a swirl of dust

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Senior Member
The hall was very warm. Rhona must have arranged for the heating to be turned on and the sunlight was flooding in through the windows, reflecting on the camera lenses, picking up a swirl of dust in one corner. Chairs had been unstacked and set out in rows. The Fiscal stood with Perez at the front of the room.
Source: Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves
Context: There have been two murders in Fair Isle and the community hall has been set up for the media conference.

Is this a swirl of dust, right? Does picking up a swirl of dust in one corner mean there was a tiny twirl of dust in the corner inside the community hall?


Thank you.
  • Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English

    Well, it's certainly nothing as big as what's shown in your picture.

    It might just be a static swirl of dust on the floor-in other words, a small pile of dust in the shape of a swirl, as opposed to dust whirling around in the air. I don't think the heating has picked dust up into the air, nor has the sunlight. Most likely, the camera lenses picked up (captured the image of) a swirl of dust on the floor, in the corner.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    They are talking about the dust you remove from furniture when you dust. It's very fine and most easily seen in sunlight if it's stirred up, in this case, maybe, from the heating system blowing air. It's not really a tight swirl as that shown in the picture. It's more floating than swirling, probably.
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