • mod

    @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    "Do" pertains to "looking happy".

    American English would probably have said "than they had been".


  • Dupa

    Ok, I've got another one.

    “Sirius Black, you mean? Merlin’s beard, no. Black’s dead."

    Then a while later

    "But Black’s by-the-by now. The point is, we’re at war, Prime Minister, and steps must be taken."

    What is the meaning of by the by in this context? It's supposed to mean something akin to "by the way" or "incidentally", however here the person saying this was asked for news on Black and so it's by the way doesn't really fit. Meaning that would l though, is it's not important anymore or he's gone.

    Right?



  • @kt_ said in Reading comprehension:

    What is the meaning of by the by in this context?

    Irrelevant, unimportant, neither here nor there, a moot point, a red herring.

    See also: mute point, moo point, damp squid, free reign.



  • @cark said in Reading comprehension:

    Yeah, that sounds like sloppy language to me. "look happy" is an observation, not an action you can "do". You can only "do" something to influence that observation.
    You can be happy, assuming your happiness is accurately reflected in your look. You can present a happy look. Or you can lace the well with happy drugs

    I'd say that presenting a happy look is what "looking happy" means.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @boomzilla said in Reading comprehension:

    @cark said in Reading comprehension:

    Yeah, that sounds like sloppy language to me. "look happy" is an observation, not an action you can "do". You can only "do" something to influence that observation.
    You can be happy, assuming your happiness is accurately reflected in your look. You can present a happy look. Or you can lace the well with happy drugs

    I'd say that presenting a happy look is what "looking happy" means.

    I still think it's perfectly logical to drug someone to make them think you look happy.


  • Dupa

    “That’s never unicorn hair, Hagrid?”
    “Oh, yeah,” said Hagrid indifferently. “Gets pulled out of their tails, they catch it on branches an’ stuff in the forest, yeh know . . .”

    What's the exact meaning of never in this context?



  • @kt_ Surely not.


  • Dupa

    @coldandtired said in Reading comprehension:

    @kt_ Surely not.

    Simple as that? I thought it could be more of a metaphor.

    Thanks!


  • Dupa

    @coldandtired said in Reading comprehension:

    @kt_ Surely not.

    Is it commonly used?



  • @kt_ Yep.



  • @kt_ Sorry, I was just heading out earlier so didn't have time for a longer post.

    It's commonly used as an interjection to show surprise or shock:

    A: I just met the Queen.
    B: Never!

    Or as 'Well I never', which shows the speaker has accepted some surprising facts/news:

    Well I never - it seems sheep's bladders can prevent earthquakes!


  • mod

    @coldandtired That is all very British, mind. If you're used to Americanisms, it sounds weird to say "That's never X".

    Also, brits can say "don't let's X" instead of "let's not X".



  • @Yamikuronue That's true, but I've never heard anyone in Europe (and especially Poland) ask to learn American rather than British English :)


  • mod

    @coldandtired Sure, but if you hang out with a lot of Americans (say, on the internet?) it might explain why britishism sound weird. Hanging out with a lot of brits has made them less weird to me, for example.



  • @Yamikuronue It might be bias, but US English just hurts my sensibilities. The modern trend to use everything in the wrong form (feels, ask, chill, swear, etc.)

    I do teach Cockney Rhyming Slang for about five minutes every lesson. After the initial 'what the hell is this - why would you do such a thing!' the students seem to enjoy it, and quickly become good at guessing the answers.

    @kt_ You should try listening to the Stephen Fry audiobook version. It's much longer, but he's great to listen to.



  • @Yamikuronue said in Reading comprehension:

    brits can say "don't let's X" instead of "let's not X"

    Let's you and them fight!



  • Stop reading Harry Potter, it is shit and turns you into a gaylord (citation needed).

    Also if the someone says "In America", that is American English and the Queen will put you on a hit list.



  • @coldandtired US English also hurts English sensibilities. Americans just butcher the language.



  • @lucas1 said in Reading comprehension:

    American's just butcher the language.

    …but some of them know how to use apo'strophes



  • @Yamikuronue I still do my css wrong and wonder why it isn't working e.g.

    .someclass 
    {
        text-align: centre;
    }
    
    

    Why isn't it working?! Then spends 5 minutes inspecting everything and realising he spelt centre right instead or wrong.



  • @tufty yes you are right I used it wrong. It is easy to confuse possessive vs plural when thinking and typing at the same time.



  • @lucas1 said in Reading comprehension:

    @tufty yYes, you are right; I used it wrong.

    Fixed that for you. You're welcome. Also, no, it's not.



  • @tufty I didn't pause when saying "yes you are right" and thus doesn't need a comma. Possibly the second bit did, but tbh I don't care.



  • @tufty To be fair, it is when you're as hammered as our yob friend.


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