4

In context it clearly refers to the organs of speech (mouth, tongue, lungs etc), and reflects the prejudice of the time that anything associated with females was fundamentally weak and delicate. It seems here to be referring to the acoustic power of the sounds, but similar remarks were often made about the inappropriateness of women speaking words that ...


3

I found no idioms or phrases that could possibly explain the phrase. So, I'm going to assume that touch the bottle again means to intoxicate them one last time before leaving. I draw this inference due to the fact that there is the usage of again in the sentence. So, touching the bottle might essentially be a way of how the character Whitey tells others to ...


3

It is fine. At the point the storm broke out, it “had been” (past sense) sunny. Thus, the sunny and storm did not occur at the same time. It is the past perfect continuous tense. https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar-reference/past-perfect


2

There is a sense in which it is countable. If I say Fire damage has made occupancy of the building impossible., that is NOT countable. However, if I describe the period during which one person occupies the building as an occupancy, and each subsequent instance an occupancy. Then each of those "occupancies" can be counted.


2

It is difficult to construct a sentence such as this that makes sense without context. Your re-phrase, for example, could be interpreted as meaning that there was a sunny week at some point, not necessarily the week immediately preceding, before the storm broke out. Groucho says: I was on safari. And one night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he ...


1

As I read more into the book, I realised he wanted them to touch the bottle to make sure their fingerprints are on it. He vouches for them, says they were passed out in the back of his shop at the time of the murder. So it's literal, not an idiom or phrase.


1

"Approaching" can literally mean "nearing", and in this kind of context it means "almost" or "only just". For example, this quote: "It had been a while since I had been anywhere with food that I deemed approaching edible." Here the author is describing food as "approaching edible" to mean it is only just worthy of eating. So, in your example: Partly ...


1

The names of the sensitives, are "Campbell and MacDonald". The word 'sensitives' foreshadows the phrase 'alive to the spiritual influences'. Meaning 'sensitive to spiritual influences' 'Spoke of' is past tense of the idiom 'speaks to'. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/speak_to In this context, it is not a literal vocal communication. So altogether this is ...


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