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Wu Ting
How would you interpret “Mrs. Smith” here? They seem so thrilled to pounce, these press men. Not before, when I was nobody of consequence, only now. Mrs. Brown says envy plays into it. “There are some who’d hardly lift a finger for kindness, but they would haul up a load of rock to dump on some soul they think’s been too lucky. They take it as duty, to equal out life’s misery.” “They think I’ve been too lucky?” She sighed. “Mr. Shepherd, it’s what you’ve said a hundred times, they don’t know a person’s whole story. They think you just sit in your little room making up tales and getting bags of money for it, while they have to go out rain or shine and talk to Mrs. Smith on Charlotte Street about a pie contest. They’re put out with you for having an easier life.”How would you interpret “Mrs. Smith” here in the last passage? I guess it means somebody, right? What I really want to know is whether it is an idiom or not. Thanks! And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.BTW, how would you interpret “pie contest” here?
Jun 5, 2015 1:21 AM
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Answers · 1
Yes, it is probably an idiomatic use here. Since Smith is one of the most common surnames, it is relatively common to use Mr(s) Smith as a placeholder for 'somebody'. Using the name makes it a bit more personal.
June 5, 2015
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English