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shuffle round

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Yuyka, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Yuyka Senior Member

    Czech
    Hello,

    could anyone help me figure out the meaning of the following sentence?

    He shuffled round quickly on to a chair, pulled it closer to me,...

    (source: Claire North: The first fifteen lives of Harry August)

    A few paragraphs before in the book it is said that the character is sitting on the chair. Does the sentence mean then that he "changed his position on the chair"? The two prepositions "on to" is what puzzles me.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Yuyka
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    "Shuffling" typically describes something that people do with their feet, Yuyka. North's sentence seems strange to me because she has used both "shuffled round" and "on to a chair", which is confusing. I suppose this guy shuffled over to a chair and pulled it towards the narrator.
     
  3. Qualityservant

    Qualityservant Senior Member

    Utah, USA
    English-USA
    It should be shuffled around. It means to move around haphazardly or sporadically in a very quick, disorderly manner, and then settle down (in this case, on the chair).

    Here's another example. I am desperately searching for an important document, so I grab a pile of papers and quickly shuffle through them (look through them in a disorganized way) to see if it is there.
     
  4. Miss Julie

    Miss Julie Senior Member

    Chicago metro area
    English-U.S.
    Not necessarily. In British English they say round (and Americans would write it as 'round").
     
  5. Yuyka Senior Member

    Czech
    Thanks, owlman.

    You mean that from a standing position he "came" to a chair, sat on it and pulled it towards the narrator?
    Maybe the author simply forgot to mention that he had stood up from his chair earlier on.
     
  6. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    You're welcome, Yuyka.

    If I understand the sentence correctly, he walked with a slow shuffle over to the chair and pulled it towards the narrator. I don't think he sat on the chair, however. I suspect that North is using "on to a chair" to indicate the direction of his movement, not to indicate that he sat down on the chair.
     
  7. Qualityservant

    Qualityservant Senior Member

    Utah, USA
    English-USA
    I can't speak for the British, but in the US, it is grammatically correct to use around, not round. It is also not spelled 'round. The following definition comes from a dictionary: To move about from place to place; shift: shuffled around looking for work.

    Here's the link for a full explanation:


    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shuffle
     
  8. Miss Julie

    Miss Julie Senior Member

    Chicago metro area
    English-U.S.
    Yes, I know this, QS. And it is often spelled 'round (in the U.S.) to when referring to British usage and to differentiate it from the American usage of round.
     
  9. Yuyka Senior Member

    Czech
    I have just read on and a page later in the book he "stands up", so he must have sat down. And another problem seems to be the word "quickly". Can you shuffle quickly? It seems a contradiction to me.

    The context (which you don´t know, of course) suggests that he was being impatient, because he was expexting the narrator to finally answer his question. So I simplified it a little bit in my translation and translated it like this: "He shuffled quickly on his chair." It makes the best sense to me - contextwise.

    I really don´t want to spend my lifetime on this (weird) sentence.
    Thanks again for your help.

    Yuyka
     
  10. Qualityservant

    Qualityservant Senior Member

    Utah, USA
    English-USA
    Yuyka, read the link in my previous post; it will clarify it for you. I find nowhere that gives round as a correct American usage. We do, however, still follow our British language roots when we say, "go round and round" or "round n round" or "round & round."
     
  11. Yuyka Senior Member

    Czech
    Thanks for your help, QS.
     

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