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Lily Rose
Community Tutor
I have difficulty understanding the meaning of these paragraphs, could you please help me? Here're some paragraphs from The Wrong Kind of Small Talk, Much of the time, Esther said the first thing to come into her head. One day at work, a clerk came into the office with a new hairstyle. "Nice haircut," said Esther. "How much did cost?" The woman replied, "I'd rather not say." Esther replied, "Well, anyhow, either you paid too much or you paid too little." She met a very famous writer once. "Hey, what a coincidence!" she said. "You're writing a book and I'm reading one!" The trouble with Esther was she said what she thought, and didn't think about what she said. A young man was trying to be modest about his new job many miles away. "I guess the company chose me so they'd get some peace in the office," he smiled. "No, I guess they chose you to discourage you from spending your whole career with us," Esther replied sweetly. The problem is that I don't quite understand what the woman is trying to say. All I know is that the woman named Esther is a little mean. Thanks
Nov 16, 2016 3:14 PM
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Answers · 7
Sometimes you might think something mean like "that person has bad hair" or "that person is very fat", but you would keep this thought in your head, you would not say it, because it may make the person sad or angry. Esther is incapable of this restraint, she always speaks her bad thoughts, so she always upsets other people.
November 16, 2016
Hi Helen Thank you very much for your explanation. But I still have some specific questions. About the second occosion, she says " You're writing a book and I'm reading one." does she indicate that what the writer is writing isn't original or boring or something like that and she's just being ironic? And the last occosion, I don't know if I'm right, but I think that the man is transferred, and the woman just frankly says that the company don't want him here. Am I right? Or can you explain this one? Thank you very very much!
November 17, 2016
Hi Lily I think that the whole point of this is that the woman is not trying to be mean, she simply does not think before she speaks and says what is in her mind without "editing" it so as not to hurt other people's feelings. Her "small talk" is not like the usual' polite comments that people make.
November 16, 2016
Both of them are writing books, so it is surprising for the speaker, and says: " hey, what a coincidence!"
November 16, 2016
Lily Rose
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English