above the level

Discussion in 'English Only' started by aiyu, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. aiyu

    aiyu Senior Member


    This text is from the book 1984 written by George Orwell.
    Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.

    Can I understand the underlined part like all sound, however low it is, would be picked up.

  2. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Yes, it means that every sound louder than a very low whisper would be picked up by the device.
  3. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Not exactly, since sound can be low in pitch as well as volume.

    We would probably say "... however faint..."

    faint /feɪnt/adj
    • lacking clarity, brightness, volume, etc
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Also, above the level of = greater than
  5. aiyu

    aiyu Senior Member

    Thanks a lot drimlike, sdgraham, and PaulQ!
  6. Franco-filly Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - Southern England
    No, not a very low sound! Which is why the author specified that only noise above the level of a whisper would be picked up. I would presume, for example, that someone’s breathing would not be picked up
  7. aiyu

    aiyu Senior Member

    Thanks Franco-filly!

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