Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

"Once as a kid he'd gone out behind the house, into the wilds of pecan trees and hedges and, following a night zipped into an army-surplus unsleeping bag, had attempted to fry bacon over a Sterno can, managing only to cook his thumb."

Is there anything like unsleeping bag or is it just a sarcastic phrase?

share|improve this question
    
Please always summarize the results of whatever research you did before asking. Doing research before posting is basic site etiquette. –  MετάEd Sep 11 '12 at 21:40

3 Answers 3

This is what is known as wry humor. It is used derisively, usually as a commentary on the miserable nature of a thing or a situation. The author is making a comment about the uncomfortable nature of the sleeping bag, which prevented the very thing it was designed to promote.

Given more context, the sardonic humor is even more evident:

enter image description here

The drink tasted like Sterno, the thumb got fried instead of the bacon, etc.

*[Excerpt from a Google Books search that yielded the passage from Drive by James Sallis]*

share|improve this answer

I don't think there is any such thing. I think the author is just trying to make a derogatory implication about the quality of army-surplus sleeping bags.

share|improve this answer

Its sarcastic I think. Haven't heard of unsleeping bags. Maybe helpful if there was one.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.