Kihwan jung
I was reading a novel, and I found a dfficult sentence. The original sentence below is from 'Do andorids dream of electronic sheeps?' by Philip.k.dick And yet, for this day and age a one-half occupied conapt building rated high in the scheme of population density; out in what had been before the war the suburbs one could find buildings entirely empty. There are two parts that's so confusing. 1. "rated high in the scheme of population density". Does it mean that the building is so crowded by people? If so, what is the meaning of "scheme of population density"? 2. "out in what had been before the war the suburbs one could find buildings entirely empty". To be more specific, I don't get the meaning of "out in". In my opnion, "out in what had been before" isn't necessary for this sentence! So I understood this sentence like, "Before the war, the suburbs one could find buildings entirely empty." Am I correct? And one more question, Does "suburbs one" mean "People in suburban areas."? I always appreciate all you guys for helping me :)
Jul 26, 2019 9:20 AM
Answers · 6
Nikola has sort of already answered your question about "suburbs one," but I think he didn't notice that it was in the sentence he explained ("out in what had been before the war the suburbs one could find buildings entirely empty"). The two words, "suburbs" and "one," are not a single phrase. They belong to separate parts of the sentence: "out in the suburbs" and "one could find." Here, the word "one" means "a person"/"someone"/"anyone." Here's a way to clarify the sentence: Out in the area that had been the suburbs (in the past, before the war), a person could (now) find buildings that were entirely empty. Philip K. Dick writes in a rather unusual and creative English style, so you may find quite a few of his sentences hard to follow! The grammar of this sentence is deliberately confusing, probably because Dick is trying to imitate the way people think, sometimes very quickly and not very clearly. You'll also find that he sometimes makes up words, since he's describing a future where there are things that don't exist in the real world. >> "for this day and age a one-half occupied conapt building rated high in the scheme of population density." It doesn't mean that the place is full of people, but you have the right idea. It means that even though there are NOT many people, it is still considered "high-density" "for this day and age," because it is very rare for buildings to have many people in them. Even a half-occupied apartment is considered a "high level of population," because it is rare for apartments to have ANY people in them.
July 26, 2019
1. The meaning of "scheme" here is related to schematics so it's not "scheme" as in a plan or an idea. 2. No, you're not correct. The author is trying to say that before the war this area was the suburbs and after the war all the buildings there are empty. They way you put it: "Before the war, the suburbs one could find buildings entirely empty" makes it sound as if the suburbs were empty before the war which doesn't seems to be the case. I never heard of a term such as "Suburbs one". Could you give it in a sentence or preferably in the sentence from the book?
July 26, 2019
Grey has an excellent and correct answer.
July 26, 2019
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