£.s.d. account

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mariana79

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi
What is a £.s.d. account?
In a novel by D.H Lawrence, James a stingy character SUBLIMATES a bulk of his pennies in such an account?

But then he had to pay off all he had borrowed to buy his erection and its furnishings, and a bulk of pennies sublimated into a very small £.s.d. account, at the bank.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It sounds like an ordinary bank account; £sd (also written 'Lsd' or 'lsd') was the currency in use at the time, as valisarius says. However I am a little puzzled by this explicit mention of '£.s.d.', as to have an account in any other currency would have been incredibly rare. So I wonder is an '£.s.d. account' is a particular type of bank account, one which would have been understood at the time, but certainly isn't something I recognise now.

    The other reading, and one that I am leaning towards, is that it shows the account actually contained a very small number of pounds. Since he was only paying in pennies at a time, and there are 240 pennies to a pound, this is an achievement he would be pleased of and would account for his contentment earlier in the paragraph. To count against such a reading is the immediately preceding mention of paying off all he had borrowed, and the distinctly unusual word sublimate, which I would read (quite possibly incorrectly) as having its meaning from chemistry of 'evaporate'.
     

    mariana79

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    It sounds like an ordinary bank account; £sd (also written 'Lsd' or 'lsd') was the currency in use at the time, as valisarius says. However I am a little puzzled by this explicit mention of '£.s.d.', as to have an account in any other currency would have been incredibly rare. So I wonder is an '£.s.d. account' is a particular type of bank account, one which would have been understood at the time, but certainly isn't something I recognise now.

    The other reading, and one that I am leaning towards, is that it shows the account actually contained a very small number of pounds. Since he was only paying in pennies at a time, and there are 240 pennies to a pound, this is an achievement he would be pleased of and would account for his contentment earlier in the paragraph. To count against such a reading is the immediately preceding mention of paying off all he had borrowed, and the distinctly unusual word sublimate, which I would read (quite possibly incorrectly) as having its meaning from chemistry of 'evaporate'.
    Thanks :) I had a question about sublimate which you answered it too. Thank you.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Sublimate" has never meant "evaporate" in the sense of turning into vapour and vanishing. In this case it means to be transformed into something higher or more refined - his "bulk of pennies" has been transformed into a (small) bank balance measured in pounds, shillings and pence.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Sublimate" has never meant "evaporate" in the sense of turning into vapour and vanishing. In this case it means to be transformed into something higher or more refined - his "bulk of pennies" has been transformed into a (small) bank balance measured in pounds, shillings and pence.
    Thanks, Andygc. I only knew the word from chemistry but I wondered about its more general use in English. More refined; I would not have guessed that.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's almost the same meaning in chemistry - a sublimate is the purified solid product of sublimation (distillation). You might recall "flowers of sulphur" from your school chemistry days. :)
     
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