Reading an old story by A. Blackwood, I stumbled upon the following sentence (for the context, the woman is said to have some kind of second sight):

And the idea of this motherly, sedate, and wholesome woman, absorbed day and night in prosaic domestic duties, and yet ‘seeing’ things, touched the incongruous almost to the point of alarm.

I cannot fully understand the last part: touched the incongruous almost to the point of alarm. I thought it was a phrase (if something touches the incongruous) but I was wrong.


1 Answer 1


The writer is juxtaposing the homely features of an ordinary woman— motherly, sedate, and wholesome woman,... prosaic domestic duties with the extraordinary gift she possesses— and yet seeing things— Probably, hence the incongruity. Why it should be to the point of alarm would possibly be understood fully from further context. Perhaps, people around her took liberties with her, made fun of her, and so forth; and the sudden epiphany or knowledge that she was more than just a factotum caused in these people a sense of alarm. But this is just guesswork.

  • 2
    Also worth noting, incongruous is normally an adjective but serves as a noun here. Dec 21, 2020 at 13:39
  • 1
    @Yosef Baskin— Indeed! Like in the case of the rich_/ the poor, etc.
    – user405662
    Dec 21, 2020 at 13:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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